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Types of Mop Buckets and Wringers

Keeping your business clean is no simple task, but using the right mop bucket can make it easier. Whether you run a small business or large institution, a mop bucket and wringer is a necessary addition for everything from daily cleanings to surprise messes. This guide will cover the many different options for your business.

Parts of a Mop Bucket

Before choosing which mop bucket would work best for you, it's important to be familiar with the basic parts of one, as well as certain variations and options available.

hand wringing yellow wringer with black handle


With safety being a top priority for any business, keeping excess water off the floor during mopping creates a safer environment for your employees, and your guests. The wringer on the bucket allows the user to easily press excess water out of the wet mop, preventing floors from becoming overly saturated and slippery. While plastic wringers are the popular, economical choice, metal wringers provide a more durable construction for a longer life, but are costly and prone to corrosion if not rinsed and dried properly.

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yellow Lavex mop bucket with four casters


Use the bucket on wheels to effortlessly transport warm, soapy water without the spills and drips often caused by carrying it by hand. Choose a bucket size appropriate for the square footage of the area you want to clean. The larger the bucket, the less time is needed to drain and refill.

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hand pulling handle of red Rubbermaid dirty water bucket

Dirty Water Bucket

As its name suggests, some cleaning buckets with wringers include a dirty water bucket designed to keep soiled water separate from the clean, soapy water. This feature increases efficiency with less water changes required, making it an ideal option for large, commercial establishments.

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Types of Wringers

There are several different types of wringers to accompany your mop bucket. This section will give an overview of each type and explain how to use them.
Restaurant Equipment
  • Compact design fits inside bucket
  • Comfortable and easy to use mechanism
  • Requires more pressure than down press

To use, pull the lever toward the mop to release water back in to the bucket. This is an economical option less commonly found in commercial and industrial establishments.



Restaurant Equipment
  • No press required; no metal or moving parts involved
  • Non-metal construction is ideal for institutions where safety is a concern
  • Provides more control over wetness of mop
  • Economical option; ideal for smaller environments

To use, place the mop head in the funnel and twist. Keep twisting until you've reached the desired amount of saturation on your mop head. This wringer fits securely on top of the bucket for easy and efficient wringing.



Restaurant Equipment
  • Handle located on the side of the wringer
  • No bending or pulling required
  • Requires more pressure than down press

To use, stand behind the bucket, press the lever on the side of the wringer forward, and watch as excess water from the mop drains out and down into the bucket. The high handle allows for convenient and easy use.


Restaurant Equipment
  • Handle located above the bucket
  • No bending or pulling required
  • Extremely effective at releasing water
  • Requires less pressure when using

To use, stand behind the bucket and press forward on the handle to force water out of mop. Down press wringers give you a lot of control over how much water is pushed out of the mop.


Metal vs. Plastic Wringers

Use a metal or plastic wringer to optimize your cleaning routine and get the most out of your mop bucket. They differ in construction, but both will allow you to quickly and easily remove water from your mop head while cleaning.

mop wringer

Benefits of Plastic Wringers

Plastic wringers are a more economical alternative than their metal counterparts. Their lighter-weight construction makes pushing a mop bucket around your establishments less burdensome on employees. Plus, they will never corrode or rust thanks to their chemical-resistant makeup. However, they may not last as long as metal wringers.

Benefits of Metal Wringers

There are several types of metal wringers currently on the market. The most common include stainless steel and zinc. While more expensive than plastic, stainless steel wringers are more sanitary and boast a longer lifespan. Plus, stainless steel wringers are corrosion-resistant, although it's recommended to take caution when using metal wringers with extremely corrosive chemicals.

