Mopping: Hot or Cold Water? – Questions Answered.

Is hot water needed to melt away soil binders?

No. Soil binders called FOG(Fats, Oil, & Grease) are what make the soil sticky and difficult to break up. Traditionally, hot water has been used to help soap melt FOG and break up the soil. This is why it is common practice to use hot water for washing dishes, laundry, etc. However, today's high-performance detergents can emulsify soil binders at cold temperatures.

Does hot water mopping make the job go faster?

No. The hot water method of mopping requires a cold water rinse step in order to get the best results. The reason for this is FOG will dissolve into the hot water and thoroughly contaminate the water causing it to spread the sticky solution back onto the floor. In cold water, FOG will lose its stickiness more easily – allowing soil to float away from the surface immediately after being emulsified. Today's high-performance cold water cleaning chemicals are able to deliver sanitary results without the need for an additional cold water rinse step.

Does mopping with hot water help kill germs?

No. This is a commonly held belief because it sounds right and seems to make sense, but it is simply not true in practice. Even if you were to manage to get the water hot enough to kill microorganisms(close to boiling) the water temperature would drop immediately when it comes in contact with the surface being washed and would no longer be hot enough to kill germs.


When using today’s high-performance detergents, hot water is not necessary to achieve optimal results. Using cold water for mopping can save labor time, improve sanitary conditions, and cut energy costs for heating water.