Editor’s note: This summary article was extracted from an article title “Microfiber cleaning systems” and originally appeared in Services Magazine.
Over the years cleaning products have been rapidly developing. One of the major developments that have occurred within the past few years is cleaning products based on microscopic technology. Microfiber cleaning tools have been rapidly developing and are becoming more commonly used in all types of industries, where cleaning is essential. Many people who have been using microfiber systems have reported many benefits to using this. These benefits include faster cleaning times, a tremendous reduction in chemical and water usage, a happier and healthier cleaning staff, and a drastic saving in cost.
So to better understand these benefits let take a look at what exactly microfiber is and the reason for it being so effective. Microfiber cleaning products are made from very fine filaments. These are then split into millions of even finer fibers that contain wedge-shape cores with microscopic hooks. These “hooks” grab and hold onto dirt and bacteria. In every square inch of a microfiber cloth, there are approximately 200,000 microfibers.
If you want any kind of decent microfiber cleaning cloths you must make sure that they are made from Ultrafine Microfiber of 0.2 denier. However, the top quality microfiber cleaning equipment has a denier of 0.13 or smaller. The golden rule with microfiber fiber equipment is the smaller the denier, the finer the fiber.
Just like any other type of cleaning equipment microfibers have different items for different purposes. They are combined and designed differently to serve specific needs. For instance, there is pads and cloths for soft cleaning all the way to hard scrubbing.
So why do microfibers clean so much better? A normal cotton mop have thick round fibers. These fibers tend to just push around and redistribute dirt instead of grabbing it. However, the small so called “hooked” fibers in microfiber equipment get into every little nook and cranny on a surface. These so called “hooks” attack the surfaces in order to grab every bit of dirt and bacteria. Due the fact that these pads have millions of fibers and are split into many sections, the area these can cover to pick up dirt is huge.
So we touched upon using wet microfiber material, but what happens when using microfibers that are dry? When microfiber equipment is dry it causes a static charge. This causes dirt and dust to jump onto the cleaning pads. It is also beneficial to use these pads when they are damp (not soaking wet). The reason this is because the wedge-shaped core will cut through tough grime. It will loosen the grim without being rough on the surface. There is also specialized high absorbency pads. These are good because they soak up spills without leaving barely any left on the surface. This is a great way to help prevent injuries within the work force.
It is essential to make sure that microfiber equipment is cleaned after each use. However, many are sturdy enough to with stand hundreds of washings, unlike traditional string mops that are good for about seventy five washings. So it is obvious as to which type of equipment to choose.
Now that you have a brief background of microfiber products, I am going to talk about some of the different products that are made from microfiber material specifically.
First, let’s talk about pads and cloths. Now we have been touching upon these throughout the entire article, but I want to go into more detail about them. Both pads and cloths have been developed for almost everything possible. There is pads for dry dusting; wet mopping; high-absorbency pads for soaking up big spills; finish pads for perfecting the application of floor finishes; scrubber pads for removing tough dirt; and other kind of pads, and cloths for any surface you can think of. So how do you know if you are getting the best value for the pads or cloths you may have purchased? There are four major things to look out for. The four things to look for are pads or cloths with durable stitched edges, foam liner in pads, double sided pads to get double the use out of them, and color coded items to help avoid cross contamination.
The next area of equipment that I will be speaking about is handles, frames, and dusters. The best microfiber handles and pad frames derive from lightweight aluminum. They are also ergonomically designed to help reduce physical stress. Even when a microfiber is slightly damp, it is still many times lighter than a traditional wet mop. So as I had just mentioned there are some ergonomic features instilled to help reduce stress. First, is the uniquely shaped grip and angle of handles. This eliminates having to clean in a figure “8” motion, which can be very stressful on the body. Next, there is convertible handles. The handles have switched to a “vacuum cleaner style with a push-pull grip making it easy to cover large areas when cleaning. Lastly, there is a telescopic feature that allows workers to adjust the handles for the height that best fit them. There is also a dusting wand feature that can be placed of extendible handles. This allows for the hardest to reach areas be cleaned, while avoiding any type of injury. There are some time saving features when you have a microfiber handles and frames. Some of the features include quick connect mechanisms that allows for quick attaching of handles to frames. Next, is swiveling joints where handles meet the frames. This allows for a full range of motion so it is easier to clean corners and around bends. Lastly, the frames have a flat profile. This is good because it allows for mops to be able to easily slide under furniture and equipment.
Now I am going to speak about Wringer carts and buckets. As you may or may not know there are wringer carts and buckets specifically designed for microfiber cleaning pads. These tend to be lightweight, making cleaning way easier. Some features of these are hooks for the cleaning pads, bags for used pads, and no touch wringers. The no touch wringers are operated with a foot pedal eliminating the need to bend or pull. These systems even have a water filter system. This allows for water to be conserved and overall better cleaning performance. After you are done with these there is a valve that can be opened. This will allow water to go into a floor drain or you can empty the bucket into a sink.
There are many advantages to using microfiber cleaning systems within your facilities. One of the major advantages is that it makes your facility more “Green.” It has been said that using a complete microfiber system has shown to reduce the use of chemicals by 95 Percent and water use by 90 percent. With that being said these systems will allow for less chemicals to be left on the ground, which ultimately will cause less chemicals within the building and air. Also less chemicals will be washed down the drain as well. When reducing the water usage you are managing a scarce resource and putting less strain on what treats and takes away the dirty water. This all in all causes a healthier environment inside and out.
Another major advantage to using microfiber cleaning systems especially in the going green aspect is the fact that microfiber pads need to be replaced way less often than others. This means that fewer paper products, cloths, and mop heads will fill up the garbage. Also the cleaning staff will benefit greatly from this. They will now be less exposed to hazardous chemicals. With these systems the building cleanliness and indoor air quality will improve as well.
There are some other advantages to using microfiber cleaning systems as well. The university of California Davis Medical Centre and Royal Roads University in Victoria, B.C have done an abundance of research into how accurate it is that microfiber systems are the basis for a healthier, chemical free cleaning system. The results have shown that they are way better than traditional cleaning systems. Here are some of the finding.
Firstly, microfiber systems improved cleaning performance. It was proven that microfiber used with water cleaned surfaces just as well and most of the time even better then mops used with traditional cleaning products. Secondly, microfibers are faster. It was shown that cleaning times were almost cut in half. Thirdly, microfiber systems are safer. These use fewer chemicals and causes less allergens. This ultimately results in healthier environments. By having ergonomically designed handles and lightweight buckets there is fewer work related injuries. Also due to the fact that microfiber equipment leaves surface less wet and moist, the chances of slipping and falling were reduced as well. Lastly, and probably one of the most important benefits of using microfiber systems is that it is very cost-effective. First chemical cost is reduced. Also, the cost for water, replacing mop heads, and the electricity for drying time are reduced by about 60 percent. Another aspect where money is saved is in labor cost. This is due to the fact that prep and cleaning time are reduced. Also, there are less work related illnesses and injuries.
So after reading this article hopefully you now have a clear understanding of what exactly microfiber systems are, and the benefit of switching to them. At first, they may seem a little pricier, but in the long run the benefits far outweigh the cost.