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Choosing the right dust mop

Dust mops are available in a wide range of different types. Choosing the right mop for your task will save you both time and money.

This Gopher Chooser Guide helps you with the selection of the most suitable dust mop for your cleaning task. This Chooser Guide can also be downloaded in PDF format at the foot of this page.

If in doubt about which is the correct dust mop to use, please seek guidance from us.

Types of dust mop

Broadly speaking, there are two basic types of dust mop currently in use: laundered and disposable.

The laundered dust mop is designed for heavy use with repeated cleaning, and currently is almost always produced from synthetic materials. Disposable mops are generally used for one-off cleaning tasks or where laundering is not possible.

Types of mop head

Cut end

A cut end dust mop head, where the mop strands are simply cut to a given length, is the traditional construction and works well in all but the most demanding situations, especially when sewn rather than tufted. Though more economical to buy initially, cut end style dust mop is not designed to be laundered or to withstand rigorous use. It tends to unravel, fray and lint during use. These problems shorten life of the mop and decrease performance.

Looped end

In this type of construction, the strands are looped back on themselves, which helps to eliminate  linting and fraying. With no loose ends, mops last longer, withstand washing and are far less vulnerable to tangling and deterioration in the laundry.

Twisted loops

In this construction, looped strands are further twisted, which has the effect of improving the dust and dirt capturing properties. They are less prone to snags, frays, and unravelling during cleaning and laundering.

Mop head backing

The mop heads backing – the material to which the mop strands are attached – can be both cotton and synthetic. The latter is now increasingly preferred, as it is stronger and more abrasion resistant than cotton, dries much faster and is less likely to become discoloured or stained.

Mop frames and handles

In use, the mop head is always attached to a frame, which is either tied on or more commonly is held on via slip-on pocket or velcro on the backing. The frame is then attached to the handle via a swivel-snap device.

Frames are available in a variety of sizes, with common sizes ranging from 18” to 48”, although frames of up to 72” can be found.

A special variant is the V-frame sweeper. This sweeper consists of two frames and handles which are arranged in such a fashion that the shape of the frames resembles a V and the use of the handles is akin to the action of using scissors. V-frame sweepers are ideal for the fast sweeping of corridors and large floor areas.

Materials used in mop heads


Cotton fibre is still an effective material for collecting and retaining dust and particle matter, although they are much less commonly used than today.


Synthetic fibres pick up dust by attraction, eliminating the need for dust mop treatments. They are harder wearing than cotton and can be laundered (up to 100 times for some makes).


As the name implies blended mop heads consist of both cotton and synthetic materials.

This type is engineered to aggressively collect dust, the microfiber filament fibres and looped ends allow for the pick-up of very small or micro particles that other types of mop leave behind. Microfibre products can be washed over 200 times.

Key factors to consider when buying a dust mop

Degree of soiling

Where there is significant soiling, with large accumulations of dust and dirt build-up, you should opt for a dust mop with good dust pick-up properties, with synthetic and microfibre mops preferred.

Size of area

If you have a large area to regularly dust mop, you should seek to use larger frame sizes or consider a V-sweeper. It is important to match the size of the mop to the operator, so that the mop is always within the physical capability of the operator to be able to effectively control.

Cost and economy

In order to achieve the right level of economy, you will need to balance issues of durability, with re-use and effectiveness.

In general terms, if you are a heavy user of dry mops and have the facilities to launder then choose a synthetic, blended or microfibre mop head; these choices will also provide greater durability. The latter option can prove expensive however if you do not retain them for their full, expected wash cycle.

If you need to undertake dust mopping in a restricted area or relatively infrequently, and you wish to restrict your expenditure, then the low cost cotton alternative should be sufficient.


PDF DocumentChoosing the right dust mop



Disclaimer:  Every precaution has been taken to ensure that the information and advice given in this Gopher Chooser Guide is accurate and reflects current best practice. If you in any doubt on any matter in relation to the information or advice given then you should always take further professional advice. No responsibility for loss occasioned by any corporate body or individual acting or refraining from action as a result of using any material contained within any Chooser Guide shown on this site can be accepted by Gopher Supplies or its associated companies.

Version Update: January 2012


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