To mop, or not to mop? That is the question.

I need a mop, and I’ll be in town tomorrow.  Can I have some fast opinions on how to get the most for my money?  We have about 700 square feet of vinyl tile to mop now, but hope to have vinyl tile in all 1200 square feet someday soon.

Is it worthwhile to buy something big and fancy and self-wringing?  Would you invest in one of those wringer-buckets?  Should I stick with the $4.95 mop so I can afford to replace it regularly, or get something heavy duty and industrial?  String mop or cloth?  Paper or plastic?  Would you like fries with that?

Do you have a more creative idea for getting the floor clean that you’d like to share? I’ve tried the idea in which we don’t mop, but since the baby will crawling soon it seems like a good time to try something new.


  1. Use a Sh-mop. They are absolutely amazing! You only use clean water (never dipping in dirty water) and clean mop heads that you throw in the washer. And your floor will be dry by the time you put away your mop.

  2. My family has a Shark steam mop too. I use it every other day and LOVE it, it’s way easier and quicker than any other mop I’ve ever used.

    Just my 2 cents,

  3. Kim: a vileda mop with a regular bucket is a nice thing to have.Vynil floors need water and some soap when there are small childrfen around

  4. who needs a mop when you have a all natural auto vacuum cleaner, garbage disposal, that requires no bending over, no kneeling and NO ringing out. All you do is push it around the floor ; )

  5. Kim, from what I understand in other countries, they don’t even HAVE mops – they wrap a wet washcloth around their brooms and secure with knots or a rubber band!

  6. Wow! I knew I could count on y’all!
    Of course, it looks like everyone has their own favorite (how did I not see that coming?) so there’s no clear consensus, but at least now I have a better idea of how to make the decision.
    I think I’ll wait a bit to decide and who else weighs in with an opinion.
    We used rags and buckets the last time and it was surprisingly efficient and effective. We went over it twice, with one person working ahead of the other. I was shocked pleasantly surprised at how clean the water stayed, because…well…I don’t exactly remember the last time we mopped…

  7. Hi ladies,
    I don’t mean to crash the party or anything, but as a homeschool dad (and a fan of Vision Forum) I’ve been thoroughly enjoying your blog for a few months now, even though it seems to be read mostly by moms. I’ve thought about leaving a comment several times – like, something about the butter and brown sugar shortage in our house thanks to a post on March 16, but anyway, here’s my first…

    I had to share how we “mop” our laminate floor. I’m sure it would work the same on vinyl. We have a drawer full of those miracle cloths or microfiber rags. After giving the floor a good sweep, I grab a bunch of these rags, get them wet, wring them out, lay them out on the floor two by two, call the kids, and we all put one under each foot and slide around. We’ve found it way easier to scrub those really sticky spots with your foot than with something on the end of a handle. Four rooms get done in just a few minutes.

  8. I have a steam mop too and it is wonderful. I don’t like to use chemicals since I have a 15 mo. old and another on the way. I have all hardwood floors and it leaves my floors so clean.

  9. I have a Vileda mop that allows me to change the mop head as needed but I don’t have to replace the whole thing. The particular mop head I have is heavy duty (since I’m not an everyday mopper by a long shot) with thick microfiber strands about an inch or so wide. Where they are gathered at the top of the mop head (or whatever you want to call it) there’s a sort of rough scrubby layer which is great for dried-on crud. I live in Europe though so I don’t know if you can get the same stuff over there – I definitely recommend it though. (I also have a Vileda mop bucket that doesn’t have a wringer as such, just a top with a circular net-cone in it that you push the mop down into. It’s heavy duty, though, so it was worth the extra money, it’s held up really well.)

  10. I bought the Shark steam mop last fall and I LOVE IT! You put regular tap water in the tank, put a microfiber cloth on the bottom, plug it in, and within a minute you’re cleaning. The cloths are machine washable and air dry. I honestly have cut my mopping time in half with this little wonder. It cleans the corners well too. No residue and the floor dries almost instantly. Bought mine at Target along with a pack of extra cloths for it.

  11. I like the Shark Steam mop. I personally don’t have one, but my friend has one and loves it. She has all pergo flooring and it cleans it to a shine! With no cemicals! She got hers for about $100.00 dollars, but all I have heard is ggod things about them…and I plan on buying one on my next paycheck!

  12. I have a friend who has the industrial mop and wring bucket and that mop is suprisingly light weight, She has a huge house with all tile and the bucket with water rolls all over it with wonderful ease, I was surprised at how lightweight the mop is. The bucket wasn’t terribly heavy to lift and drain either, I think it is the way to go especially for a house with all tile, just sayin!

  13. We have a large kitchen with a white floor, so using the Swiffer like I had hoped wasn’t working out well. We purchased a Libman Wonder Mop and the Libman scrubber. The scrubber is an awesome scrubby brush with a long mop handle, making it easy for someone as massively pregnant as myself to still be able to scrub. I always have more than one volunteer for scrubbing the floor while I mop.

    I have to say, though, our kitchen floor never looked so nice as when the kids and I hand scrubbed it with cloths and hot soapy water poured about. We had so much fun! I like to do this when the floor needs a bit more attention.

  14. For Christmas we got one of those “SHark” steam mops….I love it and it is soo easy. You pour water in, plug it in, and it steam cleans your whole floor. You do not use any chemicals and because the water is hot enough to steam, it disinfects. Most of my children 3 yrs and up can use it. My in-laws got it for us from Costco as a gift, so I am unsure of the price. But, after several times of not buying mops and or cleaner, for us it’s worth. I am thankful my bay does not have to crawl around in chemicals and the kids who are mopping don’t leave puddles of water!

