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Microfiber mops are gaining much more traction in grocery, hardware, and online stores, in many cases taking up more shelf space than the traditional cotton yarn head mops. Sales on Amazon.com certainly prove that with 9 out of the top 10 models of wet mops sold are made with microfiber heads.
When new materials come to the forefront, it’s easy to question whether they can replace tools we’ve used for generations. While they’re certainly becoming more popular, the question remains, are microfiber mops good?
What is Microfiber
Microfiber is an ultra-fine synthetic fiber, with the diameter of the thread being smaller than the finest silk threads. It can be made from polyester or other similar materials, and its threads can be made into extremely smooth materials.
Depending on the weave of the microfiber material, it can be designed to either absorb or repel liquid. The material used in the best microfiber mops is made to be absorbent but still absorbs much less water than typical mop materials like cotton.
Benefits of Microfiber Mops
Microfiber mops are good for your home, workplace, and even the environment. Let’s look at some of the major benefits of using this material.
Microfiber mops are very good at cleaning. The tight weave that makes up the microfiber mop head allows for the material itself, even without any cleaning solution, to pick up very small particles from the floor like dust and dirt. It does this with the help of tiny hooks that the fibers create, grabbing, and holding on to grime and dirt.
Additional cleaning benefits for microfiber mops include:
- They are lint-free.
- They make it easier to apply thin coats, helping floors avoid waxy buildup.
- They use less water, making the mop lighter when in use, and this also helps floors dry more quickly.
The same cleaning action of the tiny microfiber hooks is effective on viruses and bacteria. Studies have shown that microfiber mops using only water can remove up to 98 percent of bacteria, and 93 percent of viruses from hospital floors.
Microfiber, while constructed out of man-made materials, is still considered a greener alternative to cotton mops. It can be made from recycled materials, it uses much less water, and needs very little chemical help to clean a floor.
Drawbacks of Microfiber Mops
While there are many benefits to using one of these mops, they do come with some drawbacks as well. Much of the time these drawbacks are based on the same properties that make some applications better.
Not Recommended for Greasy Floors
Microfiber mops do not handle grease well. The microscopic hooks that normally aid in cleaning get clogged by a greasy floor, causing the mop to lose it’s most powerful benefit. We would not recommend using a microfiber mop in a busy kitchen with high foot traffic.
Not as Absorbent as Other Mops
While this can be a good thing when mopping on a regular basis, the lack of absorbency in microfiber can make it very difficult to clean up large spills. In these cases, we would recommend the classic cotton mop with a ringer. There are microfiber “string” mops that are made to be more absorbent than the flat head mops normally seen, but they still will not absorb as much as cotton.
Different Kinds of Microfiber Mops
As previously mentioned, there are different kinds of mops made from microfiber. The choice between them may be based on the shape of the area that needs to be cleaned, its size, or even whether you need to worry about cross-contamination.
Microfiber Flat Mops
These mops normally come with a flat head and extendable handle, along with replaceable microfiber cleaning pads that wrap around the head. Flat microfiber mops are good for normal floor cleaning, especially with hardwood or laminate flooring. They can get into square corners better, are better at concentrating on specific areas, and the pads can be swapped out to avoid cross-contamination in different rooms (like the bathroom and kitchen).
One of the negatives of flat mops is that one cleaning pad will get too dirty to clean after about 200 square feet of mopping. At this point, you will have to swap the head out, or wait until you’ve washed the pad before continuing. If you have a large amount of floor to clean, this can be a burden.
Microfiber String Mops
This new generation of string mops often come with their own bucket, with a spinner (instead of a wringer) to remove excess water or cleaner. These spinning mops can hold a lot more water than the flat mops, so they are better for large spills or floors that may need a lot of water to clean.
Because you are able to clean the microfiber string mop heads in the bucket, they are better suited for large areas. You will not need to change the cleaning pad and can continue mopping, at least until the water becomes too dirty.
We would say that microfiber mops are good, maybe even great depending on your particular needs. As an all-around cleaning and disinfecting tool for floors, they are very hard to beat.