An interview with Mike Julo, VP of Direct Mop Sales
Still pushing a germ infested traditional cotton mop? Learn about microfiber, cutting labor costs and germ containment as our experts offer up practical knowledge about this everyday cleaning essential.
Q: What is the most popular mop you sell, and why?
A: The most popular mops we sell are microfiber mops. The market trend to switch from traditional cotton and blended yarn type mops to microfiber mops has been constant over the last ten years. We offer both types of mops but there is no denying that microfiber products are more cost effective, more durable, more bacteria resistant, easier to use and out perform traditional mops. Some companies switch to microfiber and want to use the same tools and systems for cleaning while other companies want to go strictly to flat mopping systems which require changing out hardware and adjusting cleaning systems. For this reason we carry full lines of microfiber mops sewn in traditional styles for both dust mopping and wet mopping and then we carry a full line of microfiber flat pads and hardware for dust mopping, wet mopping and floor finishing.
Q: What is the biggest mistake commercial cleaning companies make regarding mops?
A: I would say the biggest mistake would be ignoring research and development. New products are created to further sanitize, and do it more cost effectively. Today good cleaning companies don’t just knock the dust, soil and bacteria below eye level, they develop systems and use products that pick it up and carry it away. There is a lot of money wasted on outdated products, or something with a cool color or name brand. We sell to customers in all types of industries and probably the most reoccurring problem we see is companies stuck in cleaning systems that are outdated and they just find it too hard to change. Microfiber technologies bring this problem as a central focus because you know if someone using large quantities of mops is not looking at microfiber mops for their systems then they have a specific need or they are not looking closely at their cleaning systems.
Q: How does choosing the correct mop for the job effect cleanliness and BSC’s effectiveness to do their job properly?
A: The main thing to keep in mind here is that a cleaning companies highest cost is labor. So choosing the right mop for the job is the first thing you can do to help your bottom line. Having the wrong mopping system can result in wasted time, wasted product, and can even result in property damage in the worst case scenario. Knowing who you have mopping, what type of floor they will cover, what type of cleaning they will be doing, and what type of square footage they have to cover is the first steps in picking the correct products for the job. Using the right products creates a sanitary environment reducing the germs and bacteria as well as the soil.
Q: What germs can live in mops?
A: Janitors encounter all types of germs every day. This can include things like viruses, including hepatitis or flu, bacteria strains such as Salmonella, MRSA, and E-coli, as well as blood pathogens. Cotton, which is still used as a primary fiber in many of the traditional styles of mops, can promote bacterial growth under the right conditions, which allows these germs to feast and grow within the fibers and cross contaminate. Traditional mop fibers are also too large to effectively pick up and carry away many types of germs. Microfiber is plastic extrusion into ultra-fine fibers which are small enough to pick up can carry the majority of the germs they contact and by nature plastics are far more bacteria resistant then cotton. In any environment where germs are an issue cleaning companies should use microfiber products that do not contain sponges. Sponges can also be a breeding ground for bacteria under the right conditions so it is important to pick the right products and systems where any type of germ is an issue.
Q: Describe the evolution of the mop for commercial cleaning.
A: Concerning wet mopping you have three basic generations of traditional styles of wet mops starting with low cost cut-end cotton mops, followed by higher cost looped-end mops and hitting a peak with bacteria resistant blended mops. These three transitions of the mop styles were in conjunction with changing mop yarn blends from lower cost cotton fibers and blends to higher cost synthetic fibers and blends. The traditional style of wet mops were followed by microfiber wet mopping products and also having three basic generations of products starting with the original cut-pile microfiber flat mops, then the development of loop-pile flat mops and finally going to co-knitted products that are different combinations of soft microfiber yarns woven or knitted with harder types of polypropylene fibers for additional abrasion.
Other types of microfiber mops sewn in traditional styles were simply taking microfiber yarn technologies and sewing them into traditional mop styles. You will find all types of companies marketing whistles and bells but the truth is that there is no significant improvements beyond these natural evolutions in the mop. Now you can look at dust mops or finish mops and you find that they also had evolutions that parallel the evolutions of a wet mop with the common thread leading to microfiber producing the most superior products no matter which application you look at.
Q: How did technology change how mops were developed and used?
A: Prior to microfiber technologies mop manufactures had already received market pressures for more durable and bacteria resistant products which promoted an improvement throughout the mop industry to switch products from primarily cotton blended products, which breed bacteria, to more synthetic fibers, which are plastics and far more resistant to bacteria. With microfiber technology, since microfiber is produced from 100% synthetic fiber, you are able to take this evolution from cotton to synthetics and produce products in a larger variety of forms that allow for better efficiencies in the cleaning process as well as achieve better laundering process efficiencies for the products used during cleaning. Flat mops, for instance allow for more efficient one-step floor cleaning covering both dust mopping and wet mopping then you could achieve with traditional types of wet mopping products. For these reasons development of new mop products went from being geared towards product durability and bacteria resistance as a primary focus to durability and efficiency in use as the primary focus.
Direct Mop Sales is located in Atchinson Kansas and was established in 2007 my Mike Julo Sr, who has twenty-eight years in the industry. He and son, Mike are proud to offer the highest quality mop products possible at the lowest possible price and to service the customer with the fastest service.