10 Types of Mops for Your Home Floor Cleaning


The concept of the mop is stunningly simple. All a mop ever was is a stick with something that scrubs on the end of it. And for the longest time, that’s all anyone ever thought of when they thought of a mop. Over the last few decades, mops have evolved to uncanny degrees. The traditional mop that uses a bucket to dry is still the most common mop, but in the current day, there are numerous other types of mops that specialize in cleaning certain areas and can make life much, much easier in cleaning these areas. There are many more types of mops than the ones listed below, but these are the most common.

Different Types of Mops

mop types

Flat mops

These types of mops are usually designed for very small stains. A pad is attached at the end of these, and the pad picks up dirt or wet spots. Some pads for these flat mops can be washed in a washing machine and reused. Flat mops are designed to clean very small areas that do not encounter a lot of traffic or a lot of heavy duty cleaning, such as small office areas.

Sponge Mops

A step above the flat mop, the sponge mop has a similar design to the flat mop, only they attach a sponge at the end instead of a pad or a cloth. The sponge can absorb much more than the pad that the sponge mop can absorb, and therefore can be used in bigger areas. Still, the sponge mop is more ideal for spills than anything else, as the liquid from the spill can be absorbed much easier than any other mop head surface.

Dust Mops

The dust mop is used as a giant broom for sweeping dust, paper, and other kinds of trash from the floor before the floor gets mopped. Because it takes a much longer time to walk around a place with a broom and a dustpan to collect and throw away these kinds of things, the dust mop is useful for cleaning up trash and dust in bigger buildings. Places such as warehouses and shopping centers, where dust mops can be used to gather up anything that needs to be thrown away before the floor can be cleaned properly.

String Mops

This is what people think about when they visualize a mop. String mops are by far the most common mop on the planet, and virtually any other mop on this list follows the design of this list. This is the type of mop that comes with a bucket, the mop gets placed into the bucket, which then gets wrung out by whatever device wrings out the water on the bucket. Virtually all places of business carry string mops, as they are very efficient at cleaning massive dirty areas on a floor.

Having a bucket along with your mop is proven to be helpful and time-saving at the same time. That’s why we recommend you read our review of the best mops with buckets.

Strip Mop

Related to the string mop is the strip mop. Strip mops have a number of uses. When they are dry, they can be used for dusting, as the mop head has a series of strips on them that can easily remove dust from a surface without spreading it around further. When wet, they do more or less the same thing as a string mop. They are not as massive as a common string mop, so they may not be ideal for bigger areas. However, because some strip mop heads are removable and can be placed in a washing machine to be used again, they are effective at cleaning offices and houses.

Steam Mops

Strip mops and string mops need to have the solution manually applied to them and then wrung out before being used. Steam mops take that process away. While not being as big as a string mop but being as big as a strip mop, steam mops are equipped with solution cartridges that dispense solution when a button is pressed on the mop. The solution then sprays out in front of the mop head. The steam mop is perfect for cleaning homes and offices as there is no need to keep a bucket around for it.

Spin Mop

Another mop that is related to the string mop, the spin mop does come with a bucket, and follow the same concept as the string mop. Different than the string mop, the bucket is equipped with either a foot pedal or a hand pedal that wrings out the water and solution absorbed by the mop better than any wringer on a string mop could. Spin mops are not as large as string mops typically, but are still very useful to have when cleaning a medium area, such as house.

Microfiber Mop

Microfiber materials are being discovered at faster rates nowadays, specifically because of their ability to absorb just as much if not more than a sponge. Microfiber mops are built the same way as a sponge mop. The only difference is that the mop head is made of microfiber, which can absorb just as much as a sponge. While a sponge is nearly impossible to clean perfectly, microfiber materials are often very easy to clean.

Floor Mop

A variation of the dust mop, the purpose of the floor mop is also to clear a floor of trash, dust, and other particles or foreign objects on the floor that would get in the way of cleaning the floor with a wet mop. Some floor mops are also called “shop brooms,” which resemble a mop, but have bristles at the end like a broom would have. The floor mop is perfect for very large spaces such as warehouses where a lot of solid materials could fall to the floor. Floor mops can be effective when cleaning parking lots, especially if they are in the “shop broom” category.

Static Mop

Yet another variation on the dust mop is the static mop. Static mops have virtually the same design as a shop broom, the only difference is that instead of bristles attached at the end, some of them have microfiber attached to the end. The fact that microfibers carry some semblance of static is what gives them the name static mops. These kinds of mops are used in the same way as dust and floor mops are used, for gathering up solid foreign objects that need to be swept into a dustpan.

Disposable Mop

Sometimes it is not necessary to own a mop in the long term. They do, after all, require a bit of maintenance. Disposable mop heads can connect to almost any of the above described mops. While some mop heads can be washed and reused, disposable mops can be discarded. Disposable mops are frequently used in stores and office buildings, as the effort to take a used mop head to be washed and reused is not feasible.


Mops have come a long way since their invention. From all of these descriptions, it is easy to see that there are different mops for different cleaning situations. Although they may all do the same thing, which is clean floors, things can be inconvenient if you have only one kind of mop for a certain room. For example, a strip mop would not be ideal to use in a warehouse. A string mop would be too much for a small office. There is no reason to carry a floor mop (aka shop broom) in a one or two bedroom home. Using this guide will show you which mop to get for which floor you need cleaned.

Discussion1 Comment

  1. From heavy duty clear-ups to a quick spritz to keep things fresh, there’s a mop on the market to suit your cleaning needs. There’s more to keeping floors clean than sploshing a grey, string mop in and out of dirty water, using brute strength to squeeze it dry through a drainer. Today’s systems make it a whole lot easier to mop, using clamps, spinners and rollers to achieve the correct level of moisture for different types of floor cleaning.

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