The 10 Best Mops
The Mop Of No Mind
You hear athletes and performers speak often about time slowing down, or about not really remembering anything that happened on stage or during a game.
You don't need to be a world-class athlete to experience this phenomenon, either.
I have a lot of respect for the people who can sit peacefully in meditation, chanting their mantras to themselves as though the world around them didn't exist at all. I was never very good at that, myself. At a certain point, though, somebody introduced me to the idea of active meditation, that you can lose yourself (the suppression of the sense of self is the point of meditation, isn't it?) in an activity that requires little mental effort and a minimal-to-extreme physical exertion.
You hear athletes and performers speak often about time slowing down, or about not really remembering anything that happened on stage or during a game. They become so absorbed in the task at hand that they don't filter anything through their egos.
You don't need to be a world-class athlete to experience this phenomenon, either. I feel it, more often than not, when I'm cleaning. I find that the repetitive motions of sweeping and mopping provide me with the perfect portal to peaceful energies and a calm, relaxed mental state.
While a mop isn't technically designed to do this, buying a mop that's going to give you the best performance and the least hassle ought to allow you to access the same kind of serenity.
Much the same way that meditation is all about getting absorbed into an activity, a mantra, or an environment, so, too, is a mop all about absorption. The mop heads, be they traditional cotton tendrils or flat wipes, are all designed to drink. When you have a more solid mess to clean up, the process is much the same, but the moisture of the mop breaks down the solids into more drinkable forms that the mop then removes from a given surface.
If the mess at hand is more stubborn, adding a solvent or an abrasive to the moisture, like a soap or an oil, will help decompose the difficult dirt more thoroughly, allowing you a fast, easy, enlightening clean up.
It's All In Your Head
The variety of mops on our list is just the tip of the iceberg, as there are hundreds of varieties of mops on the market, each claiming to do everything the others can't. The reality is that there are two basic mop types, and from there you're only adding features. Choosing between those two types is the best place to start, and you can figure on features after that.
The variety of mops on our list is just the tip of the iceberg, as there are hundreds of varieties of mops on the market, each claiming to do everything the others can't.
What separates the two camps of mops on our list is the head style. Some of the mops we list have flat heads akin to the Swiffer mops that initially popularized the flat design. Others utilize absorbent tendrils usually made out of cotton or synthetics. A couple of the available mops try to bridge the gap and offer you both options, though these models fall more explicitly under the flat head style than anything else.
The reason to use the flat mops is convenience. Their absorbent surfaces can be removed, washed, and reused, or simply disposed of and replaced. They glide comfortably over most surfaces, and a few of them even come with on-board dispensers for cleaning agents.
Compared to the flat styles, the tendril mops are more traditional, and if you've got tile floors with recessed joints, these are the only mops that will reach every nook and cranny. They tend to be a little more of a hassle in the maintenance department, and their pressure points when handling stuck-on, dried up messes, are less efficient, but for a standard weekly clean on a floor with an uneven surface, there is nothing that compares.
If you can afford the investment of money and space, I'd actually recommend owning one of each type, that way you always have an appropriate tool at hand. It ought to be as common as owning both a flat and Phillips-head screwdriver.
Cleaning Up The Timeline
Most people reaching back millennia had to clean their floors manually. They'd wet a rag of one kind or another and wipe away. The Japanese have a great way of cleaning their wooden floors, as they lean over a small wet rag like they're in a downward-facing dog yoga pose and, holding that pose with their weight centered over the rag, they run up and down their rooms.
In the middle of the 15th century, we find the first references to a mop akin to the types we use today, with a rag attached to the end of a stick.
In the middle of the 15th century, we find the first references to a mop akin to the types we use today, with a rag attached to the end of a stick. In 1893, in America, Thomas W. Stewart filed a patent for a specific clamp system designed to easily exchange mop heads for maximum cleanliness and efficiency. By this time, his system already utilized the cluster of cotton tendrils we've come to associate with the image of the standard mop.
Throughout the intervening century, inventors greatly improved upon the design, finding ways to make their mops more absorbent, more durable, and easier to use. David O. Russell even made a film about the invention of a self-ringing mop and the empire that the inventor (played by Jennifer Lawrence) built around her creation.
Some years later, the Swiffer company made a name for itself with a flat-headed disposable mop system, taking the maintenance industry by storm and creating a whole new category of cleaning tool.