How to Replace a Mop Head

Mop Head

Mopping isn’t exactly a task that a lot of people truly enjoy. Instead, it’s typically one that simply has to be done. These days, many individuals have made the decision to swap out their traditional mop with something that’s both cleaner and less hassle, such as a Swiffer. However, that doesn’t help you if you still have some variation of a traditional mop and you need to replace the mop head.

If you’ve never successfully replaced a mop head in the past (but you’ve tried), you’ve probably already learned that it’s not exactly the easiest thing in the world to do. In fact, it can be enough to make you seriously consider throwing the entire mop in the trash and forgetting about it. It doesn’t help that changing the mop head can sometimes feel more like an exercise in futility than anything else.

Further complicating things is the fact that depending on the exact type of mop that you have, the actual procedure utilized for changing a mop head can vary a great deal. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way. Once you get the hang of it, it’s actually relatively easy to change a mop head. Fortunately, you’re in the right place because by the time you’re finished reading this article, you’ll know exactly what you need to do.

Removing the Old Mop Head

Clearly, the first thing you have to do is remove the old mop head. The question is, how do you do it? Things get a little bit tricky here because the procedure that you use will depend on the type of mop that you have. If it’s one of those old-school mops that you used to find throughout homes and businesses during the 1970s, it’s probably an alligator type.

That involves a clamp that essentially holds the mop head in place. In order to release it, you have to loosen the clamp. In some cases, removing the mop head requires you to twist a metal wing nut loose so you can loosen the clamp that holds the mop head in place. Usually removing a single wing will get the job done. However, there are some mops that require you to remove two of them in order to release the clamp.

If you still have issues

If you get one off and you still can’t manage to make it come loose, then there’s probably another one that you just haven’t seen. Look more carefully. Chances are, you’ll find a second wing nut that also has to be loosened. Every once in a while, you’ll run up against a mop head that has only a single wing nut and a clamp that doesn’t want to come loose even though you’ve loosened the nut.

This is especially true of metal clamps that have a tendency to get stuck when they’re left in place for too long. In some cases, you can loosen the clamp by giving it a couple of good taps on a solid surface. In other cases, it might require you to get someone else to hold the mop in place while you pry it loose with a crowbar or something similar. This isn’t always something that you have to worry about, but it can and does happen.

Installing a New Mop Head

Fortunately, installing a new mop head is typically easier (and far less disgusting) than removing the old one. Once you open the clamp and remove the old mop head, you can install a new one in exactly the same way that the old one had been installed.

This involves properly placing the new mop head, repositioning the clamp and replacing the wing nut. Be sure to tighten it properly so that everything remains securely in place. Once you’ve done that, your mop is ready to go again whenever you need it. As you can see, it’s not as difficult as it might sound, even on the old-school mops with metal clamps that aren’t exactly designed for ease-of-use.

That said, there are a couple of other types of mops that you have to be aware of because the procedure for changing those heads will be different than what has already been described herein.

Mops With Plastic Wing Nuts

You have to use special caution when you’re loosening or tightening a mop with a plastic wing nut. The same thing can be said for other types of mops that operate on a screw and socket system where the end of the mop head that attaches to the handle is made from plastic.

It’s very easy to over tighten these devices and crack the plastic. Once that’s occurred, you typically don’t have any choice but to throw them away and purchase an entirely new mop. If you’re going to use a mop with plastic wing nuts or a plastic socket system, be careful not to tighten it too much or you may end up with something that you can’t use in any capacity whatsoever.

Specialty Mops

In some cases, you’ll run up against especially mop, such as one made by Libman or someone similar. In almost every case, there will be specific instructions regarding exactly how you will remove that particular mophead. Just in case you have a Libman, it’s important to know that you will remove the old mop head by simply grasping the handle with one hand and the mop head with the other.

Turn the old mop head counterclockwise and keep turning it until you can successfully remove it from the handle. You’ll install the new mop head in exactly the same manner, with the only difference being that you will need to turn the mop head clockwise in order to tighten it.

Once you’ve done that, you’re ready to go. If you have some other type of mop that isn’t covered here, you’ll need to follow the instructions provided for that particular mop head. As you can see, removing your old mop head doesn’t have to be a frustrating experience. It doesn’t have to take you half the day to get it done, either. Once you’ve done it a time or two, you’l likely feel like an old pro and it will no longer be an issue.

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