One of the most used tools in the janitorial service industry is the wet mop, but there is a lot of misinformation and confusion about this tool.

To help you get the most out of your mop and ensure that you keep your business clean, we’ll review:

  • Different types of mop heads
  • Which mop heads to use for which jobs
  • Common mistakes in wet-mopping
  • Proper care to extend the life of your wet mop heads
  • The right accessories for wet mopping

If you’re looking for wet mops, buckets, cleaning solutions, and more, then Cleaning Supply Mart has just what you need! We offer an extensive collection of professional cleaning supplies, as well as the cleaning tips you need to help keep your business as clean as possible. Read this post to learn everything you need to know about wet mops, and explore our blog for even more helpful tips. When you’re ready, you can find all of the commercial cleaning products you need here!

Types of Wet Mops

From busy kitchens to school hallways, mops are a simple and effective way to keep floors sparkling clean. Mops are essential for keeping hard floors clean, but with the large selection, how do you know which wet mop type is best for your business?

Cut-End Mops

Cut-end heads are a very basic mop style, and generally, the least expensive type of mop head, making them great for dirty jobs — just use and toss! These mop heads are generally considered to be disposable because they can’t be laundered. Once the mop head is too dirty for use, it’s time to replace it. Additionally, cut-end mops are usually more absorbent than looped-end mops, but they can leave lint. Cut-end mops are perfect for soaking up spills.

Looped-End Mops

A looped-end mop is designed to have more surface area than a cut-end mop, and the looped-end keeps the mop strands from unraveling. This improves the efficiency of your team, allowing them to clean larger areas in less time. Most looped-end mop heads are machine washable. However, there are exceptions, so read the specs when making your buying decision. With the combination of reasonably low prices and more durability than cut-end mops, these are the most common mop heads in use.

Flat Mops

Flat mop heads are usually made with microfiber material, last a long time, and are highly launderable even with bleach. They are easy to use, especially for laying down floor finish, because of how they smoothly spread the wax. Flat mop heads are not ideal for cleaning up big spills, but they are perfect for wet mopping small areas like offices. They also come in various colors to prevent cross-contamination.

If you REALLY want to deep-dive into the details, here you go!

What are “Plies” and “Yarn Ply”

When a mop strand is “3-Ply,” for example, that means there are three strands of fibers twisted together to make one yarn strand on your mop. As a result, the more plies, the stronger and more durable the mop is. However, more plies make the mop less absorbent, so it’s a trade-off. The most efficient mop would be a high-quality yarn with a low-ply count.


The size of the mop is one of the most common areas for people to get confused. Mops come in small, medium, large, and extra-large sizes, but they also come in size of ounces, such as 16-ounce or 24-ounce, and so on. Here’s the best way to think about the size of your mop: 16, 24, etc. refer to the number of ounces of liquid that the mop head can absorb without wringing. The larger the number of ounces, the bigger the mop head. Here’s a handy conversion table for you:

  • Small mop heads hold around eight to 10 ounces of liquid
  • Medium mop heads can hold 16 to 20 ounces of liquid
  • Large mop heads hold around 24 to 32 ounces of liquid
  • Extra-Large mop heads will hold 32 to 40 ounces of liquid

When you’re figuring out what mop head to buy, remember who will be using it. If the person cleaning the floors is small in size, then they might have a difficult time dragging around and lifting an extra-large mop head full of water!


You’ll notice mop headbands are usually offered in wide and narrow styles. The narrow headbands are about six inches long, and they work best with side gate style handles. Wide headbands are also about six inches long, but they are five inches wide, allowing them to work better with clamp type handles. The truth of the matter is, everyone has their preference about which style they like best.


This is one of those features that really pays off if you buy an expensive mop head that you need to last for a long time. Mop heads with this feature are made with special fibers that are woven into the yarn and contain an antimicrobial additive. This additive helps protect the mop head from deteriorating by digesting organic matter, which prevents the growth of bacteria, yeast, mold, and germs.


Mop heads that are made with 100% cotton are cheap and usually considered disposable, although you can launder cotton looped-end style mops. Cotton is used for absorbing spills and for everyday mopping. Never use cotton when laying wax or stripper, as they will leave fibers and lint in the surface of your floor finish.

Poly-cotton blends, on the other hand, last longer than cotton, and they are great for general purpose cleaning. However, they are a little more expensive. Much like with cotton mop heads, you don’t want to use poly-cotton blend mop heads for laying wax or stripper.

Rayon blends are the highest quality mop heads, and they last much longer than standard cut-end mops. They resist mildew and yeast growth and can be used in laying stripper and wax. However, it’s best to use different heads to lay the stripper and the wax to prevent cross-contamination that will affect the finish.

If you’re looking for a mop head to use for laying stripper or wax, a 100% rayon mop head is the right choice. This type of mop head doesn’t leave behind fibers or lint, and it provides good coverage. In fact, most “finish mops” are made from 100% rayon. That being said, rayon is a little less absorbent by weight than cotton, but the absorbency is more a matter of the size of the mop than the material.

Microfiber material has revolutionized the industry in everything from wiping cloths to mop heads. They come in flat pads and tube-mops of all sizes and colors. The design of microfiber material quickly collects and retains grime until it is washed. They are non-abrasive and safe on virtually any surface. Wet mops that use a microfiber material are the most sanitary of any mop head and can be laundered hundreds of times. They are hypoallergenic, so they are typically more expensive than traditional mop heads, but many housekeepers swear by them!

Color-Coded Mops and Accessories

Color-coded tools like mops, buckets, and microfiber cloths are perfect for avoiding cross-contamination and preventing the spread of germs and bacteria. Color-coded tools are frequently used in health care, food service, schools, and nursing homes. In fact, there is even an industry-wide color code:

  • Red: High-risk areas (toilets and urinals)
  • Yellow: Low-risk, specialty areas (labs and gyms), and low-risk restroom areas (sinks & mirrors)
  • Blue: All-purpose cleaning (dusting, window cleaning, and offices)
  • Green: Food service areas (kitchens)

Take Care of your Wet Mops!

If you don’t take good care of your equipment, it will wear out very quickly, and that’s especially true for mop heads. Simply keeping mop heads clean and dry can make them last up to four times longer! Plus, the mop will do a much more effective job if regularly cleaned and stored properly.

When you’re done with your project, clean the mop head in warm water, then let it soak for 10 minutes in hot water before wringing it out and hanging it up to make sure that any leftover chemicals are rinsed out. This will help eliminate cross-contamination when you go to use it again, as well as help the fibers last longer. When wringing out your mop head, use the side-press or down-press wringer; don’t twist it. Wringing your mop head out by twisting it will wear the strands out prematurely.

On the other hand, one of the worst things you can do for your mop head is to leave it sitting in dirty mop water overnight. This will ultimately result in a buildup of germs and bacteria that you can spread around your building.

When storing mops, it’s best to hang them with the head up. This helps to prevent mold and mildew.

Machine launder mop heads often, as this will make them last longer and perform better. Using a mild disinfectant in your washing machine is a great idea as well. We don’t recommend trying to wash cut-end mops because they will fall apart sooner and they will become a tangled mess in the washer.

Stock Up on Professional Cleaning Supplies

Need to stock up on commercial cleaning supplies for your office? Contact Cleaning Supply Mart! We offer an extensive collection of cleaning supplies, from mops and buckets to cleaning solutions. Explore our collection to find everything you need, and be sure to check out our blog for cleaning tips!

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