Why Is My Floor Sticky After I Mop?

Learn why it happens and what can be done to fix it

Written by Olivia Paxton. Updated on Why Is My Floor Sticky After I Mop

Have you ever noticed that your floors feel sticky after you mop them? This is a very annoying feeling because, even after you cleaned them, there is still the impression of the floor being dirty. And it seems like all your effort was in vain.

But what makes your floor sticky after mopping? For most of us, this is a mystery, but today it is going to be finally solved!

You are going to find out why you have sticky floors after mopping, what shall be done in order to fix this problem, and how it could be prevented.

Why Your Floor Is Sticky After Mopping?

Some of you might notice that they have a sticky film on their floors even after mopping the surface thoroughly. For sure, this is both an annoying and frustrating situation. On the one hand, it is annoying to realize that you spent so much time and effort on cleaning and mopping only to find the floors still sticky.

Why are my floors sticky after I mop?Why are my floors sticky after I mop?

Besides, the squeaky sound that your shoes or slippers make when stepping on sticky floors can also be very annoying!

On the other hand, there is a lot of frustration about the situation since most of you typically have no idea of what makes your floors be like that after the cleaning process.

So why is the floor sticky after mopping? There is only one way around this problem: you need to identify the reasons for sticky floors.

This will help you come up with more effective cleaning solutions and techniques. Some reasons for your sticky floors may include the following:

Why Your Floor Is Sticky After Mopping
Milkos via VistaCreate

Leftover Stubborn Residue

We often spill something onto our floors, for example, soft drinks, juice, milk, coffee, etc. However, not all spills can be cleaned the same way! Certain kinds of residue are more difficult to remove than others. For example, cleaning up after soft drink spills is more tedious and takes more time than removing most other liquids.

This is why, when you just stick to the regular way you mop the floor, the chances are pretty high that you will not be able to clean the area thoroughly enough.

The same goes for any liquid that isn’t water — make sure you go over the area several times to eliminate the issue and mop away all the residue that might be there!

And of course, you need to remember about the old spills! The residue that has built up over time is definitely more difficult to clean that a fresh spill. You may also fail to notice the other causes of residue build-up on your floors.

For instance, when we are cooking fatty food in the kitchen, grease from the frying pan often goes up in the air and ends up on the floor. But even this is not a complete list of reasons! Even your regular cleaning products like soap and wax can also build up over time when you do not attend to them quickly.

Leftover Stubborn Residue
nikkytok via VistaCreate

Improper Cleaning Techniques

For sure, you need to keep an eye on spills that end up on your floor, but they are not the only cause why your floor feels sticky after mopping. If you are sure that the sticky residue is not caused by a Cola puddle on your tiles or linoleum, then you should look the other way and consider the following: maybe, you just wash your floors wrong.

If you find yourself cleaning and mopping the floor several times and are still left with sticky floors, then improper cleaning techniques can be the issue. Some techniques you might be doing wrong are the following:

Improper Cleaning Techniques
AndrewLozovyi via VistaCreate

You Are Using the Wrong Floor Cleaning Product

Make sure to always clean your floors with the correct cleaning product. The manufacturers of these cleaning solutions don’t make them different for no reason! If the product is meant for wooden floors, then you should use it on wood only. If it says that the liquid is meant for tiles, then you should not apply it to linoleum, and so on.

Using the wrong product on the tiles (or any other surface) can do more harm than good! The rule of thumb is very simple: if you are cleaning laminate floors, then that means you should use cleaning solutions meant for laminate floors.

You Are Using the Wrong Floor Cleaning Product
Milkos via VistaCreate

You Apply Too Much Floor Cleaning Product

It is quite a common misconception that many of us believe in. There is a belief that the more cleaning product you use on your floor when mopping it the cleaner it will be. However, this is wrong.

If you apply more of the cleaning product than the recommended amount for cleaning your floors, it can easily result in that annoying sticky residue, so be careful not to use too much! Too much product can leave a leftover film that will be more difficult to clean.

You Apply Too Much Floor Cleaning Product
yeti88 via VistaCreate

You Are Cleaning With Dirty Water

How could that be possible, you may ask? Well, it is! Some people often feel too tired to get fresh and clean water each time when they are mopping a new room, so they simply use the same water for all the floors all over the house or apartment.

And now imagine that you have to wash the floors in five or more rooms using the same water. Naturally, this water will get dirty after the first room already…

This is why, whenever you are mopping, be mindful of how dirty your water becomes inside your bucket. If you continue using dirty water when mopping, you will be essentially transferring the dirt to the area you are cleaning. As a result, you will end up with messier and stickier floors

You Are Cleaning With Dirty Water
NatashaFedorova via VistaCreate

You Are Not Sweeping Or Vacuuming Beforehand

If you forget to vacuum or sweep your floors before mopping them, know that it does not eliminate dirt like hair and dust. Unfortunately, these cannot be cleaned up just by mopping. As a result, you end up with sticky floors.

