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Wednesday's Ask the Experts: Microfiber malady

April 14, 2010
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Wednesday''s Ask the Experts question from a cleaning professional on the International Custodial Advisors Network (ICAN) "Ask the Experts" page: I do a lot of research on new products and techniques. I started cleaning with paper towels; after some research, I came across microfiber towels, which work great. Then, I bought a microfiber flat mop and a double sided bucket.
I used it for one year; all my employees hate it and so do I. The production rate is very poor, nothing compared to my old yellow bucket and my string mop. I also try to use a microfiber dust mop; it is so bad that I’m not sure that all the so-called improvements are the way to go.
I would like your take on this matter. Also, do you have a recommendation for a good dust mop? I try to vacuum the hard floor areas instead of dust mopping, but the time that it takes is just not productive.
The answer:
As you have now discovered, no one tool or approach fits all cleaning situations. Your microfiber towels work well because you are using them on surfaces limited in area and lightly soiled. They do pick up well, as promised, and they are not rapidly overloaded and rendered useless in this application.
Microfiber pads are excellent for placing floor finish. They provide better application control and less mess and product waste. Floor mopping presents other issues. Often, especially in the northern sections of the country, the floors are loaded with tracked-in water and grit, including ice melt chemicals. These quickly overload even the best microfiber floor mop, demanding frequent trips to the mop bucket.
There is no other side of the mop pad to flip over to, so there is a limit to the use between rinsings. Microfibers are tenacious. They hold the soils and moisture ... — Lynn E. Krafft, ICAN/ATEX editor
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