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How To Make Mop Water Smell Good: 2 Easy Ways

How To Make Mop Water Smell Good: 2 Easy Ways

The characteristic smell associated with mop water is not a pleasant one, but we’ve got you covered with the best guide on how to make mop water smell good right here.

Our favorite method is to use scented floor cleaner to make the water smell nice, but you can also use lemon juice to achieve the same effect.

Let’s take a look at a few different ways to make your mop water smell much better in a matter of minutes.

Method 1 – Scented Floor Cleaner

The easiest way to make mop water smell good is to use a scented floor cleaner, ideally one of the major brands.

The reason for this is simple – branded floor cleaners are designed specifically to not only properly clean your floor but to smell nice whilst doing so. Some of our favorites include Bona and Zoflora.

The general method behind branded floor cleaners is to add a small amount as per the instructions to hot water and then use this mixture to mop the floor, making sure to not leave any pools of water on the floor.

Method 2 – Homemade solution with Lemon Juice and Vinegar

The next method to make mop water smell good is to use a mixture of lemon juice and white vinegar in the following proportions:

  • 1 Cup of white vinegar: Vinegar won’t enhance the smell but will act as a natural disinfectant to clean the floor. You can then mask this smell with lemon juice.
  • 3-5 Teaspoons of lemon juice – Lemon juice is great for hiding the smell of vinegar and providing a fresh aroma not only to the mop water but to the room as well.
  • Hot water – Fill the rest of the bucket with hot water and you’re good to go.

If you are not a fan of the smell of lemon then you can try out some essential oils as an alternative.

Essential Oils

Essential oils are an easy way to add a nice fragrance to your mop water if you don’t like the smell of lemon juice.

We recommend using lavender or peppermint, but you can pick any type you prefer. Essential oils are very strong, though, so only add a couple of drops to the water.

Don’t Forget To Regularly Change The Water

No matter which method you use, you still need to replace the water used to mop your floor regularly while you are mopping.

This is because the mop will pick up dirt and all sorts of things that can make the water smell bad even if you have used one of our methods. It also makes sense to keep the water as clean as you can, because who wants to clean a floor with dirty water?

A good rule of thumb is to replace the water when it becomes visibly dirty and opaque to ensure it remains smelling fresh.


When it comes to mopping floors there are tons of questions that get asked around this topic, so we’ve rounded up some of the most popular questions below with our in-depth answers.

Why Does Mop Water Smell So Bad?

Mop water tends to smell bad due to the dirt – and other debris – it collects from mopping the floor.

Floors take much more of a beating than they are given credit for and can contain not only dust but also spillages, food and stains. When all of this is mopped up it sits in the water which should ideally be very hot.

It then evaporates into the air, and if you haven’t scented the water then it will smell like whatever your mop has picked up on the floor, which is almost guaranteed to smell bad. This becomes much worse if you leave it a long time between cleaning or have pets.

Can You Use Water On Its Own?

You can use water on its own, but you may encounter a couple of problems.

Firstly, there are no antibacterial or disinfecting properties of using just water on its own, so you will not get any of the benefits of using a floor cleaner or natural solution. Secondly, water has no scent and this means that you will be left with an unpleasant smell after cleaning.

A third thing to consider is that unless you use boiling hot water and mop thoroughly, you will likely leave pools of water on the floor. Water on floors, especially hardwood floors, can lead to all sorts of problems – some of which are very expensive to repair.

So, you can use water, but make sure you use boiling water and do not allow any of it to settle on your surface after you’ve finished cleaning. And remember you will only be removing dirt, not disinfecting.

How Often Should You Mop The Floor?

The frequency of mopping depends entirely on how much your floor is used and your current cleaning regime.

If you vacuum your floor regularly and clean up any spills as soon as they happen then you can get away with mopping once every two or three weeks. If you have pets or small children it can be much more difficult to keep clean and you may need to mop as much as once per week to keep your floor looking good.

Can You Use Laundry Detergent To Mop Your Floor?

This one may seem a bit random, but if you are in a hurry and need to mop your floor immediately you can use a small amount of laundry detergent with water.

If you want full details on how to do this then you can read more here, but its a handy trick to have up your sleeve in case of emergency.