Cleaning the Cleaner: Mops

by Lawton Brothers | Jun 23, 2021


The best way to eliminate mop odor, mildew, and mold growth is by preventing it. This includes 5 main components: washing the mop, allowing the mop to fully dry, properly storing the mop, and replacing it when the time comes. 

Wash the Mop

After every use, it is important to thoroughly clean the mop handle and head. If the mop head is improperly washed, trapped hair, soap, fibers, and other particles can be deposited onto the floor during the next ‘cleaning’. Since there are a variety of commercial wet mops, it is important to consider the type of mop head you have. Certain chemicals or temperatures could ruin the mop, so always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. 

Generally speaking, you should always use a low-alkaline, low-caustic detergent. Using bleach and other strong chemicals can degrade the fibers, decreasing its lifespan as well as its effectiveness. Use a laundering bag to avoid tangling and never use fabric softener with your mop head. 

Dry the Mop

It is crucial that the mop is allowed to fully dry. Any remaining moisture (whether from being washed or from being used) can cause buildup of mold and mildew. And once mold and mildew have formed on the mop head, it is no longer effective at cleaning. As mentioned, different types of mop heads can withstand different temperatures. This means that some mops can be commercially dried, while others require air-drying. In all mops, however, high heat settings can damage mop fibers and reduce their effectiveness. 

Store the Mop

Mop storage is also extremely important to the lifespan of your mop! After being washed, the mop should be stored in a well-ventilated room with the strands hanging down. Having the strings hanging allows for faster drying time, reducing the chance of bacteria growth. Even following a commercial drying, the mop should still be placed off the floor and out of the bucket. If possible, place the mop so the head avoids brushing against walls or other objects as well. This will avoid mop contamination and the spread of germs. 

Replace the Mop

Preventing your mop from becoming a cleaning hazard includes replacing the mop head when needed. You should replace your mop head approximately every 2-3 months, more frequently if it looks soiled or develops an odor. Your floors are only as clean as your mop, so a worn mop will no longer be useful. 

Give us a Call

Mops are a great asset to your janitorial crew and building maintenance. However, without the proper use and attention, commercial wet mops can lead to a number of problems including mold growth and bacteria transfer. As a leading provider of commercial cleaning supplies and equipment since 1946, Lawton Brothers is here to help you build the most effective cleaning program. Give us a call today and see about getting a free audit at: 800.432.0813.

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