Why is My Floor Sticky After I Mop
Tips & Tricks

Why is My Floor Sticky After I Mop?

Mopping your floors is an effective method of removing dirt, dust, and residue. Of course, you always expect that the task will result in a clean and nice-smelling space. However, it is pretty common to end up with sticky floors after mopping, especially on tile, vinyl, laminate, and wood floors.

Read on to understand why your floors are sticky after mopping and how to resolve the issue to ensure that your floors aren’t sticky after cleaning.

Why Is My Floor Still Sticky after I Have Mopped It?

The primary goal of mopping your floors is to ensure that you have a clean space. However, having a sticky floor after the exercise can be pretty frustrating and disheartening. Sticky floors after mopping can happen because of any of the following reasons:

Using Too Much Cleaning Solution

Using too much floor cleaning solution does not automatically translate to having squeaky-clean floors. On the contrary, too much cleaning solution can easily result in a sticky residue after cleaning. This is because the excess cleaner creates a sticky and soapy residue, especially when you don’t rinse the floors enough.

 It is best to follow the instructions on the solution label to avoid getting into such a mess. Additionally, most floor cleaning solutions come with measuring cups; therefore, ensure that you only use the suggested cleaning solution for the specified amount of water. Every cleaner, including Fabuloso, has its own instructions. Follow them to the latter.

Using the Wrong Floor Cleaning Solution

You can use mild chemicals or simple soap when cleaning everyday stains. However, some stains, including soil stains, might require a unique cleaning solution to ensure that the floor remains sparkling clean. Different types of vinyl, tile, wood, and laminate floors will need a special cleaning solution depending on the content and type of soil stain. If the soil is sticky and greasy, you might require more robust cleaning solutions.

The rule also applies to removing other kinds of dirt, oils, acids, and salt residues. You have to use the proper cleaning solution because a wrong one could remove dirt; however, leave sticky residues behind that won’t disappear quickly.

Mismatching the floor type with a cleaning solution could also lead to a sticky floor. It is prudent to ask your vendor for an excellent cleaning solution that will work exceptionally well for the type of floor you have.

Using Dirty Water to Clean Floors

If you use the same bucket of water to clean your house, you’ll end up with a dirtier, messier, and sticky floor, especially if it’s tile, wooden, or laminate. The problem with using the same water to clean the entire house is that the mop will pick up dirt and dump it into your water, making it dirtier.

When this happens, you aren’t cleaning the floor but transferring the dirt to other surfaces on the floor. You might decide to rinse the floor using clean water; however, it won’t remove the dirt meant to be removed by chemicals in the cleaning solution. Therefore, you’ll end up with a sticky and greasy floor.

It is best to change the cleaning water whenever you see it get dirty. For example, you can tell the cleaning water is dirty when you see a lot of debris floating on top or at the bottom of the bucket or when the color changes significantly. Additionally, use clean water to rinse the entire floor and change it whenever dirty or soapy.

If the above cleaning process seems hectic, you can opt for microfiber mops because they hold onto dirt better than other materials; hence, they won’t release the dirt into the water to make it dirty.

Cleaning over Residue and Spreading It Around

Before you start mopping your floor, ensure that you’ve spot cleaned any spills that are sticky or greasy. Floor cleaning solutions are often very mild and gentle; hence, they don’t have the power to cut through sticky or greasy messes.

You can make a cleaning solution at home by mixing a ¼ cup of white vinegar and four cups of water and keeping it in a spray bottle. This solution will always be available whenever you need to spot clean greasy, or sticky spills. To use the solution, spray it to the sticky or greasy residue, leave it for a few minutes to allow the vinegar to work, and then wipe it away.

How Do You Get Rid of Sticky Floors after Mopping?

Understanding the possible causes of a sticky floor is essential because it will help you know what to avoid when cleaning in the future. However, what do you do when your floor is already sticky? You can use a steam mop to clean any residue and eliminate the stickiness or deal with the stickiness and mop again, especially if the sticky residue is visible in patches. Here is how to do it:

  • Fill your mopping bucket with a gallon of warm water and add a cup of vinegar into it or an appropriate amount of floor cleaner that’s suitable for your floor type. If your floor is exceptionally sticky, hot water instead of warm.
  • Mop the entire sticky floor using this solution and rinse it well. Remember to change the water when it has debris or becomes discolored.
  • If the water and vinegar solution doesn’t cut the stickiness enough, you can add ½ cup of ammonia to the solution.

Additional Tips

It’s best to be cautious when wet mopping because some floors like hardwood can get ruined over time if they get sopping wet. Wring your mop out until it’s only damp, and then proceed with mopping.  Additionally, many other floor types are sensitive to water; therefore, as soon as you’ve finished mopping, you can go over the floor with a towel to ensure it dries quickly.

You can use microfiber mops when cleaning most floor surfaces because they clean better than traditional string mops and can help reduce bacteria.

