Did You Know? The Difference – Wet Mop OR Spray & Wipe Mop

With so many types of floors available to homeowners and businesses, it can be confusing to figure out the right way to clean your floor, especially if it’s a new floor. At 1877FloorGuy we talk about floor cleaning all day long so the terms, “wet mop” and “spray & wipe” floor cleaning are terms we’re familiar with but customers often ask, “What’s the difference between these methods of cleaning a floor?”

It all starts with the type of floor in your home or facility. Some flooring, such as LVT or LVP (luxury vinyl tile or plank) flooring, can be cleaned by wet mopping with a string mop and a bucket or by spray & wipe cleaning with a flat mop and spray cleaner. Other types of floors, including hardwood, cork and laminate should only be cleaned with a spray and wipe cleaning routine.

Wet Mop Floor Cleaning 

When floor care instructions call for the use of a wet mop to clean the floor, that indicates you will use a mop and bucket for floor cleaning. A wet mop is the kind of mop you submerge in a bucket of cleaning solution, wring the mop head, then mop your floor to get it clean. This will leave the floor wet enough that it will take at 30 minutes or more to dry. A wet mop may be a string mop or a sponge mop. You will typically use a wet mop with a concentrated cleaning solution that dilutes in water for floor cleaning. The key here is that wet mops leave the floor wet so you only want to use these types of mops for cleaning vinyl flooring, including LVT and VCT, rubber floors, ceramic tile and natural stone flooring such as marble or granite.

For the best wet mopping results, use a 2-sided bucket and put cleaning solution in one side and clean water in the other. Use the water side to rinse the mop head before dipping it back into the cleaning solution to keep your cleaning solution clean. Never ever wet mop a hardwood or laminate floor!

Spray & Wipe Floor Cleaning

For hardwood, cork, bamboo and laminate flooring, and sometimes for luxury vinyl floors, a spray and wipe floor cleaning system is a good way to clean the floor because it doesn’t saturate the floor with water. Spray mopping, or spray and wipe floor cleaning, using a flat mop with a microfiber mop pad and an appropriate spray cleaner does a great job of cleaning without needing a bucket of cleaning solution. Cleaning with a flat mop and spray cleaner leaves very little dampness on the floor so it dries in less than a minute. Flat mops are often a good option for cleaning luxury vinyl plank and tile floors, as an alternative to wet mopping, and can be a good solution when you need the floor to dry quickly though wet mopping will usually provide a deeper cleaning.

Most concentrated floor cleaners can be diluted with water in a spray bottle for use with a flat mop. The key to successful spray & wipe floor cleaning is to work in one small area at a time, spray the area and mop it immediately then move on to another section of floor until the job is complete. This type of floor cleaning feels a bit easier than wet mopping and even easier when you use an all-in-one spray mop.

At 1877FloorGuy we advise customers to check their flooring brand maintenance instructions before starting a new cleaning routine. Look for specific floor cleaning products and cleaning methods recommended by the flooring manufacturer. This is the best way to know the right tools and cleaning solutions to use on your floor, residential or commercial.

We made a video to demonstrate each of these methods of floor cleaning – spray & wipe floor cleaning and wet mopping. It takes just a moment to watch the whole video, actually a moment and a half.  So, if it helps to see difference between wet mopping and spray mopping to clean your hard surface floors, please take 1-1/2 minutes to watch the video, How to use a Wet Mop & Flat Mop for Floor Cleaning.

Still have questions about cleaning your floor? Call 1877FloorGuy Customer Support at 877-356-6748 or send an email to help@1877floorguy.com. Featured products are available for purchase at 1877floorguy.com/mops-supplies.


  1. charles gualdoni on May 12, 2019 at 11:09 am

    Can i use SWIFFER pads on my bamboo engineering flooring?

    • 1877floorguy on May 13, 2019 at 10:17 am

      Pretreated pads can often leave streaks and residue. We recommend contacting the flooring manufacturer to see what maintenance products are recommended for use on their flooring.

      Customer Support

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