5 Tips to Make Scrubbing Your Floors Less Painful

By: Alison Cooper  | 
You might think nothing could make scrubbing your floors any less awful. But at least one of these tips could help you dread it just a little bit less.

Key Takeaways

  • Simplify your cleaning products and methods using common household items like dishwashing liquid for various floor types.
  • Microfiber mops can clean almost any surface and are easier to maintain, as you can throw the mop head in the washer afterward.
  • For tough grout stains on tile floors, powdered oxygen bleach is effective and requires minimal scrubbing. Sealing your grout afterward can keep it clean longer.

You might be having a good chuckle after reading the title of this article. Many of us would probably say that there is absolutely nothing -- besides hiring a live-in housekeeper -- that could make the chore of floor-scrubbing any less awful. It's just one of those tasks you have to do every so often. You put it off, procrastinate as long as you can, then finally pick up a mop and just pray you don't have to deal with any damage or major stains.

Besides being back-breaking work, floor-scrubbing can be mentally exasperating, too. There are a zillion cleaning products out there that claim to be the best solution for certain types of floors -- so how do you know what the best cleanser is for your hardwoods, linoleum or tile?


We're here to tell you that scrubbing your floors doesn't have to be the absolute worst -- or most confusing -- chore in the world. In this article, we'll attempt to convince you that the job can be a little easier. We won't claim to make the job pain-free or totally enjoyable, but perhaps at least one of these five tips will help you dread it just a little bit less.

5: Keep it Simple

Trying to figure out how to clean each type of floor in your home can get pretty frustrating -- and buying different cleaners for each room can get pricey. But things don't have to be so complicated. On polyurethaned hardwoods, all you need are a few drops of dishwashing liquid on a damp sponge mop. On (lightly soiled) ceramic-tile and vinyl floors, just water will do the trick, and good old dishwashing liquid can also come in handy.


4: Use a Sponge

In a small spaces, it's easier to sponge-clean than to maneuver a mop and bucket.

Say what?!? Getting down on your knees with a sponge sounds like a torture method, not a less painful way to scrub your floors. But we're not asking you to clean your entire house this way -- just the small areas, like bathrooms or your kitchen. In a cramped space, it's often just as easy to sponge-clean as it is to maneuver a mop and bucket. Plus, the up-close-and-personal view allows you to get into every nook and cranny.


3: Mop with Microfiber

Microfiber mops are the newest "it" tool in the deeply exciting world of floor-scrubbing. But all joking aside, these things are lifesavers. They'll clean (and do a great job) on just about any surface and with any kind of cleaning solution. And when you're done with the floor, you can skip the dreaded mop-rinsing step -- just throw the mop head into the washer, and that's it!


2: Try Oxygen Bleach

If you have tile floors, grout is most likely the bane of your existence. You've probably tried everything -- short of getting down there with a toothbrush -- to scrub the grime from your grout. Let us introduce you to your new best friend: powdered oxygen bleach. A little of this nontoxic powder dissolved in water and left to soak on your grout will remove even the toughest stains -- with little to no scrubbing!


1: Seal the Deal

Once you have that grout looking spic and span, you definitely don't want it to get grimy again. The point is to make things easier on yourself, and one sure way to accomplish this goal is to remove unnecessary cleaning from your life. So, do yourself a little favor and spread some silicone-based sealant on your nice, clean grout. And go ahead -- throw out your old grout-scrubbing brush while you're at it.


Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use vinegar as an alternative to commercial floor cleaners?
Yes, vinegar diluted in water can serve as an effective, eco-friendly alternative to commercial floor cleaners for many types of flooring.
How often should I deep clean my floors?
Deep cleaning your floors should ideally be done every few months or more frequently in high-traffic areas to maintain their appearance and prolong their lifespan.

Lots More Information

Related Articles

  • Better Homes and Gardens. "How to Clean Tile Floors." (June 8, 2012) http://www.bhg.com/homekeeping/house-cleaning/tips/how-to-clean-tile-floors/
  • Carter, Tim. "The Secret to Cleaning Grout in Tile Floors." Washington Post, April 3, 2009. (June 5, 2012) http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/03/AR2009040302977.html
  • HGTV. "Easy, Cheap and Green Cleaning Tips for Floors." (June 5, 2012) http://www.hgtv.com/home-improvement/easy-cheap-and-green-cleaning-tips-for-floors/index.html
  • The Kitchn. "No More Mops: Cleaning the Kitchen Floor With a Sponge." April 23, 2009. (June 5, 2012) http://www.thekitchn.com/no-more-mops-cleaning-the-kitc-82792
  • Martha Stewart. "Floor Care 101." (June 7, 2012) http://www.marthastewart.com/267700/floor-care-101
  • Real Simple. "How-To: Clean Hardwood Floors." (June 7, 2012) http://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/cleaning/more-techniques/clean-hardwood-floors-00000000002197/index.html
  • Sisco, Stephanie. "The Best Floor Cleaners." Real Simple. (June 7, 2012) http://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/cleaning/floor-cleaners-00100000079910/index.html