How to Clean Sticky Floors


Carmen asked: I have sticky floors. Help, what can I do? I dropped a bottle of soda on the floor. It was wiped up immediately. Now, the whole floor feels sticky. What can I do? I’ve used both ammonia and vinegar. The floor is still sticky. Help. I’m desperate.

Soda can leave a sticky residue that can be difficult to get up completely. It appears that you have the right cleaning products to do the job, so perhaps it’s how they were applied that is leaving a sticky residue. Try our method below to get rid of the mess for good. It contains several steps, but once your sticky situation is cleaned up, there’s no need to continue with additional cleaning products.

You Will Need:

  • Mop
  • Warm/hot water
  • Floor cleaner
  • White vinegar
  • Household ammonia
  • Buckets
  • Soft towels

Steps to Clean the Stickiness:

  1. Fill a bucket with warm water. Use hot water for really sticky situations.
  2. Add the appropriate amount of floor cleaner that is recommended on the packaging.
  3. Moisten the mop with the cleaning solution.
  4. Clean the floor thoroughly and rinse the mop frequently.
  5. Dump out the bucket and fill with clean water.
  6. Rinse the floor completely with clean water. If there is cleaning residue left on the floor, it can be sticky as well and make it seem that the original spill was not cleaned up.
  7. If the sticky floor remains, fill a bucket with warm or hot water and add ½ cup of household ammonia.
  8. Moisten the mop with the water and clean the entire area.
  9. Dump out the ammonia and water.
  10. Fill the bucket again and add 1 cup of white vinegar.
  11. Use the vinegar to rinse the floor.
  12. Allow the floor to air dry or dry with old towels.
  13. If any sticky areas remain, repeat the above steps to remove the remaining stickiness.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • If cleaning a wood floor, use minimal moisture on the floor or it may become damaged.
  • If the area is not large and the stickiness will not go away, try cleaning the surface with a  Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. It will remove any remaining residue that the mop does not.
  • Steam mops work well for all kinds of sticky messes and are safe to use on wood floors as well.
  • Soda is essentially sugar and water, so basic cleaning products are sufficient to remove it.
  • If the protective coating on the floor becomes damaged, it too can feel sticky. In these cases, strip the existing protective seal and apply a fresh one.


  1. I work as a cleaner in a squash place that has a bar. Every time we have a party, I have to clean up the next mornig and the floors are always sticky, even when I mopped over them with hot water and MP10. Its very hard to remove it. Even the men’s toliets are sticky, as they have spilled beer all over the floor. Would love some advice. Thanks.

  2. Help! I work in a college bar that has old hardwood floors. At any given time, 230 kids are in there and beer is all over the floor. I mop and I mop with degreasers the bar provides. No good; when they dry, they are still sticky and my boss complains. Help before I loose my job and the worst part is – I am working like a dog!

  3. I just started cleaning our large church. The kitchen in the church is rented out on a regular basis to a group that makes peanut brittle. Everything in our kitchen is sticky. Do you have a suggestion?

    Check it out! We’ve answered your question!

  4. Window cleaner.

    I managed to explode a bottle of soda. I did my general clean-up with hot water and vinegar and that did nothing, so the next day I took many rags and went over the floor twice with window cleaner. It is now shiny and clean with no stick.

  5. Baking soda or Carpet Fresh – sprinkle and sweep it across the sticky floor (not carpet).

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