Cleaning .

The Stalled Evolution of the Mop

Being a “guy” I kind of take a lot of things for granted. I’m a little dim-witted, I’m kind of oblivious at times, and I am obsessively dirty. Not obsessively (like I don’t obsess about it) but it has been brought to my attention on a number of occasions; how I wear the same clothes day after day, how I leave stuff lying around, and don’t even come into my car lest you find items from 2019 and earlier! Be that as it may, I work out of the house so I like to be comfortable in my surroundings. One thing I’ve become acutely aware of is how dirty our tiny kitchen floors can get. There is food-stuff, there is a myriad of dirt, dust, and hair and this has become something of my latest cause; to keep the kitchen floor clean. Moreover, I am also aware that all this can lead to the growth of mold in our kitchen. This is where I connected with a mold testing company in new jersey and appointed them to inspect my house for any growth of mold or other harmful things. To my relief there was nothing. 

It was with this mission in mind that I came to ponder the mop. Hmmm…I wonder if any other product has experienced such stifled evolution in its lifetime? Yes, there was once the flat rectangular sponge thing which was complemented by the janitorial spaghetti-style mop head but really, what other evolution has there been in the world of mops? And I mean, really, still, the most prevalent mop-head is indeed the rectangular sponge style one, right? So there is something to be said for “if-it-ain’t-broke,” but it just seems that with modern science we could do so much better.

Even the Swiffer, something of a “modern” marvel is still just a disposable mop head. So rather than clean and re-use, with the Swiffer, you clean, discard and re-buy. That sounds like de-evolution if you ask me; not only does the Swiffer include an added step, but it also involves a second trip to the grocery store eventually and more money. How is that any easier than cleaning out your mop head in the kitchen sink like our mothers and grandmothers all did?

The problem lies in the cleanliness of tiles’ lack of effect on “men.” Why do you think carpets were invented? Men don’t see hair and dirt and really, where do men spend most of their time? In the living room, their office, and bedroom. Or the garage. And while there are generally no carpets in the garage, there is also not a floor that’s any dirtier (even the kitchen floors are cleaner) than the garage.

So what is the solution to this mop puzzle? Well, it seems to me that we have to re-invent the floor. You know, just rip it up and start over from scratch. Maybe the kitchen floor should actually be liquid! Little pools of perpetually filling and draining water to keep the floors always clean? Or floors with self-cleaning devices that spray from the wall when no one is in the room. If we’re not going to re-invent the floor there should be some better version of the mop so that cleaning the floor is easier. The modern American solution has been to just add stronger pine smelling cleaning solution and us the same old tired mop. If there was more of a cause behind it, undoubtedly we could come up with something better than that rectangular-headed shame.


Paola Garcia lives in Jakarta Indonesia. She is an associate professor in University of Indonesia and also managing Scoopinion at the same time. She is also fond of watching theatrical plays.
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