Cleaning and disinfecting are more important than ever in the age of pandemics like COVID-19. Both types of mops can be useful, of course, depending on the size of the task, as pointed out. But microfiber cleaning systems can play a big role in infection prevention.

Microfiber is made from a fine blend of synthetic materials, allowing it to trap and hold bacteria, dust and dirt within its fibers. Compare this to cotton, which pushes dirt and debris around instead of picking it up. And because cotton comes from organic materials, it can attract un- desirable odors and bacteria.

According to a study published in the November 2007 issue of American Journal of Infection Control, microfiber mops remove far more microbes than standard cotton string mops. This finding amounted to a difference of 95 percent removed microbes with standard detergent using a microfiber mop, while only 68 percent of microbes were removed with standard detergent and a cotton string mop.

“With the COVID-19 virus, microfiber can help if you have a dual bucket where you can put disinfectant into one of the chambers,” says Lombardo. “You can clean first, then put down the disinfectant as a last step.”

It’s clear that there’s a place in the cleaning industry for both types of mops. Certain markets like school systems and healthcare facilities have embraced onboard-dispensing mops for smaller jobs, but they still rely on conventional mops for bigger spaces with high foot traffic because of the high-volume liquid demands. Future decisions will be influenced by new products that include a microfiber mop system with a dual bucket for rinsing and drying.

JoAnn Petaschnick is a freelance writer based in Milwaukee.

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Onboard Mops Add Convenience, Reduce Injury