A reader contacted me inquiring about laundering microfiber. They acknowledged that it does have special laundry procedures to guarantee cleanliness, but wonder how someone can know the textile is clean if the process doesn't include the use of hot water, cleaning chemicals or hot drying.

In a prior article we covered the fact that that microfiber quality varies and that it is important to keep close inventory of stock to keep product costs under control. You may have noticed what I refer to as flat microfiber (used of cleaning lenses and glass) compared to split microfiber which has millions of tactile strands/surfaces to capture soils. The microfiber cloths that most of us use are polyester and polyamide (nylon) product that is growing in popularity for cloths, flat mops and other applications.

When a microfiber cloth is used along with a detergent or disinfectant, it can pick up relatively large microorganisms at the .3 micron level. This can be beneficial in that the disinfecting process can be more effective by removing the dead microorganisms rather than leaving them on the surface. Of course, the key is using a CLEAN microfiber cloth that has been laundered correctly. The use of bleach, harsh detergents, hot water, hot drying and fabric softener can damage or limit the fabric's ability absorb and clean. Some of the damage (fabric softener) can sometimes be mitigated by washing thoroughly to remove the oils and other products that coat the individual fibers. Hot washing and drying may cause the fibers to melt or lose their absorbency to the point that they are simple, yet expensive wipes. The same can be said for microfiber flat mops and their ability to clean floors.

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.