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Glenn Rasin

By: Glenn Rasin on February 5th, 2020

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Commercial Floor Mops 101: The Best Wet Mop for Every Application

Common in most facilities, wet mops are used to complete various cleaning procedures.

Wet mops are the perfect tool to combat floor stains in entryways, maintain heavy traffic areas, clean spill-prone spots, or to perform floor disinfection.

However, there are several different types of wet mops, and each type is designed to tackle specific floor cleaning applications. 

Using the right wet mop for each cleaning procedure will allow your staff to achieve the best results. 

In the following article, we will provide you with the knowledge you need to select the right mop for the job. We will begin with defining the different attributes to look for in a mop and then we will review the best mop for different cleaning applications.

What to Consider When Selecting a Wet Mop:

Looped-End vs Cut-End

When selecting a mop you will likely be faced with the choice of looped-end or cut-end. This is how the end of the mop is constructed. Looped-end mops are one continuous strand that “loops” to the head of the mop. Cut-end mops have strands that begin at the head and end at the tail without wrapping back to the top. 

Loop EndLooped-End Mops

These are more durable and launderable when compared to cut-end mops. Additionally, they are less likely to “lint” or leave behind strands when mopping. 

Looped-end mops have a higher upfront cost, but they can last up to 8x longer than the traditional cut-end mop. 

Cut-End Mops

Cut-end mops are typically low-end, inexpensive mops, but because you will need to replace them more frequently, they will cost you more over time. Unlike looped-end mops, these can not be laundered and will have a shorter life span, but can be more absorbent. 

Absorbency 

The absorbency of a wet mop refers to the amount of liquid the mop is going to be able to pick up and hold. A mop with greater absorbency will clean up spills or liquids quickly and thoroughly allowing floors to dry faster. Floors that dry faster can be reopened more quickly, reducing inconvenience to building occupants. 

Release 

Mop release translates to how well the mop disperses water, cleaning solution, or finish on to the floor or back into the bucket during wringing. A greater release allows for a more complete wringing or a more efficient application of finish, both increasing the efficiency of the cleaning procedure.

Durability 

Durability is directly related to the expected life of a mop. This is also referred to as the strength of the mop. The durability of a mop will heavily depend on the yarn type and mop-end type. 

More durable mops will have a greater useful life before having to be replaced. Mops have to be replaced for several reasons including broken down fibers, mop odor, bacterial growth, and discoloration.

Launderability 

Launderability is directly correlated to how many times a mop can be commercially washed before the construction of the mop declines or the mop is no longer effectively doing its job. 

Pro Tip: Mops can be pre-laundered to reduce linting and shrinkage and to speed up the break-in process. 

Headband/Tailband 

Head BandHeadband

The headband of your mop will help determine what mop handle can be used with the mop. Mops handles can be wood, fiberglass, or aluminum. 

Tailband 

Tailbands are useful for preventing the tangling of mop strands. When mop strands become tangled it can be harder for your staff to apply and remove liquids. 

tail bandKeeping the strands separate will allow for greater floor coverage on each pass, which will help increase your staff’s productivity. 

Additionally, selecting a mop with a tailband can help extend the mop’s life and help you recoup your investment faster. Mops with tailbands are more durable, allowing for launderability and extended use. 

Size

The size of the mop is relative to the amount of liquid or chemical it can absorb as well as the amount of area it can cover on each pass. In general, the better the absorbency and larger the mop, the less time it will take to perform cleaning procedures. 

The best mop size will be relative to the area your staff is cleaning and the physical size of the operator. Matching the mop to the person using the mop will help prevent worker fatigue and reduced productivity. 

Looped-end and cut-end mops will have different size ratings. The following chart compares the sizing: 

Approximate Loop-End/Cut-End Size

Looped-End

Cut-End

Small

8-10

Medium

16-20 

Large

24-32 

Extra-Large

32-40 

Color 

Color variation may be an important consideration for facilities that have multiple areas that need to be cleaned. Mop colors help designate a specific mop head to a specific task or area within your facility to help reduce cross-contamination. For example, you will not want to use the same mop in the kitchen as in the restroom.

Yarn 

The yarn is the material from which the mop is constructed. The yarn helps determine the absorbency, durability, launderability, and release. Wet mops can be constructed from: 

  • Microfiber 
  • Cotton
  • Rayon
  • Blend

Below we will help you identify the best mop for your cleaning application. 

What is the best mop head to apply floor finishes? 

