A growing body of research has shown that traditional string mops not only do a poor job at cleaning commercial floors but can also increase the risk of various health hazards. Of course, this has a lot of commercial property managers struggling to find a safe and effective alternative for getting their building’s floors professionally clean.
The Problem With Traditional String Mops
Traditional string mops may have been around since the 1890s, but a growing body of research continually points out just how hazardous they can be to the health of the people in the environment. Not to mention being somewhat ineffective for cleaning commercial floors.
When the mop bucket is properly sanitized and the water is fresh and mixed with the proper degree of professional-grade cleaning solution, the mop is relatively safe to clean the floor. The problem is when the wet string mop comes across a contaminated area of the floor with microbes, pathogens, or chemical contaminants. The strings then absorb that fluid and bring it to the mop bucket. Once the head of the string mop is wrung out that contaminated water is mixed with the rest of the relatively clean water in the bucket.
At this point, if you dip the mop head back in the bucket those contaminants will be transferred to any and all the other floors you clean. Ultimately, the contaminated solution gets re-applied to the floor, spreading dirt and germs around all your floors.
As time goes on this problem can be compounded leaving you with floors in your building or commercial site with a buildup of film containing germs and soil. Not only can this cause health concerns and foul lingering odors, but the floors can also become increasingly slippery or slow to dry.
Can Contaminated Mop Water Be Disinfected?
Some cleaning solutions like bleach and ammonia-based floor cleaners can kill the first few doses of germs that are introduced to the mop bucket. Unfortunately, their potency wanes quickly when it comes to disinfecting purposes. Not to mention, the very real risk of damaging floors and floor finishes, or baseboards if these powerful cleaning solutions are mixed in too high of a concentration.
At the same time, even the most potent cleaning solutions do not address the problem of dirt and grime transfer. Dirt and other physical materials that become suspended in the mop bucket water will inevitably embed in the string mop’s head. At that point, they can spread to another section of flooring, effectively making it dirtier than before!
The only way to hope to mitigate this cross-contamination effect is by frequently changing the mop water. Though, this only reduces the transfer of pathogens and grime. Not to mention driving up the cost of cleaning solutions and the manhours your building’s custodial staff have to spend emptying mop water, sanitizing the bucket, and string mop, before mixing a fresh batch.
The Remaining Benefits Of String Mops
All this isn’t to say that string mops are completely useless. String mops do have some very functional utility as part of an effective janitorial equipment supply. They are good for things like:
- Cleaning up dangerous chemical spills
- Soaking up bodily fluids
- Picking up spilled food & beverages
- Absorbing spilled grease
- Applying chemical strippers when stripping & waxing floors
Now imagine using that same string mop to clean your floors after it has just been used to soak up chemicals or bodily fluids.
The Hidden Costs Of Traditional String Mopping
A traditional string mop typically has a lifespan of around 20 to 30 washes before it is so stained and inundated with contaminants that it needs to be discarded. The average cost of one of these mop heads is between $20 to $30. When you factor this into the cost alongside traditional floor cleaning solutions the cost of upgrading to an alternative floor cleaning system starts to become clear.
String Mop Alternatives
With increasing, awareness, and concern about the contamination issues associated with traditional string mops, cleaning product manufacturers have started offering alternatives. Some are designed to clean small areas of commercial flooring, while others are more suited to large areas. Depending on the characteristics of your commercial property, you might need to invest in multiple options to ensure that every part of your building is receiving the ideal level of professional cleaning.
The Benefits Of Microfiber Mops
With increasing, awareness, and concern about the contamination issues associated with traditional string mops, cleaning product manufacturers have started offering alternatives. One of the most popular and most effective is the relatively new microfiber flat mop. This is a great option for meticulously cleaning smaller areas in offices and other businesses. The micro-fiber mop head though isn’t ideally suited for larger areas of commercial flooring.
The Benefits Of An Auto-Mopping System
Microfiber mops are only truly effective for small areas like individual commercial offices. When it comes to large surface areas an auto-mopping system is a far more cost-effective option. This is a special type of machine that has a built-in scrubber and special extraction system all in one convenient unit.
A commercial-grade auto-mopper uses a special cleaning solution that is dispensed and then extracted in short order via a special onboard vacuum device. This is the ideal way to clean large floors and it also ends up being more time-efficient when it comes to man-hours of labor needed for your janitorial staff, as well as being more cost-effective in the long-term. Especially compared to string mops that tend to wear out over time.
Professional Cleaning Services For All Commercial Flooring
If you are currently looking to transition out of outdated mops and buckets, but you aren’t sure if you want to invest in new equipment or the training your custodial staff would need to operate it correctly, you can always turn to the cleaning professionals at Building Services Inc.
We have a large staff of highly experienced professionals with the training and access to the highest quality floor cleaning equipment in the industry. We can handle all your commercial property’s janitorial needs or just floor care. Building Services also offers convenient scheduling.
This means we can service your floors with state-of-the-art microfiber mops and cutting-edge auto-mopping technology during your normal hours of operation or after your commercial building has closed for the day. All at an overall cost that is generally more cost-effective than investing and retraining your current staff with new equipment.