Stop these flop mops; I need a top mop!
March 24, 2016 7:17 AM   Subscribe

I swear, every mop I've ever owned has turned me into a hapless klutz from the "before" section of an infomercial. There's got to be a better way!

Whenever we buy a new mop, for one reason or another it just sucks. Sometimes the head is flimsy. Sometimes the wringing mechanism is too weak, too awkward to use, or both. Our most recent mop purchase had a "machine washable" head that disintegrated in the washing machine.

Unfortunately I don't have a list of mops I've tried or specific features I need in a mop. But I know I want something that's easy to use and clean, durable, and preferably with a head that's replaceable. Do you have one you love?

We have a steam mop, which we do use, but I also want a regular wet-style mop.
posted by Metroid Baby to Home & Garden (29 answers total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
I have the exact same problem, and will be reading this thread with interest.

That said, I recently ditched using mops altogether in favour of cleaning the floors in our kitchen and bathroom with a microfibre cloth on my hands and knees. It looks pretty Dickensian, but we live in a teeny tiny apartment, and I'm able to get the floor super clean really quickly without bothering with a mop and bucket.

If you have a normal adult-sized house this will obviously not work, but going the handsy kneesies route has really worked for me! As an added bonus, I've found myself wiping down the floors basically every night after sweeping. I've inadvertantly become a mop-the-floor-every-day person without really trying.
posted by nerdfish at 7:27 AM on March 24, 2016 [5 favorites]

I've been super happy with our infomercial-stylee spin mop. Super easy to "wring" out, and while the head is mostly just floppy string, the stubby strings on the inside do a decent job of scrubbing where necessary.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:31 AM on March 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

Oh, and this thread just reminded me to buy replacement heads, so I got 2 for $8 on Amazon Prime.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:32 AM on March 24, 2016

I absolutely haaaaaaaaaate regular mops. Microfiber mops ftw!
posted by LuckySeven~ at 7:33 AM on March 24, 2016

I also gave up on evil mops. Now I use big towels, but instead of being on my hands and knees, I just skate on the towel with my feet.
posted by Vaike at 7:37 AM on March 24, 2016 [8 favorites]

This may not be the kind of mop you're looking for, but I like the Libman Freedom Spray Mop. The pads are durable and machine-washable (and probably replaceable with homemade pads if one is so inclined), and the spray mechanism works well and will take whatever cleaning solution you want to use. At some point my mop got banged around and the spray mechanism stopped working -- it was an easy job with a screwdriver to open it up, reseat the sprayer, and close it back up. Sure, it's good when things don't break -- but they probably will eventually, and repairable is nearly as good as never breaking!
posted by asperity at 7:40 AM on March 24, 2016

I use a Vileda Bee mop, except I don't wash floors with it in a typical way. Essentially I pour hot soapy water onto the floor and swish it about giving the floor a really good scrub with the mop. Then I pick up the excess dirty water, and follow it up by drying the floor with terry cloth towels using my feet.
posted by squeak at 7:54 AM on March 24, 2016

Sponge mops are worthless. Get an old-fashioned string mop and a bucket with a wringer on it. They work fantastically (if you have things that need scrubbing, just use really hot water), you can pop the heads off of the newer versions, and they last a good long time.
posted by xingcat at 7:54 AM on March 24, 2016 [3 favorites]

For those of you who really like cleaning with towels, let me recommend the Cuban Mop. I had one some years ago when 2/3 of my floors were tile, my back yard was chronically muddy, and I had three dogs.

A friend who cleans beach rentals for a living recommended me the wet Swiffer (not the jet, the wet pads) and pads either from the dollar store or Costco. She vacuums and uses those and that's it. My house now is carpetless, 98% very cheap laminate that can't take the soaking of a proper mopping, and I'm actually really happy with how well these are working. I feel mildly bad about the disposable pads, but then I don't have to run any water at all to clean the floors, and one pad will cover a good bit of territory.
posted by Lyn Never at 8:22 AM on March 24, 2016 [5 favorites]

I use this one from Rubbermaid. I use hot water in the tank with a few splash of white vinegar.
It's holding up wringing, no bending over (which I hate.) The mop head is easy to remove and machine wash...let it air dry.

edited to add: I see the reviews on this mop are pretty horrible. We've used it for three years with no problems. But, you might want to skip it. Sorry!
posted by BostonTerrier at 8:27 AM on March 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

I came in to say what xingcat said. Use the sort of old-timey mop you'd use cleaning the lobby of a Burger King. You'll find them at Home Depot. You don't need to buy the big ringer bucket on wheels if you don't have a place to keep it, you can buy a lighter rectangular bucket with a sort of strainer on it that you can wring the mop out in. Home Depot will have it.