Rayon Mop

Looped-end mops are best to apply floor finishes. As mentioned earlier, loop-end mops are less likely to lint when compared to cut-end mops. Strands that are left behind will be visible in the floor finish. 

Mops with tailbands can also increase the results of floor finishing procedures. Tailbands help prevent tangling of mop strands. When mop strands become tangled, it can be harder for your staff to evenly apply or remove floor finish. 

When applying floor finish, the mop should have good release or be able to be wrung out thoroughly. If your staff is restoring a floor and applying a finish, a looped-end rayon mop is the best choice. 

Rayon Wet Mops

Rayon is a synthetic fiber that is made from cellulose. It is ideal for applying floor finish because it reduces the chance of linting and it has good release. 

What is the best mop for applying floor stripper? 

Cotton MopRemoving floor stripper from mops is difficult and time consuming. As a result, you will want a low-cost mop that you can dispose of after use. 

Cotton Wet Mops

We recommend cotton mops for applying floor stripper. When stripping a floor you will always want to liberally apply floor stripper to the area. Cotton mops will be able to release a large amount of the stripper making them a good choice for floor stripping applications. 

What is the best wet mop for light spill pick up or everyday cleaning?

Blend MopRemoving spills will require a mop with good absorption so that you can gather as much liquid as possible with the least amount of passes. 

Blended 

Blended mops are extremely absorbent and have good liquid retention. The ability to retain liquid can help speed up cleaning procedures by reducing the number of times your staff has to pass over an area to collect all of a liquid from the floor.

Reusable Microfiber Wet Mops

Reusable Microfiber MopFor enhanced everyday cleaning or cleaning on rough floors, reusable microfiber mops will be the better choice because of their durability. 

Reusable microfiber mops are an ideal choice for everyday cleaning procedures because they can be laundered as many as 500 times. 

Warning: If not laundered properly, mops can become damaged and will no longer be able to effectively do their job.

What is the best mop for floor disinfection?  

To perform disinfection procedures, synthetic mops are an ideal choice because of their good release and chemical resistance. 

Synthetic mops can be treated with an antimicrobial product to inhibit the growth of bacteria that causes odors, stains, and cross-contamination.

Rayon Wet Mops

Rayon mops are a great option for floor disinfection. They are resistant to mildew and mold growth. 

Disposable MicrofiberDisposable Microfiber Wet Mops

Disposable microfiber mops are great for facilities concerned with lowering the risk of spreading pathogens and reducing the chance of cross-contamination. They are a one-time use product. 

Unlike reusable mops, new disposable microfiber mops will not have build-up from previous cleaning procedures, mitigating the risk of spreading germs.

Pro Tip: Keep in mind that floor disinfection is not required in all facilities. It is most common in hospitals and other healthcare facilities. 

 

Blend Wet Mops

Blend mops are another great option for everyday disinfecting. They are a blend of cotton and synthetics. 

What is the best mop for rough floors? 

Rough floors like stone or tile will require a more durable yarn, like microfiber, to resist breaking and linting. 

Specialty Wet Mops

Look for mops which specifically say they are durable enough for rough floors. The yarn is typically “shredded” so the mops don’t get caught up on the floor and lint. 


Final Thoughts

Each wet mop type has its own benefits when used in specific applications. There are a lot of considerations to keep in mind when selecting the best mop for your facility. Choosing the right one for each area of the building and cleaning application can be challenging.   

For general cleaning and spill cleanup, blended mops are absorbent and retain liquids to leave floors dry. 

If your staff is restoring a floor and applying a finish, a looped-end rayon or flat microfiber mop will be the best choice. 

To perform disinfection procedures, synthetic blend mops are an ideal choice because of their good release, chemical resistance, and launderability. 

And remember, cleaning applications on rough floors will require a more durable yarn, like microfiber, to resist breaking and linting. 

EBP has been a leading distributor of commercial cleaning supplies and janitorial cleaning equipment for over 100 years. EBP has an unrivaled selection of commercial cleaning products and janitorial cleaning equipment to help you build the most effective floor care program.

To help you better understand each type of commercial mop, we put together a quick reference guide.

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About Glenn Rasin

Glenn Rasin is the Chemical Specialist for EBP Supply Solutions and Lead Trainer for the EBP Training Academy, which offers CMI-certified training courses for supervisory and front-line cleaning professionals throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. He is an ISSA CMI-certified trainer, with over 35 years of experience in the janitorial and sanitation industry.