Updated: Jun 4
In a list that includes the eggbeater, the dust pan, metal oven racks, a yarn holder, the ironing board, the more efficient lightbulb and a machine that kneads bread, the mop is part of a long list of household inventions that were invented by African-Americans. Thomas W. Steward was awarded Patent 499,402 on June 13, 1893 for figuring out that if you attached cloth to a stick, it could not only make the job of cleaning the floor less arduous, but it would save a lot of bad backs and bruised knees.
Mops have evolved significantly since 1893. We now have wet mops and dry mops—so called because, you guessed it, wet mops use water and cleaning products and are best for kitchen and bathroom tile and dry mops stay dry and are best for getting lint and dust off wood floors. German brothers Peter and Thomas Vosbikian in 1950 evolved the wet mop by adding a sponge and a metal lever to squeeze out water to stop having to constantly bend over to wring it out. The sponge mop is considered a separate category from wet mops although they essentially function the same.
Since the 1990s, mops have become less sustainable with disposable pads and gone high tech with spray bottle attachments. iRobot even makes an autonomous mop that cleans the floors with an internal jet pack, but if you have lots of stuff on your floors, we've yet to go full Ex Machina with robots who can take the full place of humans. So, you know, you still have to do some of the work.
What's the best way to mop the floor? Well, first off, slow down on the sauce. Meaning, less is more when it comes to the bubbles. Too much soap can lead to stickiness and residue. Also, consider two buckets rather than one: one for rinsing and one for soaping. Wring out the entire bucket in the rinse so that all the dust and debris comes out before re-soaping. When the rinse bucket gets too dirty, discard the water in your toilet (not your kitchen sink) to avoid contaminating the area you fix food with the multitude of germs and dirt from your floors.
Mop in one direction, with the grain of the floor, and avoid stepping over the area you've just cleaned until it's dry. When you are done with your mop, soak it in bleach to completely disinfect, then completely air it out. Do not store it wet or it will attract mold and bacteria.
PopUP CleanUP offers full floor detailing services—carpet, linoleum, wood, vinyl, tile, ceramic—you name it. Call us at (323) 538-0188 today to find out how we can make your space shine.