Janitorial Vocabulary List

Janitorial Vocabulary List

  • The new school year has begun. Classes are back in session, backpacks are full of books, and students are eager to reconnect with old friends. In the spirit of this time of year, our team at HeRO Janitorial has created the following janitorial vocabulary list.

Some of the most common questions we receive from our customers concern the specific definitions of janitorial equipment. Often, the customer is trying to understand what makes a particular janitorial product high quality, but they must first understand the basic definitions of the custodial world before that question can be properly answered. Without further ado, we give you our list:

  • Scouring pad: Scouring pads, also known as scrub pads, are square pieces of synthetic fibers that are combined with silicone to produce an abrasive surface that’s perfect for cleaning tough grease and grime. These pads can be combined with mop heads or used independently to clean walls, railings, floors, desks, coffee makers, base boards, stairways, countertops, and much more!

  • Tail-Band: This is a half-inch strip of polyester that runs approximately two inches above the bottom of a mop head. Tail-bands increase the durability of mops and also their “wing-span,” ensuring all yarn strands are spread out across the mopping surface. This feature reduces equipment and labor costs.

  • Bartacked: This design element incorporates a durable stitching pattern into the end of each tail-band, ensuring the polyester strip is securely fastened. All HeRO looped-end mops feature this design, but it’s rare in the custodial industry due to the process’s labor intensity and added cost.

  • Loop-End: A design feature where a single strand of yarn is continuously looped throughout the entire length of a mop head. This characteristic eliminates fragile cut ends that increase the chance of yarn splintering. Loop-end mops go hand-in-hand with tail-banded and bartacked features.

  • Cut-End: The most economical mop design. Often used for raw cotton mops that have a two-week lifespan and are not designed for laundering. Great option for general spills and conservative custodial budgets.

Saddle, Female and Male Connectors:

  • Saddle: Most common connector in the mopping world—and ironically, the least effective! Saddle mops force employees to physically unscrew complicated clamp-style handles, pull out the soiled mop by hand, and insert a replacement. Due to the hassle and a desire to avoid germs, employees rarely replace such mop heads, resulting in unsafe, unsanitary conditions.

  • Female: This connector type is used in mops and other custodial supplies (brooms, deck brushes, squeegees, etc.). It offers medium durability. This connector is characterized by each tool having an acme-style “female” threaded insert that’s compatible with a “male” handle.

  • Male: As the name suggests, the male connector is the opposite of the female connector, and the preferred handle of the custodial industry, as it’s compatible with all janitorial supplies. This connector is characterized by each tool having an acme-style male threaded knob that’s compatible with a female handle. This tool is recognized for its durability: the female handle thread cap acts as a shield, eliminating the chance of the handle breaking.

Blended Mop: Polyester, Rayon, Cotton:

  • Polyester: Commonly used in the global textile trade and derived from petroleum, polyester is renowned for its ability to retain color after being washed. We use polyester in our blended mop heads to ensure they’re able to withstand repeated laundering without fading. Furthermore, we run a single strand of polyester wire down the center of each mop yarn, creating a skeletal structure that provides exceptional toughness. Despite its benefits, polyester isn’t absorbent and must be combined with cotton and rayon.

  • Rayon: Often used interchangeably with the term viscose, naturally processed rayon is considered one of the most absorbent materials on earth. Despite its absorbency, rayon is inherently weak and is often blended with cotton and polyester to improve durability.

  • Cotton: Much like polyester, cotton is a staple of the global textile trade. Its durability, affordability, and absorbency make it an excellent choice for use in mop construction. However, cotton’s susceptibility to shrinkage during laundering makes it incompatible with most custodial operations. To solve this dilemma, we blend cotton with rayon and polyester. 

  • Microfiber: This material is constructed from ultra-dense polyester fibers that are woven into single strands. Microfiber mops have a superior ability to trap dirt, dust, and moisture. Moreover, their innovative construction makes them far lighter and more absorbent than comparable cotton mops. These characteristics make microfiber mops an excellent choice for scratch-sensitive surfaces, intricate tile, restaurants, offices, hotels, and health care facilities.

  • Grease Mop: The HeRO Grease Mop is revolutionary in the janitorial industry. Developed to combat the rise of slip-and-fall accidents in the foodservice sector, the HeRO Grease Mop features specialized hydrophilic polyester yarn and a proprietary grease-release chemical agent. These elements combined to absorb floor grease 55% better than standard cotton mop heads. This improvement in floor traction will ensure your customers and staff are safe. 

  • 100% Recycled: In our Central American production facility, our team works closely with several multinational garment manufacturers. These garment manufacturers often make production mistakes, resulting in unsalable T-shirts and socks. We purchase this damaged product in bulk and shred it back into loose fiber. We then process the fiber into pure rayon, polyester, and cotton. We use these materials to produce most HeRO mops and several HeRO broom heads. This results in many HeRO products being 100% recycled.

  • Non-Metal Construction: HeRO Imports manufactures two non-metal items, the HeRO Economy Mop and HeRO Diaper Mop. These products are constructed entirely without metal, making them a perfect choice for high-risk facilities like correctional and rehabilitation institutions. For added convenience, both mop cases can be constructed entirely from cardboard and tape, eliminating metal staples.

  • Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement: The Dominican Republic-Central America FTA (CAFTA-DR) is the first free trade agreement between the United States and a group of smaller developing economies: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic. Combined, the countries in the CAFTA-DR represent the United States’ 16th-largest goods trading partner, with $53 billion in total (two-way) goods trade during 2015. The U.S. goods trade surplus with CAFTA-DR countries was $5 billion in 2015.

  • TAA-Compliant: TAA-compliant, or TAA, refers to the Trade Agreements Act (19 U.S.C. & 2501-2581). In short, TAA-compliant refers to the list of approved countries in which the United States government is allowed to purchase products. HeRO’s Central American facility is located in a TAA-compliant country, which allows us to sell product to the United States government. This is rare for the janitorial industry, since most cleaning aids are produced in China. 

  • Dual-Cavity: One of the most common mistakes janitorial buyers make is purchasing single-chamber mop buckets. While incredibly common in the custodial industry, single-cavity mop buckets are a breeding ground for bacteria and one of the largest contributors to cross contamination. To solve this problem, HeRO developed the EZ-LIFT Dual-Cavity Mop Bucket. Designed with a “dirty water” insert, this mop bucket separates dirty water from cleaning solution, eliminating cross contamination.


If you have any questions regarding these definitions, or would like to learn more about how HeRO can lower your janitorial costs, please send an email to – info@herotoolprogram.com

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