Commercial Mops, Wringers and Buckets Buying Guide
Busy kitchens and foodservice venues need to be cleaned and mops, wringers, and buckets are the essential tools to ensure this happens.
From cleaning up a quick spill, which could cause a trip and fall, to end-of-day cleaning, the right mop, wringer, and bucket are essential for everyday use. Wet mops also help with floor stains, keep heavy traffic areas clean, and are a must for disinfection.
But not all floor mops are created equal so it’s essential to know what’s best for your needs. Our guide will help you make those decisions.
Styles & Materials
Cut end or string mop heads are generally made of cotton and the most economical mopheads. These are individual strands that fan out from the head of the mop. Because they’re the most absorbent style mop head they’re ideal for soaking up spills quickly. On the downside, they cover a small surface area and can’t be laundered so you’ll need to replace them more often.
Loop end mops heads are generally made of synthetic fibers. They’re more durable than cut-end heads and can be cleaned in the laundry. As the name suggests, this is a continuous strand loop to the head of the mop so the ends aren’t separated and won’t fray or unravel.
Loop end mop heads have a tail band holding them together rather than flopping around like the cut-end style. Loop end mop heads have a higher price point than string style but last much longer. Loop ends are also less likely to leave lint behind ensuring the floor looks clean.
Microfiber loop-end mops are the most sanitary type of mop head. Microfiber mops are hypoallergenic, are highly absorbent (seven times their weight in liquid), and are machine washable - can be washed hundreds of times before needing to be replaced.
Dry mopheads are used for dusting, sweeping, and picking up small debris.
· Cotton is used to make cut-end and many loop-end mops. Cotton is also good for floor stripping applications.
· Rayon isn’t as absorbent as cotton or synthetic materials but doesn’t need to be because it’s used to apply floor finishes. The mop heads are loop end and generally blue and white striped making them easy to identify.
· Microfiber can be used for loop mop heads and all in one, microfibre is the material used for all-in-one mops. The flat mops are very versatile and can be used to wipe up spills or for heavier cleaning. They’re great for disinfection.
Size and Colour
Mop size depends on the amount of liquid it can absorb and the amount of area covered with an easy pass. Larger mops have better absorbency and take less time to complete a cleaning.
Colours on the loop end tailband (the band at the bottom) and headband (the band at the top) are used to indicate the size of loop-end mops:
Small = Yellow
Medium = Green
Large = Red
Extra-large = Blue
Many venues use different coloured mops heads to help designate specific cleaning tasks. This helps reduce cross-contamination between, for example, your kitchen and washroom, or front-of-house versus the kitchen.
Mopheads need a handle and there’s several types and styles to choose from.
Wood is the most economical. If used properly they can last a long time. But they are heavy, especially with wet mops. Some are available with antimicrobial protection at a higher price point.
Plastic is light and budget-friendly but less durable than other options. They should also be cleaned to prevent bacteria growth in their nooks and crannies.
Aluminum mop handles are economical, lightweight, and have the longest product life. The downside is that they can bend out of shape.
Fiberglass has great durability, price point, and lightweight.
The simplest style mop handle is the pole. The telescopic pole handle is great for reaching hard-to-get areas or accommodating different staff preferences. They’re generally made of lightweight aluminum. You can also buy mop handle extensions but they’re one size and need to be compatible with your existing handle.
Mop handles with frames have different attachments that connect the mop head and pole. These are great for easy mop head changes. Be sure to buy the handle that’s compatible with your mop head.
Jaw Release handles are used with wet mop heads. These small jaw-like release teeth clamp to the mop head and work great with wide-band mop heads. And, bonus, the user never has to touch a dirty mop.
Side Gate quick release model allows you to change the mop head by opening a side gate which you can loosen and tighten with a wheel. Just like the jaw release, these can only be used with wet mopheads the user never has to touch a dirty mop head.
Metal quick change is an older model but still used by many venues. The grip can be tightened or loosened by turning a wingnut. This model works with narrow-band mop heads.
All-In-One is for microfibre flat mopheads. These include everything you need – mop head, frame, and handle. Some come with dispensers for cleaning products.
Wedge Release mop heads are used for dry mops.
A mop bucket is used to hold warm, soapy water. Because it’s mounted on wheels it moves around without spilling or dripping.
Commercial mop buckets usually hold mop wringers (see below) to wring out the mop without getting your hands dirty. It also allows you to release some of the accumulated dirt and refresh it with clean water.
Mop buckets come in various sizes. It’s best to choose a bucket size based on your square footage area to be cleaned. And, of course, the larger the bucket, the less time it will take you to drain and refill so the job will get done much quicker.
Some buckets with wringers (see below) include a dirty water bucket. This keeps dirty water separate from the soapy, clean water. It’s much easier to lift out the small dirty water bucket and replace it than dump a large, heavy bucket. Because there will be fewer water changes it increases efficiency.
Mop wringers drain the excess moisture off the mop head for splash-free cleaning. It also helps to keep the floor surface clean by wringing out excess dirt.
Reverse Press wringers are integrated with a water bucket or designed to fit inside. They’re comfortable to use and an economical choice.
Funnel Wringer fits on top of the bucket. It doesn’t use a press and there are no moving parts. The mop head goes into the funnel and the user twists until they get the amount of moisture they want.
Side Press wringers have a handle on the side of the bucket. You press the handle down and the water drains out of the mop into the bucket. Because the handle is high there’s no need to bend down.
Down Press wringers stand upright with the handle above the bucket. There’s no need to bend down when wringing out your mop. This type of wringer is highly effective for releasing water and doesn’t require as much pressure.
Metal vs. Plastic
Plastic wringers are popular and reasonably priced. Metal wringers are more durable and last longer but have a higher price point. They can also corrode if they aren’t rinsed and dried before storing.
Don’t forget the Wet Floor Signs
Once you get those mops, buckets, and wringers need don’t forget to purchase the Wet Floor signs! You don’t want anyone slipping or falling on your clean, shiny, damp floor.
Floor care is a necessary evil of foodservice. Even if you use cleaning services, a mop, wringer and bucket should be close at hand for the spills and messes that inevitably happen during service to keep your floors clean and safe.
Written by Suzanne Boles