The 9 Best Spray Mops
We spent 42 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. If you're still dragging an old bucket around as you clean your floors, you're living in a bygone era. Instead of fussing with dirty water and wringing out your mop between passes, try one of these spray mops. They're perfect for light-duty cleanups and are ready when you are, with disposable and washable pads instead of messy heads to deal with. They're probably easier on your back, too. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best spray mop on Amazon.
Bissell PowerFresh The Bissell PowerFresh isn't a spray mop per se, as what it emits is steam, rather than plain old water. But if you're confronted with sticky, grimy messes often, it may help you finish cleaning up faster. And because it has a 23-foot power cord, you can get a lot done without a lot of hassle. bissell.com
June 18, 2019:
Because it offers the most power, it's still hard to top the Bissell Spinwave Cordless. It's pricier than its non-electric counterparts, but the extra convenience is worth it, especially if you have kids or pets that make messes. We also added the Rubbermaid Commercial Pulse as a top pick, because it's made to withstand the rigors of busy environments, like workshops and businesses. But you could use it in your home, of course. Note that currently, the base package does not include the mopping pad, so you'll need to purchase it separately. Fortunately, the pads aren't too pricey, so it doesn't add much to the overall cost. Plus, they're reusable.
If the former options are a bit too costly, and you don't really need something as robust, you might look at the CXhome Microfiber, O-Cedar ProMist Max, or Finnkare Floor Kit. These are better for light duty, so don't expect them to scrub away thick, caked-on dirt. Also, the O-Cedar's head has the tendency to come off from time to time, which can be quite annoying. Finally, there's also the Swiffer WetJet, but buying refills along with replacing the batteries can make it expensive to operate over the long haul, which is something to consider before you invest in one.
A Brief History Of The Mop
Still, many people cleaned their floors the old-fashioned way, scrubbing them by hand.
As we all learned in school, the first mop was invented to allow witches to fly in the rain.
OK, so maybe you went to a better school than we did, but the actual history of the mop begins in 1496, where they were referred to as "mappes." Not much is known about these early tools, but given the general hygiene levels of the time, it's likely they were only suitable for getting plague germs wet.
The first patent for a mop wasn't issued in America until 1893 — which was nearly 60 years after a patent for a mop holder was given out, so it's likely that they were relatively commonplace well before the turn of the 20th century. Created by Thomas W. Steward, the patented version was made using strips of yarn that could be wrung out as needed.
Still, many people cleaned their floors the old-fashioned way, scrubbing them by hand. This method had one big problem: it was absolute murder on your body. Lugging around a pail of water, crawling all over a wooden floor, kneeling on the hard ground...it was a recipe for back pain, splinters, and other ailments.
A Spanish engineer named Manuel Jalón Corominas decided he could devise a better method. His mop was a long wooden handle with a cleaning cloth on the end, but his real innovation was the bucket. He added a wringing mechanism and casters, allowing users to perform their chores with as little strain as possible.
The public took one look at Corominas's new invention and decided that it was way too complicated for them, and most people stuck with the old, painful scrubbing method. Demonstrations were staged showing how to use it properly, though, and once people understood the idea behind it, sales shot through the roof.
A woman named Joy Mangano created the self-wringing mop in the 1980s, and her design earned her millions of dollars, as well as the opportunity to have her life story told in a movie starring Jennifer Lawrence.
Meanwhile, the spray mop was invented almost by accident. Engineers at Proctor & Gamble recognized that many spills in their break room — such as used coffee grounds — were much easier to clean with a damp paper towel than a mop, leading them to reconsider the tool itself.
That led to the Swiffer, which used a towel-like pad on a stick to wipe up messes. It worked better when it was wet, though, and using a spray bottle required too much effort. That's when someone had the bright idea to integrate the sprayer directly into the mop itself, and voilà — spray mops were born.
The older models are still popular, of course, but there are now a variety of convenient options for tidying up your floors. Luckily, they're all equally good for hitting that dunce who'll inevitably trudge all over your freshly-cleaned tile.
Pros And Cons Of Using A Spray Mop
The primary advantage that spray mops have over their more basic counterparts is their ease of use. You don't need to lug around a heavy bucket of water, and you don't have to spend your entire afternoon wringing out filthy microfiber.
You don't need to lug around a heavy bucket of water, and you don't have to spend your entire afternoon wringing out filthy microfiber.
Even so, you'll still get all the benefits that a wet mop can offer. Whenever you encounter a particularly stubborn bit of gunk, you can hose it down with cleaning solution with just the press of a button. This reduces the elbow grease necessary to get the job done, and since it's easy to regulate how much spray you use, you'll waste less cleaning solution, as well.
They're capable of scouring just about any non-fabric surface, and they're lightweight, so you won't break your back schlepping them from room to room. Even if you don't trust them to handle heavy cleaning tasks, it's worth having one around for quickly soaking up spills and other accidents.
All that being said, they're not without their flaws. They're useless without pads, which get filthy in a flash. While replacements won't exactly break the bank, buying them still makes spray mops more expensive than most regular options in the long run.
While you might not want to throw out your old mops just yet, having a spray version in your utility room is a good idea. You'll be surprised at how much more convenient they can be — and you may be surprised to find out what color your floors really are.
How Sanitary Are Mops, Anyway?
You drag your mop across the nasty, muddy floor, then dunk it in your bucket of grungy water. Then, you swipe it back over the ground. Suddenly, a thought occurs to you: just how clean are you really making your home?
Before you get too grossed out, take heart: mopping your floors is certainly more sanitary than not mopping them. That's especially true with liquid spills or bodily fluids — there's a reason hospital floors are mopped religiously, after all.
They can prevent accidents by sopping up messes, and they make your home look better.
That doesn't mean that mopping is perfect, though, nor does it mean that all methods and models are created equal. Microfiber versions have been shown to be more effective than traditional loop units when it comes to removing dust particles and bacteria. Both struggle with fluids like blood or grease, so you should consider using a spray mop (and its disposable pads) if things get messy.
Ultimately, though, if you're trying to make the environment as sterile as possible, a mop isn't your best bet. They'll miss a lot of germs, and could even introduce new ones if you're using the same mop in multiple rooms.
But sterility isn't necessarily a mop's true purpose. They can prevent accidents by sopping up messes, and they make your home look better. So no, just because your floors have been washed doesn't mean it's safe to eat off them — unless, of course, you observe the five-second rule religiously.
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