I spent months trying the best mopping cleaners to use with a mop so you don't have to! See the 15 recipes I tried and what I thought of each. This post reviews popular formulas like Tide powder, Fabuloso, bleach, dishwasher pods, and more.
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It all started with a new mop.
A couple of years ago, I bought the O-Cedar Spin Mop that had been all the rage on social media. I wasn't sure my floor cleaning routine at the time (using a spray mop with microfiber pads) was cutting it and wanted to give this method a try.
Let it suffice to say that I was right. Not only is this the best mop for vinyl plank floors I have ever used, but it's apparently kind of fun to watch the process.
After I posted this video on mopping with an O-Cedar Mop on Tik Tok, it went viral almost immediately. I'm currently sitting at over 15 million views between two postings of this video on my account - that's crazy to me!
This led to me making 5 separate videos where I tried different floor cleaners for my new mop. I genuinely wanted to see which one worked best, since I was fairly new to mopping this way. So, each Thursday (on my Journey to Clean vacuum/mop day), I tested 3 formulas to see what I really loved.
I showed "the pour" in each example to see just how much dirt that formula took off the floor and ranked the formulas based off of my experience. Those have been super popular as well...from those, I've gotten a lot of requests to make one big post of which formulas I thought were best. Ask and you shall receive!
(If you want to see the original videos, they're on my Tik Tok (labeled "favorite mopping formulas").
How I Ranked the Best Mopping Cleaners
I've got all 15 cleaning solutions I tried on my LVP flooring ranked below. These range from literal plain water to some more interesting combinations that were recommended by viewers.
If you saw these on Tik Tok, some of the ratings did change a little, mostly because of hindsight and experience after I made the video. I ranked the formulas based on smell, cleaning ability, drying time, residue, etc. The ranking you see under each mopping cleaner weighs in all factors.
Can I use these with other kinds of mops?
You absolutely can!
- While I used an O-Cedar Spin Mop, any traditional mop and bucket set would work wonderfully.
- I don't recommend using these with any of disposable pad mops - those tend to streak easier and don't use as much product, so these formulas wouldn't quite work.
- These also wouldn't be compatible with a steam mop - those are designed to work with just water.
How Much Water Did You Use?
The O-Cedar mopping bucket holds roughly 2 gallons of water. Each recipe below was added to that. My mopping water was warm unless otherwise noted.
On What kind of flooring are these mopping solutions used?
I have luxury vinyl plank (LVP) flooring in the mopping areas of my home, except for two small bathrooms with ceramic tile floors. So these formulas were used on both LVP and tiled flooring, with the performance on both weighed in.
It's important to note that I do not have hardwood flooring. You'll want to use cleaners specially designed for that kind of flooring (like bona hardwood floor cleaner) - this post isn't for you. However, you should see similar results if you're mopping linoleum flooring or plain laminate flooring.
Now, let's get to the list! We'll be going from worst at the top to best at the bottom.
15. Vinegar, rubbing alcohol, Fabuloso (½ cup each)
- (This one was a viewer request.)
- Smelled absolutely terrible - those scents don't mix well at all!
- Didn't really dry any faster
- Worst cleaning combo I tried
13. 1 cup white vinegar
- Seemed to leave lots of streaks
- Smelled awful, even an hour later
- One of the worst cleaning results
12. ½ cup bleach
- Didn't clean as well as I expected
- I was paranoid the whole time I'd get it on a rug or clothing
- Had to go back over with water to make sure I didn't bleach anything
- Amazing at killing almost anything on your floor!
- Shouldn't be mixed with most chemicals, can cause a toxic reaction.
11. ½ cup Pine Sol
- Cleaned ok I guess? Nothing special.
- Doesn't have a strong smell
- Anti-microbial and antibacterial
5. ½ cup Windex
- Cleaned incredibly well
- No residue
- Slow drying (I was surprised!)
3. Plain Warm Water in Mop Bucket
- Basically free
- Actually pretty effective
- O-Cedar claims their mop removes 99% of germs and bacteria with just water
Other Mopping Tips
- Start the habit of "dry mopping" your floors. Simply use a dry mop to scrub any minor spills or stains out of the flooring, as well as effectively dust your floor. This is where a mop with reusable microfiber pads comes in really handy.
- Invest in a Robot Vacuum! It's one of the best cleaning tools I've ever purchased. And yes, most robot vacuums work spectacularly on LVP, too. (I don't recommend a robotic mop; they tend to be messy and inconsistent.)
- Another huge recommendation with mopping is consistency - don't let that dirt build up! If you're in need of a free cleaning schedule to keep up with this, I've got you covered - you can grab my popular cleaning schedule here.
So, we can sum up this whole 3-month mopping formula experiment with a recommendation of one of the oldest cleaning products on the shelves. 🙂 I would 100% recommend Mr. Clean as your mopping formula solution - that's what I've used since the experiment ended! But, rest assured, in a pinch you can use most of the recipes on this list with great results.
I'd love to see these cleaning solutions in action! Tag me on social media 📸 (@lambertslately) or leave a comment with how they worked for you.