Microfiber pads and cloths play an important role in reducing cross-contamination — provided they are used and cared for appropriately. 

According to Solomon, cloths should be folded into quarters, allowing custodians to flip to a clean side each time they move to a new task or area. Depending on the size of the cloth and the folding technique, this gives custodians 4 to 8 clean sides to work with. Furthermore, she suggests using a back-and-forth motion rather than a circular motion to reduce the risk of cross-contamination.

For mopping applications, change-out frequencies will depend on the type of facility and the risk factors involved.

“The universal guideline in healthcare is to change the mop after every room,” notes Frank. “In a classroom, however, the risk of germ transmission occurring off the floor is low; therefore, mop changes usually don’t happen after every classroom.” 

High-risk facilities, such as healthcare organizations and cleanrooms, may warrant the use of disposable microfiber. Solomon says that many of her hospital clients switched to disposable microfiber during the pandemic. In contrast, most of the commercial cleaning industry shies away from disposable microfiber due to its high cost.

Of course, no discussion of microfiber and cross-contamination would be complete without mentioning color coding. According to the global color-coding guidelines, the following colors are assigned to microfiber cleaning products to avoid the transfer of bacteria and microorganisms from one surface or area to another: 

• Blue — used for general cleaning tasks in low-risk areas 

• Yellow — used for medium-risk areas, such as restroom sinks and mirrors, healthcare areas and science labs 

• Green — used in high-risk areas, such as break rooms, cafeterias and kitchens 

• Red — used in very high-risk areas, such as toilets and urinals 

“The color-coding system was big about eight years ago, and there’s definite value in it,” says Solomon. “But I think there’s been a reversal in that: We don’t necessarily need to use four different colors, because it can become overwhelming. In some cases, two colors are enoug

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