AskDefine | Define mop

Dictionary Definition

mop n : cleaning implement consisting of absorbent material fastened to a handle; for cleaning floors [syn: swab, swob]


1 to wash or wipe with or as if with a mop; "Mop the hallway now"; "He mopped her forehead with a towel" [syn: wipe up, mop up]
2 make a sad face and thrust out one's lower lip; "mop and mow"; "The girl pouted" [syn: pout, mow] [also: mopping, mopped]

User Contributed Dictionary





  1. An implement for washing floors, or the like, made of a piece of cloth, or a collection of thrums, or coarse yarn, fastened to a handle.
  2. A fair where servants are hired. [Prov. Eng.]
  3. The young of any animal; also, a young girl; a moppet.
    [Prov. Eng.] --Halliwell.
  4. A made-up face; a grimace.
    What mops and mowes it makes! --Beau. & Fl.
  5. A head of hair.
    He ran a comb through his mop and hurried out the door.


implement for washing floors
a grimace
  • Hungarian: grimasz, fintor
head of hair
  • Finnish: hiuskuontalo
  • French: tignasse
  • Hungarian: hajtincs, hajcsomó
  • Italian: zazzera


  1. To rub, scrub, clean or wipe with a mop, or as if with a mop.
    to mop (or scrub) a floor
    to mop one's face with a handkerchief


to rub, scrub, clean or wipe with a mop, or as if with a mop
  • Finnish: mopata
  • German: moppen
  • Hungarian: felmos, feltöröl, felsúrol
  • Italian: asciugare



mop (plural: moppen, diminutive: mopje, plural diminutive: mopjes)


mop (plural: mops)
  1. a mop (an implement for washing floors, etc.)

Extensive Definition

A mop is a tool generally used for cleaning floors, although when possible it is also used for cleaning other surfaces, for example tiled walls, to avoid unhygienic working conditions.
The inventor Eddy Key received a patent for a mop holder in 1837.

Types of mops

Dry mop, dust mop

A dry mop or dust mop is designed to pick up dry, loose contamination like dust, earth and sand from the floor surface. It consists of yarn and/or microfibre and is used as a first step in cleaning a floor. Dry mops can be similar to the yarn wet mop, but with wider eyes and shorter hairs than. Professional dry mops consists of a flat sheet of micro fibre textile or sheets with a surface of looped yarn, usually about 15 cm wide, and comes in variable lengths (usually 30 - 100 cm). The professional type is intended for fastening on long handle with a flat pad with the aid of velcro or a pouch on the mop, in which the pad on the handle fits.
The latest "Green" development are dust mops made with environment-friendly GreenTex Yarn which are 100% Certified Recycled Fibers of pure green PET plastic bottles and post-consumer rayon/polyester. They are made with renewable energy. 90% dry after only the washer spin cycle and completely dry after 15 minutes of light dryer time. Air dries 100% overnight.
The dry mop can in many instances replace a broom and has the ability to hold a limited amount of dust or sand within itself. Ideally, it should be machine washed when it becomes saturated with dust. Another option is using a vacuum cleaner to suck surface dust away from the mop, however this is often limited in its effectiveness.
Single-use dry mops are available.

Wet mop, moist mop

A wet mop or moist mop is, in professional cleaning, used as a second step in the cleaning of a surface. The wet mop is swept over the surface to dissolve and absorb fat, mud and dried-in liquid contaminations.

Yarn mop

In daily speech a mop is usually equal to a yarn mop. The mop (eye) consists of thick lengths of yarn (about 25 cm) or, in newer models, soft strands of water-absorbing fabric or Wettex. A yarn mop is usually mounted on a long (about 1.5 m) handle with a ganged end on which the mop can be fastened by turning it clockwise.
To clean a floor, the mop is soaked in a bucket of water, usually mixed with a cleaning solution and swept against the surface. Some buckets include a wringer to strain excess water from the mop, so as not to saturate the floor and as not to leave excessive water on the floor. Leaving too much water on the floor will usually result in dust collection and thus result in a less clean floor.
Yarn mops are also often used to clean up liquid spills.

Mop for pre-moisting

In professional cleaning, mops are often pre-impregnated with an ideal amount of liquid. This ideal amount is often recommended by the manufacturer in terms of weight percent of water per dry weight mop, for example "175% water". Mops for pre-moisting are flat sheets of (often microfibre) textile, usually about 15 cm wide, and comes in variable lengths (usually 30 - 100 cm). Mops for pre-moisting is fastening on a long handle with a flat pad with the aid of velcro or a pouch on the mop, in which the pad on the handle fits.
Pre-moisting can be done with a special washing machine or by hand by simply folding and packing the mops tight in a container and pouring the measured amount of water over them. The mops will then need about 5 - 10 min for the liquid to distribute evenly in their tissue before use.
Advantages with pre-moisting are among other:
  • The cleaner does not have to have a bucket of water with him/her when sweeping the floor, but simply carries an appropriate amount of mops. This means the weight of the equipment can often be kept lower.
  • The risk of over-wetting the floor and leave pools which collect dust is eliminated if the wetting is ideal.

Hot mop

Besides these mops is a type of wet mop called the hot mop, which follows a similar concept to a steam iron. After adding water, the water is heated to make exude on top of a floor, which can then be cleaned without using a cleaning solvent. These can work best on surfaces where a regular mop would also be used, such as floors, hearths, and laminate.


A syntho-mop such as the Scooba is not considered a mop, because even though it performs the same function as a traditional mop, the lack of hand operation makes ineligible for status as a mop.


See also

mop in Danish: Gulvmoppe
mop in German: Wischmopp
mop in Spanish: Fregona
mop in French: Serpillière
mop in Italian: Radazza
mop in Japanese: モップ
mop in Dutch: Zwabber
mop in Polish: Mop
mop in Portuguese: Esfregão
mop in Finnish: Moppi
mop in Swedish: Mopp

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

baptize, bath, bathe, crop, douche, fleece, flush, flush out, gargle, grimace, head, head of hair, holystone, irrigate, lather, launder, lave, locks, make a face, make a mouth, mane, mat, mop and mow, mop up, mouth, mow, mug, pout, pull a face, rinse, rinse out, ritually immerse, scour, scrub, scrub up, shag, shampoo, shock, shower, sluice, sluice out, soap, sponge, swab, syringe, thatch, toivel, tresses, tub, wash, wash out, wash up
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