Microfibre cloths or disposable cloths - which is best in a commercial cleaning setting?
The cloths are available in two forms — reusable or disposable / semi-disposable, and each has its own set of pros and cons.
Most commonly used certain pre covid were reusable cloths, which must be laundered after every use or so dependant on the task at hand. When handled and looked after correctly, these cloths can last 100 to 1,000 washes before needing to be disposed of and replaced.
Disposable cloths, on the other hand, are normally discarded after a single use, with only some slightly stronger being semi-disposable, meaning they may last for a handful of washes before the need to dispose of them.
Improper laundering of reusable microfibre cloths can cause shrinkage and damage to the cloths. Even more concerningly from a client's perspective, it can result in dirty cloths being returned to service or cross-contamination problems when cloths used for different areas (such as washrooms and kitchens) are washed together. You can learn more about cross-contamination at this link - https://www.greenfox.co.uk/cross-contamination-what-it-is-and-how-to-avoid-it/
What are the benefits of mircrofibre cloths?
Microfibre is a material that is made of synthetic fibres that attract dirt, bacteria, and other pathogens like a magnet. Microfibre tools are made to attract and capture up to 99% of dirt, bacteria and other pathogens, while cotton fibre tools are made to attract 33%- basically moving bacteria from surface to surface. Therefore, the use of microfibre cloths, mops, and other microfibre tools allow for the removal of bacteria, dirt and allergens, because microfibre is designed to attract and hold these elements.
In the two images below, the top image on the right shows the microfibre structure under a microscope.. The bottom image is a regular cotton structure which ultimately pushes dirt & bacteria around, rather than collecting it.
Why would you use disposable cloths then?
Many premises require the use of disposable cloths to prevent cross contamination, with hospitals, doctors surgeries, dentists and veterinary practices being the obvious choices. It would simply not be possible to clean all area thoroughly and have a large enough stock of microfibres, as well as being able to wash them after every use. Disposable clothes are very cheap comparatively and remove any risk of cross-contamination, being safely disposed of after each clean.
Post covid discovery, disposable cloths are often considered a more safe option in a number of settings where professional daily laundry is simply not possible.
At Green Fox Cleaning our knowledge allows us to select and place the most appropriate cloths at each and every site.