Monday, September 5, 2011

Mopping Made Easy, Inexpensive, and Green

I don't like to spend a lot of time cleaning the house. Not that I have that much time to do so with a toddler on my tail 24/7! On top of that, we live on a tight budget and I am constantly concerned about the environmental impact of the products I use. Still, I like a clean home so I'm always looking for shortcuts and ways to be more efficient and ecologically conscious. When I accidentally discovered this simple, cheap, "green" way to mop, I was thrilled and have been mopping this way ever since.

Here's what I do:

Instead of filling up a bucket with water and your favorite cleaning product, put only a little bit of water in the bucket, just enough to rinse out the mop head. Fill an empty spray bottle with a 1:1 dilution of water and distilled vinegar (I'm sure a 10% or 25% dilution would also work). Spray the diluted vinegar directly onto the floor and wipe with the wet mop. Repeat in small sections, rinsing out the mop in the bucket as you go along. When I'm done, I give the bucket and mop head a quick rinse.

Wow, how easy! I can't believe it took me so long to figure this out! Not only is this way easier, it's inexpensive. It's also a great way to mop if you get interrupted frequently due to a curious and active toddler. The best part is that my little one can help out and I don't have to worry about him getting into harsh, toxic, unnatural chemicals.

Notes about vinegar:
You can use another green cleaning product, like Dr. Bronner's, but vinegar is less explensive. Distilled vinegar is natural, non-toxic, the smell dissipates quickly, it's safe for children to handle, and it has a zillion other uses (OK, maybe only 1001 uses). I use my 50% vinegar spray bottle for cleaning almost everything.

It is extremely important that you use an empty spray bottle that hasn't been used for anything else. Mixing compounds can create toxic fumes or even explosions. Play it safe and smart with a new, unused bottle.

Every bit of time or money you save makes life easier. Every chemical you save keeps your family and the planet healthier. Go ahead, give it a try!

Comments? Questions? I love them!


  1. Have you tried making your own laundry detergent yet? Or washing your hair with baking soda and vinegar?

    I'd love to read about your experiences...

  2. Nope, I haven't gotten quite that brave yet! I'm considering switching to soap nuts for laundry. I'll be sure to share how that goes.

  3. I don't even bother with the little bit of water for the mop. I use an e-cloth which attaches to a long handle and just soak it under the tap then wring it out. Like you I use a spray bottle with homemade cleaner - mine has rose and lemon oils in it too to make me smile while I clean :)

  4. Mmmm, rose and lemon would make me smile, too!

  5. I love that my son can help out with the cleaning (which he loves) and I needn't worry about nasty chemicals. He does windows! Vinegar is a great cleaning agent.

  6. Thanks for sharing, I will bookmark and be back again

    Cleaning Mop