I have made the mistake of cleaning my ceramic tile floor with dish soap. I also used a lot of it. Now I am left with a sticky residue all over my floor. I tried this process:

  1. Mop it up
  2. Clean and wash the mop
  3. Repeat multiple times in the same area
  4. Dry the area with a paper towel in order to pick up as much residue as possible

This process is very painstaking and even after, there was quite a bit of residue left. Is there a better method to break down the dish soap residue?

  • 1
    Some pictures of both what you're dealing with soap wise, and something zoomed out of the floor would help.
    – MiG
    Jun 23, 2022 at 11:12
  • 1
    Start again with a product that is designed to do the job, and follow the instructions on the container. Don't let the floor dry before all the steps are completed. Jun 23, 2022 at 12:44

2 Answers 2


Plain wet mop, then plain wet mop. If you put a tiny bit of bleach in the water, it will help cut through the stickiness of the soap. That's the only thing I'd add. Use hot water instead of cold.

  • Do this, but also: Put lots of water in your bucket, and rinse the mop very often. You'll still probably need to change the water in the bucket a few times, without the floor drying out in between.
    – Chris H
    Nov 16, 2022 at 16:12

I'd start with scooping up any solids, a dustpan or garden scoop can help here. Use metal tools carefully, or they might scratch the tiles. A plastic baking scraper can do the job (but it'll mess up its cutting edge, so only if you're okay with sacrificing one).

If it's possible to flood the floor (without the water escaping into adjacent rooms, onto electrical sockets and whatnot, bathrooms and kitchens usually come with heightened barriers for this reason), I would apply a thin layer of water (1-2cm) and stir it up with a mop. Soap needs to be dissolved, water is required for that. The stirring action accelerates the dissolving.

A wet vacuum cleaner would be a great help here. Depending on your country/region, they can usually be rented. This will allow you to get rid of the standing water quickly (after it's dissolved as much of the soap as possible). If any soap is left, literally rinse and repeat.

If flooding is not possible, you could attempt to use wet mops to create a ring dike around an area, then use a splash of water and stir, then scoop that out with the dust pan. If you keep the dust pan flat on the ground, then briefly move it quickly and tilt backwards, you should be able to get a decent amount of water into your bucket.

In both instances, that wet vacuum cleaner will be a great help however. I would focus on finding one of those.

  • Flooding the floor is asking for trouble. Grout and cracks are water-permeable, if not the tile itself, and can lead to sub-floor damage. Mop, rinse mop, repeat. Jul 17, 2022 at 23:27
  • I guess this depends on the building you live in. I've mostly lived in relatively young concrete apartment buildings, where this was not a problem. And perhaps the building code requirements differ in this per country, but the grout applied in bathrooms should be waterproof or the tiles would be pointless.
    – MiG
    Jul 17, 2022 at 23:58
  • Don't flood it unless you know it was built to handle that. @MiG I have a tiled wet room shower, a tiled bathroom, and a tiled kitchen. All my subfloors are chipboard. There's an extra base layer as well as special grout in the room that's designed to be flooded. I wouldn't intentionally flood the bathroom, and really really wouldn't flood the kitchen - once the water gets under the cupboards it's definitely going to soak into the chipboard around the edges of the room
    – Chris H
    Nov 16, 2022 at 16:10

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