Previously, commercial mop heads were typically made of cotton strings and attached to long, wooden handles. The height of the handle was usually built for the six-foot male. Even as cleaning staffs became more varied, this specific style of mop remained the standard in janitor closets everywhere. 

In the past five years, many BSCs have traded in their traditional mops and invested in microfiber flat mops. 

In addition to weighing less than cotton-string varieties, microfiber flat mops also require less water, chemicals and labor to clean floor surfaces, says Linda Silverman, president at Maintex, a jan/san distributor in City of Industry, Calif. 

“When it comes to microfiber, I’ve really seen a change for a number of reasons,” says Silverman. “The mop itself weighs less, you don’t slap chemical on the wall, and there is a lot more movement [with] microfiber. It’s easier to control.” 

A conventional cotton string mop head soaked in chemical solution can weigh up to eight pounds. Combined with the handle, that’s about 10 pounds to push around a floor. 

“If you can imagine trying to mop with a string mop, you’re really going to have to put in a lot more strength, which is more strain to the back,” says Tim Neal, vice president of sales at Vermop, in Charlotte, N.C. “When you are looking at microfiber flat mops you’re going to be standing up and there is less strain.” 

Microfiber flat mops also come in double-sided models. Some cleaning professionals use one side of the mop to dry clean the floors, and pre-soak the other side with floor cleaner to wet clean the floors. Because microfiber generally captures more soils, these models cut down on trips to the water bucket, and increase productivity by essentially giving employees two mops at once. 

“Physically, it’s less wear and tear on the body,” says Bob Lauer, marketing manager at Vermop. “When you use microfiber flat mops you’re not as tired the next day. You get that same flow-freeing movement (as with a string mop) without all of the weight.” 


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