Why Microfiber Should Be Laundered Separately
A reader asks: "I realize that using microfiber cloths correctly with suggested laundry procedures can reduce cross contamination. If I cannot use hot water, bleach or other harsh cleaners, nor can I use hot drying, how do I know the microfiber cloths are truly disinfected?"
Excellent question. First of all, remember that not all microfiber is the same quality due to how it is made although all have similar type construction. The rule of thumb is that the finer the fibers the better it picks up with size going from 1/10th to 1/100th of the width of a human hair. The fibers themselves (polyester and polyamide) are exploded to provide the multiple tactile strands that capture dust and even microorganisms when used correctly. These tiny fibers are durable, yet delicate at the same time.
By durable I mean that a good quality microfiber cloth can be laundered (correctly) between 500 - 1,000 times whereas a cotton (terry cloth type) wipe begins to disintegrate after 50 -100 washings. The advantage of microfiber is that if maintained correctly, they can outlast any other cleaning wipe which helps to overcome the initial investment. This investment should be protected by having a knowledgeable staff person in charge of not only laundry but also inventory control. Pilferage and loss can radically impact an account that may have two or more sets of these expensive cloths for rotation.
Most experts recommend using the eight sides (folded eight ways) when dusting or cleaning and then laundering before the next use. One primary benefit to this process is to effectively remove dust/soils without the possibility of cross contamination. Workers may need to be trained in not only how to use microfiber but also the importance of using a clean cloth on a dirty surface each time to avoid moving dirt from point A to point B.
We will continue to look at microfiber in a future article.
Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...
Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net.