How To Remove the Scrub Brush from the Libman Nitty Gritty Sponge Mop

How To Remove the Scrub Brush from the Libman Nitty Gritty Sponge Mop

I bought the Libman Nitty Gritty Roller Sponge Mop for my mom a few weeks ago.  I needed to get a mop that was easy for an older, aging person to use (yet still get the floors clean) and this seems to fit the bill the best out of all mops I looked at.  However, as many of you know, the Libman Nitty Gritty mop isn’t a perfect mop.

I’m not going into the details of all the pros and cons of this mop since this was not intended to be a review, you already know what’s good and bad about this mop.  That’s why you’re here.  YOU WANT TO REMOVE THAT WORTHLESS, WAY-TOO-ABRASIVE SCRUB BRUSH!  And I’m gonna show ya!  Not only is the brush WAY to abrasive to use on most flooring, but it’s so wide that it doesn’t allow you to mop under your kitchen counter cabinets – not even if you attack it with the front of the mop head (unless you get down really low maybe, making scrubbing floors and even more undesirable chore!).  This is my reason for wanting to remove the brush.

The scrub brush looks as though it was made to be removed easily, it even wiggles around a little bit in it’s holster. But seeing that Libman does not sell a replacement brush, I came to the conclusion that it simply was not made to be removed.  But I was determined to find a way and, if I failed, I would just cut it off!

At first, I tried placing a small, long flat-head screwdriver under the base if the brush but that didn’t work.  I then tried to  knock it out of it’s holster by hammering it from the side, but the only thing I managed to do was to crack the holster.  Thankfully I did not crack the housing of the mop head and the crack was within the area I planned to cut off if I failed at removing the brush.

However after 20 or so minutes of fooling with it and another ten looking for a blog post or video showing how to remove (Amazon’s Q& A section was of no help as most people think you are talking about the sponge, not the brush – I guess too many people don’t know the difference between a sponge and a brush – [sigh]), I gave up.

I failed, so I cut the blasted thing off!!!

I did it very easily and simply using my Harbor Freight Chicago brand Oscillating Multi-tool with the 1-3/8″ wood/plastic cutting blade.  If you take this route just be careful not to gouge the center roller of the wringer too much.  A little is OK but if you gouge it too much, it may hinder the wringing action of the mop.  You can see in my picture above that I did nick the middle roller a little bit, but it doesn’t have any affect on the wringing action one bit.

Of course, after I cut the brush off, I was able to see how exactly the people at Libman affixed this brush and how one might be able to take it off without cutting it off, like I did.

cut-off-libman-mop-brushYa see, I was correct in my first attempt.  As you can see from this picture, the red arrows point to the space between the two mounting feet of the brush (bottom arrow) and the raised stopper at the bottom of the plastic holster in between the two feet which disallows the brush from sliding out (top arrow).

So, in theory, all you need is a long, flat-head screwdriver (or similar tool) that is thin enough to fit underneath one of the brush’s mounting feet but strong enough to pry up on the inside edge of one of these thick plastic feet.

Just shove your screwdriver into the space between one of the brush’s feet and holster.  (see the red arrow in the picture to the right for placement of screwdriver).  Once you have the screwdriver inserted in there as far as it will go,  pry up the foot’s tab (meaning: place downward pressure on the scredriver’s handle) and that should lift the tab of the foot up just high enough to get over that raised slot that is preventing you from just sliding the brush out in the first place.  Then just start sliding the brush out of the holster at the opposite end of where you have your screwdriver placed.  All you have to do is move it about 1/8th of an inch or so  and it should slide right out.

This is only theory since I never actually did it, but from seeing how it is constructed and why the brush would not slide out when I first tried, it seems to me this is not theory, but fact.  The key would be to pry up the end of the foot hard enough to bend it to allow it to slide over the stopper.  The stopper is only about 1/16th of an inch thick.

But if it doesn’t work for you, then no bid deal……JUST CUT THE BLASTED THING OFF!

12 thoughts on “How To Remove the Scrub Brush from the Libman Nitty Gritty Sponge Mop”

  1. THANK YOU! I thought that I was the only one that absolutely hated those brushes. I decided to google a way to get rid of them and was thrilled to find your tutorial. I ended up using the screwdriver method and was super successful. I’m now a happy mopper again – not that I do it a lot.

  2. Glad I found this! I used a couple of screw drivers and was able to pry this off with the help of your pictures. Thanks!

  3. Thanks for the info. After half an hour of trying different instruments to pry this brush off, I inserted the fish scaler blade on a Swiss army knife and it popped right off without any damage. It’s the perfect size. The saw blade or file on some models might work too. Thanks again!

  4. Just helped me too! Thanks! Hammered a flat screwdriver down into holster behind one foot. Then hammered the brush end to get it started because it didn’t want to slide. Once it was over the hump though it slide right off. Whew! Thanks agsin!

  5. I just jammed a screw driver into the space and hammered it till I broke off the part that holds it on
    This is a really crappy design

    • I agree, the design is terrible. Not only is the brush too stiff to safely use on most flooring types without scratching the finish, but the brush makes the whole head of the mop too high to be able to mop under the overhang of the cabinets.

      At any rate, glad you were able to get the brush off. Even though you had to break-off the tabs that hold the brush on, this doesn’t affect the usability of the mop itself, just the look.

  6. Wow! I use this mop for my housekeeping business. I love it. That includes the scrub brush.
    I used to use one like it by O’Cedar, until they made the scrub brush only about half the length of the sponge. I called them to find out why they shortened it, they said what you said about not being able to get under the cupboards.
    I like having the brush as long as the sponge so I can scrub under the cupboards. I then bought this Libman model.
    As for the damage you mention caused by the brush, I’ve not experienced that.

    You may be wondering why I’m here if I’m not interested in removing the brush. I saw the RIP pic while trying to show a friend what mop I use and it sparked my curiosity, so I continued reading.
    Happy mopping!

  7. I jambed the saw blade of my Leather man wave down the tab slot. Hammered the handle of the LW toward the tabs. It let go on the 4th solid hit. Then I shaved one of the tabs down to about half thickness. I’m hoping it will release easier next time.

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