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Microfiber: The safer, healthier solution for cleaning

September 19, 2010
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When it comes to cleaning, facility managers understand the importance of managing the process with the health and safety of all building occupants in mind.

Many recognize that the amount of chemical required and types of tools traditionally used for daily cleaning can sometimes be hazardous to one’s health or have an adverse effect on cleaning workers and building occupants.

This can include sensitivity to chemical fumes, propensity for string mops and cotton cleaning cloths to drip water onto floors — creating the likelihood of slip and fall accidents, and an inability of some cleaning tools to remove germs and bacteria found in more porous surfaces — contributing to an overall unhealthy indoor environment.

To avoid the potential risks associated with chemical overuse and inefficient tools, facility managers are increasingly selecting microfiber cleaning tools.

Mops and cloths made of microfiber are proven to be more durable, lightweight, efficient and safer to use than traditional cleaning tools.

Why select microfiber?
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognizes and approves microfiber for its cleaning effectiveness. According to a study conducted by the University of California-Davis, researchers found that microfiber materials ease the impact on both cleaning staff and the environment by requiring less cleaning effort, reducing chemical use and reaching into surface pores better than conventional mops.

The manmade fabric, which consists of polyester and nylon, is stronger and more durable than conventional fibers. Some microfiber cloths can be laundered up to 500 or more times. Finer than most other synthetic fabrics on the market today — one single strand of microfiber is 100 times thinner than a human hair — the fabric grabs and eliminates dirt better than traditional cloths.

In addition, the material is highly absorbent and can hold up to seven times its weight in water.

Using microfiber
While microfiber can be used in a variety of industries, most microfiber tools that are manufactured for medium- or heavy-duty cleaning are best intended for tasks in health care and food service facilities.

Microfiber that is manufactured for light-duty cleaning is best for use in educational and office environments.

Along with its ability to clean in a variety of building types, microfiber is also manufactured to be naturally electrostatic.

Because of its electrostatic properties, microfiber is designed to clean effectively when used both wet and dry.

When used dry, microfiber easily cleans away dust, and keeps it from spreading or releasing into the air.

Microfiber materials actually perform best when used damp, as opposed to wet.

With its ability to retain moisture, less water is needed to clean floors and other surfaces. Using less liquid reduces streaking and provides a much faster drying time.

Microfiber, the safe solution
There are many options available today for cleaning floors and other surfaces. But microfiber is proven to help provide cleaner buildings and safer and healthier cleaning conditions for workers and building occupants.

Microfiber is a smart investment for an overall safer and healthier building environment.

Bruno Niklaus is vice president global marketing for Unger Enterprises. For more information, visit or call 1-800-431-2324.

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