Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Designed to simply clean your floor, mops these days come in a wide variety of styles. Depending on the type of floor you have, one might be better than another. We take a look at mops, both traditional and new to find out which cleans up best.


The Basics

  • Old-style mops, or “deck” mops are made of yarn or string and are good for getting into tight spots. Look for looped threads rather than cut ends to avoid excessive fraying. Also look for detachable, machine-washable products. They take time to dry and can be prone to mildew if not cared for.

  • Cloth mops are similar to deck mops but are made with strips of cloth rather than yarn strands. Many come as a set with a bucket that has a built-in wringer. Cloth mops are good for getting into nooks and crannies. Again, look for machine washable types.

  • Sponge mops usually don’t leave lint behind like yarn or cloth mops, and their heads dry faster so there’s less chance of mildew setting in. Be careful of ones that come with scrubbers since these can scratch hardwood floors. Check the wringing mechanism to ensure it’s easy to reach and use.

  • Disposable, “ultra-convenient” battery-powered wet mops boast bucket-free cleaning. They may sound great, but they can be expensive to buy and maintain with all the disposable cloths, special cleaning solution, and batteries. They’re also not as versatile as cloth or yarn mops.

  • Dry mops simply do the job of a broom with a disposable pad that uses electrostatic action to collect dust, dirt and hair. It doesn’t give a deep clean, however.

Other Considerations

  • Make sure you use the right cleaning solution for your floor type, and use the right amount so you aren’t left with soapy residue which can dull the surface.

  • Use lukewarm water as opposed to hot to protect your floor’s finish.

  • Sweep or vacuum first for a more thorough clean.

Be Aware

  • Some wet mops offer a one-year warranty on their products, but it’s valid only if you use their brand of cleaning solution.


We messed up some kitchen floors with ketchup, mustard, chocolate syrup and grape jelly, let it dry overnight, and then tested these mops:

  • Generic cloth mop (with bucket and built-in wringer): $5.99
  • Generic deck mop (with looped cotton strands): $7
  • Vileda Bee Sponge Mop (with scrubber and chamois): $20
  • Quickie Professional Sponge Mop (with rolling squeegee and scrubbing pad): $23
  • Johnson’s Grab It & Go Mop (hand-powered foaming cleanser and swivel head): $28
  • Procter & Gamble Swiffer Wet Jet (battery-operated spray): $38

Mop-Up Test

  • The simple cloth mop really licked the mess.

  • The deck mop also did a good job, but we didn't like having to hand-wring it.
  • The Vileda sponge mop with its scrubbing pad worked well on the stickier, caked on dirt.

  • The Swiffer and Grab It & Go wet mops didn’t clean into the grout and went through a lot of pads. It can get expensive!


Overall, the cloth mop is a washable and cost effective way to wash your floors. The sponge mop was also a hit for its scrubbing ability.

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