Hospitals and healthcare centers in particular have taken a liking to the disposal pads and minimal liquid requirements of onboard-dispensing mops, says Bouras. The simplified system allows staff to meet the elevated cleaning demands compared to other facility types in a timely manner.

"The critical thing with urgent care is eliminating any threat of cross-contamination, so using one mop to clean two or three rooms just doesn't cut it anymore," says Bouras. "Infection control protocols require staff to switch mops on a regular basis, and interchangeable 18-inch flat mop heads make it really easy to do so."

The setup has also gained popularity in universities and restaurants for its aesthetic and efficient nature when cleaning up spills, says Lombardo. As one bad look can result in a viral video or damaging online review, businesses dependent on their customer reputation are taking measures to tighten up their image.

"Even in fast food restaurants, if someone spills right next to a table where people are eating and the custodian needs to bring out a giant bucket with dirty water to clean up the spill, it can quickly turn into an unappealing experience for the customer," says Lombardo. "But now they can just come out with a sleek tool, give a squirt of cleaner with the onboard bottle, and wipe it up in a matter of seconds.

Convenience stores are another ideal fit for onboard-dispensing mops. The typical setup of a grocery or liquor store — narrow aisles and tile floors with little margin for error — makes the bucket concept easy to ditch, says Scott Ribbe, president at Geerpres, Inc., Muskegon, Michigan.

"If you're swinging a mop stick, you can knock bottles of wine or other items off the rack, risking significant damage to products," says Ribbe. "In the case of spills, you only need to use enough fluid as necessary instead of taking a giant bucket and laying down a tremendous amount of fluid."

An increasing number of athletic departments in the education sector prefer the logistics of the onboard setup, adds Ribbe. For schools with wrestling programs, the conventional mop and bucket system can be impractical for keeping mats clean.

"When you're thinking of a tournament when eight or nine mats need to be cleaned every hour, you can keep the cleaner fluid contained far more effectively and clean up the necessary spots in an efficient manner far more easily than hauling a bucket around," says Ribbe.

Onboard-dispensing mops are also gaining popularity in the hospitality sector as newer hotels install less carpeting across lobbies and rooms, says Bouras. Instead of replacing vacuum cleaners with comparably heavy buckets and string mops, custodians have a lightweight alternative to clean tile and laminate floors.

The lightweight system can be complemented with microfiber technology on the mop head, adds Bouras. The hook design of the microfiber strips can remove dirt from the floor more effectively with less physical effort, and the higher absorption rate than conventional string mops allows users to use significantly less chemical.

Still A Need For Buckets

Although school systems have taken a liking to the onboard-dispensing mops for smaller spills and cleanups, Bouras says most districts are still relying on the conventional mop and bucket system for hallways and larger classrooms. The same scenario applies to high-footage areas in hospitals, as the high-volume liquid demands wouldn't be practical for a single-bottle system.

While Lombardo is largely a proponent of onboard-dispensing mops, he sees the bucket setup as a practical option for foodservice facilities that require large amounts of liquids to cover the floor and soak up grease, as well as for entrance ways with high accumulations of ice melt and slosh during the winter. He does, however, recommend a dual-bucket mopping system for those scenarios to prevent floor water from being reintroduced into the primary cleaner bucket.

Ribbe forecasts a consistent demand for buckets and wringers when it comes to the industrial and military sectors, as many facilities will often require more than 120 ounces of liquid at a time to clean up massive spills. As a supporter of both mopping setups, he still encourages distributors to promote both options based on what's best for the end user.

"It's really based on end user chemistry and what their needs are," says Ribbe. "We sell a lot of products to cleanroom environments who prefer stainless buckets and ringers, and a lot of those customers still use an edgeless string mop. It's really a matter of who that end user is and identifying their needs. I don't see either mopping system going away."

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Onboard-Dispensing Mops Reduce Labor Costs