Now you know what can make your floors feel and sound sticky. As you can see, the majority of reasons have to do with the use of wrong cleaning methods and techniques.

However, careless preparation of your floors for mopping them (or the absence of such preparation) can also contribute to the development of the sticky film on their surface.

You Are Not Sweeping Or Vacuuming Beforehand
konstantynov via VistaCreate

How to Prevent Sticky Floors After Mopping?

Is it possible to get rid of that sticky residue somehow, you may be wondering now? Luckily, there is a couple of options! Of course, you need to follow the basic cleaning rules first of all:

  • Make sure that you sweep or vacuum the floors thoroughly before mopping them
  • Don’t use the same water for mopping all the floors. Change water frequently
  • Remove all the spills at once, don’t wait until they settle and dry!
  • Аvoid overusing the cleaning product
  • Use the correct type of floor cleaning product depending on the material your floors are made of

It is also very important to fix your sticky floors as soon as possible after identifying the reasons for the issue. The quicker you take measures to solve the problem, the less stress you will encounter in the future. We recommend you follow these simple tips to prevent sticky floors after mopping:

How to Prevent Sticky Floors After Mopping
AndrewLozovyi via VistaCreate

Follow Proper Cleaning Techniques

One of the most effective ways to prevent sticky floors is to incorporate and follow proper techniques when you’re cleaning. To clean floors in your home properly, you should:

Clean Regularly

Make sure that you regularly clean your floors. Like this, you will avoid any grime build-up. You can even set a weekly schedule of when to clean your floors and stick to it. Aside from cleaning regularly, be mindful of any dirt or spills that occur and clean them up immediately.

Clean Regularly
serezniy via VistaCreate

Use the Correct Cleaning Product

Like we said before, using the correct type of cleaning product is a must. Do your research on which product works best for the kind of floor you have in your home, and stick to it. If you are using concentrated products, remember to dilute them first.

Also, make sure to read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions properly beforehand. It is also important to completely rinse the products from the surface of the floor so it doesn’t build up over time.

For those who have wooden floors following the cleaning instructions precisely is mandatory. But if your floors are not made of wood, you can clean them by making a homemade cleaner out of vinegar and water.

To prepare this cleaning solution, you need to mix one part of vinegar with one gallon of water. Put the solution in a spray bottle and spray it on the area that will be cleaned. Leave the DIY product on the area for around 15-20 minutes before mopping the floor.

Use the Correct Cleaning Product
AndrewLozovyi via VistaCreate

Use Steam Mops

It may seem easier to use a regular mop, but investing in steam mops is a great solution to sticky floors! See, this type of mop has technology that lets you clean floors better instead of traditional mops.


The device works by using vaporized water to soften any residue before mopping them. However, you need to be careful when using steam mops because hot water can break down the glue on your floors!

You may also choose microfiber mops which are better at holding onto dirt so it doesn’t release the dirt into the water and transfer it on the tiles. Other tools let you separate dirty water and clean water in different buckets, ensuring that you don’t use dirty water when mopping.

With these easy tips and life hacks, you will be able to not only remove the sticky residue from your floors effectively. In addition, you will cope with the source of the problem itself by removing the cause of the sticky film!

So, we have told you everything that one needs to know about what makes your floors feel sticky after mopping. Finally, the mystery of sticky floors is revealed! You have learned that the reason could not only be the spilled soft drink or an old sticky splatter of Cola or juice. It could also be the wrong cleaning techniques that lead to stickiness.

In addition, now you know how important it is to use the right cleaning products on your floors and why you should avoid using an excess amount of them when washing the floors. The rule “the more use apply the cleaner it is” doesn’t work for the floors!

So be sure that you follow all the recommendations we gave you and remember to clean your floors regularly with the use of the right products, and you will see that the annoying sticky film will disappear easily!

Use Steam Mops
AndrewLozovyi via VistaCreate

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐How soon can sticky residue be removed from the floor?

It can be removed after the first wash if you use the correct product and pre-clean the floor.

⭐Can sticky residue on the floor be a result of an old floor material?

No, this is impossible. It’s either the wrong method of washing or some old spills.

⭐ Why is my wooden floor sticky after I mop it?

Perhaps you didn't add enough water to your floor-cleaning product and it was too concentrated. Before mopping, always check the water/product ratio on the label!

Written by
Olivia shares all she knows about the hotels, houses, and home cleaning with Beezzly readers. And she knows a lot! 15 years of work experience as a Manager in a former Four Season Service gave Olivia an exceptional base of professional knowledge and practical experience.
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4 Reasons Your FLOORS Are STICKY and How To FIX THEM!!4 Reasons Your FLOORS Are STICKY and How To FIX THEM!!