DIY Mop and Bucket Cleaner – Clean Mama

March 31, 2021

My favorite method of washing floors is with a microfiber mop and a spray bottle, but I know there are times when a mop and bucket are a better way to wash floors, or maybe you prefer washing floors with one Mop and a bucket. There are all kinds of pugs and buckets that you can buy in stores and online. I like this one for its simple and clean bucket function. Use what you have or what you prefer.

I like to use a mop and bucket for deep cleaning tiles – perfect for spring cleaning. This tile is in our mud room – it gets dirty quickly if shoes are dropped here and if there is dog harness. It definitely took a good wipe – check out the dirty water!

Choose the best DIY formula for your floors and start mopping, or save mopping for Thursday as it’s floor washing day.

Please note: If you have marble, granite, or travertine tile, avoid using vinegar, lemon, or anything acidic to clean as the acid will etch the stone. Steam cleaners work well, as does the soap base recipe in this post.


  • 1 gallon of warm water
  • 1 teaspoon castile soap or sal suds


  • 1/2 cup of white vinegar
  • 1 gallon of warm water


The vinegar cleans and the rubbing alcohol helps dry and adds a disinfectant component. The combination is ideal for making these floors perfectly clean. Laminate and water are not a good combination, so you should work with a mop and a bucket in small sections and dry them in the process.

Mix equal parts of:

  • White wine vinegar
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • water


  • 1/4 cup borax
  • 1 gallon of hot water
  • 5 drops of lemon essential oil
  • 5 drops of orange essential oil

Mix borax, water, and essential oils in a mop bucket and stir to dissolve. Wipe as you normally would. Flushing is usually not required. If your floors are particularly dirty, you can add a drop or two of castile or dish soap to remove the dirt. You may want to have a bucket of clean water for rinsing on the side instead of using the water from the cleaning bucket. This will help avoid streaks.

When I wash tile floors and have grout that needs to be cleaned a little more thoroughly, I work in sections with a grout brush, hot water and dishes or Castilian soap and some oxygen whitener. Then I wash the floors after scrubbing them well.

This is the mop / bucket system I have – it looks like it isn’t available in blue, but it’s the same, just green.

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