5 Common Types of Mops and How They Work

Last Updated on April 11, 2022 by Kravelv

It’s easy to think that an implement as common as a mop is interchangeable and that just any mop off the shelf will get your cleaning and maintenance done. However, that assumption doesn’t always hold water. Many different types of mess can be left behind in individual workstations, in the office corridors, and in the restrooms. Truly, the best way to give a helping hand to an organization’s maintenance staff is to make sure they’re equipped with the right type of mop to get the job done.

Before you go about buying commercial floor mops, it would help to learn about the different types of mop, what kind of surface each type is best suited for, and how to keep each particular type in a clean and hygienic state.

Here’s a rundown of the five most common varieties of mop. Figure out which of these will help you “clean up” your act.

It’s important to note that different types of mops suit different situations. Everyone in the office’s housekeeping team can choose which type best suits them—and ultimately, work smarter on keeping the surroundings squeaky-clean.

Traditional String Mop

The standard string mop is probably the first thing that you can visualize when someone says the word “mop.” The mop head comprises a thick bunch of cotton strings. This type of mop is common, inexpensive, and a familiar line of defense when it comes to dirty tiles. The downside is that most string mops are not built to last, and will fall apart easily.
What it’s good for: A string mop has the absorbent and scrubbing power that makes it ideal for ordinary floor-cleaning work on smooth surfaces, like ceramic and wood.
Notes on maintenance: String mops can be a pain to wring out and wash for their next use. If you want to get the most life out of your standard string mop, however, you have to be conscientious about wringing it dry of excess dirt.

Flat Mop

The flat mop differs from the string mop in that it’s constructed with a flat head. The pole usually comes with either disposable or reusable mop pads. This mop appeals to those who like to clear away dirt in one long and thorough stroke.
What it’s good for: Flat mops are highly convenient and easy to use. They’ll be best at cleaning very flat surfaces and hard-to-reach corners, but they might not be thorough enough at reaching small and sticky food particles. 
Notes on maintenance: Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions on how to take care of your flat mop heads. Detach and attach the heads as needed.

Microfiber Mop

Microfiber is all the rage lately, and it’s not hard to see why the material is well-adapted to a mop. Microfiber material can actually pick up tiny particles that ordinary mops normally can’t. In addition, microfiber mops are also less prone to garnering mold, which makes them a more sanitary option to the other varieties.
What it’s good for: Microfiber mops are best suited for general, all-around cleaning and maintenance activities. The only downside to using microfiber mops are that they’re not as absorbent as other varieties, and are thus not ideal for wiping big spills in a short amount of time.  
Notes on maintenance: Easy maintenance, durability, and cost-effectiveness are three big pluses for microfiber mops. You can keep washing them and not worry about the microfiber material degrading. That also means big savings on the cost of replacement.

Sponge Mop

As the name indicates, a sponge mop comprises a sponge head on top of the mop pole, and most of the time this is accompanied by an attached wringer. This type is great for wet cleaning, both on flat and uneven surfaces.
What it’s good for: Sponge mops are sought after for their flexibility, ease of use, and coverage abilities. You’ll be able to reach a spill in a far corner and soak it all up with a few pushes of your sponge mop.
Notes on maintenance: Be warned, however, that the sponge material can degrade and discolor quickly. Sponge mops need to be washed, dried, and stored properly so that they don’t breed bacteria and remain hygienic to use. 

Dust Mop

Dust mops are exclusively used for dry, dusty surfaces. Mop heads on dust mops are made out of material that can achieve this kind of cleaning. Some examples of base material on the mop head are microfiber and wool.
What it’s good for: This type can be deployed to clean walls, light fixtures, and high-hanging appliances. Dust mops are great for clearing away cobwebs and dust bunnies.
Notes on maintenance: If the mop head on your dust mop is the reusable kind, make sure that it’s washed and stored differently from your other mops. This is so that it can keep in tip-top shape as a dry-cleaning implement.

It’s important to note that different types of mops suit different situations. Everyone in the office’s housekeeping team can choose which type best suits them—and ultimately, work smarter on keeping the surroundings squeaky-clean.