One hot soapy wet mop, clean the mop and wring it out as much as possible and then do a dry mop. Forget the gimmicky mops with moving parts.
posted by bondcliff at 8:31 AM on March 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

The floors in our house are all hardwood, tile, and linoleum. I always used a bee mop, but our cleaning lady insisted we buy one of these for her to use instead:

And a wringing bucket to go with it. So that is one professional opinion, I guess.
posted by fimbulvetr at 8:31 AM on March 24, 2016


You can use a big squeegee in place of the Cuban style mop. Pour/sprinkle/spray your cleaning solution onto the floor. Drop a towel onto the floor. Straighten the towel with your squeegee. Scrub the floor with the squeegee. Throw the towel into the washing machine.

Repeat for rinsing with clean water.

Super fast, less wringing and other mop related bullshit. Much less expensive than replacing mop heads, which especially seem to get redesigned making the stick part obsolete every two years, and no mouldering mop parts stuffed into utility corners.
posted by bilabial at 8:35 AM on March 24, 2016 [3 favorites]

In the ex-Soviet sphere they don't have mops. They use a sturdy wooden handle with an attached wooden T at the end, on which a rag is wrapped. It works really well, and it lasts forever.
posted by Meatbomb at 8:57 AM on March 24, 2016 [2 favorites]

Another vote for the spin mop. I hate washing my floors, and this makes it faster and less gross.
posted by Grlnxtdr at 9:05 AM on March 24, 2016

I take large old rags, cut a hole in the middle, wet them, and then loop them over our nylon kitchen broom and use that as a mop. Then I throw the rag in the laundry when I'm done. Large areas might take 2-3 rags if they get really gross and you're just pushing dirt around. It works about as well as wet Swiffer, which is sufficient for my needs.
posted by almostmanda at 9:10 AM on March 24, 2016

I douse my long-haired cat in pinesol and then engage her in a spirited game of laser pointer tag.

(only joking.)

I use Vaike's towel-on-floor skating method. I just fill a kitchen bowl with hot water, put in a couple splashes of floor cleaner, and pour it onto the floor one section at a time. Works great, nothing to store except a bottle of cleaner, the towel comes from the hamper anyway so no extra laundry, no squeezing-out is necessary if you work out the proper amount of water to use, minor exercise occurs, the towel kind of automagically dries the floor behind you. One does look like kind of an idiot though.
posted by tivalasvegas at 9:40 AM on March 24, 2016 [7 favorites]

I recently purchased this roller mop; so far its been great.
posted by axismundi at 9:48 AM on March 24, 2016

Sponge mops are the worst if you use them as they're intended. But I use a damp sponge mop to push around a microfiber towel that's the size of a dish towel or larger. The sponge gets misshapen when it dries, so I dampen it so it'll be soft. The cloth does all the cleaning. For the method, refer to instructions for a "cuban mop" -- as in #4 on this page. You keep repositioning the towel so you're mopping with a clean section. Then rinse and reuse.
posted by wryly at 10:25 AM on March 24, 2016

I use a Swiffer - not the Wet Jet, just a regular Swiffer - with either the disposable dry pads (not the wet ones!) or a fleece washable pad, combined with Method's squirt and mop products (lemon for my kitchen and bath, almond for my wood floors). No moving parts, nothing to break, gets up even the grossest of gunk.
posted by okayokayigive at 10:27 AM on March 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

We have a Libman tornado twist mop. It's functional so far. You can wash the head if needed. You don't need a separate wringer, which is good because we don't have room for special mop buckets. There's a little plastic clip part that ratchets the tension as you twist it that I worry about breaking, but the mop would still be usable if it did break.
posted by zennie at 10:50 AM on March 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

