After using a mop to lay floor finish, janitors should first use the wringer on the mop bucket to wring out as much floor finish as possible.

“Then, take it to a sink, take the head off the stick and have your water running — have it hot, as hot as you can stand it — and put the mop head underneath hot water and let the water run through that mop head for a little while to help wash that out,” says Joe Choplin, the director of operations support for City Wide Franchise in Lenexa, Kansas.

Janitors should then wring it out again, making sure there is no noticeable debris attached to the mop. Now it’s time for a final rinse, this time in cold water.

“Cold water encourages less growth of bacteria picked up from the floor which can cause souring of the mop, resulting in offensive odor when used in the future,” says Bill Griffin, president of the Seattle-based Cleaning Consultant Services.

Janitors should rinse the mop until the water runs clear. After this cold-water rinse, janitors may want to run the hot water again in the empty sink to avoid damaging the plumbing.

“If the water is not hot and you don’t run it for a time after you finished rinsing out the mop, you can clog up that sink and drain because the finish will do exactly what it does on the floor — start forming a barrier, and eventually it will close down,” says Choplin.

Janitors also should rinse out the bucket and wringer, as well, to avoid floor finish buildup. One tip is to line the bucket with a plastic bag for easier cleanup. The bucket should be stored upside down to dry.

Hilary Daninhirsch is a freelance writer based in Pittsburgh.