For facilities that don’t have laundry rooms or need a less expensive option, a traditional cotton or synthetic dust mop may be a more appropriate choice.
Like microfiber, synthetic dust mops are long-lasting and do not require pretreatment, which is important for facilities that are concerned about safety, as well as indoor air quality.

“Synthetic mops fit really well in a healthcare setting,” says Simerly. “They attract dust and dirt electrostatically, so they don’t need to be pretreated. The fear in hospitals is you might overtreat a mop and make a slick floor, which could lead to people falling.”

Synthetic mops also hold up well to multiple launderings, unlike cotton dust mops which eventually deteriorate.

“Cotton is more of a convenience,” says Kramer. “A facility might have different width dust mop frames so they can buy a box of disposable cotton dust mop heads on a roll and cut them to the length of the frame. Others want something they can launder, but with multiple launderings the cotton fibers break down quicker than the synthetics.”

Cotton dust mops are suitable for removing loose debris, such as that found in hallways or corridors. They are often one of the least expensive options and require treating between applications. Sometimes cotton is used in conjunction with other fabrics, such as polyester or microfiber, to create a hybrid dust mop that features the best of both worlds.

“There are products that combine the two technologies — cotton and microfiber,” says Franiak. “The center of the dust mop head is microfiber, and then around the edges you have your traditional cotton loops. At the point of contact on the floor you’re getting good adhesion to the floor, and some of that loose debris is going to attach to the microfiber head. Then you’ve got the loops round the edges that catch any of the larger, looser debris.”

Although not a traditional yarn, biofiber is also beginning to infiltrate the dust mop category. Known for its strength and light weight, biofibers are made from stem fiber plants such as flax and hemp.

“We’re seeing movement toward the biofiber mop,” says Simerly. “It consists of thin, precut sheets of material. It’s really inexpensive and it’s a great way to dust the floor, particularly smooth VCT and wood floors.”

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