HAMILTON, OHIO—According to some estimates, we come into direct and indirect contact with floors as much as 50 times every day. If floors are contaminated, that contamination may now be on our fingers, and because we touch our faces about 16 times per day, the likelihood that these contaminants are now on our skin, in our nose, or in our eyes is high.
We now know much more about the effectiveness of some traditional floor cleaning methods and technologies, especially as a result of Kaivac’s Stop The Mop Campaign.
To clarify frequent concerns, the “Campaign” is releasing the five most common myths about mops and mopping floors that cleaning professionals—and anyone else concerned with protecting human health—should know.
Myth: Mops do not spread soil. False. The first studies indicating that mops spread soil date back to the early 1970s when hospitals were looking for sources of contamination. Several studies since then have confirmed these findings.
Myth: Soaking a mop overnight kills most germs and bacteria on the mop. False. A report in the March 2000 issue of The Pharmaceutical Journal states, “Mops can be a serious potential source of contamination…even when soaked in [a] disinfectant overnight, contaminants could still be detected.”
Myth: Microfiber mops are more effective at removing contaminants from floors. Partially true. A study published in the American Journal of Infection Control, Nov. 2007, found that “microfiber…demonstrated superior microbial removal compared with cotton string mops when used with a detergent cleaner.” But here’s the catch. Another study by the American Society of Microbiology found that a brand new microfiber mop removes only about 50 percent of surface bacteria on a floor and that its effectiveness diminishes with use.
Myth: Using more disinfectant in the cleaning solution will ensure the mop’s germ-killing power. False. As a result of quat binding, causing the disinfectant to be absorbed by the mop’s fibers, the efficacy of the disinfectant diminishes quickly. In one test, a cotton cloth was placed in a cleaning solution pail filled with a disinfectant. In just 10 minutes, the efficacy of the disinfectant decreased by 50 percent.
Myth: Mopping floors builds up shoulder muscles. False. Best go to the gym. What is more likely to happen is shoulder and back pain developing due to the repetitive action of mopping.