Unsightly dust, spills, and other messes can make home flooring dirty and unhygienic. For daily spills or weekly deep cleanings, reach for a lightweight sponge mop. These basic mops are absorbent and affordable. Their textured surface scrubs away dirt and grime without leaving scratches behind. The best sponge mop for cleaning spills is easy to use and has a lightweight design. Read on to learn more about what to look for in the best sponge mop as well as why the following are the top picks.
- BEST OVERALL: Casabella Painted Steel Original Mop
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Quickie 051TRI Sponge, Super Squeeze Mop
- UPGRADE PICK: Yocada Sponge Mop
- BEST FOR HARDWOOD: OXO Good Grips Butterfly Mop
- BEST HEAVY-DUTY: Mr. Clean 446268, Magic Eraser Power Squeeze Mop
- BEST TELESCOPING: The Super Standard 11″ Double Roller Sponge Mop
- BEST COMMERCIAL: Rubbermaid Commercial Cellulose Sponge Mop
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Sponge Mop
Sponge mops are a popular pick for home cleaning. Even with these basic mops, there are some considerations to keep in mind when choosing the best sponge mop for your home. Some factors to think about are the floor type and the mop’s sponge, handle, and wringer design. Although most sponge mops have a no-frills design, they can include a range of convenient features to make cleaning easier.
Different floor types require different cleaning methods. Sponge mops are ideal for cleaning moisture- and scratch-resistant flooring like vinyl and tile. They can also be used with caution on flooring that is more sensitive to moisture, like laminate and wood flooring.
Since sponges are very absorbent, sponge mops can hold a lot of water. When not properly wrung out, the water can run onto the floor while mopping. This is why they are best to use on floors that can handle moisture, like vinyl, ceramic, or porcelain tiles. Even on these floor types, it’s best to wring out the sponge as much as possible. A good wringing will prevent the sponge from getting water into flooring seams or grout lines.
While sponge mops are generally gentle, they may not be as soft as other materials like microfiber. Because of this, they may not be the best pick for easily scratched floors like marble and soft woods.
Sponges can be made from synthetic or naturally derived materials; each has slightly different textures, though all are designed to give floors a good cleaning. Common synthetic materials include polyvinyl alcohol and polyurethane, while naturally derived mop materials include cellulose. Synthetic materials are most common, as they are cost-friendly, durable, and easy to clean. They also tend to hold up well to heat, making them ideal for use with hot water.
Some sponge mops include a removable mophead covering that may be plastic with a bumpy texture for scrubbing or microfiber with a soft texture for buffing.
Sponge mop handles are commonly made of aluminum, steel, wood, plastic, or a combination of these materials. Aluminum, steel, and wood are usually chosen since they are durable. A sturdy handle is important for deep scrubbing, and a good mop handle should be able to handle a bit of pressure. Plastic, foam, or rubber grips can make the mop more ergonomic and comfortable to use.
Plastic is often used for the sponge holder, wringer parts, or accessories. Since plastic can be manufactured into a range of different shapes, it is often used for ergonomic handles.
Pole Height and Adjustability
A length-adjustable pole can adjust for various cleaning jobs or to suit different user heights, making a sponge mop more comfortable to use and able to help with other household cleaning jobs, like scrubbing shower walls. They can also shorten for easier storage.
Adjustable mops have either an adjustable pole with a locking mechanism or multipiece poles. Those with adjustable poles usually have a twisting mechanism to allow users to change the pole height. Multipiece poles are more basic, with a number of handle pieces that screw together. To lengthen or shorten the pole, just add or take away one of the handle sections.
The wringer is an important feature on a sponge mop. Since too much moisture can damage some floor types, an effective wringer is a must-have. A good wringer should be able to get the mophead near dry to tackle a range of flooring types.
Sponge mops feature a wringer control on the handle or attached to the mophead. The handle allows users to wring the mop without needing to touch the sponge itself. Some mechanisms roll over the sponge to wring out water, while others apply pressure to squeeze out water. Softer sponges will be easier to wring, while stiffer sponges may need more pressure.
Although all sponge mops can be wrung out, it takes some effort. Since they are very absorbent, take care to wring them thoroughly when using them on moisture-sensitive flooring.
Weight and Maneuverability
One benefit of sponge mops is they tend to be lightweight and easy to use. Even when saturated, sponge mops don’t become heavy like cotton string mops. They also don’t have a heavy cleaning solution tank or electric parts. Their lighter weight makes them easy to carry and maneuver.
One downside of sponge mops is they tend to have fixed heads. While a fixed mophead helps for hard scrubbing, it can make it tougher to reach into corners. Rounded, stiff sponge heads, in particular, may have trouble reaching into corners and cramped spaces. These sponges also tend to be thicker, which can make it tough to reach under furniture. However, because of their rounded surface, they allow for more scrubbing angles.
Flat sponge heads tend to be slimmer and scrub flat to the ground. Since they are flat, they scrub best at one angle. They have rectangular corners that should reach into corners more easily than rounded sponge heads.
Sponge mops can include a range of features for a better clean. In addition to the sponge head, they can include scrubbing brushes for cleaning stuck-on messes. Some also include rubber squeegees, which are useful for containing spills.
Mops can be bulky to store compared to smaller cleaning tools. A hanging hook can make storage easier; the mop can be hung behind a door or on a wall hook to keep it upright and out of the way.
For long-term use, most sponge mops have replaceable mopheads. This design allows users to replace the sponge when it becomes dirty or damaged, rather than replacing the entire mop.
