Really, we’re going to talk about cloths?! What could there be to say?
Now I know it doesn’t seem like an interesting topic to talk about.
Because after all, they’re the things that we use to wipe down all the dirty surfaces in our workplace.
But hold your hats because this is where we’ll change your mind.
Very shortly you’ll realise exactly why we’re talking to you about microfibre cloths.
If you think about it, cloths are actually an important part of cleaning because they’re the tools that actually pick up and remove the dirt, dust, and germs we don’t want lying around!
But what type of microfibre cloth should your cleaners be using at your site?
Disposable VS Launderable?
After being in the industry for over 28 years, the team at In-Tec have an abundance of knowledge regarding the positives and negatives that come with using disposable vs launderable microfibre cloths.
So, in this article, we’re going to explain to you why disposable microfibre is the only option you should be considering for your site (at least most sites).
Let’s get into it.
What should launderable microfibre cloths be washed in?
To begin with, I’m going to be as straightforward as possible.
A domestic washing machine, as in the one you’d use in your home, does not cut it for microfibre cloths.
Simply, a domestic washing machine doesn’t have the capability to maintain the same temperature for the whole duration of the cycle because they typically don’t have a heat pump.
But what temperature should the microfibre cloths be washed at?
A proper cleaning company or launderer must wash the cloths at 65 degrees. This forces the fibres to expand which pushes the dirt out of the cloth – at the end you get a clean cloth that’s ready-to-use again.
However, the temperature a launderable cloth must be washed at changes when it comes to bodily fluids like vomit, blood, and urine – 95 degrees to ensure all the germs and bacteria are removed.
Not only do the cloths need to be washed at the appropriate temperature, but they also need to be washed in an Australian Standard Certified commercial washing machine [AS/NZS 4146:2000]. If your cleaner is going to comply with the Australian standards, then you need to invest in a Miele machine which can cost approximately $8,000.
This type of specific commercial washing machine has the capability of keeping the right temperature for the entire wash and rinse cycle, is computer-controlled, and can abort the load if the machine’s temperature was to drop below 65 degrees at any time. If this happens, the machine immediately stops, empties itself, and restarts the whole process.
Without a proper commercial washing machine, you’ll start to see a quick deterioration in the effectiveness of your launderable cloths – they won’t be doing the job they’re there to do…capture and remove all the dirt, germs, and bacteria.
If the launderable microfibre cloths aren’t taken care of correctly, they can become a breeding ground for bacteria and cross-contamination.
And we certainly don’t want that happening.
Plus, you can’t forget a dryer.
Do I really need a dryer? Can’t the cleaners just hang the microfibre cloths to dry?
Ah, it’s not that easy!
A dryer is essential in this process because it makes sure the cloths dry as quick as possible. After all, we all know that damp, warm, and absorbent cloths become a perfect environment for bacteria to grow.
The risks that come with misusing and laundering a microfibre cloth are too great, which is one of the reasons why we really want to emphasize the benefits of disposable microfibre cloths.
The benefits of having disposable microfibre cloths
If you think about it, disposables are essentially a clean slate.
And if you think about it further, disposables are always consistent because they’re always new. This is because the microfibres are always cleaning to the optimum level.
You’re probably wondering whether there are any other benefits to disposable microfibre cloths.
Just take a look at the list below!
Improves the cleanliness of your site
Improves your cleaner’s productivity
Delivers optimal infection prevention
Built-in zig-zag scrubbers effectively remove dirt and get into small crevices
At In-Tec, we highly recommend the latest disposable microfibre cloths from Rubbermaid. They remove 99.9% of dirt, germs, bacteria, and viruses with water only. There is no need for chemicals or solutions!
To give you a real-life example of how disposable microfibre cloths are beneficial, let’s take a look at one of our client’s sites.
We recently sat down and worked out that if we replaced launderable with disposables, the cleaner would have an extra hour and a half of productivity a day added to cleaning the site. That hour and a half that you, the client, will gain, far outstrips the cost of the cloths.
