Dear Dot: Where Can I Find an Eco-Friendly Mop and Bucket?



Dear Dot,

Where can I buy a mop that is made of biodegradable materials and a mop bucket made of recycled plastic? Thank you!

—Carole A.

The short answer: Dot’s number one rule for purchasing eco-friendly products: The greenest products are typically those that already exist, rather than new products — even the ones made of recycled or biodegradable materials. When you can, buy second-hand. 

Dear Carole,

Wow, Carole. Dot loves your specificity. But while I will do my best to see if I can source a mop made of biodegradable materials and a bucket made of recycled plastic, let’s zoom out for a moment and revisit some of Dot’s Rules for Sustainable Purchasing.

Rule #1: Make use of items you already have is followed closely by Rule #2: Buy second-hand when possible.

So please consider, Carole, whether you might already possess a mop bucket (or reasonable facsimile) or can find one at a yard sale or thrift store, or by posting a request on Facebook Marketplace or a similar site. Purchasing items made from recycled materials is typically a good thing, but it is a less good thing than keeping already existing items in circulation rather than headed for the landfill or to a recycling system where they, potentially, will get turned into another item (all of which requires energy). What’s more, repurposing items and/or buying second-hand will save you money. And who doesn’t love saving money?

But assuming Dot’s rules nonetheless left you empty-handed, Carole, I’m going to find you the most eco-friendly versions she can of your desired cleaning tools.

(And please don’t miss Dot’s response to Jennifer, curious about eco-friendly cleaning products for a squeaky green home.) Or check out Bluedot’s Marketplace and consider Blueland cleaning products, a Bluedot fave!

If you happen to have a Swiffer (oh-so-handy, oh-so-wasteful and costly), you can buy washable mop covers from Zero Waste Store. (And don’t miss their plastic-free toilet brush. Wood is biodegradable!) 

Yocada mops, which are neither made of recyclable plastic nor biodegradable (this is harder than Dot thought, Carole!), are nonetheless a better choice than many; while keeping the metal-and-plastic handle, you can replace the mop heads (either the 100 percent cotton strip mop version, which can be composted when you’re done, or the durable and long-lasting sponge mop). 

Fuller, a company that has been turning out durable American-made cleaning tools since 1906, offers another cotton string mop head with stainless-steel handle (or a washable cotton mitt-style mop head). 

As for a bucket, while there are indeed 100 percent recycled versions (eureka!), Dot stands firm in her urging to, if at all possible, repurpose an existing bucket or other large plastic container.

So take heart, Carole! You have options, including wooden and stainless-steel mop handles. And again, check out yard sales. Dot remains convinced that yard sales are where cleaning tools and salad spinners find new homes where they can eke out a few more years of use. 



Got a question for Dot? Let her know here:

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