Sweeping Versus Mopping: What You Need to Know

Of all the household tasks there are, sweeping and mopping are two of the easiest to incorporate into a regular floor cleaning routine. But when it comes to caring for hardwood or laminate floors, you might find yourself asking a very valid question: what’s the difference between sweeping and mopping?

Sweeping

Sweeping is usually the preferred method for, well, sweeping up dirt and debris from hardwood and laminate floors. While some folks find vacuuming their hardwood floors to be quicker and easier, the reality is that most vacuums are simply not designed to clean these kinds of floors (read: scratch city).

But is there more to sweeping than simply pushing a broom in a back-and-forth motion? There might be. You’ll spend a lot less time collecting dirt if you start in the corners of the room and work your way inward. Essentially, create a little pile (or piles, if need be) of dirt somewhere close to the middle or edge of the room. This will make getting it into a dustpan relatively painless.

However, there is something to be said for choosing the right kind of broom. Different brooms tout different advantages, as outlined below:

  1. Synthetic bristles – Most push brooms nowadays are made with synthetic bristles and for good reason: they’re rot-resistant and easy to clean with soapy, warm water. Look for push brooms with frayed bristles; contrary to popular belief, frayed bristles trap dirt and debris far better than “clean” ones.
  2. Angled bristles – You’ll find angled bristles on angled brooms (go figure), which are perfect for getting in those hard-to-reach places, like corners or behind appliances.
  3. Corn bristles – When most folks hear the word ‘broom,’ a typical upright broom with corn bristles is most likely what comes to mind. Corn bristles have stood the test of time thanks to their low cost and versatility; you can use them on smooth and rough surfaces with ease.

Of course, there are other types of brooms and bristles out there, so don’t think these are your only options. The key takeaway in all of this is that sweeping is essential prep for what comes next: mopping.

Mopping

If you thought you needed water to get mopping, think again. Dry mopping is very much a thing and arguably a better way to collect dirt, debris, and bacteria from your hardwood and laminate floors. But what is dry mopping, and how is it different from wet mopping?

  • Dry mopping – Unlike sweeping, dry mopping won’t simply push the dirt around but will trap and collect the dirt and dust in its fibers. Another way to think of dry mopping is “dusting the floor,” as that’s basically what you’re doing. Dry mopping will also help your floor maintain its appearance, as some broom bristles could leave unsightly scratches if used incorrectly. We recommend using microfiber mops for all your dry mopping needs, as they’re easy to use and clean.
  • Wet mopping – For that glossy, just-cleaned look on your hardwood or laminate floors, it’s gotta be wet mopping. With just a capful of wood floor cleaner and a bucket of hot water, you, too, can achieve a deeper clean (but only after a thorough sweeping or dry mopping, of course). Wet mopping is best for cleaning up liquid spills and on floors whose dirt can’t be swept or dry mopped away.

Before You Get Cleaning…

Taking care of your floors is easy, so long as you’re using the right tools. While sweeping and dry mopping is great for pre-wet mop prep and rounding up dirt, wet mopping gives you a deeper clean that will help preserve the integrity of your floors for years to come. Thanks for reading and keep checking back for new blog posts!