Mopping has been part of our vocabulary as early as 1496. There have been some improvements in the design since then, but none has been as significant as in recent years. It’s still the most effective way to maintain hard surface floors, but, that doesn’t mean you’re using the right one.
The classic icon of the building custodian is a person swinging around a huge, stringy, cotton mop; you simply have to Google “janitor” and see the image results. Unfortunately, it seems like someone’s been playing a joke because conventional mops are terrible on so many levels.
Sure, it might be the easiest way to attach that much fibre to a stick, but that doesn’t make it easy to use. If you’ve had to lug one of these things around, full of water, you know how much it weighs. That weight can’t be good for your back or arms. If you’re in pain every time you have to mop, you probably aren’t going to be able to do the job as well; in fact, you might not do the job at all.
It’s form is also a problem. The threads spread out once it hits the floor, but, the coverage you get for the amount of work involved is minimal. The majority of the mop’s surface contact will be where it has the most weight, and therefore gravity, working for it: the bulk near the handle. The strands are simply gliding over the floor, trying to catch up, doing little for the friction needed to clean the floor.
Cotton is a cheap, fungible commodity, which is why you can buy a mop off the shelf at WalMart for the price of Venti Cinnamon Dolce Crème Frappuccino at Starbucks. It’s not a bad fibre — when used in the right context — but it won’t stand up to the rigours of cleaning and then be able to go through the wash that many times before it falls apart. That said, maybe you’re better off buying the Frappuccino: it will last longer. Even if the traditional cotton mop is cheaper up front, in the long term you’ll need so many of them to get the job done you’re just throwing your money away. And, you’re throwing a lot of waste into our landfills.
Cotton also holds a lot of water. In some cases, that can be a good thing, like when you’re toweling off after someone pushes you into a lake. But, for mopping floors it’s a nightmare. If the weight doesn’t kill you, the person who paid for the floor you’re damaging probably will. Hard surface floors don’t do well with excess water, that’s why we mop up spills in the first place. Water seeps into cracks, shrinks and swells wood and other textiles, and, if it sits long enough, will create mold and mildew. “But, isn’t that why we wring the mop out before we use it?” I’m glad you asked.
What’s wrong with this narrative? Put your mop into your fresh cleaning solution, wring it out, mop the floor until the mop is dirty, put the dirty mop into the fresh cleaning solution, rinse out the mop (contaminating your clean solution) and repeat. At most, you can get two clean swipes, using a bucket and wringer, before all you’re doing is re-applying the dirt and bacteria from one part of your floor to another. Why even bother mopping at that point?
As for wringing out the water, again we look at the question of cost. How much water do you really expect to get out of a wringer that feels like it’s going to break when you put pressure on it? For some reason, even though it’s less effective — and more wasteful — people still buy the cheapest bucket and wringer they can find. When the wringers or wheels or handles break, they’re forced to buy a whole new combination; it’s impossible to buy replacement parts for something that costs so little.
Thankfully, there are mopping tools available that have overcome these deceptive problems.
If you agree that proper mopping is the best way to increase the longevity and appearance of your hard floor, then you’d also agree that using conventional mops doesn’t cut the mustard. Or the dirt, for that matter.
With a mop system that has been designed for work you’ll have more surface coverage with a lighter load; you’ll have a mop head made from a more absorbent and abrasive material that will clean in fewer passes with less pressure that can be laundered up to 1000 times.
These features equate to a saving of 85% in the time it takes to mop, which translates to almost $300 saved every month in an average mopping program; less strain on your back and arms; a mop that, even if put through the wash every single day, will last for nearly three years.
The right mop system is only part of the solution: training on how, where, and when to use it is just as important.
With a cleaning program designed specifically for your workplace not only can you reduce the time you spend mopping, but, you will reduce time in all cleaning duties. By splitting your cleaning tasks into distinct functions, a cleaning program can reduce training time and equipment needed, increase efficiency in specific areas, and, even in larger teams and facilities, make the entire system easier to manage and supervise.
Clean Answers can help you find answers to the cleaning issues you deal with. Since each situation is unique, we research and test the newest tools, supplies, and procedures available for all types of facilities. We will evaluate the right mopping system and tools for your workplace and deliver the education and procedures necessary to get the cleaning done faster and, with our iClean program, we can make this work for any budget.
If you have hundreds of square feet of hard floor to mop every week, it’s not worth your money to hire another company to do the work for you and it’s not worth your time to try to figure all of this out on your own.
Sure, it might be the easiest way to attach that much fibre to a stick, but that doesn’t make it easy to use.