For those who don’t know, microfiber is a synthetic material which consists of an interlocking blend of two main fibers – polyester and polyamide. While the polyester is useful for polishing and cleaning, the polyamide is absorbent and quick-drying. With the two fibers combined, the individual qualities of both are united and the unique effectiveness of microfiber is created.
The effectiveness of the microfibers lie exclusively to the construction of each strand and the overall mop – each square inch containing approximately 90,000 fibers. Each fiber has been split to create millions of tiny hooks that attract, absorb and remove all kinds of dirt, dust and bacteria from a surface.
Naturally anti-microbial, microfiber can physically damage germs and with each strand of fiber shaped like a wedge, you can trap dirt in the material until it is washed, and since the dirt gets trapped in the fibers, the same microfiber cloth or mop head can be used for a longer period of time before having to be thrown in the laundry.
Lint-free microfiber is non-abrasive and hypoallergenic, which allows you to clean without the use of chemicals and doesn’t need as much – if any – chemicals to effectively clean a surface. Unlike traditional wiping products which tend to push or smear dirt and grime, microfiber gets underneath the dirt and germs, lifting them from the surface and trapping them until the material is laundered - for this reason, chemicals are not needed.
Due to its construction, microfiber is very absorbent and can hold up to seven times its weight in moisture and are safe on all surfaces. If you do choose to use the microfiber with chemicals make sure to use it with diluted disinfectants or by diluting the chemical with water.
Why are they better?
Figure 1: EPA: Using Microfiber Mops in Hospitals -
Besides the aforementioned effectiveness of the construction of these handy little tools, microfiber materials eliminate the use of chemicals and are better for the environment and air quality because of it. They’re also lightweight and have a longer life span than traditional cloths and mops – reducing turnover and waste. Washing microfibers in cool water and drying with the lowest possible setting – also uses less energy – providing an overall “greener” cleaning option. Not only are these a benefit to everyone, according to CleanLink, microfiber mops make for a healthier environment of employees – reducing the costs associated with workplace illness – and workman’s compensation claims within the cleaning and janitorial industry.
Here’s one example of the cost effectiveness of microfiber cleaning solutions – from the EPA:
The Veterans Health Administration, Manchester Medical Center in Manchester, NH, won a regional award in the innovation category. Manchester Medical Center conducted a green cleaning program that converted from a conventional “loop end” mopping practice to a microfiber cleaning method that resulted in the reduction of 350,035 gallons of water; 1,367 gallons of cleaning product; and a cost savings of $99,654. The new cleaning method captured more dirt, reduced cross contamination in patient care areas, reduced the physical burden of cleaning, and decreased mopping time by 28 percent.
Have you already started using Microfiber mops in your facility management and cleaning operations?
No? Maybe you should, and start saving now.