Due to some recent incidents at my house involving a puppy, I needed to mop up the tile floor in the back room. I have had a few different mops over the years. For a while I had a sponge-on-a-stick that came with a plastic thing you would press down over the sponge to wring it dry. This always looks like it works great in commercials, but it seems like they are always cleaning floors that are already clean in the commercials. I have another one that has an arm that runs some rollers over the sponge, but that thing never worked well either and I think the sponge has since deteriorated. I also have a traditional mop with threads and that’s what I use when I need to mop (usually I just sweep). But it’s kind of hard to wring out a mop like that, partly because the head of the mop is pretty big and I can’t get my hands around it to twist it. Then there is the whole philosophy of mopping. It seems like first you want to slap on a bunch of soapy water, then kind of scrub with the mop and wring out the dirty you pick up. But once the water is dirty (won’t take long), you are just smearing around dirty soapy water. So it seems like there should be a bucket with fresh soapy water and you kind of lather up the whole floor, then you start scrubbing and wringing. Finally you might need to do it all over again with some plain water to pick up all the soapy water.
So I was thinking I should get one of those janitor setups where the mop goes into the wringer and you pull a big lever and smash it to get the water out. I remember using one someplace that had these kind of doors that would go over the mop and squeeze just about every drop out. I looked these up on Home Depot’s website and some were over $100 for the wringer and bucket. Some more reasonably priced ones were around $35. So that didn’t seem to be so good for something I would use so infrequently.
Next I did a search for best mops and found an article on Slate where the reporter tested several different mops including a few sponge-on-a-stick types and the Swiffer Wet Jet, which is an advanced version of that concept. One thing about a lot of these mops is they have disposable pads that means you will pay every time you want to use them, and if you have a lot of dirt, which I invariably do, then you could use several of the pads. Things like that aren’t going to work well for me and I don’t like having to buy refills, which is kind of like having to buy toner for your mop. They make more money on the toner than the printer.
The highest finishing mop (they were all pretty cheap mops, stuff you’d buy in grocery store) in the Slate article was the Libman Wonder Mop. It is a lot like a regular mop, but instead of yarns it has flat microfiber strips. But the key element of the design, I guess, is a plastic thing on the handle that slides down over the mop part and lets you twist and wring the water out. That way you are only ever using a damp mop and never spreading that much soapy water around. In fact, they’re saying hot water works pretty well by itself and since the plastic wringer thing allows you to avoid touching the nasty water, the water can be really, really hot if you want. The construction is pretty cheap and this mop is about $8.00 which I find appealing. Not only that but the head with all the strips detaches and can be washed in your washing machine if you want. No toner!
So I started reading reviews on Amazon of the Wonder Mop and people really like it. But then I learned about the Libman Freedom Mop. The Freedom is like a sponge on a stick, but the sponge is more like a towel (also washable). This lets you really bear down and scrub to get up tough dirt. But this mop is $29.00, which seems kind of steep. Like the Swiffer, it has a little squirt bottle so that you can spray the floor with cleaner and then pick it up with the mop head.
I was going to Home Depot anyway, but they had the mop area cordoned off so they could use a forklift, plus it didn’t look like they had Libman products. Then I went to Walmart and found the Wonder Mop there, so I got it. It is really cheap construction, but it is made in USA at least.
I got it back home and tried it out. It really does work great. My idea of slopping water all over the place was bad. It works better wringing out the mop and then using it. Then rinsing it out in the bucket, wringing it out again, and using it some more. Just using hot water, I was able to pick up a lot of dirt. An amazing amount of dirt. And it wasn’t hard except you still have to lean down over the bucket when you are twisting the plastic housing to wring the mop out. But your hands don’t get wet and it’s way easier to use the plastic housing than trying to grab the dirty mop head and twist it.
Probably a lot of people already have mops like this, but this was all new to me.