It’s a familiar story: after a couple of weeks of intensive use, the head of your mop becomes grey and frayed despite regular rinsing, and loses its clean, fresh appearance. Yet good mop hygiene is key! Even if you mop the floor regularly, all you are doing when you use a dirty mop head is pushing bacteria from part of the surface to another. Wouldn’t it be great to just throw it in the washing machine and get it back as good as new? It’s not a bad idea! In fact, it makes perfect sense: in addition to getting better cleaning results, you can also extend the life of the product by a good few weeks. We were curious how many people wash their mops in the machine, so we ran a poll on Facebook to find out. The results: 57% of respondents wash their mop heads in the washing machine, 43% do not. Of course, the devil is in the details, as always. First, it is important to know what material your mop head is made from, as not all mops are machine washable. It’s also important to know what temperature to set and whether or not you should use detergent.
The golden rule is that cotton mop heads are not machine washable. This will not only ruin the mop, it’s also not recommended as the woven fabric will come apart and clog up the washing machine. With viscose mop heads, on the other hand, it’s a different matter. The threads woven from flat white strips will become dazzlingly clean. And washing them at 60°C will even kill off the bacteria! Feel free to add a little bit of detergent or washing soda if you want your overworked mop head emerge fresh and fragrant. The good news is that many people’s favorite microfiber mop heads, can also be washed at 60°C. To best preserve their amazing absorbant properties and keep the fibres intact, I recommend avoiding the use of detergent or fabric conditioner with microfiber mop heads.
Many people ask how often you should put mop heads in the washing machine. It’s usually a good idea to wash them once a month, although you can also run them through the machine more often if you want. If you do, don’t put anything else in, just the mop heads, and make sure you take them out as soon as the program is over and hang them out to dry, ideally in the sun and fresh air. Taking good care of your mop heads doesn’t just make for a cleaner house, it can also save a lot of money as they will last far longer.
Once you’re an expert at cleaning mop heads, don’t forget the bucket and basket! Most of us don’t think of it, but your mop bucket is just as likely to become coated in limescale as any other plastic surface. The damp surface and porous structure of the limescale make this a great place for bacteria! It’s a good idea to rub down the bucket with citric acid once a month: this natural solution is perfect because it dissolves limescale and other contaminants without damaging the plastic! And if you really set your standards high, you shouldn’t neglect the mop handle either. Check the surface every two months. If you see rust, it’s time for a new one!