We use a Libman Wonder Mop. Easy to use, string microfiber fabric, has a twisty part to wring it out without getting your hands too groddy
posted by SLC Mom at 11:26 AM on March 24, 2016

The one we use is a self-wringing one - looks like the same one as SLC mom mentioned (orange and dots), but I'm not 100% sure, and too lazy to look. Replacement heads that are machine washable, if you feel like it, and pretty cheap at the local discount store. Granted, we only have maybe a 10x10 space in the kitchen, and then two bathrooms, though, so not a huge area to mop, though we use it a lot. I think I'm on my third "stick" since about 2001, and I doubt I've bought more than a dozen of the heads over the 15 years.

For one of mops with those disposable pads (not sure which brand/type) I've seen homeschool moms recommend mismatched socks as replacements instead - that they work as well or better, are easy to machine wash, and cost less as a result. (But I have no experience in using those - it's just something I've thought about trying for us, since we ALWAYS have too many random socks - but since our current system works for us, I haven't done more than think "yeah, I need to figure out what kind that was and try it".)
posted by stormyteal at 4:00 PM on March 24, 2016

Yesssss, the Libman Freedom Spray Mop is the best, as mentioned above. I have all hard floors and a Great Dane and a cat and live in rainy, muddy Seattle. It is the only mop to pass the two-week test (in which I get frustrated and give up on clean floors) and it is going strong almost two years later. The pads can take machine washing on basically any cycle and they really get all the stray pet hair and dirt up from my light faux-wood floors. SO much better than a swiffer or traditional mop and way easier than constantly washing towels and getting on your hands and knees. I like that the very thin head can get under things like my oven and fridge and it doesn't shed long strings like previous, gross mops.
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 12:20 AM on March 25, 2016

Seconding (thirding?) the glorious experience of using a wet rag and your foot. Possibly enhanced by pretending you're pippi longstocking, ymmv.

Depending on what chemicals you're (not) using, you can do this with bare feet. Bare feet + very warm rag + sliding on floor = heaven.
posted by Cozybee at 1:27 AM on March 25, 2016

Before health problems made it impossible, I was a housekeeper for a lady with a ~3500 sq ft house, approximately 60% of which was hardwood, and another 15% was tile. I cleaned weekly, homeowner wiped up spills and such in between.

I hated the microfiber mop she loved. It was fine for about a room. Maaaaaaybe a room and a half. Past that, it was worthless. I did much better with a sponge mop, often used as a Cuban mop, with the bestest cleaning solution ever ever (passed down from my Southern Home Economics teacher Mama) of scalding hot water, Dawn dish soap, and white vinegar.

My perfect world solution would have been a high-quality string mop with wringer bucket, using Mama's cleaning solution, but homeowner refused to spend more money than was absolutely necessary and to give up 2 1/3 square feet in the garage for the bucket.
posted by The Almighty Mommy Goddess at 8:27 AM on March 25, 2016

I got a mopnado a couple of years ago for my new house. I'm pretty impressed with it. I've had the 'head' pop off once or twice, but that's not super irritating to me. Once I learned the proper technique to 'wash' the head (spins in the bucket with the soap water) without getting the strands caught it works great.

I've done a lot of mopping in my day with a variety of implements. This is the best.
posted by kookywon at 8:48 AM on March 25, 2016

The Libman tornado is a string mop and I favor string mops. We had the Libman wonder mop and that worked too, and didn't break.
posted by zennie at 1:26 PM on March 25, 2016

This comment from bilabial just changed my life - I already had a floor squeegee (for moving water off the deck and porch). I like a string mop + wringer bucket for weekly mopping but had been doing the towel shuffle to get up the water (65% wood floors, the rest tile) after I'd mopped. Using the floor squeegee + old towels instead of shuffling has been a lot faster and more effective today. This is my new go-to mopping technique!

For just daily light mopping, I like the Bona mop with microfiber pads, but if I'd heard of the squeegee or cuban mop technique prior to owning the Bona + a half dozen microfiber mops for it, I would never have bought it.
posted by hilaryjade at 11:04 AM on March 26, 2016

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