How to Choose the Right Wet Mop
The quality of a wet mop is a function of the yarn, the construction, and the adaptability of the product to the specific task at hand. Different cleaning problems demand different solutions. There are mops suitable for economical purposes, while others are constructed to withstand repeated commercial laundering. Some mops are designed to lay down a coat of wax while others are engineered to strip floors. Some work best on tile floors, others are constructed for abrasive surfaces. Some will not mildew. Others will not tangle, and so… Using the best quality increases durability and enhances performance so that fewer mops and less labor are required.
Mops are constructed either from cotton, rayon, synthetic or a blend of fibers.
COTTON – Since it is readily available and relatively inexpensive, cotton is a popular choice for use in wet mops. Cotton absorbs 2 to 3 times its weight in water, and because it has the ability to hold moisture once it is picked up, cotton mops provide excellent floor drying capabilities.
Cotton also has its drawbacks. To perform effectively, a new cotton mop should be repeatedly immersed and wrung out to remove the fiber’s natural, water-repellent oils. The new mop will not reach its peak absorption and performance abilities until after its “break in” period.
RAYON – Contrary to popular belief, rayon is not synthetic but it is a natural fiber product. As a viscose or wood pulp based material with no natural oils, rayon offers immediate top absorbency without costly “break in” time. Rayon also picks up 6 to 7 times it’s weight in water. Because it does not retain moisture, it is much more resistant to mildew than cotton.
Rayon also has its drawbacks. It is fairly strong when dry, but can lose up to half of its strength when wet. Rayon is also very sensitive to heat, making it subject to shrinkage. And although rayon mops are a good choice for finish applications, the fibers fast release characteristics make it unsuitable for use in all purpose mops, because rayon cannot hold moisture long enough to get a floor completely dry.
SYNTHETIC – Fibers such as nylon, acrylic and polyester, cost more and absorb less than rayon. However, used in combination with other fibers, they add considerable strength to the mop yarn and reduce the “break in” period.
BLENDS – Blended yarn is engineered to obtain the strongest qualities of various fibers; cotton to absorb and hold water, rayon for maximum water pick up with no “break in” period, and synthetic for increased strength and long life. This is why mops constructed with blended yarns provide both better performance and longer useful product life.