No More Mops: Cleaning the Kitchen Floor with a Sponge

published Apr 23, 2009
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(Image credit: Elizabeth Passarella)

A few days ago, Emma asked for your suggestions on the best mop for the kitchen. You all gave a lot of good opinions, but I have one more. See, the mop I use most frequently is attached to my arm.

I get down on my hands and knees with a sponge to clean my kitchen floor, and I have several reasons why. First is my own persnickety nature. I like to get eye to eye with the dirt. I want to see the nooks and crannies up close and make sure they’re getting clean. (FYI, have you ever looked at the kickplates or baseboards under your cabinets? Sometimes people neglect them, and they get pretty gross. If you’re down on the floor, you can’t miss them.)

Second—and this depends on how big your kitchen is—I don’t think doing it by hand, with a sponge, is that much more labor intensive than using a mop. I’m still pushing and scrubbing; I’m just closer to the ground. A few of you commented on Emma’s post that, even if you use a mop, you get down on the floor with a sponge to tackle tough spots. I’m already there.

(Image credit: Elizabeth Passarella)

A few tips:
Vacuum first. You don’t want to be wiping up food and hair while you’re scrubbing, just dirt. I quickly run the vacuum through the kitchen before I clean, so I’m starting with a crumb-free floor.
Have a bowl or bucket of soapy water on the floor with you. You can rinse your sponge more often if you don’t have to get up and walk over to the sink. I use a squirt of Method dishwashing liquid, and I usually dump and refresh the water once.
Squeeze out a little water on the floor. Don’t hold me to the science of this one, but I find it helps to squeeze out a tiny puddle and then spread and scrub from there. It seems to work better than a barely-damp sponge.
Use an old dish sponge. I’ve written before about my love of these pop-up sponges (and thanks for the great tip on a cheaper version at Trader Joe’s! They don’t hold up quite as well as the ones from Williams-Sonoma, but they’re half the price.) When one is finally ready to be tossed, I save it under the sink and wash the floor with it before I throw it away. You could of course use a washable microfiber cloth, too. I just like the sturdiness of a sponge.

Overall, I prefer the precision I get from my own two hands versus a mop that, to me, can leave residue as it moves. But what do you think?