Sticky Floors after Mopping: How to Clean and Remove Residue

The floor looks clean and bright after mopping. But, once you walk the very first steps over it, you find the problem – there is a telltale sound under your shoes or your barefoot as the floor is very sticky.

“Should I clean the floor all again?” wonder you.

Hold on some minutes …

Read this post by Clairoliviawayman if you still do not know the bottom causes and how to get rid of sticky floors properly.

Why Is My Floor Sticky After Mopping?

Sticky floors after mopping

Only when you figure out what results in the frustrating stickiness can you get rid of it quickly. Here are several common reasons.

Stubborn Residue Hard to Remove with Mopping

Most of the time, stickiness is caused by residue left behind the adhesive substances such as soft drink, glue, or grease which by one way or another attached to your floor.

Take the kitchen for example. The grease released by pan frying gets into the air or ends up on the floor. Combining with other chemicals, it causes the oxidizing reaction to happen and results in the sticky stains.

Or, in winter, calcium chloride, as well as salt, is dissolved into water and gets sticky on the floor. The neutral cleaners do not work to break down such chemicals.

Mopping with clean water is not strong enough to dissolve the stain and fight the residue away. In that case, you try to wipe over and over hoping the force take the residue out. Sometimes it works, sometimes not.

Improper Cleaning Techniques

Home caring is an easy task, so does the floor cleaning. It cannot be done by dipping the mop into the water or whatever chemical cleaners, taking it out, and moving around the floor.

You must choose the right cleaning products, as well as clean the right way.

Residual Cleaners

The most common mistake is to buy the wrong cleaners made from chemistries that leave more residue on the floor than others.

For instance, the quaternary disinfectant is popular as an efficient cleaner to kill over harmful pathogens – good for health. However, it is incredibly sticky on the floor without washing out properly.

Too Much or Too Strong Cleaning Chemical

Every chemical cleaner comes with a specifically recommended dilution. Take too much, and you might face nothing but sticky floor disaster. For instance, the soap building up from your frequent cleaning gradually dries and causes the residue to leave behind.

Not to mention, such chemicals can shorten your floor’s durability and firmness.

Clean with Dirty Water

The more you mop, the dirtier the water bucket becomes. When there is noticeable dirt introduced into the bucket, it is time to replace it with a clean one. Otherwise, the floor gets even worse and stickier.

To ease your work, we suggest using a spin mop to get off as much dirt from the mop as possible so that you will take less time and effort to change the water.

Read more: How to Clean Painted Concrete Floors: Easy Way to Clean Painted Floor

How to Clean Sticky Floors

Fortunately, the stickiness will not stay there forever using our effective solutions as follows.

Do More Mopping and Change the Cleaning Solution

In case the problem is noticeable residue from spilling substances (e.g., soft drink, oil, salt), the first thing to do is more cleaning. You should mop over and over the stains to rip them away.

If clean water is not strong enough, try other cleaning solutions. But say no with dubious strong chemicals, a little vinegar or baking soda in your kitchen is enough. Try the recipe: 1 cup of white wine vinegar & 1 gallon of water.

To-do lists:

  • Mix the vinegar with the water, and stir for a while
  • Soak the rag with the mixture and place it onto the residue
  • Leave the cloth there for 15-20 minutes, so the vinegar works to soften the residue
  • Clean the sticky areas with a mop
  • The floor is expected to be freed from stickiness afterward. If not, try the next stronger solution.

Use Steam Mops instead of Traditional Mops

One useful tool to take out the steam mops, which is good at softening various types of dirt or stains thanks to vaporized water. However, you must adjust the heat carefully to protect your floor from damage. The hot water can break down the glue sealing between the grout lines.

Hence, consult the user guide carefully.

Read: Do Steam Mops Damage Tile Floors? – Helpful Advice On How To Use One!

How to Prevent Sticky Floors After Mopping

Choose Residue-free or Less-residue Cleaners

The residue can come from foreign substances or household cleaners. More cleaning as above might solve the problem temporarily. However, if you do not want the sticky feeling to go back, choose residue-free cleaners.

Unfortunately, not all residue-free solutions are the same in their ingredients so prepare yourself with some knowledge about residue chemicals so that you know what to avoid.

Begley’s Natural Plant-Based Cleaner is the right choice as an ammonia-free solution, especially for sticky hardwood floor.

Use Dilution Control to Take Out the Right Amount of Cleaners

As mentioned above, too much cleaning liquid might result in the stickiness or even ruin your floor. So, you should only use as much as the manufacturer’s recommendation on the label.