You can opt for a steam mop if you want to save time and get excellent results because you won’t have to rinse the floor again when you use this mop. Additionally, a steam mop kills germs and other harmful microorganisms on the floor because the heat from the water is sufficient to eliminate them.  

The major disadvantage of a steam mop is that it’s not suitable for all floor types, especially wooden ones. Additionally, it might harm floors that are not fitted properly.

How to Clean Sticky Tile Floors

Getting the right cleaning solution for your sticky tiles will help ensure that your tiles remain smooth and shiny. An alkaline cleaner is the best option for dirty and messy tiles because it eliminates dirt and sticky messes.

However, it would help if you always rinsed the tiles with clean water to ensure that your chosen cleaner doesn’t leave a sticky residue when it dries. You can clean sticky tile floors by following this procedure:

Spot-Clean Sticky Messes on Tile Floors

Dripping glue or spilling a sugar drink on a tile floor can create quite a sticky mess despite your efforts to wipe it up. Cleaning the mess right away is always a good idea; however, ensure that you clean using the correct type of cleaner. You might be tempted to use water alone; however, it’s not enough to cut through the grease or clean the sugar off the floor.

It’s always advisable to use a cleaner with the opposite pH of the mess on the floor. For example, if you have acidic messes like wine or lemon juice, you will choose an alkaline cleaner like sodium carbonate and follow the following procedure:

  • First, use a clean cloth to wipe as much debris as possible.
  • Then, apply the cleaner to the surface.
  • Allow the cleaner to stay in contact with the sticky mess for as long as the instructions indicate.
  • Wipe the floor with a paper towel.
  • Rinse the area with a clean, damp rag.

Cleaning Sticky Kitchen Tiles

If the tiled kitchen floor still feels sticky even if it has been freshly mopped, then the problem might be the cleaning solution used. Some cleaners often leave a sticky residue behind as they dry, resulting in a floor that attracts more dirt than before. You will need to use stronger cleaners to eliminate the greasy and sticky dirt; however, the cycle might continue if you don’t change your cleaning technique.

Ensure that you read the cleaning solution label and mix the appropriate amount of the floor cleaner into the specified amount of warm water. Additionally, watch the mop water when cleaning and do away with the dirty water as soon as possible so that you don’t spread it across the floor and give your floor a sticky finish.

Rinsing the floor with fresh water is the most crucial step of cleaning sticky tiles because it removes soap. Do not rush through mopping and skip follow-up rinses because doing so will leave you dissatisfied with your cleaning efforts.

You can use a steam cleaner to steam away any traces of soap to ensure that you get a smooth and shiny finish.

How to Clean Grout Between Tiles

Tile floors are durable and easy to clean because they do not absorb water and warp, unlike other floor types like wood. However, the grout between tiles often requires a lot of attention than the tiles themselves.

You can clean sticky messes from grout by following this procedure:

  • First, use the scrubbing feature on your mop or a scrub brush to work the cleaner into the grout crevices. This step will help lift the sticky residue off the grout.
  • You can use specialized cleaning products such as the magic eraser to tackle sticky stains on grout.

How to Clean Sticky Stone and Ceramic Tiles

You can use the following procedure to clean sticky stone or ceramic tiles:

What You Need

  • Clean rags
  • Warm water
  • Mop bucket
  • Mop
  • Vinegar


  • Soak a clean rag in warm water and wring it out until it’s barely damp.
  • Lay the rag over the sticky spot and let it sit for at least fifteen minutes to loosen the sticky residue.
  • Make a vinegar cleaning solution by mixing a gallon of warm water with a cup of white vinegar in a mop bucket.
  • Mop the floor using the vinegar solution. The vinegar will cut through the loosened sticky residue and remove any dirt attracted to the sticky spot.
  • Rinse the floor with clean water to remove any vinegar residue.
  • Wipe dry the floor using a clean rag to prevent any water spots.

How to Clean Vinyl, Linoleum, and Rubber Tiles

Use this procedure to clean your linoleum, rubber, or vinyl tiles.

What You Need

  • Mild detergent
  • White vinegar
  • Clean rags
  • Water
  • Mop
  • Mop bucket


  • Make a floor cleaning solution by mixing two tablespoons of a mild detergent with a gallon of water in the mop bucket.
  • Soak a rag in the cleaning solution and wring it out until it’s almost dry.
  • Lay the rag over the sticky spot, and ensure that it doesn’t overlap any seams between the tiles. Moisture sitting on vinyl and linoleum tiles can make tiles curl at the seams.
  • Soak the sticky spot for at least ten minutes.
  • Mop the floor using the cleaning solution, and go over the sticky spot until you remove all residue and dirt.
  • Mop with clean water to get rid of the detergent residue.
  • Wipe the floor dry using a clean rag immediately after mopping because standing moisture can cause tile warping.

Why Is My Floor Sticky After Swiffer?

