Regardless of the type of business or facility, if there are hard floors, they will need to be mopped consistently to remain clean and shiny. Different types of mops work better under different circumstances.
There are both wet mops and dry mops, and both are useful for different purposes. Microfiber mops come in both wet and dry varieties. They can provide an even more effective solution, requiring less physical exertion and a smaller amount of cleaning fluid than traditional mops use.
Ultimately mops are essential tools for businesses to keep hard floors clean and looking good. Here are the five types of mops that work best for industrial use:
Wet mops use cleaning solution to kill bacteria and clean up dirt, grime and spills. They can help restore hard floors to their initial shine, and they are vital for keeping these industrial spaces clean and sparkling.
There are three main types of wet mops: microfiber wet mops, classic cut-end mops and looped-end mops.
1. Microfiber Wet Mops
Microfiber wet mops are the most sanitary and cost-effective type of wet mops. They are also the easiest to use.
Microfiber wet mops are more lightweight and usually more ergonomic than traditional mops. They can hold up to seven times their weight in liquid, requiring less cleaning solution to be effective. This makes them more eco-friendly. They are also nonabrasive and hypoallergenic.
Microfiber mops are made from a combination of polyester and polyamide. They are washable and durable and are able to be washed hundreds of times without degrading. Microfiber mops are highly effective at both collecting and trapping dirt and for general all-purpose use.
2. Classic Cut-End Mops
Classic mops have cut ends, and they are generally the cheapest type of wet mop. Because of their low price tag and inability to be laundered, they are also typically considered disposable. They are good for soaking up spills and covering small surface areas. But buyer beware, they require frequent replacement, which can make this a more expensive option in the long run.
3. Looped-End Mops
One of the most common types of wet mops, looped-end mops have more surface area and therefore can clean larger areas more efficiently than cut-end mops. They are moderately priced and generally machine washable (unless they are cotton or poly-cotton blends). Their looped ends help keep them from unraveling, making them also more durable than cut-end mops.
Dry mops are typically used for dusting and cleaning up dirt and dry materials. They are less abrasive than brooms for sweeping large industrial areas. They can often cover large surface areas and can be used to quickly remove dirt, dust and loose debris.
There are two main types of dry mops: microfiber and cotton.
4. Microfiber Mops
These are the most durable and effective choice for dry mops. They are synthetic and durable and able to be washed after use. They can be washed hundreds of times without degrading, and they are hypoallergenic and nonabrasive.
Microfiber dry mops are made out of synthetic materials with a split-fiber design that collects and traps more dirt than cotton mops. Microfiber mop heads are also available in a variety of colors, allowing you to easily interchange them and avoid cross-contamination.
5. Cotton Mops
Made to handle a large surface area and often with wider mop head sizes, cotton mops have short loops to pick up dust, dirt and debris from hard floors. These mops can cover a lot of ground quickly and are great for large open rooms and hallways. They are economically priced, but they cannot be washed or laundered.
Different Mop Characteristics
Even within the different types of mops, there are specifics that should be considered.
When choosing a mop for industrial use, it is important to consider the job it will be doing and the surface area it will be covering. Looped-end and cut-end mops are sized in ounces, and the higher the ounce rating, the larger the mop head will be.
The mop headband is how the mop head attaches to the handle, and it also comes in different sizes (typically wide or narrow). The narrow mop headband is 1 to 1¼ inches wide and attaches to a stirrup-style or gate-style handle. These are commonly used as finishing mops.
The wide mop headband is 5 inches. It attaches to a jaw-style handle that is more durable and easier to change, but it is also typically more expensive.
You can also get screw-top headbands that attach to the mop handles with threaded screws. These are often the most economical, although they cannot be laundered.
Yarn ply refers to how many fibers are twisted together to make each strand in the mop. A higher ply count generally means a stronger mop, but this does not mean better quality.
Quality is important. Often, a lower-ply, higher-quality yarn is more cost-efficient. More yarn strands also increase durability but sacrifice absorbency.
How absorbent a mop will be is directly related to the size of the mop head with the following general guidelines:
Small: This holds around 8 to 10 oz. of liquid.
Medium: This holds around 16 to 20 oz. of liquid.
Large: This holds around 24 to 32 oz. of liquid.
Extra-large: This holds around 32 to 40 oz. of liquid.
An antimicrobial additive can be locked into the yarn to protect it from growing bacteria, mold, yeast or mildew in the mop head. This prolongs the mop’s life.
Color Coding Mops
It can be helpful to color code your mop heads, buckets and microfiber clothes to limit cross-contamination and the spread of bacteria. The industry standard color-coding system is as follows:
Red: Use these materials in places where exposure to infectious material or risk of cross-contamination is high, such as around toilets and urinals.
Yellow: Use these to clean up lower risk areas, such as sinks, showers, gyms and labs.
Green: Use these to clean areas where food is handled, such as kitchens.
Blue: Use in low-risk and common areas, such as offices, airports and convention centers.
Mop Storage & Wet Mop Care
Mops need to be properly cared for, cleaned and stored to prolong their life span and also promote their cleaning effectiveness. Here are tips for caring for your mops:
Use a different mop head for each job, particularly when using different cleaning solutions.
Soak your wet mop head in water for 10 minutes after using, and then rinse it thoroughly.
Launder mop heads that are machine washable.
Use a mild disinfectant instead of bleach for microfiber mop heads.
Empty dirty mop water right away, and do not store mop heads in used mop water.
Store mops head up after drying them.
Clean mop heads thoroughly in warm water before each use.
Avoid twisting mop heads in mop wringer.
There are several mop accessories in addition to mops and mop heads that can be beneficial for keeping your facility clean. This can include mop buckets to strain and rewet mops while cleaning large areas, broom and mop racks to effectively store your mops and accessories, different types of mop handles for various mop heads and wet floor signs to signal people to use caution on newly mopped and wet floors.
Alsco’s floorcare solution and service can provide you with wet, dry and microfiber mops to suit your industrial needs. We simplify the process for you, ensuring your facility looks good while it remains clean and safe.
Best Practices—Alternative Mopping System. Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry.