If you have ever watched one of the many popular TV shows where couples buy a less than desirable home and completely renovate it to make it livable, then you know that home design is trending toward restoration rather than renovation. Hard floors such as hardwood, laminate, vinyl, and even stained concrete are far more popular than they have ever been before.
Whether you already have gleaming hardwood floors, are hoping to restore the original hardwood floors in your home, or even have purchased laminate to mimic the hardwood floor look, then you know that special care must be taken to keep your floors shining like new.
Wood, laminate, and other hard floors, unlike carpet, cannot easily disguise dust. No matter how regularly you sweep, you can almost always find dust and debris settled onto hard floors. This is why many homeowners purchase a dust mop because it helps them more easily maintain hard floors throughout their home.
My grandmother always told me that “cleanliness is next to Godliness,” and I took those words to heart. So, since purchasing my own home I have meticulously worked through all of the methods for cleaning my hard floors. I absolutely love the use of a dust mop, but I have often wondered what can I spray on a dust mop to make it more effective?
In this article, we are going to discuss what can be used in addition to a dust mop, and we will examine the most effective practices for using a dust mop to keep dust and debris off of your floors.
Types of Hard Floors
In the event that you have been living under a rock for your entire life, you might not be aware that there are multiple types of hard floors. All of these floors require different types of long-term care, but almost all of these floors can also benefit from the regular use of a dust mop.
However, that does not mean that a dust mop is your best option for each of these types of floors. In the brief paragraphs below, I will discuss how each type of hard flooring is constructed, and I will mention the pros and cons for using a dust mop with this type of flooring.
Tile flooring is popular in many homes, especially homes built in the 1990s and early 2000s. Tile is also a popular choice for kitchens and bathrooms built in just about any decade. While any type of hard floor is bound to collect dust, tile floors prove to be extra stubborn due to the grout used to hold each tile in place.
Using a dust mop on tile flooring is probably going to be less effective than other cleaning methods. The grout that is between each tile is gritty and may catch the delicate threads that make up the head of a dust mop.
Vinyl floors are a type of hard floor that are generally extremely inexpensive and typically made to look like hardwood floors. These floors range from peel and stick to slightly more durable planks and are usually placed onto concrete foundations.
A dust mop is an excellent choice for vinyl flooring. Vinyl flooring mimics hardwood floors with the exception that it tends to be more durable. However, using a traditional mop on vinyl flooring can cause a horrible build-up over time. For this reason, the dust mop is clearly the preferable method for polishing vinyl floors.
Laminate floors are an extremely popular choice for homeowners looking for a hardwood floor look for a more budget-friendly price. When done correctly, laminate floors can be extremely convincing as a hardwood floor substitute.
Because laminate floors come in all different shapes, styles, and sometimes vary widely on their durability, it is hard to say what cleaning method is best for laminate flooring. My mother once tried to replace her flooring with peel and stick laminate tiles and cleaning them was a disaster. This was largely due to the fact that she had tried to do the job herself. Trying a dust mop on a laminate floor is probably not a bad idea.
Original Hardwood Floors
If your home has original wood floors that are not sealed, then you will need to take even more care with your floors. You can tell if your floors are unsealed wood because a drop of water will soak into the wood rather than sitting on top of it.
Original, unsealed wooden floors are much more delicate than sealed floors. These floors require a lot of special care. In fact, many homeowners opt to have these floors sealed because cleaning unsealed wooden floors is such a chore.
If you have original unsealed wooden floors then cleaning with water is absolutely out of the question. For this reason, traditional mops that employ water for cleaning are also out of the question and it may be a good idea to use a dust mop. Dust mops are a great, gentle cleaning method for original, unsealed hardwood floors.
Sealed Hardwood Floors
Many more modern homes that have prefinished hardwood floors have been sealed with a protective sealant. You can easily tell if your home has sealed floors because a few drops of water will bead up rather than soaking into your floor. Most sealants are polyurethane, but may also be wax or acid based.
Much like unsealed hardwood floors, cleaning sealed hardwood floors is an art. Large amounts of water should be avoided when cleaning these floors, and a dust mop is not a bad choice. Many people also use vacuum cleaners, or brooms and mops with floor polish.
Stained concrete flooring has become increasingly popular in the past few years. More and more homeowners are opting to leave off purchasing flooring in favor of staining the concrete foundation of their home. Stained concrete is sealed for a glossy finish.
Stained concrete might be the best match for the dust mop on this list. Because of the smooth finish, a dust mop can easily restore the shine of stained concrete in a swift run over the floor.
Why is it important to protect your hardwood floors?
