No doubt, technology today governs most of our activities, including that of professional cleaning. However, it is equally true that one reaches out for the humble mop on many occasions. It too has a tale behind its evolution and today is as much sophisticated in its making as it is in its usage. Clean India Journal brings to you the story of mops and how they have evolved over time. Contributing their expert and varied views are, Alessandro Constantin, Export Sales Manager, TTS CLEANING SRL; CRG Prasad, Sales Director- India, Vileda Professional; Sami Memili, CEO President, ARCORA International GmbH and Debtosh Chatterjee, MD & CEO, Mrinmoyee Supply Pvt. Ltd.
Why did the cotton mop fail?
Alessandro: One of the main trends in the professional cleaning sector has been the gradual substitution of the cotton mop with the more efficient microfibre mop.
Cotton mops are less expensive, but they do not last beyond more than 60 washing cycles, whereas the microfibre mop can be laundered over 350/400 times. The cotton mop is also a good dirt absorber but, it is not as abrasive as the microfibre one, which cleans much better and deeper. Moreover, cotton is less hygienic than microfibre as it favours the proliferation of bacteria.
Comparing the cotton string mop with microfibre flat mop, it is easy to understand the reasons why the first cleaning system is not efficient. The cotton string mop puts only a limited pressure on the floor whereas the microfibre flat mop performs a consistent pressure on the floor. Differently from the microfibre flat mop, the cotton string mop is also unsuitable for vertical surfaces as it becomes heavy when wet.
CRG Prasad: The durability of cotton mops has gone down primarily, because the quality which we used to get earlier was better due to the decent price. But FMS companies are more price driven today and they negotiate the contract on an annual basis. The only segment on which they can squeeze out margins is tools. So, less expensive mops with lesser quality are imported from China.
Sami: The cotton mop – the danger mop– has a high dead weight. When it is used wet, the weight doubles or even triples. That makes the handling difficult because more force is needed to move it properly. The biggest disadvantage is that the mop absorbs the dirt poorly and just spreads it from one corner to the other. So, everything contrary to a hygienic cleaning result is achieved. In addition, the corners are not cleaned, which results in microorganisms and germs multiplying in the remaining soil. Because of the prevailing temperatures, the conditions for multiplication of microorganisms is very high.
– Alessandro Constantin
Debtosh: It is not true that the cotton mop has failed. It is the answer for places where it is needed. One cannot use microfibre / rayon / or any manmade fabric in places like kitchen where there is an open fire or surface with oil and grease. It is also useful in high traffic areas or areas where reuse is not possible.
What are the solutions that came into the market following cotton mop?
Alessandro: The change from cotton mop to microfibre mop is increasing the hygienic level, as well as saving costs and time.
In particular, the microfibre flat mop ensures high performance which can remove up to 99% of microbes and viruses just because of its deep cleaning capacity. The microfibre flat mop also favours the daily cleaning activities and protects the health of the operator because it is ergonomic, light and easy to use. Finally, it reduces the quantity of water required, which means less chemical consumption and more environmental protection. It is quite clear how these features make the microfibre flat mop the best solution for professional cleaning.
The latest technology in this field is represented by double side microfibre flat mop which can be used both sides, cleaning twice as much compared to traditional systems. In addition, it easily releases the dirt during laundry and gets dry quickly because of its composition.
CRG Prasad: The best solution which was introduced is the micro fibre mop which can be referred to as polyester micro fibre. 100% micro fibre can be very expensive, so the polyester micro fibre is a good option. In that there are many grades. One is non-particle shedding, other one is mid-range and third is slightly more durable. So, these are the mops which exist in the market with the Tier A suppliers. If you go to Tier B suppliers, you will probably end up finding Chinese micro fibre!
Debtosh: Cotton mop mixed with rayon or other synthetic fibre, full acrylic mop and microfibre mop were introduced into the market.
Cotton flat mops
Cotton flat mops slide easily on a variety of floor coverings. Handling is a lot easier which gives better results even in the corners.
Microfibre flat mops
Microfibre has a really big advantage in that lot of water or rather dirt will be absorbed.
Mixed fabric flat mops
Mixed fabric (cotton & microfibre) combine the advantages of cotton with those of microfibre.Due to cotton, the mop is particularly smooth, and the cleaning solution can easily be distributed. It is very hygienic, as polluted cleaning solution water will be absorbed.