People Are Mopping Their Floors with Cinnamon — Here’s Why

published Nov 1, 2023
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Studio shot of cinnamon stick and cinnamon powder
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As much as mopping has been innovated in recent years — from Swiffer to microfiber mops — nothing will ever make me give up my weekly wet mopping sessions. I don’t think any kind of cleaning comes close to the squeaky cleanliness that comes from mopping with enough water to slosh and lift messes off the floorboards. And when I saw a surprising twist on my favorite mopping routine, I just had to try it.

On TikTok, I noticed several of my favorite cleaning accounts putting cinnamon in their mopping solution, especially on the first of the month. Yes, cinnamon! According to @cleaningvideos303, adding ground cinnamon to your mop water “for one … encourages abundance and prosperity and secondly, makes your house smell really good.” To be honest, she had me at “makes your house smell really good.” With two dogs and five kids, I’m interested in anything that might make my house smell fresh! 

Digging into the comments a bit, I learned that others not only use cinnamon in their cleaning routines, but that the cinnamon also apparently repels ants and spiders. As if I needed more reasons to try this unusual cleaning solution! But before getting my hopes up too high, I decided to check in with a few experts about whether cinnamon in my mop water could really combat household pests. I mean, could a sprinkle of spice in my mop water solve my pantry ant problem? It seemed enticing, and maybe also too good to be true. 

What Do Experts Say About Adding Cinnamon to Mop Water?

I called my local pest control company Arrow Exterminators and asked if cinnamon in my mop water could combat household pests. Their answer: “We’ve heard of people doing this but at best it’s a deterrent. Some home remedies have been known to repel pests, but they won’t keep them away forever.” Well, at least it won’t attract them.

However, University of California Distinguished Professor of Entomology Lynn Kimsey, was more to the point: “The amounts you’d need to use to repel or kill insect pests would be dangerous to humans” she said. “Small amounts of cinnamon in food are fine, but in large amounts it can be quite toxic. The primary flavor ingredient in cinnamon, cinnamaldehyde, is a skin irritant and is cytotoxic if inhaled. I think the pests would be more harmless than the treatment.” Yikes! So maybe I won’t count on cinnamon in my mop water to keep the bugs at bay. 

But what about cinnamon as a means to usher in prosperity and abundance? According to spiritual advisor and tarot reader Meghan Rose, “Cinnamon has been deemed by ancient Egyptians, Romans, occultists, spiritualists, and Ayurvedic practitioners as a healing agent with high vibrational qualities that attract prosperity and abundance to those who use this powerful spice.” More specifically, she goes on to explain that “because it’s an antiseptic, it clears stagnation and blockages that keep abundance away from you.” 

Esoteric expert and metaphysical practitioner Charlotte Bailey points out, however, that “as with any spiritual routine, it’s the belief behind the practice that matters most. If you don’t believe in its ability to attract prosperity, you’ll never see it.” To be honest, I remained skeptical. Looks like this aspect of cleaning with cinnamon isn’t for me either. 

That leaves cleaning with cinnamon for the sheer wonderful smell of it, which, honestly, is a good enough reason in my book — especially to usher in the beauty of fall. So, I set out to try mopping with cinnamon in my own kitchen. 

Credit: Shifrah Combiths

What Happened When I Mopped with Cinnamon

I used my O-Cedar Spin Mop and a small amount of Mrs. Meyer’s multi-surface cleaner concentrate in some hot water, as I often do, but with about a tablespoon of ground cinnamon in the mop water. The cinnamon clumped a bit in the water, but the clumps dissipated easily as I agitated the water with the mop. After mopping, I noticed no difference on the floors with the addition of the cinnamon, no pesky grains in my floorboards or tile grout. 

But I did notice the wonderful scent of the cinnamon as I mopped. The cinnamon smell brought me into all kinds of autumn feelings and I thoroughly enjoyed the sensory experience. I only had one question left: Would the scent last? 

I got my answer when my daughter trotted into the kitchen after her bath. “Mom, it smells like cinnamon rolls in here!” she exclaimed and I was thrilled. Who doesn’t want their kitchen to smell like cinnamon rolls? A little while later, my husband came in and also noticed the cinnamon scent. It wasn’t super strong, but it definitely added a nice layer of scent to our home, for at least several hours after I mopped. 

While cinnamon may not be as big of a pest deterrent as some hope, and while its power to attract abundance and prosperity on the first of the month may be more tied to the mind of the mopper than to its inherent properties, I still think mopping with cinnamon is a fun cleaning trick to have up my sleeve — and it’s totally on-brand for fall.

This post originally appeared on The Kitchn. See it there: This Is Why People Mop Their Floors with Cinnamon on the First of the Month