Browse by Category

Choosing the right wet mop

Although at first sight, it seems  that ‘a mop is a mop is a mop’, there in fact a number of variants both in the fibres used and the construction of the mop head.

This Gopher Chooser Guide helps you with the selection of the most suitable wet 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 wet mop to use, please seek guidance from us

Types of mop fibre


Cotton fibres are popular because of their low initial cost, limited shrinkage and great absorption. Cotton picks up 2 to 3 times its weight.


Rayon fibres have fast absorption. They are mildew resistant, lint less and dry fast. Rayon is designed to pick up 6 to 7 times its weight but it has no retention capabilities and, therefore, provides an excellent finish mop.


Blends combine all the advantages of several different fibres to provide the ideal balance of price, performance and appearance. They are generally highly-absorbent. Blends can pick up and hold up to 6 to 7 times their weight.


These are mop heads made from synthetic materials.  They generally have long staple  fibres for  superior  tensile strength and are lint free. They tend to be more expensive that other types and have lower levels of absorbency.


These mop heads are constructed with 100% continuous filament microfiber woven fabrics sewn into the tubes, which makes this the best yarn for lint-free mopping applications. The microfiber yarn increases the surface friction for superior cleaning as compared to traditional wet mops.

Types of yarn

Yarn ply

This is an indication of the number of strands twisted together to make a single yarn strand. More plies means added strength, though a higher number of plies does not necessarily mean that the yarn is of higher quality. More strands may add durability, but they also decrease absorbency. It is better to choose a higher quality yarn than a high ply, low quality yarn.

Yarn twist

This is an indication of how tightly the fibre strands are wound together. A tightly twisted yarn might be stronger and last longer but it may have less absorbency. The best value is not determined by the yarn’s twist but by the type and quality of the yarn and the construction of the mop. A mop with a looped-end construction enables the yarn to have a loose twist without fraying.

Mop construction

Cut end mop heads

Here the mop head strands are simply cut without or the minimum of further finishing.

Cut end mop heads are the economical solution being generally lowest in initial cost. Over time, cut-end mop heads will fray and unravel, creating lint and leaving loose strands behind. In addition, cut end mop heads leave gaps between yarn strands and have limited “spread”, thus covering less area per pass. Some models have tail bands (stitching that binds the mop strands together at the base), which reduce these shortcomings and help to improve coverage. Since cut-end mop heads should not be laundered, their useful life is limited.

Looped end

Here the mop head strands are looped back on themselves

Although the initial cost is slightly higher, these mop heads deliver longer life with superior on-the-floor performance and greater productivity. This mop head is less likely to fray or unravel. A tail band assures wide, gap-free “spread” for maximum productivity. Tail bands also eliminate yarn tangling and snagging. Looped end mop heads can be laundered and reused over and over. They last far longer than cut-end mop heads.

Key factors to consider when choosing a mop

The key factors to consider when selecting a mop are:

The mopping task

This factor concerns whether you are essentially cleaning (scrubbing), applying liquid solutions (cleaners, maintainers) or finishing (removing water and drying the floor).


This relates to the type of floor to be cleaned, how rough and uneven.


A wet mop should be sized both to the person using the mop and to the wringer with which it is used. Cut end  mops  are  sized  by their  approximate  weight  in ounces, whereas looped  end  mops  are  sized  by  industry  standards.

The operator’s physical strength should properly match the mop size to prevent worker fatigue, and the possibility of lower fatigue and poor mopping results.

Value for money

It is important to balance issues of cost and performance in order to ensure long lasting mop performance.

In respect of the mopping task and durability, the most important aspect to consider is the type of mop fibre and yarn ply and twist, while the mop’s construction chosen will additionally influence the weight and value for money aspects.

Summary of wet mop types, uses and evaluation

Advantages Disadvantages Principal Uses
Low cost

Dries Slowly:
Short Life

General use;
Picking up liquids;
Quick absorption:
Low linting;
Dries fast

Poor retention;
Shrinks when
Applying liquids;

Highly absorbent;
Long lasting;
Good balance between
cost and performance

May shrink Can be used in all


Long life;
High relative cost

Rough and/or very
uneven surfaces

Good absorption;
Lint free:
Improved coverage

Long life;
High relative cost
Can be used in all


PDF DocumentChoosing the right wet 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


Gopher Sign in

Please enter your email address and password.

Forgot Password
Don't have an account then please Register.


Please ensure you provide a value to search for.
Are you sure you want to go to google?