Microfibre is the revolutionary fabric which is taking the world by storm, it’s extremely effective for cleaning in almost every scenario imaginable. For this reason it has become the cleaning cloth of choice in all areas of the cleaning industry, replacing traditional woven cloths and dusters.
However there are still millions of other traditional cleaning cloths that are still being used every year in the UK. In this Blog I look at some of the cleaning cloths, dusters and dusting aids that are still very popular.
Dish cloths could be described as the general purpose cloth of the cleaning industry, due to their suitability for a wide-range of tasks. They are made from cotton and are “flat-knitted” and hemmed, to help them maintain their shape.
Although they can be provided in bleached white, they are available in a range of colours to support colour-coded cleaning regimes. In fact, it is fair to say that dishcloths are potentially the most effective spreader of bacteria, as they come into contact with a whole range of surfaces. For this reason alone, it is important that you fully consider purchasing coloured varieties.
Floor Cloths are made from cotton and are extremely hard wearing; making them ideal for jobs that cannot be done effectively with a dish cloth. They are particularly effective for heavily soiled areas and cleaning floors where cleaning equipment cannot access i.e. between stair spindles, railings etc.
Their loose weave construction enables easier cleaning, and their durability ensures that they can be cleaned effectively in washing machines.
When a small dish cloth is not big enough for the task in hand, stockinette roll is ideal, as it can be cut to size to meet the needs of any individual job. They are manufactured in much the same way as dish cloths and can be used as a general purpose cloth for cleaning, drying and polishing.
However, it is not normally provided in any colour other than white, limiting its use in buildings using colour-coded cleaning regimes.
Lightweight Cleaning Cloths
These are semi-disposable, non-woven cleaning cloths that are produced in a range of colours. They can be incorporated within your specific colour-coded cleaning regime and are extremely effective in reducing the spread of bacteria.
They can be provided in ready-to-use cloth form or on a roll, enabling you to tailor the size of the cloth to the job being undertaken.
They are ideal for use in cleaning food preparation surfaces as a semi-disposable cloth and are economically priced when compared with traditional cleaning cloths.
Anti-Bacterial Cleaning Cloths
Bigger and stronger than lightweight cleaning cloths, they have the added advantage of being fully machine-washable.
Again, they are made from non-woven fabric and are manufactured in arrange of colours. They are particularly suited to cleaning food preparation areas, where a deeper, more thorough clean is required. They can also be used as a semi disposable cloth for heavier, dirtier tasks.
Industrial Cleaning Cloth
For heavier cleaning, industrial strength, non-woven, semi disposable cleaning cloths are ideal. They are extremely absorbent and are particularly suited to workshop environments, such as garages, print rooms etc. These cloths can be dispensed from a towel dispenser or cut from a roll for bigger jobs.
All-Purpose Cleaning Cloths
For general cleaning tasks, all-purpose cloths are a good alternative to the more traditional cloths used. They are sponge like in appearance and texture and have an open cellular structure that is ideal for collecting food and dirt particles as well as removing stubborn stains.
Due to their ability to retain dirt particles within their cellular structure, they should be used as semi-disposable when used in areas where hygiene is a concern.
Label Wipers or Industrial Rags. They are fabric cloths that are made from 100% recycled garments.
They are used for wiping up liquid spillages, wiping down surfaces, machinery and hands and are particularly suited for use with grease, paint, oil and chemicals.
They are provided in 10kg sacks and are used in most industries as an effective, heavy-duty disposable item.
These are used to clean surfaces or hands when dealing with hazardous waste. They are provided in sterile, single-use sachets, each containing a single disposable wipe.
Telephone, VDU and Screen Wipes
Telephone and VDU wipes are formulated to both cleanse and sanitise. They are mildly scented to leave the telephone handset smelling fresh. They are provided in tubs containing 100 wipes.
Scrim is a flame retardant, 100% cotton fabric that resembles close-knit netting. It has multiple uses but within the cleaning industry it is used exclusively for cleaning windows.
Its suitability for window cleaning is due to the fact that its close-knit construction allows the gaps between the weave to trap dirt and grime, whilst at the same time keeping in close contact with the glazed surface. The result is a clean, smear-free surface
Chamois leather is obtained from certain breeds of sheep and is oil tanned to make it soft and luxurious to the touch. It can absorb up to six times its own weight in water and is extremely effective in absorbing large quantities of water, leaving a clean, smear-free finish to all hard surfaces, particularly glass and highly polished surfaces. It is also extremely durable and hardwearing.
When first purchasing chamois leather, they will need to be thoroughly rinsed to remove any residues remaining from the tanning process. If this is not done, the leather will leave smear and streaks on the surface.
Synthetic Chamois or “Sham Cham” Synthetic wash leathers are a more cost-effective version of chamois leather. They are made from highly absorbent synthetic fibres that form a soft, perforated surface and can be used in exactly the same way as natural chamois leather.
They are extremely durable and hard wearing and can be used on all highly polished hard surfaces.
Demister pads are made from chamois or synthetic wash leather stuffed with padding and resemble a small pillow.
They can be used for washing, drying and polishing, and are particularly effective in removing moisture from windows and other polished surfaces without resorting to washing them. They leave a clean surface, free from smears.
Yellow Cloth Dusters
Although they are almost exclusively yellow, the colour is of no significance. Dusters are made from cotton and are hemmed to prevent fraying. They can be used dry for polishing hard surfaces, but are most effective when used in conjunction with furniture polish or water applied in a mist either directly onto the surface or to the duster itself.
They should only be used for general dusting and polishing and should be cleaned regularly. They should be disposed of when they start to lose their soft, luxurious texture as they become less effective.
Lambswool Flick Dusters
Made from pure lambswool, these handy dusting tools are used for dusting high and hard to reach places. They consist of a generous quantity of lambswool that is attached to wooden or plastic pole up to 1 m long.
As they are made from wool, they are able to hold a static charge, thus attracting dust particles. Also, they are fully washable in a neutral, lukewarm cleaning solution and should be left to dry naturally. If this is done, they will retain their properties for long periods, making them extremely cost-effective.
Hand Held Dusting Tools
Like lambswool dusters, these dusting tools are excellent for cleaning high and hard to reach places. However, they have the added advantage of being able to be used in conjunction with extension poles.
They consist of a cotton yarn head that is stitched into a polyester sleeve. The yarn is cut straight allowing the fibres to “drape” across the item or area being dusted, allowing all areas to be thoroughly dusted.
They can be used dry, but can also be impregnated with mineral oil to attract dust. They can also be treated with a fine water mist to create the same, less permanent effect.
Cobweb Collectors are used in conjunction with extension poles to remove cobwebs and other loose debris in high and hard to reach places. They can be made from natural fibres, such as bassine, but are more commonly made from hard synthetic fibres, woven into a wire frame to give them their distinctive shape.
Care should be taken when using these types of dusting tool at high level as the debris (including some impressive spiders!) will inevitably fall onto the operative. Eye protectors should be considered for use when this type of job is being undertaken.
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Much of the information found on this site is taken from documents commissioned by the Jangro Group