Floor mopping is an old practice with the first patent for a replaceable head fastened to a handle issued in 1893.
While mopheads have changed with advancements including microfiber composition and quick-release mechanisms, the essential problem remains: while mops absorb and remove some soil, they also spread it, sometimes more than they remove.
A Better Way?
Cleaning technology advanced in 1997 with a patent granted to the inventor (Robert S. Robinson) of a spray-and-vac machine ? https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spray-and-vac_cleaning ? having the ability to apply fresh solution to floors, scrub, then vacuum soils. This innovation outperformed traditional floor mopping in several ways according to the 2008 article, "Cleaning Methods for Ceramic Tile Floors" by Jay Glasel, Ph.D., in Controlled Environments magazine, http://www.cemag.us/article/2008/04/cleaning-methods-ceramic-tile-floors.
According to Dr. Glasel, the spray-and-vac technology studied, also referred to as No-Touch Cleaning, surpassed the efficacy of floor mopping in performance, hygienic outcome, and labor savings:
- “Data shows spray-and-vac cleaning is by far the most effective cleaning method removing contamination from a ceramic tile and grouted floor.”
- “Data shows the spray-and-vac machine is 60 times more effective in reducing bacterial contamination than the conventional method for typical commercial floors, such as those used for aseptic processing.”
- “[On tile surfaces] mops left 12–13 times more contaminants than spray-and-vac cleaning.”
- “[On grout] mops left 30 times more soil than spray-and-vac cleaning.”
- Glasel concluded that, while it “may be theoretically possible to achieve cleaning and bacterial removal efficiencies at the spray-and-vac levels with traditional or microfiber mops, these [process] changes would [cause a major reduction in] cleaning productivity.”
After more than a century, by adopting better ways, it’s time to move beyond traditional floor mopping and to stop the mop.
For more information on effective, hygienic cleaning, contact Kaivac.
Allen Rathey is the principal of the Healthy Facilities Institute (HFI), director of the Indoor Wellness Council (IWC), and author of articles about best practices in cleaning and indoor environmental management.
*The Healthy Facilities Institute (HFI) and the Indoor Wellness Council (IWC) do not endorse products.