Businesses in the foodservice, retail and hospitality industries, as well as larger facilities ranging from schools to airports, now face higher expectations of cleanliness than they did before the COVID-19 pandemic struck. Facility managers understand that floor care is essential for demonstrating to building occupants that the facility prioritizes cleanliness and hygiene. Indoor walkways are one of the first areas occupants notice upon entering a building. Thus, a facility’s approach to floor care can contribute to a positive or negative first impression among customers.
Selecting the right mops is a critical component of designing a comprehensive floor care program. Knowledge of the material content differences, as well as applications of mop heads, helps facility managers find mops to keep their floors clean and their workers and occupants safe.
Understanding Mop Categories and Materials
There is wide selection of mops on the market, from dust mops to wet mops, in addition to a variety of handle types. Consider how the following three components can help facility managers find the most effective wet mops for their floor maintenance programs.
Mop Head Styles – Wet mops are made with a cut-end or looped-end yarn style with a good, better, best option dependent on both application and budgets. Cut-end mop heads are more economical but a shorter in-use life cycle. Looped-end mops are more durable, and they can be laundered and reused more often – but with a higher price point. Looped end mops come standard with a sewn tail band which not only makes the product more durable but also allows the mop yarn to spread out more on floor providing greater mopping efficiency. Cut-end mops typically do not come with a tail band.
Mop Head Material Content – Mop manufacturers use a variety of materials to produce their mop heads, including cotton, rayon, polyester and a combination of the two or more fibers that commonly referred to as a blend. Cotton mop heads, whether cut-end or looped-end, are very absorbent and retain liquid and soils well. Each cotton mop head must be soaked in water and wrung out three to four times before using it, clearing the natural cotton seed oil from the fibers before they can effectively absorb liquid. Rayon, the first fiber created by humans,absorbs more than cotton, and can do so more quickly, but does not retain liquid as well as cotton. Derived from cellulose, the material is ideal for using a mop to apply a floor finish evenly. Synthetic blends, such as a blend of rayon and polyester, can deliver an ultra-durable yarn for floor finish applications. A three-material blend of cotton, rayon and polyester can also help provide the absorbency and strength needed to withstand frequent use.
Mop Headband –all mop heads use a headband. The standard size headband is typically 1” or 5” and made of polyester and other synthetic materials; these headbands are commonly referred to as narrow or wide band. Another style of headband is a screw on which comes with a threaded connection point that can be made of steel or plastic.
Handle Style –Facility managers tend to first select a mop head, and then consider mop handles. It is beneficial to have mop heads chosen first as certain handles are a better match for certain mop heads. For example, jaw grip mop handles work well with wide-band mop heads, while quick-change mop handles can match either wide- or narrow-band mop heads.
In addition to wet mops, selecting effective dry dust mops is just as important. Dust-mopping is the first preventative floor care activity that lays the groundwork for effective wet mopping by removing dust, soils and containments, resulting in cleaner walkway surfaces.
Additional Considerations for your Mop Program
Several factors can make the difference between an average or exceptional building maintenance programs. When designing mopping protocols, facility managers should keep the following in mind:
- Restroom Cleanliness –Restroom cleanliness is even more important as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Many customers assume that if restrooms are not clean, the rest of the facility is not maintained properly. Mops remove soils to keep restroom floors looking clean, and tackle unseen germs that can linger on tiles and grout.
- Facility Layout –Cross contamination in restrooms, kitchens and other areas is a major hygiene concern. To reduce the spread of germs, consider using a color-coding system to distinguish where employees can use each mop. Color-coding also helps minimize the amount of training staff members needs, and contributes to best practices and maximizes productivity.
- Floor Type – Matching mop heads to the floor type can help clean more effectively. For instance, looped-end mop heads, made from a combination of cotton and synthetic fibers, are well-suited for uneven stone floors that require strong mop heads that will not quickly degrade in use.
- Sustainability Goals –Facility managers hoping to reduce the environmental impact of their floor cleaning programs can look for mop heads that are produced sustainably and minimize waste, and promote circularity.
Mopping Floors with Confidence
Whether a facility manager oversees a school, hotel or airport, adhering to embracing the new standard of clean is more important than ever. Finding the right mop for a facility’s floor care needs helps ensure that employees can effectively clean floors and reduce conditions that create slip and fall incidents. Facility managers can consider the mop head materials, styles and handles that will work best within their specific budget and cleaning program to achieve consistently cleaner floors.
To learn more about our range of mop products, including Green Seal® certified Natura Yarn mop heads, visit www.abcoproducts.com or contact us at (888) 694-2226.