As awareness evolves, microfiber has received growing support from members throughout the jan/san industry and many make a compelling case for the long-term savings associated with these products. They stress reductions in: the amount of water and chemicals needed; the number of job-related injuries that occur; and the time it takes to clean a room as a few of microfiber’s myriad benefits.

A study done in 2002 by the Sustainable Hospitals Project concluded that switching to a microfiber flat-mopping system yields “immediate water and chemical savings.” Using one cotton-loop mop for a day will require 21 gallons of water and 10.5 ounces of chemical, says the study, while a microfiber mop will use only one gallon of water and a half-ounce of chemicals on the same day.

The hospital study also determined that a microfiber flat-mop system helps protect workers by reducing the risks of injury that are inherent in a conventional mopping strategy. With no need to wring, the study notes, workers aren’t subjected to extremes in trunk, shoulder and elbow flexion.

Also, moving and lifting a bucket that contains only five pounds of water — instead of 15 pounds of water — goes a long way to prevent corresponding back strain. As any manager knows, less strain results in fewer worker’s compensation claims.

Finally, the hospital study determined that a worker using a flat microfiber mop will clean 22 patient rooms per day, instead of the 20 he or she would clean using a cotton-loop mop. Because there’s no need to wring a microfiber mop or change a bucket of mop water, workers are able to move in and out of areas quickly, increasing productivity and reducing labor costs.