Last Updated on December 1, 2021 by Samantha Morgan
Have you ever grabbed your roller mop motivated to get that perfectly clean kitchen floor? Realizing its sponge head was hard as a rock with grime. Then thinking, no worries I’ll grab a new refill.
But despite yourself, you find the new head almost as hard as the used one.
This is the dilemma every cleaner has come across. Not to worry though, these tips will help you have softened the sponge head on your roller mop. That way it is ready to clean every time.
Softening the new Mop Head
When you get your new roller mop head attachment. You’ll notice two things. One, the sponge is so clean you almost don’t want to dirty it. Two that the mop head is extremely rigid; it doesn’t want to work properly.
The sponge doesn’t give the impression that it is scrubbing in the small crevices of the tile. You want to make sure your mop head is soft enough to go into the crevices on your floor.
Before you load your new mop head onto the handle. Have your water bucket ready to prepare the new sponge head.
Your water bucket should be filled with hot water. Preferably the water should be 120 degrees Fahrenheit or more. Mix in the cleaner of your choice.
Once that is done, load the new mop head to the handle. Double-check that the head is securely on.
Nothing is worse than fishing for a sponge in hot water because it slips off the handle. Dunk your mop head in the water.
Leave the sponge submerged for about five seconds. Pull your mop out of the water to wring it out. Do this 3 or 4 times to ensure the new mop head is softening.
By using this method of softening your roller mop head should stretch and break in the fibers. This will provide you with a softened sponge that will fit into the grooves on your flooring.
If the roller mop head is made of cotton fiber, then let it soak closer to 10 seconds per round.
While if you have a micro-fiber head, then the 5 seconds per round should be sufficient.
Tip: If your old mop is very hard and you cannot soften it by any means, you can re-use or recycle it for other uses instead of mopping. Don’t throw it into a dustbin.
What is This Build Up?
As you use your mop several times, you may find that the rigidity is plaguing your mop head again. You may even try the steps above yet find little success.
Before you throw away the now hard mop sponge, there are a few softening tips to bring back the life your mop head once had.
When you notice your mop’s head has an oily residue that is causing the hardness. Fill your mop bucket with the following diluted mixture.
1 to 2 cups of white cleaning vinegar per one gallon of hot water. Once again, you want the water to be 120-degrees Fahrenheit or more.
Let your mop head soak in the solution for several minutes before wringing it out.
Do these steps 3 or 4 times to make the mop is not only softening but getting clean so it will stay soft.
Let your mop airdry in a window seal that gets a few hours of sunlight or an even better place it outside to dry in the sun. This should quickly soften a slightly worn roller mop head.
If no natural sunlight is available, leave your mop out to let it have a few hours of air circulation before placing it in a closet.
If this does not do the trick. You will want to soften your mop head with a tougher cleaner solution, such as bleach.
When using a bleach solution 1 cup per 1 gallon of water should be acceptable in softening your mops sponge head.
Do not leave your mop to soak overnight, as that will potentially ruin your mop. The excessive amount of moisture could also lead to bacterial growth within the mop.
Remember, our goal is to soften our mop sponge not invite a family of micro-organisms into our home.
Maintenance Habits to Ensure a Soft Roller Mop
Initially softening the roller head mop isn’t very labor-intensive however it is not the only answer. Maintaining the softness will help the roller mop’s longevity along with saving you time in the future.
When scrubbing your floors, you will notice the water is getting beyond dirty. Dump it out!
When your water bucket is so dirty you don’t even recognize the color. The water is not the only thing that is getting beyond dirty.
Your mop’s sponge head is not able to release all the dirt particles when you wring it out if the water is that dirty.
This will cause not only the mop to retain the dirt but the fibers are hardening even while you are cleaning.
Don’t forget to store brooms and mops properly. You can check and follow the manual that comes with it for instructions.
Remember you want the fibers of your mop head to always be at their highest cleaning power. This will ensure a clean home.
After every mop session, dump out the bucket you were using to clean your floors. Make sure the bucket has no residue or gunk in it.
Refill the bucket with either a vinegar or bleach solution, as referenced above. You want to avoid using your floor cleaner mixture here.
Your floor cleaner may have oils that will “clog” up the mop head, causing a hard mop sponge. Bleach and vinegar naturally cut through grease.
By using bleach/vinegar you will protect your sponge from hardening.
When you are in a pinch for time and can’t leave your mop out to dry. Do not place it in your empty mop bucket.
Even if the bucket is dry. This will cause your mop head sponge to be pinched inside the bucket.
You want the sponge fibers to “breathe”. The sponge head has to have a slight amount of airflow.
By allowing your sponge the opportunity to “breathe”, it will keep your sponge soft along with extending its usable life.
I hope you can now look at your roller mop with a new admiration as you are no longer plagued with a hard sponge.
Your roller sponge just needs the correct care and maintenance.