Choosing a broom is about a lot more than picking one off the shelf. You need to choose your broom according to the type of bristles that will work best on your surface. Choosing broom bristles starts with knowing what surface you are sweeping. Whether you’re working indoors, outdoors, in dry conditions or wet conditions, choosing brooms by their bristles will ensure your broom works well and lasts longer.

Here are some of the main types of broom bristles:

Corn: “Broom Corn” fibers are all natural and made from various species of grasses. Corn broom bristles tend to be thick and rigid and are considered versatile, easy-to-use and low maintenance. Corn brooms are ideal for removing fine, medium and heavy dirt and debris, even on rough surfaces. You should avoid getting corn broom fibers wet, as it could damage the broom and shorten the product life.

Polypropylene: Polypropylene is a top synthetic broom bristle fiber. These brooms can be used wet or dry and are highly resistant to acids and oils. They are best for medium to heavy floor sweeping, including on carpeting and entry mats. Polypropylene bristles are more flexible than corn bristles. Polypropylene bristles can be easily washed and dry quickly to reduce mold and fungal growth and extend product life.

Nylon: Nylon is becoming a popular broom fiber as it is long lasting and versatile. Nylon has a high resistance to chemicals such as acid, oil and most solvents. It is very sturdy and can be used in both wet and dry environment. Nylon also has a high heat resistance.

Tampico: Tampico is another plant-based fiber. It is great for holding liquids, scrubbing and surface finishing. Tampico is more expensive than many other bristle types but is known for its fine, smooth texture.

Palmyra: Palmyra is a coarse, durable broom fiber made from the Palmyra leaf. Palmyra brooms are ideal for heavy duty sweeping as well as deck scrub brushes. Palmyra can lose its strength when wet. 

When it comes to floor care, choosing the right mop for your job is extremely important. Certain mops are designed for specific applications. Failure to choose the right mop for the job could damage your mop and more importantly, your floor. The problem is that mop selection can be daunting, especially since many mops might look alike at first glance. Before you buy your next mop, here is a quick guide with some tips on what features to consider:

Cut vs. Looped Ends:

    • Looped ends last longer, but will cost you more up front. A looped end has a bended tail that provides a wider cleaning path, reducing your mopping labor. Looped end mops won’t unravel or fray with use and can be washed on the gentle cycle in your washing machine.
    • Cut end mops are more economical, but don’t last as long. They are great for daily floor cleaning. They cannot be machine washed. Instead, you’ll need to rinse them by hand. Mops may lint and lose strands.

Mop Weight:

    • A true weight mop will give you ounces, such as a 16oz mop. That means the mop weighs at least 16oz if you put it on a scale.
    • A numbered mop will be listed with a pound sign, such as #20 mop head. The numbered mops can weigh as little as half of the listed weight. So that #20 mop head can weigh as little as 10oz.

Mop Materials:

    • Cotton: Economical with excellent water absorption and retention, allowing for fast floor drying. Cotton is good for general cleaning. It can be subject to mildew growth and can take longer to dry. Cotton has some limited shrinkage with use and requires break in. Cotton also has a tendency to lint.
    • Rayon: Highly absorbent but with low water retention. Rayon mops are excellent for applying finishes to floors. Rayon will not shrink and is mildew resistant. Rayon mops will not lint as much as cotton and dries more quickly.
    • Cotton/synthetic blend: This mop type offers longevity and a combination of durability and performance. Blended mops have high absorbency and retention. They are subject to some shrinkage if no pre-shrunk.

Headbands and Tailbands:

    • Headbands: Usually come in 1 ¼” and 5”. Smaller headbands are designed for use with slide-on or thread-through handles. Larger headbands are suited for clamp-style handles.
    • Tailbands: Allow cut-end mops to cover more floor area per stroke with fewer gaps in coverage. Tailbands also reduce yarn tangling and snagging.

Fan (fantail) Mops: Fan or fantail mops are generally made from either cotton or rayon. The fan shape at the bottom allows for more floor coverage, reducing labor.

Finish mops: You can tell a finish mop from other mops because they are candy striped (ie: blue and white, green and white).

Antimicrobial Mops: Antimicrobial fibers reduce bacteria that can cause odors in mops. Red and yellow color hides stains.  

  • Ensures tools for specific cleaning tasks are always used.
  • Reduces pathogens & allergens contamination
  • Helps meet FDA and HAACP compliancy requirements
  • Easily breaks language barriers with visually color-coded tools
  • Creates a culture that holds employees accountable
  • Money savings long-term


For effectiveness, begin all Color-Coding tool implementation at the same time
For program success, incorporate all color-coded tools needed for your cleaning plan at once. Make sure to include items like color-coded racks for tool storage (hanging tools extends their life). Ensure training on new tool system is performed with employees. Communicate expectations utilizing the new system and encourage employees to follow procedures daily.

Note: If only some tools are color coded and others are not, procedures vary and may not be carried out properly.

Review Cleaning Plan Often
Set aside time to evaluate how the new plan is working. Modify plan where necessary to ensure success.