why is my tile floor sticky after i mop
Kristina Davis

Why is my tile floor sticky after I mop? Isn’t it that mopping removes stuck and hardened dirt because of the cleaning solution?

I know you’ve been there, and I know how annoying it can be. You’re mopping to remove all the sticky stuff, so why does it still feel sticky?

I got you on this, as I looked for answers; lo and behold, it’s not always what we think!

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The culprit why your tile floors feel sticky after you mop is one of four things. These things include using the wrong cleaning agent, mopping with the left residue of dirt or stubborn dirt, using more cleaning solution than you should, or using incorrect cleaning techniques.

Why is My Tile Floor Sticky After I Mop? 

the tile floor sticky

Contrary to what a lot of people believed in, the reason why your tile floor feels sticky isn’t only caused by a single factor.

It can be any, in fact, there are 4 most common reasons for this to happen.

Let me explain to you what these are so you can easily identify them and not jump to conclusions you have no real basis for.

Reason #1: You Use the Wrong Cleaning Solution/Agent

Probably the thing we all do that we aren’t 100% aware of is that we utilize the wrong cleaning agent or solution.

I was raised in the era where a cleaning detergent is considered the most effective cleaning agent for everything, but with today’s tiles and flooring, that’s not applicable any longer.

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For tiles, the best cleaning product is also the simplest. You simply need a mixture of warm water and a few drops of dishwashing soap or dish soap.

Alternatively, you can purchase over-the-counter cleaning agents that are specifically made for ceramic tile floors.

Make sure that the product you’ll be purchasing is purposely made for tile flooring.

What To Avoid Using

what to avoid

Avoid using soap-based cleaners because they can leave your floors feeling sticky and oily. The perfect examples of these are laundry detergents and general all-purpose cleaning liquids.

Do your research and find out what the best cleaning solution is for your type of floor!

Only you can answer what specific type of flooring you have, so it is just right that you find the answer to it yourself!

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Reason #2: Uncleaned Residue or Stubborn Dirt

Different types of dirt require different cleaning procedures.

To give you an example, in removing stubborn dirt, you don’t just wipe it with water, unlike water and soda spillages, you need to get rid of its stickiness first so that you can get rid of it completely.

The longer the residue lingers, the harder and more difficult it’ll be to remove it. So, make sure that you clean and remove these first.

uncleaned residue

This usually happens when you mop the floor with a few bits of dust and dirt.

So, sweep or vacuum your floors first so you can remove lingering dust, hair, crumbs, and dirt to pave the way for a smooth mopping session.

What to Avoid Using

There’s a big chance that the stickiness you’re feeling even after mopping is caused by dirty water. Always make sure you use clean water for mopping.

Note: Change the water every now and then so that clean water will be what you’ll use all the way through.

Reason #3:You Used More Cleaning Agent/Solution Than What’s Needed

used more cleaning agent

I know what you’re thinking, shouldn’t it be the other way around? Unfortunately, that is not how it works.

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Oversaturating your cleaning mixture or solution can lead to your floors becoming sticky. This is due to the dominant soap content of the cleaner.

The problem isn’t only with incorrect solutions, but rather, when you use too much of the cleaning solution, too! 

The tendency of overusing liquid solutions is that their soap content can linger on the floor. Instead of keeping them clean, smooth, and fresh, it does the opposite.

Reason #4: Wrong and Improper Cleaning Techniques 

Last, but most definitely not least is that you perform wrong and incorrect cleaning techniques and procedures.

Some people like to go straight to mopping without doing initial sweeping and vacuuming, and so on.

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improper cleaning technique

Here are some of the best practices to do to avoid improper and incorrect cleaning techniques and processes:

  • Sweep or vacuum the floor first before mopping
  • Don’t put too much pressure while mopping
  • Have a separate bucket of water to rinse the cleaning solution off the floor
  • Spat or blot the mopped-rinse area dry

So, these are the four most common reasons why your floors feel sticky even after mopping them.

I don’t know about you, but it made a lot of sense to me after learning this. I eventually knew what I had to do, and that’s what I’ll be teaching you. 

How You Can Prevent Sticky Floors After Mopping

Prevention is always better than cure – that’s what a lot of wise men say. But in preventing your sticky tile floors, what do you need to do?

prevent sticky floors

Here’s a list of the few tips you can do if you want to ensure that your floors don’t become sticky after mopping.

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Use Warm-to-Hot Water

Using warm water is the best approach to mopping your floors. However, if the texture and consistency of your floor are sticky, use hot water instead.

NOTE: There’s no harm in using cold water for mopping. But it wouldn’t be too effective for sticky floors and for stubborn and stuck dirt. 

Add Vinegar

When you’re sure about the type of floor cleaning solution you’ll be using, you can choose to add a cup or two of vinegar.

Because of the acidity of the vinegar, it can help disperse sticky and stubborn dirt on your floors.

Add it to the mixture you made, and then mix it properly.

Rinse the Floor Well

rinse floor

A lot of people think that mopping the floor and leaving it with the solution is the way to do it – it’s not.

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Akin to washing clothes, you also need to rinse the floor to get rid of any soap or cleaning solution that could have stuck on it.

NOTE: For rinsing, it’ll still be better to use warm water so that you can get rid of stuck or stubborn dirt that could be possibly lingering on the surface of the floor.

Use Steam Mops

For a more advanced approach, you can use steam mops to remove and get rid of stuck or stubborn dirt, stains, and sticky surfaces on your flooring.

These are mops that have built-in steaming machines and are designed to get rid of dirt, odor, and stains using steam.

My tile floor is sticky after mopping, what should I do? – Follow these guidelines and always leave your floors fresh, smooth, and shiny!


questions about sticky floors

Here are a few of the most asked questions about your tile flooring being sticky even after you mop.

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Does Humidity Make Tile Floors Sticky?

Yes, humidity and moisture can make your tile floors sticky and tacky.

The moisture from the condensation can hinder your floors from drying up completely, so, ensure that you rinse your floors after a session of mopping.

How Do You Dry a Floor After Mopping?

There are many different ways of drying your floors after mopping. The most common thing homeowners do is air dry it.

However, you can also wipe and dry it using a towel, a dry mop, a sponge, or a squeegee.

The Bottom Line

In case you were asking, why is my tile floor sticky after I mop, now, you know!

You’re not alone in the dilemma of having annoying tacky floors after mopping. In fact, many homeowners have encountered this at least once!

Not only that, but you can now also make sure that your floors wouldn’t be sticky by following the guidelines I gave!