This article is dedicated to addressing using a dirty or badly soiled mop for floor cleaning. It will also address a term called Black Mop Syndrome which commonly occurs in healthcare facilities. What should be done to avoid soil mops and why wet mops need to be kept clean when floor cleaning.

Failure to keep wet floor mops clean will lead to performance and poor results issues as well as creating a costly mistake. Failure to keep your wet mops clean when floor cleaning is a costly mistake because it will not clean the floor properly and actually put more soil back on the floor causing the floor finish or a natural stone floor to be deep cleaned prematurely. This will add extra and unnecessary cost to the cleaning program.  We will recommend ways to avoid using dirty mops and why it is important to use clean tools and supplies when floor cleaning.

In the event, you were looking for information on ways to floor cleaning, please refer to another Article on our website. (Cleaning Floors – Proper Cleaning Techniques – Commercial and Residential)


Floors Cleaning – The Importance of Using Clean Wet Mops


A dirty or soiled wet mop while floor cleaning can cause soil to be re-deposited back onto the floor. This happens because when a wet mop is so soiled or dirty, it no longer has the ability to release soils into a solution or rinse bucket. The mop is so overloaded with soil, it becomes inefficient. There are several ways to avoid a wet mop from becoming prematurely spoiled or dirty.

  • Change your cleaning solution or rinse water mop bucket often.
  • Wash or rinse your wet mops out after each use and allow to air dry.
  • Do not leave your wet mop soaking in a bucket of soiled water or solution.
  • Launder wet mops on a regular basis using non-ionic laundry detergent and oxygen bleach instead of chlorine bleach.


Floors Cleaning – Black Mop Syndrome


This problem occurs most often in Healthcare facilities and is basically the same issue as a soiled or dirty mop. It occurs from the use neutral quaternary disinfectants or with cleaners that are lower priced floor cleaners without a sufficient amount of surfactants or builders to release the soil from the mop. So with healthcare facilities which use quaternary disinfectants to clean every day, it would stand to reason that black mop syndrome would occur most often in the healthcare market. There are several ways to avoid black mop syndrome which include the recommendations as stated above. However, also following the helpful tips will assist in eliminating or reducing this phenomenon.

  • A quality disinfectant with more surfactants or builders will help release the soil and reduce the mop becoming so soiled that it turns a discolored black appearance.
  • Presoak prior to laundering the wet mops in a solution of a high alkaline cleaner and hot water.
  • Do not use fabric softeners when laundering wet mops as they will attract soils rapidly by coating the fibers of the mop.
  • Avoid using cotton wet mops; cotton mops have a natural tendency of absorbing soils which under normal conditions and floors that do not require using a quaternary disinfectant would not be an issue. In fact you want to soils to be absorbed in the mop but under these conditions a rayon mop in a healthcare facility will perform excellent and reduce black mop syndrome.


Floors Cleaning – Quality Wet Mops Websites

Staples Office supply

Bunzl PLC


Schwarz Supply Source


Home Depot

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