Mop Bucket & Utility Pails Buyers' Guide

Mop Bucket and Utility Pails

Establishing good cleaning practices is a fundamental step in keeping your facilities safe, sanitary, and welcoming to guests. It's important to have the right tools for each job, and some of the most important of those tools are mop buckets and utility pails. These tools can help with a number of important tasks, from cleaning tile, linoleum, and concrete floors to sanitizing many types of equipment.

Mop Buckets

A complete mop bucket assembly consists of two pieces: a mop wringer and the bucket itself. The wringer is fitted on the lip of the bucket and used to squeeze excess water out of the mop head. Mop wringers come in two types: side-press and down-press, the names of which describe how the handle is pressed to squeeze the water out.

The main difference between mop buckets is their size, which is measured by liquid capacity in quarts. These capacities range from 26 to 44 quarts, with 35 quarts the most common. In addition to choosing the size that will best suit your cleaning routine, you also have the choice between several useful features and options, including:

  • Many buckets are made with a wave-breaking design that reduces splashing as the bucket is transported. This feature can help avoid spills, reducing the chance of accidents and cutting down on labor.
  • A mop bucket with a separate dirty water bucket collects water wrung from the mop head in a separate container, rather than in the clean water bucket. That enables you to avoid using water contaminated with the dirt and debris you're cleaning up.
  • Most mop buckets include casters so they can be wheeled around by themselves. Buckets that are intended to be carried on a janitor cart do not include casters, but are designed to rest securely on the bucket platform that many janitor carts have built-in.
  • Foot pedal drains eliminate the need to lift and dump the mop bucket to empty its contents. Instead, these buckets' built-in drains can be situated over a floor drain or in a mop sink and released with a convenient foot pedal, eliminating the need for staff to stoop and lift to empty buckets.
  • Integrated bucket-and-wringer combos consist of those two components molded together in one piece. These easy-to-handle pieces are a great solution for lighter-duty tasks, like spot mopping and cleaning up spills.
  • A prison package includes a mop wringer and bucket built without metal components so they're safe to use in facilities where those components could pose a safety risk.
  • Supply caddies are included on some models that can accommodate cleaning supplies and chemicals, and some hold small trash bags.

Utility Pails

Cleaning jobs that require a more hands-on approach call for utility pails, including sanitizing equipment and spot-cleaning floors.

Stainless steel and galvanized steel pails make good general purpose tools, as do white and grey plastic buckets. These are ideal for light cleaning jobs that don't involve hazardous substances or materials.

Color-coded pails keep different cleaning solutions separate to help maintain a safe and effective cleaning routine. For procedures that require a two-step, clean-then-sanitize process, invest in a pair of complementary green and red pails, designed for detergent and sanitizer, respectively. A system like that can help you meet HACCP guidelines.

Other available bucket colors include yellow and blue. Stock up on an assortment of these supplies to keep them separate for different parts of the building, or for cleaning up different types of contaminants to keep staff and guests safe. Specialty buckets, like those marked for broken glass, also exist for those miscellaneous cleanup jobs.