A Swiffer mop can make your floors sticky because of the following reasons:

  • You have overused the cleaner in the Swiffer mop, and it’s causing a build-up.
  • You are spraying a relatively large area, and the cleaner from the Swiffer mop is drying before you mop it up, leading to sticky spots on your floor.

You can avoid having a sticky floor by cleaning a small, manageable area at a time to ensure that it doesn’t dry up before you mop it, and do not use the cleaner in the Swiffer mop.

How Do You Remove the Swiffer Residue From Hardwood Floors?

Using the Swiffer WetJet provides a relatively smooth cleaning process; however, you might unintentionally miss spots of the cleaner when wiping your floor. In addition, the residue left behind by a Swiffer WetJet might leave your hardwood floors looking drab or spotty.

You should remove the residue from the floor as soon as possible because moisture left on hardwood can warp the wood planks. Here is how to do it:

  • Use a clean cloth to wipe wet residue left from a Swiffer product from your hardwood floor. Use broad strokes when wiping to remove all the wetness from the floor.
  • Spray the affected surface with a wood floor polish or cleaner. The polish or cleaner helps to restore shine to the hardwood.
  • Buff the floor using a soft cloth. Ensure that you use aggressive pressure and work the fabric in circular motions to give your hardwood floor a high sheen.

Does Vinegar Make Floors Sticky?

Vinegar will not make your floors sticky. It is a natural cleaning, deodorizing, and disinfecting agent that works perfectly in cleaning several hard surfaces around the home, including floors.  Additionally, it’s acidic, making it perfect for cleaning up sticky messes such as grease or soda spills. However, because vinegar is too acidic, ensure that you dilute it properly before using it to clean floors.

Vinegar is also quite affordable; therefore, you can ensure clean floors without spending too much on a commercial cleaning solution.

Which Floor Types Can You Clean With Vinegar?

White vinegar will clean any hard floor surfaces including, tile, laminate, all types of wood, and linoleum. However, vinegar is acidic; therefore, you should dilute it enough to hold its cleaning power but reduce acidity, which might damage some types of floors.

Do not use vinegar on granite and marble floors because it might eat away the stone finishes.

How to Use Vinegar as a Floor Cleaner

If you want to use vinegar as a floor cleaner, you will have to dilute it first. For example, pour a cup of white vinegar into a gallon of water. The resultant cleaning solution is safe for your sticky floor surface and strong enough to hold its cleaning power.

Dip your mop into the cleaning solution, wring it out, and wipe your sticky floors. Allow your floor to air dry because the vinegar solution dries clear and streak-free and doesn’t leave any sticky residue behind.

Why Is There a Film after I Mop?

Soap or floor wax might be the likely culprits if you have film on your floor after mopping. You will need an acidic cleaner to cut through the residue and ensure that you have spotless floors.

How to Clean Film From a Laminate Floor

Laminate flooring cleans up quickly and resists stains; therefore, making it an excellent choice for kitchen floors. However, improper cleaning of the floors can leave a sticky film behind. Soap and floor wax are the major causes of the film.

If you want to have squishy-clean floors, you will have to use an acidic cleaner to cut through the film and dry your laminate floor using proper technique. Here is how to do it:

What You Need

  • White vinegar
  • Vacuum cleaner or broom
  • Bucket
  • Water
  • Mop
  • Soft bathing towel
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Sponge


  • Sweep the floor thoroughly and remove all traces of dirt. You can also opt to use a vacuum cleaner designed for hard surfaces or one with a brush attachment.
  • Mix a gallon of water and a cup of white vinegar in a bucket.
  • Dip a mop into the bucket and wring it out.
  • Mop the laminate floor from one end to the other, ensuring that you rinse the mop often.
  • Use a clean and soft bathing towel to wipe the floor. If you want the best cleaning results, you can opt to stand on the towel and carefully scoot your feet back and forth until you cover the entire floor.

If there is still film on your floor after mopping it with vinegar, you can clean it using this procedure:

  • Wet a soft, non-abrasive sponge and add a drop of dishwashing liquid.
  • Scrub the floor using the sponge, rinse the sponge, and reapply dishwashing liquid as needed.
  • Mop with vinegar afterward to remove any detergent residue.

What Not to Do

Your first instinct might be to mop your laminate floor using warm water when you see the film. However, laminate flooring will swell and buckle when you do this. In addition, the fiberboard core under the decorative finish soaks up liquid quickly when it seeps between the floorboards. For this reason, you should avoid using a steam mop on a laminate floor.

It is also best to avoid using ammonia or bleach on laminate flooring because they can permanently dull the finish’s shine.

Check this too: How to Clean Rubber Flooring

When cleaning your laminate floors, do not use abrasives like steel wool because they can scratch the finish; therefore, dulling it permanently.

If you don’t want to have sticky floors after mopping, ensure that you use appropriate cleaning techniques. Additionally, be cautious of the amount of floor cleaner you’re using because too much of it can lead to sticky floors. A steam mop or vinegar and solution can help you get rid of most sticky spots; however, ensure that you can use them on your floor type.