Interior Design

How to clean a floor without streaks – 5 expert tips for a spotless finish

Wondering how to clean a floor without streaks? These steps will guarantee professional results

How to clean a floor without streaks - kitchen diner with patterned blue vinyl flooring, wooden dining table with white dining chairs, white painted walls with red and cream striped blinds
(Image credit: James Merrell)

It's easy to neglect cleaning your floor as often as you should, but while this task may seem mundane, it will instantly elevate your space. Therefore, it's time to move the question of how to clean a floor without streaks to the top of your agenda. 

Whether you're working on a floor in a high traffic area – such as your entryway or kitchen – or you're looking for how to clean stone floors with a spotless finish – this expert-approved method is the secret to success. 

How to clean a floor without streaks – the professional way  


(Image credit: Harvey Maria)

These simple cleaning tips will leave you with a streak-free floor – fast. Here's what you need to know.

1. Choose the right equipment for your floor-type 

Mattonelle Margherita glazed floor tiles, Mutina at Domus

(Image credit: Styling Claudia Bryant | Photo Polly Wreford)

According to the interiors experts at Hillarys, the process behind a streak-free clean begins with the right planning – this involves finding the best mop and bucket for your floor type. String mops (such as this mop on Amazon) work best on tiled flooring with more texture. Meanwhile, sponge mops work well on a smoother floor (like laminate).

You also need to choose your cleaning detergent designed for your floor type, but the appropriate flooring should be specified on the bottle.

'People who don't want to leave streaks after the cleaning should think about the cleaning solution they want to use because if the solution is messy, you can never avoid getting streaks,' adds Alicia Johnson, the CEO of Cleaning Green LLC. She suggests choosing a high-quality commercial cleaning solution or cleaning with vinegar. To make your own solution, you should mix 1/2 cup of vinegar into a gallon of warm water. 

2. Prepare your floor with a vacuum  

Modern hallway flooring with stone slab tiles

(Image credit: Future)

Even after finding the right mop for the job, the preparation doesn't end there. The experts suggest picking up surface dirt with a vacuum cleaner so you have the best base to mop away. Once again, the best vacuum cleaner for the job depends on your floor type, so it may be time to make an investment in a new appliance too. 

3. Mix your detergent with hot water  

Kitchen diner with yellow and white, geometric vinyl flooring, dark wood cupboards and dining table, bench seating with cushions, blue dining chairs, low hanging pendants

(Image credit: Chris Snook)

The experts at Hillarys recommend filling your bucket with hot water from the kettle, as this will clean better than lukewarm or cold water and remove those stubborn stains more easily. Then, add your mopping detergent to the water and dip your mop into the water before wringing it out with a wringer. 

'Make sure the mop is damp, not dripping wet. Too much water from the map can damage the floor, so be sure to wring it out before letting it touch the floor,' they say.  

4. Mop in the correct motion 

Painted kitchen with dark wood vinyl flooring, blue painted cupboards and kitchen island, dark wood stools, grey marble countertop, white wall tiles

(Image credit: Amtico Flooring)

You should begin mopping by working from one end of the room to the other – moving backward to ensure you don't walk over an area you have already mopped. 'If you're using a sponge mop, mop in a straight line, but if you're using a string mop, move in a figure 8 motion on the floor,' the experts instruct. When you come across more stubborn stains, they suggest rapidly rubbing back and forth and applying downwards pressure to remove the dirt. 

'After scrubbing each area of the floor, rinse your mop back in the bucket thoroughly. Remove as much dirty water as possible by dunking the mop into the bucket multiple times,' they add. 

5. Finish with hot water  

grey hallway with checked floor and bright pink console table and mirror

(Image credit: Annie Sloan)

As an extra cleaning step, it is a good idea to mop over the entire floor with nothing but fresh hot water. Then let the water dry naturally before re-walking on the surface. 'It should be streak-free and perfect to look at,' the experts add. 

Now you know the steps to a streak-free home; the only thing left to do is invest in the right mop for the job. 

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.