You might think that you can’t go wrong with the common mop and bucket. However, there are a number of varieties to choose from and your choice will depend on the tasks at hand.
There are three broad mop types:
The mop head we all recognise. This consists of long fibres that cover a wide area. The fibres are porous so they soak up liquids easily. There are sub-types here too: The Prairie Kentucky is the most common, generic version, while the Syntex Kentucky has fibres made of syntex that also absorb grease and oil – it is also more hygienic and less prone to smelling over time and comes with a built in scourer.
The Twine Kentucky has thinner fibres made of cotton yarn, which is more durable than the Prairie and needs less wringing out. The Stay-Flat Kentucky has a band around the end of the fibres, keeping them together and allowing the mop to cover a greater surface area. There is also less ‘linting’ – fibres that become detached from the mop and are left behind.
All Kentucky types soak up a large amount of water so there is less bucket plunging needed.
These are similar to Kentucky mop heads, allowing the fibres to be looped. They are convenient and hold less water. In some situations, this can be preferable, as floors will dry quicker. As the ends are looped, there is less fraying and linting, which can make these mop heads preferable for reception areas and entranceways.
These mop heads offer the best qualities of all the other types and are the preferred option for many commercial cleaning needs nowadays. Using the best of technology, microfibre holds a good capacity of water and provides excellent cleaning, thanks to the flat nylon cleaning bar design. This means that floors can be cleaned faster and because less fluid is needed, they’ll dry quicker too.
Microfibre mops come in a variety of styles and would be our recommendation if you’re looking for the best quality mop heads.
The scissor action on these mop heads makes them ideal for catching dirt and dust across large areas of flooring. They use fibres similar to the Kentucky style of mop head and are often used dry instead of wet, for dusting as opposed to scrubbing dirt and grime.
Depending on your premises, you may find it useful to use a V-Sweeper daily with a wet mop once a week.
Some of the latest models of microfibre mops come with a built-in spray action. They have an integrated liquids container that can be operated by hand or foot while mopping and can contain water or cleaning fluid. As they keep the mop head dampened, there is no need to wet the mop continuously from a bucket, and their ability to clean floors quickly is greatly enhanced.
Spray mops usually have 360° articulation meaning they can get into hard to access areas more easily. However, they are not suitable for large areas and are best used to supplement other mops, used only for spot cleaning or localised stains or spills as needed.
Mops can be purchased in various colours or you can colour code them yourself. This is a good way of maintaining hygiene if you have a number of different areas to mop. The following colour coding system might be useful:
- RED – For washrooms
- BLUE – For general, low-risk use
- GREEN – For areas with food, such as kitchens or canteens
- YELLOW – Clinical use, where there is risk of infection
How to mop a floor, the right way
As with most cleaning tasks, there’s a right way and a variety of wrong ways. Here are our top 5 tips to ensure you are correctly mopping your floors.
1 – Gather your supplies
Choose the correct mop head for the floor you want to clean. Ensure you have a bucket filled with warm water or a dilute cleaning product.
2 – Prepare the floor
Make sure you vacuum the floor before mopping to get rid of dirt and dust – once wet, the mop will just carry these around and you’ll leave a trail of debris behind you. This is also an opportunity to prewash any sticky spots.
3 – Dip the mop and wring out
You don’t want to be splashing excess water around while you mop. Not only will it take longer to dry, it can also damage certain types of flooring. Dip the mop head into the bucket and wring it out before applying to the floor.
4 – Mop the floor
Start mopping from top to bottom, meaning that you are always working backwards onto the un-mopped floor. This will ensure you don’t track further dirt into areas you’ve already washed. For tougher, stickier stains, press down on the mop and rub and you’ll scrub it away on the spot.
5 – Rinse and wring
You should regularly rinse the mop while in use. As soon as the water cools or becomes dirty, replace it. This way you won’t mop the floor with dirty water.
Keeping mops clean
As they’re often used for wet cleaning, it’s of prime importance that you keep mop heads clean. This will prevent them from smelling and also reduce the risk of bacteria such as mould and mildew growing.
Mops should be cleaned after every use. The easiest way to do this is to rinse out the mop until the water runs clear, then place it in a clean mop bucket containing around 10 litres of water and half a litre of bleach. Leave the mop sitting for around 10 minutes then thoroughly rinse it again and, if possible, wring it out completely before hanging it up to dry.
Make sure that you regularly replace mop heads – they aren’t expensive and it’s important that you do this regularly or you won’t be cleaning your floors any longer, you’ll spread further dirt and bacteria across them.
For larger jobs or industrial and commercial cleaning, you should consider investing in a mop system. These integrated bucket units come with a lot of features that make mopping large areas easier.
High-quality mopping units consist of two buckets – one for clean and one for dirty water – and will have integrated wringers. They are rugged and durable and come with non-marking castors which won’t damage your flooring but will allow operators to easily move them around.
They have fold-away handles for easier storage and can be purchased in a variety of colours, in line with the colour coding scheme discussed earlier. This ensures hygiene and prevents cross-contamination.
You can also purchase accessories such as colour coded handles and caddies that fit mopping units for storing items like cloths and cleaning products.
We hope this guide has helped you in choosing the right commercial mops and mopping systems for your premises cleaning needs. If you require more advice, contact us for further details and one of our team will assist you in choosing the right mop and cleaning equipment for you.