How Often Should You Replace Your Mop Heads?

<p>Getty Images</p>

Getty Images

If you wash your floors frequently, chances are you'll notice that the mop head is starting to look a bit dingy. The purpose of mopping is to absorb liquid and any grime on a floor. "Mop heads work by soaking up liquids and getting rid of dirt," Elizabeth Shields, Operations Manager, Super Cleaning Service Louisville. "As time goes by, the fibers can lose their soaking power due to wear and tear." Using a worn-out mop head won't clean the floors well. "If you keep using a worn-out mop, you’ll only be wasting your time and energy." And no one wants to spend time cleaning, only to end up with bad results.

You may be wondering, "How do I know when it's time to replace a mop head?"

Keep reading to learn when it's time to change a mop head, how the floor surface and frequency of use influence how often you'll need to purchase a new one, and the best way to store it.

Meet The Expert

Signs That It's Time To Change Your Mop Head

Mop heads are made with different materials, such as microfiber, cotton, or synthetics. Replacing a mop head is important to ensure that you're cleaning effectively and that you're not spreading around bacteria. "It's important to keep in mind the physical cues that a mop head may need replacing to ensure that it is hygienic and effective at cleaning surfaces," says Tim Conn, Founder and President of Image One USA, a commercial cleaning company.

Structural Damage

There are clear signs when it's time to change it. "Start by checking for visible signs of wear and tear," he says. One key sign is the look of the mop fabric. "If you spot loose threads, thinning fabric, or any other structural damage, it's a clear sign your mop has been putting in the hours and needs to be replaced," says Shields.


You expect a shiny and clean floor after mopping. A worn-out mop may leave marks, streaks, or dirt on the floor. "Pay attention to the amount of residue left on the floor after mopping," says Conn. According to Shields, "A worn-out mop may lack the necessary scrubbing or wiping power to tackle dirt and stains effectively."


A mop needs to be able to absorb water and other liquids, whether it's washing the floor or cleaning up a spill. An old mop won't clean effectively. "If a mop head is no longer absorbing water as efficiently as before, it won't be effective in cleaning surfaces," says Conn. "Reduced absorbency can result from accumulated dirt and detergent residues or simply due to the aging of the mop fibers."

Odors and Bacteria

You also want to consider that a mop that needs to be changed could have a lot of bacteria. "Overused mop heads can also harbor bacteria and develop unpleasant odors," says Conn."If regular cleaning and washing don't eliminate the smell, it's another sign that the mop head is ready to be replaced."

Flooring Types and Mop Use

The type of flooring you mop will also influence the lifespan of a mop head. If you're moping a smooth surface, such as ceramic or porcelain tiles, linoleum, or laminate, the floor will be easy to clean and not as harsh for the mop fabric. "Rough surfaces may cause quicker wear and tear, while smoother surfaces impact the physical integrity of the mop less," says Conn.

If you have a smooth surface and a rough surface to mop, experts recommend using different mop heads. "If you use one mop to clean inside your home and another for cleaning your garage floor and patio," says Conn, "it will extend the life of the mop head you solely use for indoor cleaning." Another benefit of using mop heads for specific areas in or around your home is you'll have a better idea of when you'll need to change them. "If you have different mop heads for various areas, rotate their usage to even out wear and tear [and] this way, you can plan out when to replace them," says Shields.

Mop Material

The type of material a mop head is made of will also determine how well it cleans. Shields recommends purchasing mop heads made from sturdy materials, such as high-grade cotton or microfiber. "It might cost you a bit more upfront, but in the long run, it'll be a cost-effective choice because it won't wear out quickly," she says. "It'll last longer, so you'll get consistent cleaning performance every time."

Mopping Frequency

The frequency you mop your floors will also influence how often you need to replace it. "The more you use the mop head, the faster it will reach a point of needing to be replaced," says Conn. "Even if someone doesn't mop often, they should still monitor the condition of the mop head over time."

Related: The Ultimate Guide To Wall Mopping

How To Store a Mop

Storing your mop properly is important for a well-functioning mop. Plus, it will extend its lifespan. An easy way to ensure a longer-lasting mop head is to wait for it to dry before storing it. "Allow them to air dry after each use and follow recommended cleaning instructions if machine washable," Conn says. A mop that isn't completely dry before putting it away can cause bacteria to grow and you'll likely need to purchase a new one sooner than you anticipated. "If your mop's stored in a damp corner and there’s potential bacteria buildup, you still need to replace it," says Shields.

Related: 8 Mistakes You May Be Making When Cleaning Your Floors

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