Considering the fact that traditional mops have been around since the 1400's and little has changed in their design, one can safely assume that this type of floor care product works very well. However, as technology ushers in advancements in almost every area of life, the cleaning industry has opened up with some relatively new ideas.
While materials used in mop manufacture have become stronger and more efficient, much of the mop's humble beginnings have lasted throughout the ages. Originally crafted from cloth pieces nailed to a stick, today's mops boast a durable aluminum or wood handle with cotton or sponge heads.
Used most frequently to sop up spilled liquids and to clean floor surfaces, traditional mops require some type of twisting action to release excess fluids. In the past, most were simply wrung out by hand, but modern convenience has introduced special buckets with attached wringers for this type of mop.
More advanced models of the traditional mop have become self-wringing. This means that the mop has some type of mechanism that allows the user to wring out the mop without an added accessory or using only their hands. These more up-to-date models have also upgraded their mop heads from outdated cotton or yarn to sponges or multiple layers of absorbent strings.
Traditional mops are extremely useful in absorbing excess fluids, but some find that it is lacking in the sanitation department. Complaints that these types of mops do not pick up dirt, only push it around, has prompted many to look towards the steam mop.
Steam mops are relatively new and work similarly to that of a steam iron. They are lightweight and run on electricity. These types of mops have a built in water reservoir and mechanical system that converts the water into steam. Steam production is regulated by a sensor in the handle that triggers when the user pushes forward on the mop.
Steam mops, or hot mops, are designed for use on most hard flooring surfaces and require no added chemicals to produce sanitary and shiny results. Also, the steam mop is designed to eliminate damaging water spots left behind by traditional mops. Most of the world's leading floor care manufacturers have adopted the sale of these types of mops.
While popularity for the steam mop continues to grow, several problems exist for the user. Although the steam action creates effortless sanitation, it requires multiple passes to remove stuck on debris. Another complaint among buyers is that the steam mop has a tendency to leave visible cleaning marks on waxed floor surfaces.
Proponents of the steam mop feel that the onboard water reservoir makes cleaning quicker and less complicated, while opponents say that the tank is too small and the power cord is too short to span larger rooms.
A mop is useful only when it produces desired results. If sanitation is your main goal, steam mop is most likely the best alternative for your home. If complete removal of stuck on foods and other tough debris is what you are looking for, then traditional mop will be your best choice.