All floors require special kinds of care (as outlined above), but hardwood floors require even more care and attention. Hardwood floors are expensive, and many homeowners have specially chosen their home in part because of the beauty of the floors. Over time, hardwood floors can become damaged due to scratches, water spills, pets, or general wear.
However, by regularly cleaning your hardwood floors (whether sealed or unsealed), you can keep a close eye on the wear and tear that your hardwood floors may be experiencing. Quickly noticing these issues is key for keeping your hardwood floors in their best condition.
Why is a Dust Mop More Efficient than a regular mop or vacuum cleaner?
Growing up, my mother almost always used a straw broom and followed up with a classic mop. In adulthood, I realized that if I was going to keep using a traditional mop, I wanted to replace the mophead far more often than the packaging recommended.
Frequent complaints about regular mops are that they often leave behind a mysterious film-like residue. Sometimes, mopping with a regular mop is necessary, and if so, then frequently replacing your mop-head is also absolutely necessary. Replacing your mop head frequently will help to ward off the mysterious residue left on your floors.
Vacuum cleaners, especially since the invention of the robot vacuum cleaner, have become more popular than ever before. I will agree that vacuum cleaners do a fair job of keeping dust and debris off of hard floor surfaces. However, vacuum cleaners do not generally provide the satisfaction of a shiny, glossy finish that can be accomplished through the use of a dust mop.
So, What Can I Spray on a Dust Mop?
There are many different methods for using a dust mop to clean your home. As mentioned in a previous section, each type of hard floor may require a different method depending on how it was installed or its current condition. This section will outline the different products that people sometimes spray on a dust mop.
Aerosol sprays designed to spray onto the head of your dust mop are readily available at your local grocery store, hardware store, or online. These sprays claim to enhance the dust attractant in your dust mop and assist in leaving the floor shining like new.
Aerosol products warn that floors may be slippery after use. This is cause for concern because if there is a slippery streak left behind after their use, it may be inferred that a residue is also deposited on the surface when an aerosol product is used.
One major issue with using aerosol sprays on your dust mop is that over time the chemicals in these sprays can actually begin to damage the floor they are intended to clean. It also seems counterintuitive that a dust mop would need assistance in attracting dust. In fact, with the right, high quality dust mop, you will not have an issue clearing the floor of dust and debris.
A mixture of three parts water and one part ammonia is said to be a safe homemade solution for spraying on a dust mop. Take caution, though, because certain kinds of ammonia can have added soaps, dyes, or even chemicals. To ensure that you purchase pure ammonia, you want to make sure that the ammonia is clear and not cloudy.
Online instructions for applying the homemade spray to your dust mop suggest that you use a clean spray bottle. These instructions say to lightly dampen the dust mop before mopping the floor and to re-apply as necessary.
One major issue with using ammonia in your home is that is has an extremely harsh smell. Further, this recipe calls for water. If you were paying attention to my earlier paragraphs about the types of hardwood floor, then you already know that using water on hardwood floors should be avoided if at all possible.
Use a Dust Mop by Itself
My favorite thing about quality dust mops is that it really is not necessary to add any extra cleaning agent to get a thorough cleaning for your hard floors. In fact, I would venture to say that adding a cleaning agent is far riskier than simply using the dust mop as it was designed to be used. Cleaning agents not only leave pesky residue on hard floor surfaces, but they actively seek to harm sealants meant to protect floors from damage. This is why I much prefer to use a dry dust mop that I can trust to do the job without any extra help from cleaning agents.
My personal favorite dust mop is the Champion Old Fashioned Dust Mop. This is a high quality mop that I trust to clean my floors without needed any added chemicals or exposure to water. Further, I love that this dust mop utilizes multi-colored yarn as its mop head instead of a white yarn that exposes all of the previous dust and dirt it has collected.
The Champion Old Fashioned Dust Mop is 100% free of chemicals unlike other microfiber or cotton dust mops, and therefore it is guaranteed to leave your floors shining without compromising the integrity of your floor. The mop head is extremely easy to clean and does not require excessive recurrent purchases.
There is no need to spray harmful chemicals on a dust mop if you have purchased the right kind of dust mop to begin with. Your floors are one of the best points of pride in your home. In fact, your floors might even be the place your baby takes his/her very first step. Make sure that your moments are not soiled by pesky residue and take care of your home the right way.
To sum it all up, when I asked myself the question “what can I spray on a dust mop?” I genuinely assumed there was a product that would help ensure my home was clean. I learned, however, that the only product I need to maintain a clean house like grandma always had is a good, sturdy dust mop.