How to Clean a Really Dirty Kitchen Floor

One of the areas of the home that suffer from neglect is the kitchen floor. Focus is usually placed on the stove, the sink, kitchen counters, and cabinets.

But how to really clean a dirty kitchen floor?

Cooking isn’t an easy task and by the time the dishes are washed, the kitchen floor would probably just get an occasional sweep and swipe.

Unknowingly, dirt and grime accumulate in places that are not visible. There are the secret corners where runaway pieces of tiny food roll into like peas and grains of rice.

Some spots on the floor are the favorite landing places of oil spatter or dripping liquid ladled from pan to plates. And then it happens – one day you discover that you have a really dirty kitchen floor.

STOP. BREATHE. Don’t be overwhelmed – unless you have waxed, hardwood kitchen flooring.

The best way to clean a really dirty kitchen floor is good mopping. Using the right technique, tools, and, cleaning mixtures will make it easier.

Doing a Cinderella scrub on your hands and knees might not be necessary. Let’s get into it.

Mopping 101

how to clean a dirty kitchen floor

There might be a host of cleaning gadgets and machines available in the market but there’s nothing like a good mopping to clean really dirty kitchen floors.

But before you go into the project of giving your kitchen floor a deep clean, you have to check your equipment.

  • Make sure your mops are all clean, otherwise you will be hard-pressed in cleaning your dirty kitchen floor. Dirty mops are less absorbent.
  • Invest in a bucket with a mop wringer (affiliate link) – whether it’s automatic or manual. Squeezing filthy water out of your mop with bare hands can be avoided.
  • Have more than one mop and one bucket in hand for deep cleaning.
  • Mop material can be microfiber or cotton – just make sure they are clean (this can’t be stressed enough).

Here’s the best way to clean a really dirty kitchen floor that applies to all floor types. It’s simple and no-nonsense – and it’ll be a good exercise as well.

  1. Remove surface dirt and dust using a vacuum cleaner, soft-bristled broom, or dust brush. Make sure all particles are off the floor and disposed of.
  2. Sprinkle your floor with baking soda. Be generous on areas with hard stains, grime, or grist. Let the baking soda sit for a few minutes on your kitchen floor.
  3. Prepare in your mop bucket the following solution:
  • One cup of vinegar
  • One gallon of hot water
  • 2 tablespoons of dishwashing liquid
  • A drop or two of essential oil (if available)

Immerse your wet mop into the solution so it can absorb the liquid.

Depending on the floor area you are cleaning, pour this solution on the floor.

The mixture should be enough to cover the surface that you intend to clean. Otherwise, divide your kitchen floor into doable sections and mop it in parts.

Follow-up by mopping while the water has not yet become tepid. If there are harder particles, you can use a long-handled soft-bristled brush to help you remove the more stubborn dirt.

  1. Once the dirt has lifted, you have to deal with the dirty water. Wring your mop on the wringer basket or automatic wringer. Mop the floor up and discard the dirty water.
  2. Fill a clean bucket with plain water and with a clean damp mop, remove all the excess water. Make sure you clean up all the wet spots. Allow the floor to dry.
  3. If you want, apply a polishing finish.

Related: How to clean a smelly dishwasher.

How NOT to clean a dirty kitchen floor

cleaning a dirty kitchen floor

More Soap? Nope!

Adding soap to your mopping solution is never the answer! Remember that soap functions as the dirt-lifting agent because of the surfactant in them.

Too much will only leave you with a surfactant saturated mop instead of your mop taking out the lifted dirt and grime.

An indication that you have been using too much soap is when streaks form on your floor after you do the rinse.

This will entail another water wash-over and wipe, so why expend too much effort?

So, don’t give in to the temptation of putting more soap. Besides, soap residue that you fail to clean up may cause slipping or that sticky-squeak as you step on it.

Don’t Skip the Rinse

  • On Floors

Yes, kitchen floor cleaning is not a breeze. When we perfect our cleaning solution and mop away the grime to a clean floor, a rinse with clean water is ALWAYS a must!

