You need a 'looped end' style mop head as these can be unravelled (with some care) into a single long length of yarn (often several hundred feet long). Thommy has created a nice blog entry about deconstructing mop heads .
Many mop yarns can be further deconstructed to provide various thicknesses of material. This is especially useful for making composite tri-string loops.
Preparing mop headsEdit
Wash your mophead a few times and dry it before deconstructing the mop. If you have a washing machine and dryer, use them--even if your mop says that it is pre-shrunk. Washing and drying the mop yarn AFTER deconstructing is not very fun. Use dishwashing liquid instead of laundry detergent. Or, use laundry detergent for a first washing and then wash a couple of more times to make sure that the laundry detergent's anti-foaming agents have been washed out.
You can make a spool for holding the mop yarn out of a couple of plies of cardboard. This is very convenient for storing the mop yarn after deconstructing.
See Deconstructing a mop head for step-by-step instructions for one method of deconstructing a mop head..
There are many different tools that you can use to take a mop head apart. Personal preference and the tenacity of the mophead being deconstructed seems to play a role in what tool people prefer. Tools that people find useful are: cuticle scissors, small thread-cutting sewing scissors, seam ripper, sharp figernail/toenail clipper, side-cutter.
RubberMaid Rayon Finish Mop #16Edit
As of March 2016, there seem to be two variants of loop-end Rayon Finish mops from Rubbermaid that are made from one continous length of the 4-ply rayon that appears to be nearly identical to the much-loved RubberMaid Finish Mop #24 that is no longer made with a continuous length. (See the Discontinued section of this page for more information about the Rayon Finish Mop #24).
There are two sources: WalMart, where it is found in their Industrial Cleaning department (rather than with the home cleaning supplies), and Amazon. The packaging and model numbers are different on Walmart and Amazon. The mop head found on Amazon may also be available elsewhere.
Below are pictures of the version found on Walmart
Other (Amazon) Version The mop head labeled Rubbermaid FGX883PR04 Professional Plus Mop on Amazon has been deconstructed by wiki member Meredith Keebler and seems to be identical to the Walmart version of the mop.
RubberMaid MicroFiber WebfootEdit
This mop head is still available as of May 2015.
This might be the best mop yarn in terms of capacity and release; although the RubberMaid Rayon Finish Mop yarn is only slightly behind. The MicroFiber webfoot is considerably more expensive than the rayon finish mophead and they are considerably more time-consuming to take apart. The yarn seems to be a bit less durable than the rayon finish mop yarn
One large microfiber mophead provides about 400 feet of yarn.The mopheads are a bit hard to find in stores but can be found online. Price is about $20 without shipping. Product ID of the one shown is A853-06 (with which many of the supergiants on this site were made). It is specified as "large" on the RubberMaid website.
Model A81206GR00 is a medium-size mophead in this line and provides just over 400 feet of yarn. It is still available as of August 2014 through a number of sources. Until mid-May 2015 Home Depot (online) it was available for $17 with no shipping charge using their pick-up at store option. As of mid-May, Home Depot seems to only sell it by the 6-mop case. It is available from other sites.
Looped vs. Cut-End Mop Heads. Make sure that you are purchasing a mophead that has looped ends. There are Webfoot Microfiber mop heads that have cut ends which do not unravel into a single long piece of yarn.
Medium vs. Large. It has been reported that the difference between the medium and large mopheads is the thickness of the yarn. The pictures which indicate "webfoot microfiber" on this site were made (at least as of May 2015) with the yarn from an A853-06 mophead which is categorized as large on the Rubbermaid Commercial website.
RubberMaid makes many different mopheads.A few leading giant bubble afficionados like the commercial Rubbermaid mopheads available from Walmart and other outlets. The model number is X884. These are a synthetic/poly blend and seem to benefit from breaking in. Their performance will improve after a few sessions as the yarn softens. One mophead supplies about 350 feet of yarn. Some people find the X884 yarn 'drippy' but others love it.
There is a similar consumer-grade mophead but it does not seem to be as effective as the X884 yarn.
RubberMaid Webfoot Shrinkless MopsEdit
Some bubble afficionados are fond of the the yarn from the Webfoot Shrinkless line. SBF, Brian Lawrence mentioned that he likes model A211-06 which he prepares as he does cotton twine by boiling it and soda washing it. He also deconstructs the strands and braids them. Read more here.
LibmanEditLibman's Jumbo Cotton Wet Mop yarn has been mentioned by one of the leading giant bubble afficionados as a favorite material. It is quite widely available. The yarn is four ply. You can deconstruct this mop yarn and use one or two plies for the bottom-string of a composite loop.
The mop heads yield four lengths of approximately 60 feet each for a total of about 240 feet per mop head.Libman Tornado replacement mop head yarn works well, too. But, the Jumbo Cotton Wet Mop is considered superior for bubbling.
There are many mopheads from Vileda. I have seen videos of excellent results from a blue mop yarn from a Vileda mop. But, I do not know the model. Some Vileda mop yarns seem not to be good materials.
One Vileda mop yarn that was liked by a reliable source was described this way:
- The Vileda blue mop yarn that I like has around 23 thin strands which are twisted together.
If you have had good or bad experience with Vileda mop yarns, please update this article or add your comment below.
Discontinued mopheads Edit
Below is information about mopheads documented on the wiki that are no longer available or that have changed in ways that make them less suitable for bubbleheads.
RubberMaid Rayon Finish Mop #24 FGD51528Edit
DISCONTINUED! Summer 2014. This entry is for historical purposes. These mopheads are still available (in 2015) BUT are no longer made of a single continuous length of yarn. The current production model has the same model number as the old style and the yarn is cut into approximately 40" pieces.
IMPORTANT NOTE - BEWARE!!! (Aug. 2014): It appears that the mophead described below is no longer available. The mophead documented here is made from a single continuous 4-ply strand but new versions of the mop are made of 39-inch (1 meter) lengths of the yarn. The model number has not changed but the the construction has.
For most people that have tried this mop yarn, this yarn is their preferred loop material. Many use this yarn at full-ply for a top-string and use 1 to 3 deconstructed strands or other lightweight material for the bottom string. The mopheads are relatively easily desconstructed (the first time might take as much as 30-45 minutes).
One mophead unraveled provides about 540 feet of 4-ply yarn. The yarn is easily deconstrcucted to separate the plies to provide lighterweight wicks where applicable. In the U.S., this mop is available for less than $10 at Home Depot (price: Dec. 2011). The model number is FGD51528. It is labeled as #24 Rayon Finish Mop.