How is this possible you ask?
Well, no longer does the cleaner need to wash the cloths and dry them. That is where the extra time has come from.
Yes, the cost of disposables are charged to you. But if you come to think of it, you’re already paying for the washing machines water, electricity, and detergent…plus maintenance repairs when they arise. So, by switching to disposable microfibre, I’m saving you all these costs, AND giving you and your cleaners an hour and a half extra of productivity.
That’s a pretty good deal right?
Not only this, but it enables your cleaners to clean better, and also makes your staff feel safer as they can see the change made to disposables. What we mean by this is your employees will notice disposable cloths in the bin after they’ve been used which reduces cross-contamination and illness.
Disposable microfibre cloths also save the cleaners time as they can walk into, for example the amenities, with the right number of red cloths they need to get the job done. As soon as they clean the toilets, polish the mirrors, etc. they go straight into the bin. The cleaners don’t have to worry about washing them and certainly don’t have to worry about cross-contamination around the workplace.
So let me ask you one question.
Have we convinced you yet that disposables are the way to go?
Which type of site do disposable microfibre cloths work best for?
I want to first point out that disposable microfibre cloths can work at absolutely any site.
So, if you’re considering disposable microfibre cloths even though you have a small site, that’s perfectly fine!
We do however, really recommend disposable microfibre for large sites that are cleaned regularly, have many staff members, and numerous areas to clean.
If you check these 3 boxes, then disposable microfibre would work best for you.
Disposables are also recommended for those sites that don’t have an easily attainable process of making sure the cloths are laundered to Australian standards. What we mean by this is, if you don’t have a certified washing machine or don’t wish to invest in one, then disposable microfibre is the best option for you.
If you have a large site and you do consider choosing disposables, we suggest that you introduce contaminated waste bins for the disposing of the cloths. As we all know, polyester can take up to 100 years to break down in landfill which isn’t that environmentally friendly. Instead, contaminated waste disposal burns the cloths in plants where there are no emissions and doesn’t end up in landfill.
Again, disposable microfibre cloths are for anyone and everyone!
Why we prefer disposable to launderable
Let’s talk environment (because we’re all out here to help our planet…I hope!).
One disadvantage of launderable microfibre cloths is that every time you wash them, there are tiny microfibres (essentially plastic) entering the water source. Unfortunately, our sewerage treatment plants can’t catch them cause they’re that small which means they go straight into the ocean and our waterways.
Doesn’t sound too good, does it?
Unlike launderable, you don’t have to wash disposable which means no microfibres are entering the environment as they’re thrown straight into the bin.
Another issue that can occur with launderable is, yes they’ll last for 500-600 washes (with the appropriate machine), but even still they start to degrade over time – cleaning ability reduces.
Onto another reason why the team at In-Tec prefer disposable.
Inevitably, what happens with launderable is that cleaners don’t change the cloths as often as they should because they have to wash them – they don’t like spending time on that part of the job. What subsequently happens is the cloths don’t clean as well as they should because they’re stretched out further than they can.
It’s safe to say that the advantages of using disposable cloths are limitless. Whilst launderable works, modern technology now far outweighs anything.
Disposable microfibre cloths are the ultimate cleaning tool
Disposables are the way to go – it just makes sense!
Forget having to launder your microfibre cloths with an approved commercial washing machine and dryer.
All your cleaners have to do is just throw the used microfibre out and pick another one up – they’re equipped and immediately ready to go.
Again, disposables are charged to you. But you can be guaranteed that the cloths you’re being billed for are for your site only.
99% of the time, the cost of the cloths is insignificant compared to the gain in productivity of your cleaner. You’re always going to see an improvement in productivity and cleanliness over the cost of the microfibre cloth.
What are you waiting for? Schedule a callwith the team at In-Tec to switch to disposable microfibre cloths at your site!