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Tuesday, October 13, 2015


We are a non profit community program for people with disabilities and we are training clients for cleaning. We are looking for simple direct cleaning training material, and we have been given a citation for not having our mop heads out of the cleaning solution while the individual is cleaning sinks, etc. I am looking for standards for mop storage. Any suggestions would be helpful.


There is no industry standard for mop storage, probably because it, along with many other cleaning tasks, is thought to be too simple to require an explanation. Then, along comes a supervisory official and makes the case for a uniform understanding of what? Mop storage!
First off, leaving a mop soaking in a detergent solution for a few minutes is not the same as leaving it lying in a bucket of dirty solution overnight. The citation person, had he or she had a standard (or mopping experience), would have known that. The soaking only aids in soil release from the mophead, which is a good thing to do. The leaving of a mophead overnight in a bucket of filthy water is a stupid and lazy thing to do, creating a smelly, unclean mophead. Wouldn’t you think common sense would point out the difference?
So, not having a standard because something looks too simple to standardize is unwise because even this simple thing is not as broadly understood as we might think.
Below is a page from our training manual which explains the principles of wet mopping. You can use it as a standard for mopping performance. It doesn’t discuss mop storage which should occur only after the mop is rinsed and pressed out, not while it is in use on site. Simply expose it to the air by draping it over the press as it sits on the rinsed out bucket, or hang it on the wall in some way that allows it to drip into a floor sink or other container. It will air dry somewhat provided there is ventilation in the storage room. All too often, that is lacking due to poor building design.

Lynn E. Krafft, ICAN/ATEX Editor


Rapid removal of bonded soil from a hard or resilient floor is commonly accomplished by some variation of wet mopping. Wet mopping (as opposed to dry mopping or dustless sweeping with a treated dust mop) requires the use of a water and detergent solution. You must learn the proper techniques involved in wet mopping in order to consistently produce the clean floors that identify the cleaning professional.

The basic steps followed are these:

1) Break the soil free from the floor.
2) Move the soil from the floor to the mop.
3) Release the soil from the mop into the mop bucket.

Let's examine each step to see how it is best accomplished.

1) BREAK THE SOIL BOND Most tracked-in soils are easily freed from the floor by using a light detergent solution (2 to 3 ounces of detergent in 4 gallons of water). How much solution is needed on the floor depends upon how heavy the build-up is. A heavy layer of soil might require soak mopping, that is, flooding the floor with the solution and allowing it to soak before picking it up. Lighter soils can be rapidly removed by damp mopping which breaks up the soil by a combination of mop dampness and friction.

2) SOLUTION PICK-UP The most important technique you must develop involves your use of the mop to pick up the dirty solution from the floor. By careful attention you must determine:
1) When the mop is saturated and will no longer absorb dirty solution.
2) When the mop is too dirty to hold any more soil.
3) When the floor is as dry as mopping can reasonably get it.
Learn from your Instructor how to turn over the mop without spattering solution on walls and baseboards, how to pick up neatly along baseboards (cutting-in) and how to use a figure-eight pattern that reduces fatigue and gives you better control. Always pick up twice after soak mopping to assure that no dirty solution remains to dry and leave streaks.

3) CLEAN THE MOPHEAD You cannot clean with a dirty mop. The mop must be laundered in the mop bucket and used only when it is as clean as possible. When the mop water is too dirty to clean the mophead, empty the dirty solution, rinse the bucket and make a fresh solution. Use sufficient solution to cleanse the mop. Hot water is recommended for this reason.