Me, my mop, and vodka
Such is my career fate that it’s been my business to try a lot of mops over the last ten years. I’ve done battery-powered mops, corded mops, collapsible mops, sponge mops, string mops…you get the picture. One has emerged as my favourite. Rubbermaid’s Reveal mop (above) has a removable canister that the user can fill with the cleaning agent of their choice, including a mix of vinegar and water, or — if you like — water that’s been scented with essential oil. I also tried adding mint (which grows to ridiculous proportions on one side of my house) to boiling water, then letting it cool, and using it on my floors. For me, cooling the water first was an important step because I’ve got a thing about putting warm liquids or foods in anything made out of plastic (more on that soon). I’ve also heard that if you add a bit of vodka to the water it helps remove germs, but I prefer to keep my vodka for other uses.
This mop also has a generously-sized and well-proportioned head that slides easily under furniture and beds. It can be used on anything hardwood to laminate to linoleum. The pads are reusable, which is important to me. Throwaway mops pads are, imho, dumb, except if you’re dealing with an outbreak of Bubonic Plague in the home. And even then I’m not sure. It costs about $25, and replacement mop pads sell for about $6. There's also a dry dusting mop pad ($9) that I've not yet tried, but plan to.
Rubbermaid says the microfibre pads can be washed up to 100 times. And therein lies my only quibble with the product, which has more to do with the nature and properties of microfibre than the design. That does makes for a smaller eco-footprint than disposable. Generally speaking, though, I’m not actually finding that microfibre does a better job than plain old cotton cloth. I also find that it loses effectiveness fairly quickly if, like me, you forget that it shouldn’t go in the dryer. And for all the hype about it not being stinky, mine all seem to get odoriferous pretty quickly – even though I always rinse them out in warm water and wring them after use. Is this just me, or do readers have similar experiences? I’d love to know.
And as far as I know, microfibres are made from polyester, which is usually not biodegradable.
And of course, the secret of a successful mopping job is a good sweeping first. For that, I have another simple favourite. Home Hardware sells a line of stuff endorsed by Mark Cullen that includes a Mark’s Choice corn broom (about $20). It works a treat, and for some reason, I always feel slightly virtuous when I use it.