How to Clean a Cotton Mop Head

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Cotton is a common material for mop heads. All mop heads get dirty; this dirt can build up over time and, therefore, mop heads must be cleaned occasionally to function best as a cleaning tool. Dirty mops will transfer dirt to floors when mopping and, if dirt particles are abrasive, may even cause scuffing of floor surfaces. Cotton fibers can shrink in hot water and may be damaged by a washing machine, so laundering these mops is best done by hand in warm water.

Things You'll Need

  • 5-gallon bucket
  • Laundry detergent
  • Towels
  • Shake the mop to remove excess soil. Fill a bucket with warm water. Add mild laundry detergent to the water. Use one-quarter of what you would use for a full laundry load.

  • Lower the cotton mop head into the bucket of water and gently swish it around to loosen soil. Leave it in the bucket of soapy water for 10 minutes to soak.

  • Swish it again in the water to loosen any remaining soil. Remove the mop from the bucket.

  • Rinse the cotton mop head under warm water in your sink or bath tub until the water runs clear. Let the mop head air dry with the mop strands hanging down. You can do this by laying the mop over a table, indoors or outdoors, with the head hanging over the edge. Place towels on the floor below the dripping mop head to protect flooring.

Tips & Warnings

  • Avoid using chlorine bleach on cotton mops, as bleach will weaken the cotton fibers. If you need to disinfect the mop, use a non-bleach disinfectant on the mop after laundering. If the mop head is stained, use oxygen bleach for laundry in addition to the laundry detergent.

References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images
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