For Wet Floor Mopping, What Mop and Mop Handles Do You Use?

The mop is a simple, practical tool in the cleaner’s kit, yet how much thought is given to the choice of mop when purchasing your cleaning consumables?

Mops and the effectiveness of mopping in the cleaning process are probably undervalued. To some, mops are relatively low-cost and given very little thought as to what is provided to the cleaner. It could be argued few people appreciate the importance of the correct use of manual cleaning equipment and unfortunately its value, to the extent that a considerable number view it as disposable.

Colour coded mops help prevent cross contamination
Coloured mops if used as part of a colour coded system help prevent cross contamination during the cleaning process

Perhaps, that is the problem, the simplicity of the mop means many will think a mop is a mop, is a mop. When in-fact, mops are available in a wide range materials, fibres and finishes. Especially when you consider most customer premises are different so adopting a one size fits all approach to wet mopping is of limited use.

To get the best value understanding what is on the market may help get the best from your cleaning consumables budget. In broad terms there are two mop styles, Socket mops and Kentucky mop heads

Socket mops

These types of mop are by far the most commonly used within the cleaning industry. The reason why they are so commonly used is due to the fact that they are suitable for a variety of tasks and that they are used in work areas less than 30-40m.

The traditional mop has a metal socket and is attached to a wooden stave; however, the use of coloured plastic varieties is becoming ever more prevalent throughout the industry as they will prevent the spread of bacteria as part of colour coded cleaning systems. The plastic sockets attach to plastic coated metal handles that usually incorporate a rubber grip at the top, which makes it more comfortable when wringing. Also, plastic fittings make attaching and detaching mop heads much easier for the user.

Socket Mop types
Socket Mops in different yarns and formats including Colour Coded PY Socket Mop, Exel Big White Mops, Exel Revolution Mop and Exel Twine Mop

Kentucky Mops

The main difference from a socket mop is that Kentucky Mops have a much longer yarn and are stitched in the middle using a polyester band to secure the yarn fibres and maintain its shape. The polyester band can also have an abrasive texture to enable the removal of stubborn stains and dirt from the surface being cleaned.

Again, like socket mops, they can be attached to ordinary wooden staves. This is done with the use of a metal 'clip and plate'. However, coloured plastic clip and plate attachments are readily available and can be attached and detached more easily than the traditional metal designs.

Kentucky Mops are particularly effective for cleaning large areas of flooring and can also be used for laying floor polish. However, they can only be used in conjunction with the appropriate wringer bucket.

Kentucky mop types
Kentucky mops in different yarns and formats including: Prairie Hygiemix kentucky mop, Roughneck kentucky mop, Stayflat looped kentucky mop and Hygiemix kentucky mop.

Mops and the different yarn types

Cotton yarn mops are available made from pure cotton yarn (PY), twine and multi-fold formats. PY is a thick absorbent yarn ideal for everyday use, twine threads are thinner and its durability is ideal for a more professional job, such as the Kentucky Twine Mop Head whereas multi-fold yarns is made for heavier duties, similar to Kentucky Multi-fold Mop.

Many of the mops made with the various different yarns are further supplied in either cut-end or looped versions. Generally, these are low-cost, traditional mops, such as the Colour coded socket mophead, that are made with a colour coded ferrule to help reduce the risk of cross-contamination.

Increasingly popular for those looking for a more cost-effective alternative to the traditional PY and Twine mops are those mops that use a non-woven fabric, such as the Exel Big White Mop. They are lighter to use, lint free and because they are absorbent they leave floors dryer.

Mops mentioned above are machine launderable, follow manufacturer’s instructions.

Mop types

The most common mop type is a cut-end mop, where the yarn has been cut to the desired length. Whilst cost-effective, these mops can be seen as semi-disposable due to the fact cut-ends can deteriorate quicker than other mop types. The Exel PY mop head is a popular example of a cut-end mop

The construction of looped yarn mops can last longer and the looped ends improve absorbency which means floors can be cleaner with less effort, plus the looped yarn ensures no broken strands are left on the floor. Being longer lasting helps provide good value for money.

Banded mops, such as the Exel Revolution Mop and Stayflat Kentucky Mop feature a band around the mop that helps to retain the shape to ensure more of the mop stays on the floor for fast, effective mopping.

Different mop yarns, left to right: twine kentucky mop in looped format, a multi-yarn kentucky mop and a py exel mop cut-end
Different mop yarns, left to right: twine kentucky mop in looped format, a multi-yarn kentucky mop and a py exel mop cut-end

Value for money mopping

It is all well and good choosing a mop head but if looking at overall value for money it is worth factoring in what mop handles and mop buckets are available and their cost to replace.

It is important that your cleaning staff learn the importance of the role the equipment plays in the overall delivery of your cleaning service as well as developing an understanding of the importance in cleaning and maintaining equipment to retain its efficiency for longer. Cleaning equipment should be cleaned after use, mops can be laundered or rinse them through with your floor cleaning detergent. Wring them out, turn the mop and handle upside down and leave to dry hanging up in a well-ventilated room.

If you need help or advice on mopping equipment, floor cleaning chemicals, cleaning protocols or techniques etc. then do get in-touch - we like to help.