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What are the Different Kinds of Mops?

Updated May 16, 2024
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Everyone familiar with household chores knows exactly what a mop is; a mop is a cleaning tool with a long handle that has some sort of absorbent head with which to clean a solid surface. Mops are usually used to clean surfaces such as floors, walls and woodwork.

The handle of a mop can vary in length and material. Some handles are made of wood, while others are made of plastic. Generally speaking, there are four different types of mops, each suited for a particular task: dust, sponge, wet and specialty. It is primarily in the mop head where you can clearly see the different types of mops.

Dust mops: Dust mops are designed to be used dry, to dust the surfaces such as floors, ceilings and ceiling fans. They are lightweight, and the mop head is usually made of short cotton or synthetic fibers that capture dust particles and cobwebs. Spray-on chemicals are manufactured to enhance their "grabbing" power.

Sponge mops: Sponge mops are designed to be used wet, to clean surfaces or to apply floor wax. Their synthetic sponge heads are attached by either a clamp-on or a slide-on type of mechanism. The advantages of using a sponge mop are that they are lightweight, relatively inexpensive and are easy to replace.

Wet mops: Wet mops are also designed to be used wet, to clean floors of any type of surface. Wet mop heads are usually made of cotton because of its natural absorbency, although synthetic blend wet mop heads are also available. These mop heads are available in several sizes: 16oz (453.6g); 20oz (567g); 24oz (680.4g); and 32oz (907.2g). The higher the number, the bigger its cleaning surface will be. For routine home cleaning, the smaller and mid-range weights will perform just fine. The large size is normally used in commercial cleaning situations because the largest mop heads become too heavy and unwieldy for normal household use. Wet mop heads can come with either looped or straight cut ends.

Specialty mops: Specialty mops are a relatively new phenomenon. They are designed for specific tasks - from cleaning Venetian blinds to scrubbing a jet liner. Included in this category are the super lightweight, and sometimes collapsible, handled mops that use disposable cleaning sheets.

There are many different types of mops to choose from. As you go though your regular cleaning routine, you're likely to find your favorite type. Many people like to keep a variety of different types of mops on hand so they can reach for the kind best suited for the current task.

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