Microfiber technology enhances cleanliness by preventing cross-contamination and providing overall better hygiene to medical and non-medical facilities alike.
By Teri Bradshaw, Director of Operations, 360clean Facilities managers—I invite you to walk to the nearest janitor’s closet and peek inside. What do you see?  Dirty, stringy, cotton mop-heads?  Stained and stinky cotton rags?  If so, my advice is simple—find a new janitorial company, or hire a new environmental services director.   Cotton mop-heads and rags are obsolete, and any cleaning company worth their salt has switched over to microfiber technology, especially those companies focused on providing hygienic cleaning to their clients.  A survey conducted by Cintas Corporation at the 2010 annual meeting of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), indicated that “52 percent [of respondents] … implemented a microfiber program as the preferred method for cleaning patient rooms.  Of those using microfiber, 98 percent felt that it demonstrated a positive contribution to their facility’s infection control efforts” (Infection Control Today, August 2010).   I suspect that if the same survey were done today, the number of infection preventionists who have implemented microfiber cleaning at their facilities is nearing or has already reached 100 percent. If you’re a facility manager of a non-medical commercial building, you may wonder why this is important to you as you don’t have sick patients in your facility and have no need for an infection preventionist to be on staff.  Well, if you’re only worried about aesthetics, it may not be; however, more and more facility managers are recognizing the value in hygienic cleaning.  Not only does this kind of service clean their building, but it also protects their workforce by eliminating germs, which prevents the transmission of highly contagious communicable illnesses.  The impact of a widespread infectious event could be devastating to your company.  Having a reputable janitorial company that utilizes the latest techniques in hygienic cleaning is the best way to combat rampant absenteeism due to workplace illnesses.

What is Microfiber?

Microfiber textiles are typically constructed from split conjugated fibers of polyester and polyamide; however, most microfiber products specifically designed for cleaning are constructed of 100% polyester microfiber.   These fibers are woven tightly together, which creates a soft, absorbent (holding 8 times its weight in water) material that is exceptional for cleaning.  In addition, microfiber traps particles in the fiber, which allows for a cleaner surface—no left behind dust or lint.

Why is Microfiber Better for Hygienic Cleaning?

The right chemicals and mindfulness of their dilution rates and dwell times are all important factors when cleaning to eliminate germs; however, microfiber is also important for hygienic cleaning as those products with a “split polyester-polyamide filament that are less than .13 denier” is specifically designed to clean on a microscopic scale (Infection Control Today, July 2010).  Tests have shown that those microfiber products trap 99 percent of surface bacteria versus conventional cleaning materials that only captured an average of 33 percent.

How does Microfiber Prevent Cross Contamination?

Some cleaning companies not only use microfiber to enhance their hygienic cleaning services, but they also have gone to color-coding.  Think for a moment.  Is your cleaner using the same rag to clean your desk and telephone that he or she just used to clean the toilet?  If your cleaning company is using plain white rags, you can’t be sure; however, if they are using color specific rags for certain tasks, you can at least assume that the rag they are using on your phone has not been used in the restroom.  The color coding is as follows:
  • Blue – Glass.
  • Green – Dusting.
  • Yellow – All-purpose cleaning.
  • Red – Disinfection.

How Do You Care for Microfiber?

Microfiber is washable, durable, and holds its shape well.  In addition, microfiber is easy to maintain—simply wash microfibers isolated from other kinds of fabric with regular washing detergent.  Steer clear of oily, self-softening, or soap-based detergents.  Those types of detergents or fabric softeners will clog up the fibers, which will reduce the amount of bacteria the material will be able to absorb until all of those oils have been washed out.   When drying, dry at a moderate temperature so to not melt or fuse the fibers together.

Ready to Make a Change?

If interested in hiring a janitorial provider who utilizes microfiber technology in their hygienic cleaning process, contact 360clean for a free proposal.  www.360clean.com
If you’d like to purchase microfiber material for your internal environmental services department I can recommend our partner, Direct Mop Sales.  www.directmopsales.com
Article Sources Infection Control Today, July and August 2010 editions, Virgo Publishing Photo Sources www.microfiber-towels.com www.microfiberwholesales.com
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