Our Top Picks
Sponge mops are a popular pick for home cleaning. Their absorbent sponge heads can soak up spills and scrub stains to deal with all sorts of messes. The top sponge mops on this list are convenient to use and effective for scrubbing floors. These mops are lightweight, cost-friendly, and intuitive to use to get floors sparkling clean.
Casabella’s Original mop is a cleaning workhorse with a stylish design. This Italian-made mop is crafted from high-quality steel and is designed with aesthetics in mind. The painted gray handle looks sleek and is made from sturdy steel. It includes a heavy-duty steel lever to wring the sponge dry. The lever is rust resistant to prevent the mechanism from sticking and becoming hard to operate upon extended exposure to water.
To scrub up messes, this mop has a 10-inch-wide sponge with a honeycomb texture. The rounded sponge head is highly absorbent to clean spills from any angle. Once the sponge is worn out, dirty, or stained, replaceable sponge heads are available.
The Quickie Super Squeeze sponge mop is an affordable and easy-to-use sponge mop. The mop features an absorbent cellulose sponge to clean spills and dirt. For tough messes, the mophead also has a scrubbing strip to lift stuck-on grime. Both the sponge and the scrubber are replaceable.
To wring the sponge, a durable metal hand-wringer on the mophead squeezes the entire width of the sponge. The wringer has teardrop-shaped drainage holes and a plastic insert designed to direct water away when the sponge is being squeezed. After wringing, a spring-back mechanism keeps the wringer out of the way for mopping.
The Yocada Sponge Mop is a three-in-one mopping tool for deep cleaning floors. This handy mop includes a sponge mophead, scrubbing brush, and rubber squeegee. The rounded honeycomb sponge mophead cleans dirt and grime. A wide bristle brush tackles any stuck-on messes that the sponge misses. And, for cleaning spills, the rubber squeegee clears liquid messes. The mophead includes a sturdy roller wringer with an easy-to-reach control lever on the handle.
The gentle sponge mop can be used on flooring, walls, windows, and more. To reach hard-to-clean places, the telescopic handle adjusts from 42.5 inches to 52 inches with an easy twist. Two replaceable sponge heads are included with the mop.
The OXO Good Grips Butterfly mop includes a sponge mophead with a soft microfiber layer. The microfiber layer gently cleans dust and dirt, while the sponge absorbs liquids and spills.
This mop features a folding wringing mechanism. With a pull of the lever, the wringing mechanism folds the sponge in half to squeeze out the water with one pull.
For storage, this mop has elevated feet to improve airflow and help the sponge dry completely. Additionally, the mophead can fold up to facilitate the drying process, which also makes the mop slimmer for storage. With a soft microfiber surface and solid wringing mechanism, this sponge mop is suitable to use on hardwood floors.
The Magic Eraser Power Squeeze mop from Mr. Clean features a Magic Eraser pad instead of a standard sponge. The scrubber on this mop is made to handle heavy-duty floor scrubbing; it is 50 percent stronger than the popular Original Magic Eraser. The scrubber’s textured surface is made to clean dirt and grime trapped in grooves on a range of surfaces, including vinyl, tile, stone, and non-wax floors. While this scrubber isn’t recommended for hardwood floors, it can still tackle a range of flooring types.
To ensure the mop isn’t too wet, the mop features a hand-wringing mechanism on the sturdy handle. Once the sponge is at the end of its scrubbing life, replacement sponges are available.
This telescoping mop from The Super features a sturdy, adjustable handle. With a simple twist, the mop can extend up to 55 inches in length to suit a range of heights and cleaning jobs. With a soft sponge mophead, this mop can tackle floors, walls, windows, and more.
Rather than a honeycomb texture, this mop features a smooth sponge with cleaning ridges. The grippy ridges help pick up dirt, hair, and liquids for debris-free floors. This mop has a wringing mechanism with a double-roller wringer to make sure the mop is properly wrung out before use. This set includes the ready-to-use mop as well as a spare sponge refill.
Many commercial cleaning products are durable, easy to use, and easy to maintain. This sturdy commercial mop is made for daily heavy-duty cleaning. It has a simple design with a synthetic sponge head and a sturdy steel handle. The wringer has a handle-mounted lever to make it simple to wring during long cleaning days.
The absorbent sponge head is easy to clean to deal with frequent mopping. Replacement sponges are available, and new heads are straightforward to switch out. The basic and intuitive design makes this mop a great pick for both residential and commercial cleaning.
FAQs About Sponge Mops
Sponge mops are a classic and affordable pick for cleaning hard floors. These handy and durable mops can even be used to scrub outdoor decks or shower floors. Still unsure about the best sponge mop for your flooring? Here are some questions and answers to consider.
Q. Can you use a sponge mop on hardwood floors?
Yes, it is safe to use a gentle sponge mop on hardwood floors as long as the sponge is properly wrung out. To keep hardwood floors looking their best, consider using the mop with a hardwood floor cleaner. The mop should be near dry to keep moisture to a minimum and avoid damage.
Q. How do I maintain my sponge mop?
To keep a sponge mop in good cleaning shape, clean and dry the mop before storing. First, rinse the mophead completely after mopping. Then, wring out as much water as possible before placing it upright in a well-ventilated area. Once the sponge has dried completely, it can be put away for storage.
Q. How long should you keep a mophead?
Once a mophead sponge begins to break down, discolor, or smell, it’s time to replace it. Depending on how often it is used, most mopheads need to be replaced every 2 to 6 months.
Q. What is the best way to clean a mophead?
A sponge mophead can be cleaned with soap and hot water. For a deeper clean, consider soaking the mophead in hot water and vinegar. Always let the mophead completely dry before storing.