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Choose the Right Wringer and Mop Bucket for Your Establishment

This inforgraphic will help you find the best mop bucket and wringer for your establishment. Both the type and size of your establishment should be taken into account when selecting essential cleaning items like a mop bucket and wringer.
Infographic for choosing the right type of mop bucket and wringer
Yellow funnel-type mop wringer with casters
  • Ideal for small establishments with less square footage and minimal foot traffic
  • Great for daily cleaning such as handling spills in hallways or break rooms
  • Metal-free option for institutions such as healthcare or correctional facilities
Rubbermaid yellow reverse-press mop wringer with casters
  • Provides more power than a funnel-type wringer
  • Economical alternative to other press wringers
  • Ideal for larger businesses with more ground to cover or larger spills and messes
Lavex yellow side press mop wringer with casters
  • Great for larger establishments
  • Areas with high foot traffic are prone to more unexpected messes in need of immediate attention
  • Effective for handling heavy, commercial use
Rubbermaid yellow down press wringer with casters
  • Ideal for institutions and restaurants subject to food safety and sanitation guidelines
  • Provides the most durability and power out of all the press wringers
  • Great for cleaning between meals, getting rid of large spills, outside contaminants, bodily fluids, and keeping kitchens sanitary

How Much Square Footage Can Each Mop Bucket Cover?

yellow mop bucket

There is no set amount of square footage per gallon a mopping bucket will cover. Often, the determining factor is how dirty the water gets before needing changed.

There are several reasons why it's hard to estimate how much space can be cleaned before needing to refill your bucket with clean water. The larger the cleaning mop bucket, the more warm, soapy water there is to dilute the dirt and grime. However, a routine, low-risk cleaning will get more use out of water than a high-risk, or heavily soiled mess or spill. This is because you'll want to empty the bucket much sooner to avoid cross-contamination while cleaning up heavily soiled messes.

For smaller establishments, using too large of a bucket can cause unnecessary water waste. Plus, more water requires more cleaning solution, which is costly and inefficient. With smaller establishments, there is likely less distance needed to travel between water sources, which puts much less burden on the user when a water change is necessary.

Larger establishments typically see more day-to-day foot traffic, which allows for more outside contaminants or messes to occur. With larger area to cover, a higher-capacity bucket could allow the user to travel a longer distance before needing a water change. This, however, is still dependent on the type of cleaning being done and what type of mess is being cleaned up.

Cleaning Industry Color-Coding System

Establishing a color-coded system is an important step for any establishment. It ensures you limit the spread of germs and bacteria and avoid cross-contamination. Here's the industry standard color-coding system:
red lavex mop bucket

Red Mop Bucket

Use this mop for places with a higher risk of contamination and bacteria. This includes toilets and urinals.

yellow lavex mop bucket

Yellow Mop Bucket

Low-risk areas include the rest of the bathroom, such as below sinks and mirrors, or specialty areas such as labs and gyms.

blue lavex mop bucket

All-Purpose Cleaning
Blue Mop Bucket

Use this bucket for everyday areas including office floors, hallways, and day-to-day work areas.

green lavex mop bucket

Food Service
Green Mop Bucket

Dedicate this bucket to food service areas including the kitchen and behind the bar.

black lavex mop bucket

Front of House
Black/Gray Mop Bucket

Front of house areas of food establishments include lobbies, hallways, and offices.

Mop Wringer and Bucket Accessories

Although you have might the perfect mop bucket with wringer for your establishment, you need to consider the right accessories and cleaners to complete your cleaning process.

  • Wet Floor Sign - These allow you to alert other employees and guests of a possible slipping hazard. These signs give others notice when a floor is being cleaned so that they can avoid potential injury.
  • Wet Mop - Choose the best wet mop to meet the needs of your establishment. Use this wet mop buying guide to learn more about each type.
  • Mop Handle - Complete your wet mop with an appropriate mop handle depending on your preferred length, material and personal needs. Learn more with this types of mop handles buying guide.
The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. Please refer to our Content Policy for more details.

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Since cleanliness is a top priority for any facility, you'll want to select not only the best mop, but also the best mop handle, frame, and accessories , to meet your needs. The question is: what kind of handle will be the most useful, convenient, and cost effective for you and your business?

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