What is The Correct Way To Handle Dirty Mop Water?

Nick Durante
by Nick Durante

Mopping floors isn’t exactly fun, but homeowners and businesses must maintain clean floors. When you are done mopping floors, you are left with a bucket of dirty, murky water that must be disposed of. What is the correct way to handle dirty mop water?

The correct way to handle dirty mop water is to pour it into a floor drain, laundry sink, or sanitation sink. For sanitary purposes, never pour dirty mop water into a sink meant for employees or residents of your home. You can pour dirty mop water down a toilet drain, but only if you shut off the water supply and remove the toilet first.

That way, you won’t have to worry about clogging the toilet as the drain only starts at 2” wide. This is narrow enough that in many cases, dirty mop water filled with debris can clog the opening. Follow along as we highlight the correct way to handle dirty mop water when you are done cleaning the floors.

What Do I Do With Mop Water?

The best way to handle dirty mop water is to pour it down a floor drain. You can typically find floor drains meant for water disposal in the basement of homes and businesses. Shine a light into the floor drain before you pour the dirty mop water into it.

This will tell you whether or not the floor drain is clogged. Don’t pour dirty mop water into a grimy, clogged floor drain. Pour a mixture of white vinegar and baking soda into the floor drain and let it sit for up to 15 minutes if it is clogged.

Otherwise, you can simply pour the water into the drain if it isn’t clogged. Pour the water into the drain slowly so that it doesn’t overflow and water doesn’t spread across the floor. You may need to manually remove clumps of fabric and grime that sticks together and get stuck in the drain grates.

Can You Pour Mop Water Down The Toilet?

Don’t pour mop water down the toilet. Not only is this bad for the environment, but it will likely clog your toilet and pipes. Most toilets only have room for 2” of space in terms of width. Further down, the drain expands to 3”.

Dirt, dust, debris, and grime that gets in your mop bucket tend to clump together. This debris and dirt can easily become wider than 2” to 3”, and it can clog your toilet. The chemicals in your mop water may also be bad for the plumbing fixture beneath your toilet.

With that said, you can shut off the water, remove the toilet, and pour the mop water directly down the drain pipe. This is a great option if you don’t have access to a floor drain. This works because you will have a wider, more open length of pipe. It is a hassle, but it only takes 10-15 minutes to unscrew, remove, and reinstall the toilet.

Can You Dump Mop Water Outside?

You should never dump dirty mop water outside. This is the worst way to handle dirty mop water as it is bad for the environment. Mop water typically contains a mixture of cleaning chemicals, enzymes, dirt, dust, and grime.

None of these “ingredients” are good for the environment, and in some cases, dumping them outside can carry penalties. Many states and counties have strict fines and even sentences for littering. Besides the risk of penalties, you will likely damage the grass and soil if you dump dirty mop water outside.

Which Type Of Sink Must A Food Handler Use To Dump Dirty Mop Water?

Food handlers must use a mop or laundry sink to dump dirty mop water. It goes against safety codes to pour dirty mop water into a sink that is used by employees to wash their hands. Food safety inspectors can penalize restaurants and businesses for failure to comply with this rule.

Similarly, you cannot put clean or dirty food dishes in the mop water or laundry sink. Both of these mistakes can lead to serious sanitary problems and even major health risks.

How Often Do You Have To Change Mop Water?

Change your dirty mop water as soon as it becomes dark and difficult to see through. Murky mop water is full of dirt, dust, grime, contaminants, and chemicals. Using dirty mop water for too long means that you will quickly make your floors become dirty again.

You will inadvertently put dirty water on the floor each time you take your mop out of the bucket. How long this takes ultimately depends on how dirty the floors are. Pay attention to your mop bucket as you work so that you can dump the water into a sanitation sink or floor drain when it becomes too murky.

Why Are Floors Still Dirty After Mopping?

It is typically a sign that you need to change your mop pad if your floors are still dirty after mopping. A dirty mop pad is just as bad for your floors as dirty water. Double-check your mop pad before you mop each time to make sure you don’t make your floors worse.

Mops without pads need to be thoroughly rung out each time that you use them. Replace your mop or mop pad every 2-4 months or sooner if it gets dirty quickly. Businesses go through mops and mop pads quickly, especially if they experience high foot traffic.

Your floors also may still be dirty after mopping if you aren’t thorough enough. Floors can be misleading when they are wet as they often look clean when they aren’t. Make sure to apply enough pressure as you mop the floor and double-check the floors after the water dries.

Summing It Up

Pour your dirty mop water down a floor drain or into a sanitation or laundry sink. Avoid pouring dirty mop water into a standard sink that you would use to wash your hands. This isn’t sanitary and in some cases, can make you fail a health inspection if you own a food business.

Don’t pour dirty mop water directly into a toilet without removing it first. The opening is only 2” wide in most cases, which makes it susceptible to clogs if you dump your dirty mop bucket water into it. Instead, you should shut off the water supply and carefully remove the toilet.

Now, you can pour the dirty mop water into the drain beneath the toilet as it typically measures at least 3”. Regularly change your mop pads or replace your mop every 3 months on average, or sooner. This will ensure that your floors will get as clean as possible and your bucket won’t get dirty so quickly.

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Nick Durante
Nick Durante

Nick Durante is a professional writer with a primary focus on home improvement. When he is not writing about home improvement or taking on projects around the house, he likes to read and create art. He is always looking towards the newest trends in home improvement.

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