  15. We use an old style swiffer (the kind without the solution dispenser) and then I use old cloth diapers attached to it to mop our floor. I just use a spray bottle with cleaner and mop it up. The floor is dry by the time I am done and then I just wash the diapers with the other towels.

  16. I also have a 9mo. She’s just begun to crawl in the past week.

    …Another vote for a machine washable Libman here! In-between we have a Ready Mop (like a Wet Jet) that my oldest two boys get to use. We use our own cleaner-very diluted (the bottle screws off and can be washed out/refilled)-and an old washcloth on the bottom rather than the replacement pads. It works perfect for quick cleans and spills. HTH! 🙂

  17. You CRACK me up, Kim!

    We have one of those Libman mops…cloth….and wrings without touching! We like it! You can also remove the mop head and throw it in the wash.

    Of course, as I’m writing all of this, I’m realizing that you’ve probably already gone and found your perfect mop! 😉

  18. Personally, I gave up on mops a long time ago but that’s probably because my kitchen is only about 5×8 feet. And all the mops I ever bought were junk.

    A bucket (or sink) and a handful of rags with some kind of soap and water works the best. But then again, I have a very small area to work with.

    Whatever you do, do NOT buy a swiffer mop. They’re $$ and the cleaner that goes with it is highly toxic — for pets and small children. Plus, they badly streak your floor and there’s nothing worse than spending valuable time breaking your back cleaning your floor only to get done and look back and admire the streaks.

    Have fun mop shopping! 🙂

  19. Being a cheapskate I get my mop for $1 from the dollar store.

    And since my wringer bucket broke, I wring it out by hand, then wash my hands afterwards. Wish I still had my wringer bucket, but since I don’t my hands work just as well. =Þ

  20. I LOVE my norwex wet and dry mops. I got mine from the Urban Homemaker. They’re not necessarily cheap, but work great for my vinyl bathroom floors, wood floors and Pergo, and only uses water, no chemicals! I’ve seriously considered becoming a consultant except for the fact that were currently living in our RV while we start a new business, try to sell our house that is about 50 miles away and I try to homeschool while at work!

  21. Way out here in Germany we have a mop with a wringer bucket. And we were quite upset to discover after owning it for about 2 years that we could no longer get cloth-replacements for the mop.

    So my only advice would be to ensure that whatever it is you go for, it is “available” for as long as you need to justify the money you spend…

    (I am kind of thinking to get a few sponges and letting my kids have a go, especially under the dinner table… 😯 !)

  22. I have a hoover floor mate. NOT a cheap investment. BUT, worth every penny. Scrubs the heck out of my floor and I have to clean it less than I would with a normal mop.

  23. I have a good quality stringy mop and a wringer bucket that I love. I do scrub with a brush now and then but I do love my mop for a quicky clean up. I like the wringer bucket and then you can use the bucket for other things.
    Having read the comments I don’t know how much we have helped but happy shopping.

  24. I have a Libman Wonder Mop. I really like it. It’s easy to wring and the mop head is removable and washable. Works for me!

    Target has them for 10 dollars.

  25. I love the Vileda Ultramax mop. It was less than $20 at Target or Walmart. You can wash the pad, it self wrings in the bucket, works like a Swiffer, and did me proud in a 1200 sq. ft house w/ no carpet and 7 kids.

    I’ve used it on vinyl, linoleum, ceramic, wood, and laminate (we move a lot.) I usually just use vinegar and water, sometimes blue Mr Clean because I like the smell.

  26. Katie in Indiana says:
    Don Aslett has a great product called a Scrubbee Doo. It’s basically a removable cloth pad on a handle/base thingie. You spray your cleaner of choice on the floor, let it sit a minute to let the chemicals work, then Scrubee Doo it up. It’s all I use on 2,000+ sq. ft. of hardwood floors.

  27. I agree with mother hen. The good old fashiones rag works wonders.

  28. I really like my Libman Wonder Mop. It’s fairly cheap (about $10 at Lowe’s) and works pretty well. You can wring it out without getting your hands wet which is nice, and when you wear it out, you can buy replaceable mop heads instead of the whole mop. Or you can just put one of these things on her when she starts crawling:

  29. I give a second vote to a flat rectangle mop thingie with microfiber cover of some kind.

    I have a Home Depot version of the Swiffer Max and use a miracle cloth from for mine. I’m sold on that particular brand. I’ve used others and they just aren’t as good. The ones from Solutions are worth the extra money.

  30. Don’t bother with the swiffer/sponge mops, you’ll just be replacing them a lot, and in my experience the swiffer would need to use 4 pads per floor mopping.

    I like the string mops, with a bucket.. you can do a fancy
    bucket, but its a pain to store.

    OR you can convince your daughters that they too can be Cinderella by scrubbing the floor with brushes and or rags… 🙂

  31. The cleanest floors and happiest children are accomplished by hand. Don’t buy a mop. But some largish sponges and have the kids do it by hand. The floors get very clean because they are right there, they can see what’s what. And strange as it seems, kids tend to enjoy doing it this way.

  32. We use the big rectangle mop with washable microfiber covers. We have the Sh-Mop, but I’ve seen lots of different brands. I don’t use it exactly like you’re supposed to. I just pour hot soapy water all over the floor and then mop it up. It’s fast, easy, and effective and the kids can do it too! I ditched my Swiffer for this method and never looked back.

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