Here's How Often You Should Mop Your Hardwood Floors

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Now that you've read every guide to mopping your hardwood floors without damaging them, you're probably feeling pretty good with a wood-friendly mopping liquid, a low-moisture mop, and gorgeous wood floors. But how often should you be making this a part of your cleaning ritual? That depends on a few factors, but every one to two weeks is a good rule of thumb — this goes for most flooring types, be it wood, tile, or any other hard, non-porous surface. 

As long as you're following good wood cleaning guidelines, this frequency will not damage your floors. Just be sure not to overload your flooring with water, as this can cause swelling, and use a finish and stain-friendly mopping solution so your wood stays protected in the long term. If once every two weeks seems excessive, or you can't really tell the difference after two weeks, keep in mind that small particles of dirt and grime are accumulating on your floors, even if you can't see the debris or buildup with the naked eye. Plus, mopping not only cleans but lightly sanitizes our floors, reducing germ and bacterial growth. So be sure to include mopping as a regular part of your weekly or biweekly routine — even if your floor doesn't appear dirty, it might be. 

Keep up on daily cleaning to make mopping easier

If you're already mopping once a week but still find your mop water is totally black when you pour it out, then you don't necessarily need to start mopping every day. Instead, focus on doing daily cleaning tasks to reduce weekly dirt and grime buildup. Sweeping and vacuuming areas with visible debris is essential, especially because mopping your wood floors when they haven't been properly swept will lead to mud and just sort of scooting the mess around. 

If daily sweeping and vacuuming aren't cutting it, consider getting a dry mop or quick mop like a Swiffer to help keep the mess under control. These are helpful because they typically don't require water, which means you won't oversaturate your wood floors. Just be sure to find a wood-friendly floor spray, or buy wood-safe, presoaked, disposable pads. While dry and quick mops don't replace the need to do a deep mop from time to time, they'll slow the buildup of dirt. And if you have it in the budget, consider getting a robotic vacuum cleaner to run once a day. 

Is it possible I need to do it more often?

There are several factors that might require mopping more than once or twice a week. One of the major ones is if you have a large household because more people means more foot traffic and debris. If your household includes little ones, someone who likes to spend plenty of time outdoors or in the garden, or pets, then you may notice that your floors need mopping more frequently than just once a week. 

Additionally, if you host a big party, it's always a good idea to mop after rather than letting the debris and grime sit until your next big cleaning day. But generally, if you have daily floor upkeep tasks like spot cleaning, vacuuming, and sweeping, you are okay to keep mopping every one to two weeks. As with any mopping session, if you find yourself needing to increase frequency, just follow the same wood-safe mopping principles you usually do to keep your hardwood floors looking great.