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Good. Better. Best. Your Guide to Bulk Bar Mops.

Anyone who has worked in a restaurant knows how important it is to have clean linens on hand. From servers and bussers wiping down tables to cooks and dishwashers needing aprons, there are a variety of items that are integral to the daily running of any eatery. One of the most important items for a restaurant to have on hand at all times is the bar mop. Even if you don’t have personal experience working in a restaurant, you’ll have seen bartenders using striped towels for everything from cleaning up spills to grabbing a hot dish. 

What is a bar mop?

 A bar mop is an inexpensive absorbent terry towel that is traditionally used for cleaning up spills. Restaurant staff use bar mops for everything from wiping down counters to handling scalding pots and pans. These towels are more absorbent than your average kitchen towel, with small loops woven into the fabric made up of dense fibers. 100% cotton, they’re available in solid white or white with a colored central stripe. Some establishments use these stripes to color-code their towels for different applications. For example, you could use blue-stripe bar mops behind the bar and gold-stripe bar mops specifically to bus tables.

stack of bar mops on counter

What are the best bulk bar mops?

This question is subjective. To help you choose the best product for your business, we have ranked our bulk bar mops as Good, Better, and Best in terms of quality. Bulk bar mops are bought by commercial laundries that service the restaurant industry and large end-users (e.g., hotels and hospitals). Bulk bar mops are not suitable for small operations (e.g., individual restaurants, cafes, and coffee shops)

Route Ready Bar Mops
good irregular diagram

Our irregular bar mops (or IR bar mops) are perfect for a wipe-and-toss environment. IR bar mops may feature minor weaving defects and imperfect cuts, and are packed 100 dozen to a bale. Institutional facilities where appearances are less important, e.g., federal prisons, benefit most from the value that IR bar mops provide. As IR bar mops are compressed during the baling process, we recommend they are revitalized by washing before first use.

better irregular diagram

These are our Run of Mill (ROM) bar mops, created from excess yarn after enough first quality bar mops have been produced to fill the contract. After all, the loom is set up and running. It is more cost-effective to ‘run’ the remaining bar mops than to stop to retool the loom. These extra bar mops do not undergo the same intense scrutiny as ‘first run’ bar mops, so there may be slight imperfections. Also packed 100 dozen to a bale, ROM bar mops are available with center stripes in popular colors such as blue, gold, and green. ROM bar mops require washing before first use.

Best Route Ready

Route Ready bar mops were developed to give laundries and end-users a pre-washed bar mop that can be used directly from the bale. Unlike other bulk bar mops, Route Ready bar mops are soft-packed in bundles of 25. Typically, laundries save at least 70¢ per dozen by freeing washroom and finishing floor operators from a whole wash cycle. Operators gain production time to focus on other laundry room bottlenecks. All Route Ready bar mops are optically bright white, super absorbent, and available in several color stripes.

How to wash and dry bar mops

All sizes of toweling can be washed in the same wash cycle (bath towels, hand towels etc.). However, white towels should always be washed separately from colored towels, and bar mops should be laundered separately from guest towels.


Identify stains prior to laundering. Fatty acids and grease contained in food are best neutralized by alkaline PH substances. However, in order for the towel to be made ready for use, you must rinse and rebalance the alkali with acid (such as bleach).


Keep bar mops separated from guest towels during the drying process, as bar mops will dry more quickly than bath towels due to the lighter weights and construction. Dry until the moisture level of the finished towel is between 4-6%. Over-drying in a tumble dryer is the leading cause of greying. This is due to bone-dry terry loops inability to discharge static. As a result, the towel surface attracts every particle from the drying air-stream leading to progressive greying.

How long do bar mops last?

Keep in mind that your bar mops will most likely have to be replaced frequently, as their constant heavy use and commercial washing will wear on the towel over time. Typically, a laundry will eek 5-7 wash cycles out of a bar mop before it degrades and should be ‘ragged-out’ or is lost due to improper use (e.g., used to clean out a grease trap). 

Can bar mops be used in the home?

As bar mops are inexpensive and utilitarian, it is not uncommon for employees to take one home for personal use at the end of the shift. We do offer premium bar mops in retail-ready packages. Our Qwick Wick bar mops are packed one dozen to a bag and are available in multiple weights and stripes. In our Sloppy Chef line, we also offer 6-packs of bar mop utility towels that are perfectly packaged for POP display and ideal for foodservice retailers! A bar mop in the home will last way beyond its lifecycle in a commercial setting. So, take care of your bar mops. They’re the Swiss Army Knife of foodservice.

Here at Monarch Brands, we continue to develop new items that will benefit you! Our goal is to provide your business with all of your janitorial needs as you navigate cleanliness in a post-COVID world. As you may already know, we carry a full line of janitorial microfiber products and industrial wiping rags as well.

Author: Lynette Salas
Title: Account Executive
E: [email protected]
P: 215 458 5744 x304


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