Sweeping the floor may seem like one of the most basic tasks that anyone can do. Still, there is always something new to learn or an improvement you can make to an already good technique. In this post, you will be shown how to sweep the floor perfectly every time.
How to Sweep the Floor
- Dustpan with hand-broom
- Pebble or coin
Whatever your reason for learning how to sweep a floor, the instructions and tips in the post below will have you sweeping up like a pro in no time.
Step 1. Gather the Necessary Equipment
Begin by gathering all the necessary equipment to sweep the floor. You do not want to take extra time to collect items once you have started. When you have all the items together, move the dustpan, hand broom, and trashcan out of the way. They will be used later.
Top Tip: Select the correct broom for the floor surface. Harder and more porous surfaces like concrete may require a hard bristled broom. Tiles and other flat, glossy surfaces will require a soft-bristled broom. Carpets and rugs will require a specialized carpet broom. For best results, use the correct broom for the surface before starting to sweep.
Step 2. Get a 'Magic Pebble'
The key to sweeping a floor effectively is to find an object that does not roll around that can be placed on the floor as a center point indicator and as a target for your brush strokes. The object needs to be heavy enough that it will not shoot away if it is bumped accidentally. A light-colored pebble works well for this. A coin or other object that will not move around on the floor will also work.
Step 3. Place the Pebble in the Center of the Floor
Locate the center of the area or room you need to sweep and place the pebble there. You will be sweeping towards the pebble most of the time, so make sure it is not placed too close to walls or cupboards. With enough space to move around the pebble and space to move the broom, you can effectively get into all areas of the floor to sweep.
Step 4. Begin Sweeping
Always begin sweeping around the outer edge.
Grip the broom handle with both hands. Choose a starting point and make a note of it so that you know where to stop sweeping when you reach that point again. Stand between the pebble and the wall, place the broom bristles flat on the floor in your chosen spot and pull the broom towards you. Keep the broom bristles firmly on the floor for the whole brush stroke.
Use the broom's bristles to sweep along the walls first, pushing the bristles into the corner where the wall meets the floor. Often, the heaviest dirt is in the corners as foot traffic has pushed it there. Once you have swept a section along the wall, place the broom bristles in the clean area and sweep dirt next to it towards the pebble.
Top Tip: Gauge how hard you need to press the bristles down depending on the amount of dirt on the floor. For rough surfaces, you may need to apply more pressure to the bristles or sweep the same area more than once. Do a few test strokes before continuing to the rest of the floor.
Step 5. Sweep Toward the Pebble
Sweeping from the outer edges towards the middle, sweep all dirt towards the pebble. Keep looking where the pebble is and aim the brush strokes towards it. The pebble will act as a target and as a reference point for where you have already swept.
Top Tip: Sweep the floor one section at a time. See if there are obvious areas to sweep in a room, like in front of cupboards, or use tiles or floor markings to gauge where you have swept already. This will help you sweep systematically and ensure you don't miss a spot or sweep the same area twice unnecessarily.
Step 6. Sweep All Areas of the Floor
Continue sweeping all the areas of the floor systematically until you have swept the dirt on the whole floor towards the pebble.
As you get closer to the pebble, decrease the length and intensity of the brush stroke. A vigorous brush stroke may push dirt past the pebble into an area that has already been swept. Gentle brush strokes nearer the pebble will help avoid this.
Top Tip: Once you have finished sweeping all the dirt to the pebble, tap the broom's bristles three times or more on the floor next to the pile of dirt. This is to dislodge any dirt that may have stuck to the broom's bristles. This will ensure you do not leave a trail of dirt when carrying the broom away from the clean area.
Once you have finished sweeping, move the broom out of the way, ensuring not to stand in the pile of dirt around the pebble.
Step 7. Sweep the Dirt Into the Dustpan
Collect the dustpan and hand-broom. Hold the dustpan in your non-dominant hand and the hand-broom in your dominant hand. Place the bottom of the flat edge of the dustpan flush on the floor two to three inches away from the pile of dirt around the pebble. Apply downward pressure to the dustpan's handle to ensure it will not move when the hand-broom pushes against it.
Using the hand-broom in your dominant hand, place the bristles of the hand-broom on the opposite side of the pile of dirt to the dustpan and sweep the dirt towards the dustpan. Sweep until all the dirt is in the dustpan. Sweep the pebble into the dustpan as well.
Top Tip: Place the dustpan at a 25–35-degree angle away from the floor. This will allow the dirt to collect in the dustpan tray without the bristles of the hand-broom flicking them over the walls of the dustpan. Also, if a line of dirt becomes trapped between the edge of the dustpan and the floor, move the dustpan one inch backward and sweep the line of dirt into the dustpan. Repeat this if necessary.
Once all the dirt is in the dustpan, remove the pebble. Place it somewhere to be cleaned later so it can be used the next time you sweep a floor.
Step 8. Transfer the Dirt Into the Trashcan
Transfer the dirt from the dustpan into the trashcan. As loose material will fall off the dustpan, ensure you tip the dustpan only when it is in the center of the trashcan.
Place the dustpan face down over the opening of the trashcan and tap it three or more times so that any dirt stuck to the surface of the dustpan will come off into the trashcan. Use the hand broom to sweep any last dirt off the surface of the dustpan into the trashcan.
Finally, place the bristles of the hand broom over the opening of the trashcan and tap the hand broom so that any dirt trapped in the bristles or on the head of the broom comes off into the trashcan.
The floor has now been successfully swept.
Remove all the sweeping equipment from the room or place them in a storage cupboard.