The useful life of cleaning tools and supplies (excluding solutions and cleansers) depends on:
1. The quality and design of the products being used
2. How the products are used
3. How well the tools are maintained

This pamphlet gives many helpful hints about caring for floor pads, mops and buckets. By following these hints the custodian can extend the useful life of many of the tools and supplies used in her/his work.


Floor pads come in a variety of colors and sizes and are made from materials that are designed to do specific jobs. The following general tips about floor pad care can extend the life of a floor pad.

1. Carefully install the pad onto the machine so it is centered. A floor pad that is not centered will wear unevenly and will create a safety hazard since the machine is more difficult to control.

2. When using the floor machine do not bump into objects. If a pad rotating on a floor machine hits furniture or some other object, the pad can tear or snag.

Since floor pads are made of different materials, using the correct cleaning method for each type of pad is important.

1. For natural fiber pads like ETC's Gorilla, clean by using the center die cut piece from the pad or a medium bristle brush and brush away the accumulation from the pad.

2. For a polyester or nylon pad use one of these three methods:

a. Soak the pad in stripping solution until dirt is softened or loosened, then rinse using a water hose.

b. Wash under high pressure water.

c. Launder in luke warm water.

Hang the pads in a storage area to dry after cleaning them.


Most synthetic mopheads contain a fiber coating which makes the mop head less absorbent. Also, new cotton mopheads do not absorb as well as they do after some use since their fibers are still coated with natural oils. Therefore, before using a new mop, wash it in soap and tepid water and rinse well.

Mopheads are made of cotton, rayon, or blends of materials. Cotton mopheads are satisfactory for most floor care procedures except finishing/waxing. Rayon mopheads leave little lint, so a rayon mophead is better to use when finishing/waxing a floor than cotton. Since cotton holds water better, it is better for drying floors.

Cotton is best for - Floor Drying
Rayon is best for - Leaving Less Lint, No Breaking-in Time, Wetting
Blended is best for - Laundering

Great White® lint-free finish mop is best for laying finish!

Always use a clean mophead when scrubbing, sealing, or applying a finish. Use old mopheads for applying stripping solutions.
Do's and Don'ts for Mopheads


1. clean (rinse well or launder) mophead after each use.

2. hang mophead to air-dry after each use.

3. launder mopheads in a synthetic mesh laundry bag.

4. have a mophead for each procedure (scrubbing, etc.)

Do not...

1. leave mophead in chemicals or cleaning solutions even for short periods of time.

2. twist the mophead in the wringer since it weakens the fibers when the pressure is applied.

3. bleach mophead or use it with a solution with bleach.

4. wash in water over 160 ° F or dry in temperature above 150 ° F.


Buckets should be checked before and after each use for cleanliness. Even a slightly dirty bucket will contaminate fresh water or solutions.

To save time cleaning the bucket when applying a sealer or finish, put a plastic trash bag (liner) in the bucket, then pour the sealer or finish into the lined bucket. After completing the job, take the plastic bag with the remaining solution out of the bucket and dispose of properly. When a job is completed and the buckets have been cleaned, put them in the storage area upside down. Be sure to put the buckets where people will not trip over them. Wringers should be rinsed thoroughly and wiped dry.


Following these hints can increase the useful life of floor pads, mops, and buckets.

2. Wet mop floors

3. Strip floors

4. Seal floors

5. Finish floors

6. Scrub floors

7. Spray Buff Floors

8. Buff or Polish floors

9. Clean Carpet using a carpet bonnet

10. Sandscreen floors