The mop has been a household item for over 100 years, since the 1890s as per In that century, we’ve come up with many different mop types and ways to use a mop.

While mopping seems like a relatively simple task – take some water, some cloth, and put your arm into it – there different mops for different messes, different floors, and different purposes. Not all mops are equal, and finding the right mop for your purposes involves a little bit of know-how.

While hundreds of mopping inventions have hit the stores over the last few decades, most of them have turned into short-lived fads that died nearly as quickly as they came about. There are a few that have turned out to be more than fads, however – these have withstood the tests of time and become commonplace in hundreds of thousands of households. So let’s take a look at some mop styles commonly found in stores today.

Flat Mop

Flat mops have been around for a long while, before the strip or string mop, as per Vacuum Cleaner History.

However, the modern incarnations of these mops are rather expensive for two reasons: one, they’re expensive in general, and two, their main feature is the availability of replaceable disposable mop heads, which can cost a pretty penny in the long term.

Sponge Mop

Sponge mops are another common form of mop, and they’re on the opposite side of the cost spectrum. Sponge mops have removable heads that are very easily cleaned, and come with the benefit of extreme absorbing powers. If you’ve got a large spilled mess, you won’t find something that’ll work better than a sponge mop will.

It does come with its own large caveat, however – sponge mops are notorious breeding grounds for bacteria of all kinds. If you want to ensure that your family stays healthy with clean floors, you’ll have to replace your sponge mop heads often.

String Mop

String mops are another inexpensive way to mop – typically made of cotton, they’re probably one of the oldest innovations in the world of mopping. As such, they’re also one of the less refined innovations in the world of mopping. Sometimes, these mops are made of microfiber – which, according to Microfiber Wholesale, is a superior yet more expensive option due to its mechanical properties.

Strip Mop

Strip mops, unlike string mops, are made to be more long-lasting. Made with synthetic fibers, these strip mops come with a bucket and an in-built wringer, and what makes them so successful in many households is the fact that they dry very quickly, eliminating the danger of strong odors or foulness.

Spin Mop

Spin mops are a rather new development in the world of mopping. Through companies like Fuller, households today have access to products like the Hurricane Spin Mop 360, which combines the scrubbing power of string mops with a spinning mechanism to get rid of tougher stains and gunk while saving on time. These, however, are still a little tough to clean.

No mop is the clear winner over all other alternatives – for some households, one mop may be more useful than another, and vice versa for different households. The question is figuring out what’s most important to you in a mop.