This step always ensures that anything grimy that has not been swiped will be washed and finished with a round of clean water.

  • On Mops or Floor Towels

When doing finishing swipes, it’s important to check that our mops or towels are clean at periodic intervals.

A full mop leaves dirty water on the floor and you will just be swishing around dirty water instead of leaving your kitchen floor clean.

Don’t be Careless with Castile Soap!

While many recommend the use of castile soap on hardwood or tile kitchen floors for that deep clean, it is not easily available.

However, if you do have castile soap, NEVER mix it with acids like lemon and vinegar.

Castile soaps are alkaline and combining them with acids is a guarantee that you will leave an unsightly film or residue behind.

Don’t Drown Your Floor

Getting overexcited with rinsing is also a popular floor cleaning handicap. When doing that final floor wash, pour out only what you can manageably mop off, section per section.

It might entail bending more times than you planned but it’ll save you from accidentally slipping and will keep the spreading of dirty water to a minimum.

Tips and Tricks in Cleaning a Really Dirty Cleaning Kitchen Floor

scrubbing dirty kitchen floor

1. Have more than one mop and bucket in hand. It’ll be easier to switch to a clean mop while the dirty one soaks in clean water.

An extra bucket can also hold more clean water if the one you are using gets too grimy.

2. When using microfiber mops, make sure they are dampened and wrung before using.

You can prepare multiple microfiber mop heads in advance and swap them fast without taking too much time to wash and clean them between rinses.

3. Organize your cleaning direction. It is always tempting to start on the random spots where there are stains and accumulated grist but this often leads to neglected patches of the kitchen floor.

One technique is to work your way from the furthest end of the kitchen and move towards the door in sections. This ensures that you will have an evenly cleaned kitchen floor.

Not All Floors are Equal

While the best way to clean really dirty floors is a standardized process, your kitchen floor might have a particular quirk that might entail a tweak in the method or tools for getting it properly cleaned.

clean kitchen floor

Let’s avoid damage and take a look at the specifics depending on the type of kitchen floor that you have.

Laminate Floors – stick to gentle vinegar-based solutions. Harsh chemicals will often grate at the laminate surface and dull the colors.

Don’t leave the cleaning solution on your kitchen laminate floor for a long time.

Don’t put too much water on the surface since it might seep into the planks and damage the adhesive. Replace any plank that has lifted or warped.

Sealed Hardwood Floors – (Coated with either Polyacrylic, Urethane, or Polyurethane) Care must be taken in cleaning them since too much water will cause water.

Go easy on the water, wash in sections, and, don’t let water stay too long on the surface.

Microfiber mops are highly recommended for these since the material reduces water contact with the wood surface. Make sure if your kitchen

Waxed Hardwood Floors – This is the caveat. A waxed hardwood floor can easily be damaged by even small amounts of water so never get it really dirty! It must be dusted, swept, vacuumed, or dry-mopped regularly.

Tile Floors – This is the easiest type of kitchen floor to clean. Avoid harsh chemicals like ammonia that can discolor your grouting.

Natural Stone Floors – Leave out the vinegar in the cleaning solution. Never try bleach on them as well as it might cause discoloration.

Linoleum Floors – After mopping and drying, finding sticky spots on this sturdy type of kitchen flooring is not unusual.

Simply go over it one more time, using a dry cloth or microfiber piece to remove any stickiness.

Vinyl Floors – If you have a home floor steamer, you can run it once over after a deep clean to remove stains.

Prevention is Best

Paying attention to our kitchen floor more often will pay off in the long run. Deep cleaning can be spaced further apart- and the flooring suffers less damage.

Cleaning more often, placing absorbent mats in the entrances and drip-prone areas are some of the little things that can make life easier when it comes to accumulating grime under our feet.

Hopefully, no one needs to get to the last resort of cleaning a really dirty kitchen floor – which is to hire a professional cleaning service that comes in with heavy-duty motorized scrubbers with industrial-strength cleaning solutions!

Don’t give up on your muscle power– it’s not as hard as it seems if you follow our steps for the best way of cleaning a really dirty kitchen floor.

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