Floor Smells Like Wet Dog After Mopping | Why & How to Remove

The floor is one of the most overlooked sections of the house. Even though most of us clean our floors on a regular basis, many of us don’t do it with full care and with good techniques. As a result, sometimes the floor may have a bad smell, especially after cleaning with a mop.

It is a very common problem that the floor smells like a wet dog after mopping. Many people encounter this and do not know what is causing this problem. Today, we are going to discuss why this problem occurs, what is the solution of this, and how to prevent this.


Why Does Floor Smell Like Wet Dog After Mopping?

There could be many bad smells on the floor, and different things are causing each type of smell. Usually, the floor has dirt and dust in it, and if the outside dirt is too much in number, those can lead to smelling bad even before getting wet with a mop.

When it comes to smells like a wet dog smells, it can be caused by rats or similar creators. If you don’t have a dog and still get this kind of smell, it could be a rat problem.

If you did not have any bad smell on the floor before mopping but starting to smell after you have done mopping, the issue could be one of two things:

  1. Your floor has bacteria that start to smell the floor is getting wet.
  2. Your mop is causing the floor to smell bad.

It could be outside dirt or dust, but it also could be things you might have dropped on the floor, and even though you thought you have cleaned it, some spillage might remain and caused the floor to smell.

These kinds of things and many other causes germs to stay on the floor, some that don’t go away using water or soap water. For those, you need to disinfect the floor.

But, the most common cause for the floor to smell like wet dog right after mopping is the mop itself. A mop can carry germs and smell and when the floor is wiped with that, it causes the entire floor to smell bad.

Many people don’t mop the floor every day. And there are many cases where people don’t clean the mop properly after each cleaning session.

Some people store the mop in places that carry germs and bad smell, and later on that smell transfers to the mop and the floor. Many people stores the mop while it is still wet, and it dries in the storeroom or storing place.

Storing method plays an important part in this too. Many people store their mop in a bucket full of water, sometimes mixed with bleach and detergent. If you store like that too, your floor will smell like wet dog.

Key reasons that cause the floor to smell

  • Rodent Problem
  • Dirty Floor and irregular cleaning
  • Cleaning only with water
  • Storing the mop in an unclean area & while it is still dry
  • Storing the mop submerged in water or with bleach or soap water

How to Remove Smells Like Wet Dog from the Floor?

If you already got wet dog smells on your floor after mopping, follow the steps below to get rid of or remove the smell.

Step 1: Prepare a Mixture of Vinegar and Water

Take a bucket and fill it with the ratio of 1 cup of white vinegar to 1 gallon of water. If the smell is very strong, use a little bit more vinegar. Vinegar is a natural deodorizing agent that also disinfects and cleans.

Step 2: Wipe the Floor Using a Mop

Make sure your mop is cleaned and disinfected and appropriately dried. Then, dip the mop into the solution, wring it, wipe the floor with the mop. If it is a wooden floor, mop to the direction of the wood grain. Make sure to mop the entire floor. Let the floor dry after the mop.

Step 3: If Required, Mop the Floor Again

Check if there are still smells remaining on the floor or in a specific area. If there is, mop the floor with the solution again after cleaning the mop. If there is no bad smell left, move to the next step.

Step 4: Deodorize the Floor Applying Baking Soda

Sprinkle baking soda thin and lightly all over the floor for an entire night. Baking soda will deodorize the floor more and for the future. You can also use it on a wooden floor without any issue.

Step 5: Let the Floor Dry

Clean the baking soda with a broom, and wipe the floor with the vinegar solution again. Let the floor dry completely.

Following these steps will remove any bad odors or wet dog smells from your floor.

How to Prevent the Floor Smelling Like Dog?

First, you need to know the true cause of the problem. If it is a rodent problem, you need to contact pest control for a full cleanup of the house.

If the smell is caused by dirt on the floor, you need to clean them thoroughly with soap water. But, soapy water still leaves some of the germs on the floor, and that is where you can use the help of a steam mop.

A steam mop uses plain water – but uses the steam which is over 100°C in temperature. This results in easy cleaning of the floor, and also all the germs and bacteria are cleared. Mopping regularly will result in not only a shiny and clean floor, but there will be no smell or anything bad.

If the mop is causing all the smell, you need to follow some tips for the mop to prevent this wet dog smell or any kind of bad smell to smear all over your floor.

Wash the mop head and dry it properly

The mop head absorbs a lot of dirt and germs while it is cleaning the floor, so, normally, you need to wash it. Clean and wash your mop head after each use. Just rinsing it with water to remove large debris or dirt is not enough, you need to wash it with soap, or with bleach.

If your mop head is washing machine safe, detach it and put it in the machine for easy washing. Make sure you put the temperature in the highest settings to get rid of all the germs in the mop head.

But, many mops don’t have a machine washing feature. In cases like that, You can use a classic method of disinfecting. Soak the mop head in a bucket of warm water and bleach. You need to give it a few minutes for bleach to kill all the germs. After a few minutes, bring it out, rinse it with plain water and get rid of all the bleach. When there is no bleach water left in the mop head, wring it and let it dry.

Drying the mop is extremely important. You need to place it outside under direct sunlight. This will prevent any bad odor from forming up and the direct sun will dry it fast.

Never store the mop in water

Many people make a common mistake – storing the mop head submerged in a bucket of bleach water. This always creates a bad odor in the mop, and when it is used in cleaning the floor, it makes the entire floor smells bad.

Always wash, disinfect, dry under direct sunlight, and store the mop in a dry place to keep it free from any germs, dirt, and smell.

Store The Mop Properly

After washing, disinfecting, and drying, you need to store the mop in a dry and secure place.

For the storing place, make sure it has no rodents or anything and is completely dry and secure. And, always make sure to put the mop upside down to prevent the mop head from getting any dirt or wet from the surface.

Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)

Can I use soap and bleach both while cleaning and disinfecting the floor?

Soap and bleach mixed to create a toxic gas. You can use them separately one after the other, or you can use steam mops to remove these hassles.

How should I Store a mop properly?

Store the mop upside down, and make sure the storeroom is dry and secure.

Do I need to dry the mop after cleaning?

You always need to wash, disinfect and dry the mop under sunlight to prevent bad smells and germs.


The floor requires regular cleaning with proper techniques. It is the issues in those techniques which make the floor smells like a wet dog after mopping. Everyone needs to know how to prevent this and how to take care of the floor, the mop, and all the cleaning techniques.

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