More and more janitorial companies are replacing the mop and bucket with microfiber bucketless systems, and for very good reason. They are versatile, easy to use, eco-friendly, reduce cross contamination, and in most cases provide a better clean.
I'd like to share with you our real world comparison between these two methods as well as different bucketless microfiber products we've used:
Whether they're called traditional mops, string mops, swing mops, wet loop mops or any other names, the conventional mop and bucket has kept floors looking clean for decades. However, the key word is "looking". When you mop a dirty room and dip the mop back into the bucket to wring it out, the water is no longer clean. You are then mopping the next room with dirty water, and the more rooms you clean before the water is replaced, the dirtier that water gets.
But can't you just replace the water when it gets dirty? Sure, and most people do. But this is the reason why conventional mopping is not normally associated with green cleaning; water usage with conventional mopping is simply too high.
Conventional mopping does have its benefits though. Wet loop mops can get into corners, along edges, behind fixtures, and can handle the extra pressure needed to remove stubborn stains or be paired with scrub pads. They are also tough enough to mop more abrasive surfaces like concrete, and can hold more water to ensure adequate coverage as well as absorb larger spills.
The first widely used microfiber mopping systems we saw were charging buckets. You would keep your pads soaking in solution and would pull a new one out whenever you needed it. While this seemed like a noble idea, the pads would wear out so fast we just weren't getting the coverage to clean the floors properly. We went through a lot of pads, and early on many of the pads were disposable! Not very efficient if you ask me.
Next to come along were microfiber mops that had solution dispensers attached to the frame. So you would squeeze a trigger to spray solution directly in front of the pad allowing you to use as much or as little solution as you needed. The only problem with the early models was the solution dispensers were non-refillable forcing you to buy refills regularly.
We now use microfiber with refillable dispensers that allow us to not only save money from buying refills, but we can use the floor cleaning chemical of our choosing! Low cost, effective, and convenient. The microfiber pads are inexpensive and can be laundered hundreds of times.
Certain floors also have strict low moisture requirements such as laminate and wood flooring and medical facilities in particular need the reduction in cross contamination that microfiber mopping provides.
Finally, another great benefit of microfiber is its portability and convenience. You can easily fit one in a small car and not having to fill up at a mop sink saves a great deal of time, especially if the sink is across the building or on a different floor.
When you compare conventional mopping with bucketless microfiber it becomes very clear why companies around the world are making the switch. But you might not want to throw away your mop and bucket just yet; next time I will share how even a conventional mop can be used responsibly and effectively.