I have been using flat microfiber mop heads for years. In fact, they are the only mops I use anymore. They are really just a better product, all around, than traditional string mops. Except for a few, very specific applications, string mops should be a thing of the past. The one big problem I have seen people have with them, is choosing the correct hardware and mop style for their individual use. Let’s see if we can’t correct that for you. Read more
Can a dirty mop clean? Can you use a dirty rag to sanitize a table? How much dirt can a vacuum expel before turning it off and just pushing it around would make more sense? When your cleaning tools are dirty, you aren’t cleaning.
If the cleaning tools you are using to clean, are in fact dirty, the effort, time and expense is wasted. You would never begin cooking with a dirty knife so why do so many continue to use cleaning tools? (cleaning is the act of controlling the spread of illness) It does not matter how extensive your everyday cleaning procedures are and how much training you give your staff, if they are cleaning with dirty cleaning tools.
Dirty Cleaning Tools Aren’t Cleaning
It seems that it has become acceptable for cleaning tools to be dirty. After all, that is the way it has always been, right? At least once a day, while out and about, I see one of the following offences when it comes to cleaning tools in the work place.
- Dust mops that look filthy but are still pushing debris down the hallway.
- Mop buckets that are full of dirty water, but are still being used to spread dirt around the floor.
- Feather dusters causing dust to be moved from the counter top into the air where everyone gets to breathe it in.
Cleaning Tools Are Wasting Your Time
- The dust mop is leaving behind more dust that was there in the first place
- The mop and bucket are just evenly distributing the dirt across the floor.
- There is a cloud of dust in the air, settling back down on the surface.
There is a cost for complacency. The cost is moving the same dirt tomorrow that was moved today. This takes precious time. Time that is already in short supply, yet every day we just accept the fact that these are the tools we work with and this is how it is.
Next time you use a cleaning tool ask yourself “Is this going to help me clean better or just make more work tomorrow?”
If you are using microfiber cleaning tools, then you know how well they work. Cleaning is much easier with microfiber mops, dusters and cloths. But have you ever wondered how microfiber cleans so much better?
What Is Microfiber?
Microfiber cleaning tools are made up of tiny fibers. They are 10x finer than silk. Up to 30x finer than cotton. 40x Finer than wool. And 100x thinner than a human hair. That’s pretty thin!
Microfiber fibers are actually made from plastic. Cleaning microfiber consists of two types of plastic. Polyester and Polyamide. Polyester provides the scrubbing action while polyamide gives it the absorbing properties. Typical cleaning microfiber consists of 70-90% polyester and 10-30% polyamide.
These 2 plastics are extruded under high pressure into the fibers. Then they go through a splitting process that opens spaces or channels between them.
These microscopic fibers are spun together to form a strand of thread. This thread is woven in to cloths, yarn and even fabric.
How Microfiber Cleans
Microfiber cleans because of both the properties of the 2 types of plastic material and the channels between them. When a surface is wiped with a microfiber cloth or mop, dirt is scrubbed away by the polyester, and held in the channels by the polyamide. This trapping and holding of dirt is what really makes microfiber work so well when cleaning.
Traditional cotton cleaning materials have to trap the dirt in between the fibers and threads. Because they are solid, there is no where for the finer particles to be trapped. They rely on chemicals and liquid to assist in absorbing dirt. Microfiber can capture much smaller particles and hold on to them with its gripping fibers. Which makes how microfiber cleans, so different than traditional fibers.
Other Factors That Make Microfiber Clean So Well
Microfiber is plastic. Plastic will not rot. Also, unlike cotton which is a natural fiber, microfiber will not aide in the growth of bacteria. This means that as long as it is rinsed out, and cleaned on a regular basis, it will not stink. Yay! No more smelly mops!
Another advantage is being plastic, it does rinse out very easily and is very durable. If cared for properly, microfiber mops and cloths will last a long time. And long lasting cleaning tools equals money saved!
Microfiber cleaning products have taken the North American cleaning industry by, well, spring shower. For some reason, cleaning professionals have been lukewarm when it comes to converting to the use of this material that in Europe is the standard. Why is this? I say it is a perceived value over cost issue. Yes, in most cases, the upfront purchase of microfiber is significantly more than the traditional tools. Read more
Microfiber cleaning tools have taken the industry by storm! The truth is, they work extremely well for many types of cleaning. Either reducing or eliminating the amount of chemicals it takes to clean, is an attractive proposition for many people. I have been using microfiber cleaning to some degree, for years and it just keeps getting better.
Recently I was working with a customer that I had introduced microfiber cleaning systems to. He expressed a concern about the effectiveness of the system. They have been using the same microfiber cleaning cloths and mops for over a year. They were making sure to wash them regularly and to not use fabric softeners in the process.
As I inspected the cloths they looked to be in good shape and were recently cleaned, but felt different to the touch. I took some water in a trigger sprayer and tried to clean some glass. The cloth didn’t do much to the smudges and just pushed the water around. It felt like a regular cleaning cloth.
Caring For Microfiber Cleaning Tools
The problem, in the end, was the detergent being used to wash the microfiber. It was name brand, powdered laundry soap. It did not have a fabric softener in it, but come to find out, the person that was in charge of washing was using more than the recommended amount. The soap residue was clogging up the openings in the microfiber that usually grab and hold on to the dirt. This was also the case with their mops.
In an attempt to reverse the issue, they stopped using the detergent and started using a hydrogen peroxide cleaner in its place. This seemed to make an improvement, but, even after a few weeks, they were not as effective as when they were new.
The best advice is to launder your microfiber cleaning tools with warm, not hot, water and use a neutral, non-detergent, liquid cleaner. In most cases, microfiber cleaning cloths, mops and dusters will come clean with agitation and rinsing. Remember, what ever you were cleaning with is a cleaning chemical, so don’t overload on the detergent. In some cases, a cleaning agent may need to be used while laundering if they are saturated with heavy soils but if they have been used for routine cleaning, just throw them in the wash.
Protect your investment and keep enjoying the results of your microfiber cleaning!