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A New Floor Mop Has Me Wringing My Hands

Updated on February 17, 2020
Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank wrote humorous bits for her college newspaper many years ago. Her funny observations have continued in print and online.


I am strongly opposed to learning more about housekeeping. I really think I know more about cleaning than I really want to, but if a product offers the possibility of making cleaning easier, I get drawn in.

Last week I bought an allegedly "self-wringing" mop, which came with an owner's manual and twelve pages of step-by-step instructions.

It's only a mop. How complicated could it be? But this one seems to have lots of moving parts like a handle that twists and one that slides and locks and and stretches and squeezes.

The first page of the manual announces in bold letters "Mop is ready to use". If this is true why would it have twelve pages of numbered steps with complicated diagrams including directional arrows that tell you which way to twist and slide?

I'm not sure if I bought a mop or a dance lesson.

Unlike most direction booklets, it did NOT include complete translations in 37 of the world's major languages. This was a disappointment, because cleaning product information always sounds better in French or Norwegian.

Maybe a robot is the answer. At least it entertains the kittens.

It did, of course, have safety warnings (slightly embellished here, for clarity) like:

1. Remove and discard protective cardboard sleeve and protective plastic covering before use. (I'm already nervous about using a product which needs that much protection.)

2. This is not a toy it should not be used by children under age seven or by housekeepers over 95.

3. Do not use as a fashion accessory, unless you are over 95.

4. Do not use for applying hot tar to roofs.

5. Do not use inside of moving vehicles exceeding a speed of 25 MPH.

6. Do not attempt to plug wet mop into electrical outlets, or insert into a hot toaster oven.

These are all understandable yet unnecessary warnings which are put there to make you wonder if the warning writer has ever been tarred and inserted into a hot toaster oven.

After studying the directions once more, I considered returning the item unused. It was beginning to seem too technologically advanced for me. But that would be taking the easy way out. After all it's not rocket surgery. However, I'm pretty sure the government has intercontinental ballistic missiles which are less complicated than this mop.

It took some courage to actually try it out because of the additional tangling warning. There are certain things you want to avoid at all costs, including getting your mop in an inextricable snarl which could void the "limited lifetime warranty".

This is another concept I'm not sure about. Does this mean they will only warranty it if you have a limited lifetime? I, for one, refuse to limit my lifetime just to get a stupid warranty. After all, the thing cost less than 20 bucks, and I plan to take all the lifetime I can get, even if it does void my warranty.

After re-reading the directions several more times I mastered the "self wringing" action. (Which, by the way , is not really "self-wringing" because you actually have to DO stuff like: slide, immerse, retract, twist, grip, push down, grip, twist and another dance step - to make it "self-wring".

(If it were actually "self-wringing", you would just stand back and watch.) Anyhow, after mastering that, one can go on to the part about removing/replacing the mophead assembly to replace/attach a refill. The attaching directions read something like this:

"Place the round black mophead engagement element into the uppermost end of the handle while holding appliance perpendicular to the floor. Doing this will elevate the major grip towards the upper terminus of the handle and presumably elevate this mop to "appliance" status.

Firmly impel the black plastic C-shaped clip in reverse toward the handle until it snaps into place. Use the interstice that goes through both the handle and mophead engagement element. Pull the end of the main mophead assembly attachment which has the ligature enclosure, steadfastly in the opposite direction of the wide end of the large persistent twister assisting gripper until snug."

Don't you think this would be just as clear in Norwegian?

You never see this kind of explanatory elaboration on a broom. And whatever happened to yarn tied to a stick? It all tends to disprove the idea that technology is making our lives simpler and easier. It's enough to make you want to throw in the towel, and just use IT to mop the floor.


(NOTE: The directions given here are be used solely for entertainment purposes or dance instruction.)

This one works a lot better!

O-Cedar EasyWring Microfiber Spin Mop, Bucket Floor Cleaning System, Red, Gray
O-Cedar EasyWring Microfiber Spin Mop, Bucket Floor Cleaning System, Red, Gray
I finally gave up on the other mop. At first I thought this one looked a little too flimsy, but was really surprised at how well it works. Because of the microfiber mop head, it effectively picks up the dirt and crumbs. Wringing is unnecessary since the spinner, activated by a foot pedal does the work. I will never go back to the other kind.

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