The Habitat
Share to PinterestThe Best Broom or Mop for Every Mess

The Best Broom or Mop for Every Mess

By Staff Writer
Share to PinterestThe Best Broom or Mop for Every Mess

Depending on your flooring and the mess, sometimes your usual mop just doesn't get the job done. Worse, sometimes the wrong broom or mop can actually damage your floors. To avoid damage and get the best possible results when you clean, use the right type of broom or mop for the situation.


Soft straw or corn bristle broom

These bristles are tough initially but tend to soften over time. The broom is best for sweeping concrete or slightly rough floors, as its bristles tend to stay in place, making it perfect for getting rid of even tiny particles of dirt.

You can use the broom on all floor types, and it withstands water without deteriorating. Until the bristles have softened a little, avoid using it on wooden or linoleum floors or it might scratch.

Share to Pinterest large number of handmade brooms
aruba200 / Getty Images


Palmyra bristle broom

These bristles are made from palm tree leaf stalks, and they are used outdoors due to their abrasive nature. It means you should not use this broom type on wooden and other delicate flooring.

The broom is best used for sweeping larger particles, as the stiff bristles cannot collect fine dirt and powder. Palmyra brooms are good for removing leaves, small rocks, and other large particles such as wood chips from patios or driveways.

Share to Pintereststiff outdoor broom seen on a doorstep and mat at the back of a house
Nick Beer / Shutterstock


Horsehair broom

Horsehair is a very fine bristle alternative, and it is not often used to make brooms. If you are lucky enough to have a horsehair broom, you have the perfect option for delicate flooring such as wood and linoleum.

The broom’s soft bristles make it ideal for sweeping up fine dust and powders as they can pick up even the finest particles.


PET bristle broom

These bristles are made from plastic, and their hardness varies depending on the intended use. Soft PET bristle brooms work well for fine dirt and particle sweeping on all floor types. On the other hand, hard PET bristle brooms can scrub and sweep large spaces, especially ceramic, terrazzo, and other stone-based flooring. Do not use this type of broom for delicate flooring.

Share to PinterestPlastic broom stick
Muralinath / Getty Images


Silicone or rubber bristle broom

While these types of bristles are antimicrobial because of their fast-drying nature, silicone brooms are limited in usefulness. They work well to clean floors using water, but you'll need to mop or allow the floor to air dry afterward since they will just move the water around but not absorb it.

Use this kind of broom for sweeping large particles, but success is not guaranteed — silicone or rubber bristles may not be strong enough to sweep up large pieces of rocks and wood.


Steam mop

If you are looking for a solution for sticky, filthy, or grimy floors, then this is the mop for you. The steaming element makes it perfect for killing the majority of germs on floors. It is best used on ceramic tiles and other hardy floors.

Some brands claim to be approved for hardwood floors, but constant exposure to steam can cause the planks or parquets to warp over time, so be very careful if you're using a steam mop in this way.

Share to Pintereststeam mop on floor
jchizhe / Getty Images


Spray mop

The precursor to the steam mop, the spray mop is useful for dislodging dried-up pieces of dirt stuck on the floor, such as spilled liquids that have dried. This type is suitable for more flooring.

Adding soap to the water makes it ideal for a quick fix. As noted above, however, use water sparingly on wooden floors even if the product description says it's safe.

Share to Pinterestspray mop on floor
ljubaphoto / Getty Images


Sponge mop

Use a sponge mop if you need to gently scrub floors such as linoleum, vinyl, or ceramic tile. It's versatile because you can often switch to a firmer or softer sponge depending on how much strength you need to clean up the mess in question.

You can use a sponge mop to absorb liquid spills or even scrub off grime and stubborn floor stains. The level of success depends on the sponge material. The most common sponges for floor mops are cellulose, polyester, and polyurethane, and each one has a different firmness. Read the instructions to find out which one is best, but always test a hidden section before doing the whole floor.

Share to Pinterestsponge mop on floor
LumiNola / Getty Images


String mop

New cleaning products will never completely replace this classic mop because of its affordability and reliability. String mops are made from cotton, which is very absorbant, making them perfect for mopping floors and cleaning up spills. You can use it to clean stains, dirt, and grease.

It can also be used on all floor types and is perfect for cleaning even the grimiest floors (though avoid using the same one for grease and the kitchen floor). If using on wooden floors, make sure it is very well wrung-out and only slightly damp.

Share to Pintereststring mop and bucket
kirstyokeeffe / Getty Images


Spin mop

This mop typically features shortened string mop bristles that hold less water, making it perfect for light cleaning. It's good for not-too-dirty floors but might not be able to tackle significant stains.

Spin mops are easy to use thanks to the spinning or wringing feature in the bucket that squeezes most of the water from the mop. This ability to vary the wetness means you can use them on just about any surface.

Share to Pinterestspin mop
sasimoto / Shutterstock


Scroll Down

for the Next Article