Brooms and Dust Mops
When it comes to keeping your home or workshop free of dust, dirt and other debris, nothing is more useful than a broom or dust mop. Brooms come in a variety of styles and are constructed from a diverse range of materials. Some types are best suited for indoor use in kitchens, hallways and other areas that contain hard floors. Others are specially designed for heavy-duty use in workshops, garages and commercial locations. For more delicate surfaces that can be dulled or scratched, such as hardwood floors, you may want to consider a dust mop. Before you make a decision, take a few minutes to learn more about your options and ask yourself the following questions:
• Is a broom or dust mop better suited to the surface?
• What types of brooms are available for different tasks?
• Would you prefer a cotton or microfiber dust mop?
• Are there any special features that are important to you?
Brooms, Dust Mops, Selection and Features
While there are a number of different types of brooms and dust mops available, the one you choose will depend largely on what type of surface you are trying to care for, how large the debris is that you are sweeping up and your personal preferences. Brooms come in a range of sizes, from large, industrial-strength sweepers to standard, household brooms. They can be constructed from a variety of natural and synthetic materials, each of which is suited to certain applications. Dust mops are another solution for keeping floors clean and clear of dirt and other debris. Whatever your needs, the large selection of available models guarantees you'll find exactly what you're looking for.
Brooms: Brooms are basic tools that everyone should have in their arsenal of cleaning supplies. Yet, while they are very basic in concept, they come in a surprisingly wide array of types and styles. Most indoor brooms feature bristles made from synthetic materials that offer excellent flexibility and are densely packed together to more easily grab fine dust particles along with larger chunks of debris. Classic straw or corn brooms are also used indoors and are best suited to situations where you are sweeping up larger materials. Because they handle larger debris well, they make an excellent choice for clearing off your porch or front walkway. There are a number of specialty brooms as well, such as push brooms designed for both indoor and outdoor areas. These feature a larger head and can cover more area in a shorter amount of time.
• Broom handles can be made from wood, plastic or metal and come in varying lengths
• Some handles screw into place and can be easily replaced if broken or damaged
• Bristles made from synthetic fibers can be easily washed and dry quickly
• Brooms with densely packed bristles pick up more dust and dirt
• Look for poly fibers with a split tip to ensure even the smallest particles are captured
• Brooms with an angled head can be used even in tight corners
• A whisk and dustpan can easily sweep up larger dirt piles generated by push brooms
Dust Mops: While brooms push dirt around, dust mops actually attract and collect dirt on their surface. After you are done cleaning, the mop is shaken to release and discard anything it has captured. Dust mops usually consist of a base or frame that has a soft cover. Traditionally, covers have been made of cotton, but more recently, microfiber materials have become increasingly popular. They tend to do a better job of attracting and retaining dirt particles and can be removed, laundered and reused a number of times before needing to be replaced. Replacement covers are widely available for most major brands when the old one has worn out or become ineffective. The handle of a dust mop is mounted on a swiveling joint that makes maneuvering around objects and getting into tight spaces a breeze.
• Dust mops are better for surfaces that require a gentle touch, such as hardwood floors
• Cotton-loop dust mops provide a larger surface area for dust to cling to
• Use spray-on cleaning solutions to increase the efficiency of dust mops
• Look for models with a larger base for commercial or industrial applications
Selection: When it comes to choosing the right broom or dust mop, be sure to select one that is designed to meet your needs. Consult the chart below for an at-a-glance summary of some of the available types and their ideal applications.
Uses and Points to Consider
|Cotton Dust Mop||• Can be treated with cleaning solutions to attract more dirt
• Fibers collect dirt and dust which must be shaken loose
• Usually has replaceable pads that fit around a frame
• Available in both small, residential models and larger commercial ones
• Swiveling handle makes maneuvering easy
• Ideal for hardwood floors and other surfaces that can be scratched and dulled
|Microfiber Dust Mop||• Microfiber attracts a larger number of dirt and dust particles
• Microfiber cloths can usually be washed and reused a number of times
|Poly-Vinyl Broom||• Kitchens, hallways, bathrooms and other indoor areas
• Synthetic bristles are generally more flexible
• Bristles that have split fibers capture finer particles
• Broom heads with an angular cut get into corners more easily
|Push Broom||• Large rectangular head ranges from 24" to 60" or more in width
• Good for sweeping out larger areas, such as workshop or garage floors
• Larger broom heads are best for industrial or commercial applications
• Look for a unit that allows the handle to be attached in either direction for more
even bristle wear
|Straw/Corn Broom||• Natural bristles tend to be thick and rigid
• Better for sweeping up large bits of dirt and debris
• Can be used indoors in kitchens, hallways and more
• Ideal for sweeping off sidewalks, porches and other outdoor areas
|Wet/Dry Broom||• Usually has thicker bristles spaced farther apart
• Used to scrub floors as well as remove larger bits of debris
• Often designed for indoor and outdoor use
• Good on workshop, garage or basement floors
• Can be made of natural materials, such as palmyra fibers, or synthetic materials,
such as rubber
Wall-Mounted Storage: Look for brooms and dust mops that can be easily mounted on a wall for simple storage and convenient access. Some units may even include special hardware that allows you to simply snap your broom or mop in place.
Spray-On Treatments: Use special cleaning solutions on your dust mop to increase its effectiveness and ensure that it captures more particles for a dirt-free floor.
Collapsible Dust Mops: Special collapsible dust mops are great for everyday cleanup tasks. They usually use disposable cloths which can be either wet or dry to accommodate different situations.
Whisk Broom: Whisks are small handheld brooms that are great for quickly sweeping dirt into a dustpan. These are a good accessory to have on hand when using larger push brooms.
Dust Pan: Many brooms come complete with a dust pan, but they can also be purchased separately. They are available in a variety of sizes and are typically made from plastic or metal. If you have back problems that make bending over difficult, look for dust pans attached to a long handle that allows for convenient upright use.