Sometimes, the cleaners are super concentrated making it hard to take the right amount. Dilution control will help.

  • Safety: The concentrated cleaning amount saves your floor from residue or unwanted damages
  • Savings: No more wasteful spills and accurate measurement help you make the most out of the cleaners and save money on buying new cleaners too frequently

Wash and Rinse the Mop Properly

Ensure cleaning tools such as rag, mop, cloth, bucket, etc. are clean before doing the floor cleaning or else you will end up with the messier and stickier floor.

If your floor is relatively clean, one bucket of water is enough. However, on a dirty floor, you must change clean water sometimes. Remember that the sticky residue can act as a glue which readily combines with dirt and dust to generate stickiness, so do the rinsing process carefully.

Whenever detecting noticeable dirty water, you had better dump the sudsy water and rinsed out your mop before mopping it again into the clean water. If the water is dirt-free, the mop is ready to reclean the floor.

Repeat this process until you do not feel any sticky feeling under your shoes or your bare foot.

See also: Best Way To Clean Floors Without A Mop – Excellent Tips

Follow Proper Cleaning Techniques

Different types of the floor might require different cleaning techniques. Keep them in mind so you can relax from a dirty or sticky floor.

Wood Floors

How to Clean Sticky Wood Floors (Image by @ZepUSA)
  • Daily schedule – Use a microfiber mop or soft cloth to remove dirt, dust, hair, and other particles to protect your floor from surface damage or scratches. This practice also prevents stickiness from building up and become stubborn stains.
  • Weekly schedule – Use vacuums or wet mops to access the hard-to-reach areas like corners. Pay extra attention not to damage the floor. For example, the beater bar or wheels of the vacuum can scratch the bar floor. (Read: What Kind Of Vacuum Cleaner Works Well In Corners?)
  • Things to consider: place rugs at the high traffic areas to reduce possible dirt and apply protective coverings for furniture on the wood floor.
  • Things to avoid: life the mop up off the floor since the dirt might e trapped on the pad. Also, do not use vinegar with water, steam or soap-based cleaners for wood floor.

Tile Floors

How to Remove Sticky Residue from Tile Floors
  • Sweep or vacuum every other day and before cleaning – Unwanted dirt can introduce into the grout, which is hard to remove. A broom or vacuum is recommended.
  • Use mild detergent and clean water.
  • Do not use sponge mop unless you want to scratch or ruin the floor’s look
  • Change water often as dirty water causes the dirty floor
  • Remove residue on noticing hazy buildup: You had better use a non-abrasive all-purpose cleaner to rise with water. Afterward, buff the tile floor using a lint-free cloth
  • Ensure the clean grout: Create a natural disinfectant with vinegar and baking soda. Let it sit in the grout lines for 15 to 20 minutes before using a cloth to remove the paste

Read also: Fastest Ways On How To Clean Brick Floors Like A Pro

Vinyl Floors

  • Use a doormat to keep out the floor from chemicals or dirt from the very first place
  • Run a quick soft broom across the vinyl floor every day
  • Pick up hairs using the mixture of shampoo and warm water
  • Choose the right floor cleaner – No-wax vinyl cleaner is recommended. If you have an older vinyl floor, waxing is acceptable with detergent and warm water
  • Avoid drenching the vinyl – Too soaked water can leak into cracks, edges, glue, or seams that loosens and corners to curl

Final Words

Now, you do not need to worry about sticky floors since Clairoliviawayman have already provided you with the most relevant information about why and how to prevent the floor from stickiness.

If you find this post helpful, do not hesitate to like and share with others.

Floor Cleaning Tips – Guides and How To’s:

Categories Cleaning Tips Tags

2 thoughts on “Sticky Floors after Mopping: How to Clean and Remove Residue”

  1. There are times where even if I clean the tile floors in my kitchen, it still feels sticky whenever I step on it even though I’m sure that I already used a mop to tidy it up. Thanks for telling me that this could be caused by residues of soft drinks that might have been left while I was cleaning it. I think I’ll hire someone to clean it for me in case I won’t be able to get it out with anything else.

  2. This all sounds great if you have spots but our entire kitchen floor is sticky. We cleaned up as much of the hummingbird food as we could, it was a rather Large spill. I have washed it twice and gone over it with a damp cloth. I guess I can try the Vinegar but will a cup do an entire floor?


Leave a Comment