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Wiping Away Uncertainty: When to Use Disposable Microfiber in Facilities

As the scope of cleaning and disinfection has broadened, so has the need for a wider range of cleaning products. Facility managers are expected to maintain daily routine cleaning procedures, while also expected to handle emergency work orders, operational efficiencies and oversee facility staff members. In order to keep facilities in top shape and meet the public's high standards of cleanliness, it's imperative to ensure your staff is properly equipped with the right resources, cleaning tools and chemicals that will make their day-to-day tasks easier to manage. 

One cleaning tool that all facilities should keep highly stocked is disposable microfiber towels. Microfiber has been described as an “essential tool in an infection control program”1 and for good reason. In this blog, we're breaking down all things disposable microfiber related. We'll answer why disposable microfiber is better than other disposable wipes, its key features and benefits for facilities, and when it's most ideal to use them. 

Why is Disposable Microfiber in High Demand?

The answer begins with its unique features that account for its efficacy and efficiency.

Absorbency: Each disposable microfiber cleaning tool is comprised of thousands of incredibly small individual monofilament microfibers, allowing the microfiber to absorb up to 6-7 times its weight in fluid. 2-3 The microfiber’s design also allows for consistent fluid release so that the water, detergent, or disinfectant can be evenly applied to a surface.

Cleaning Performance: Disposable microfiber's fine fibers effectively pick up dirt and debris, trapping and removing them from a surface.

Chemical Compatibility: Disposable microfiber is made exclusively from polyester fibers, which means it has minimal quaternary ammonium binding (quat binding)—a phenomenon in which other textiles, including cotton or some nylon-containing microfibers, attract and bind the disinfectant in the fibers, reducing the quantity of chemical available for surface disinfection.18

Strength/Durability: Polyester is a highly durable material. This is fundamental to a cleaning product’s efficacy, so that the pressure applied and the chemical used don’t break down the cloth during the wiping process.19

Reduced Risk for Cross-Contamination: By using a disposable microfiber wipe on each new surface, the risk for cross-contamination and infection is limited. In addition, disposable microfiber is low-linting, meaning it won’t leave significant fiber residues behind that can generate cross contamination.

What Makes Disposable Microfiber Different from Other Ready-to-Use Wipes?2024.06_Rubbermaid_Blog Featured Image_Disposable Microfiber

Disposable disinfectant wipes, such as germicidal wipes, disinfectant wipes or ready-to-use wipes, are very different from disposable microfiber, beginning with the composition and structure of the materials. Unlike microfiber, disinfectant wipes can be manufactured from a number of materials including polypropylene, polyester, viscose, tencel, wood pulp, or cotton.11,19 Many commercially available products include a combination of these materials that have been spun-bonded or melt-blown together and lack the high tensile strength and durability in microfiber.11,19

A disinfectant wipe's materials is not the only factor that influences its efficacy. Research has also shown that the efficacy can be limited by the moisture content in the wipe7-10, the product's storage time19, packaging9, and the application time5,8,10. These potential limitations have led to some scientists and organizations cautioning the importance of recognizing the advantages and disadvantages of these wipes.11,26-27

When Should I Use Disposable Microfiber Over Other Products?

Careful consideration of all factors, ranging from laundry to staffing to infection risk, can help a facility choose the optimal microfiber product, or combination of products, to meet their needs and achieve the desired outcome—stopping infection in its tracks.

Laundry: Launderable microfiber can be safely cleaned and rid of microbial contamination between uses when time and resources are plausible according to CDC parameters.28-29 However, disposable microfiber is an excellent option for facilities with limited or no laundry capacity, or who lack confidence in their available laundry facility’s ability to comply with CDC specifications.

Staffing Concerns: Effective cleaning requires proper staff training on various processes, including the use of new cloths, frequent changing of clean cloths, and keeping soiled cloths separated. However, proper training, not to mention staff compliance with the protocols and procedures taught in that training, is often challenging. Facility managers and staff are increasingly being asked to do more in less time which puts the quality of cleaning and disinfection in jeopardy.6,30 Not only are facility staff having to rush through their cleaning procedures, but they are also dealing with high turnover. This can lead to a high demand for new staff training, but as time is limited, organizations struggle to properly train and certify facility staff are brought up to speed on correct procedures, maintenance plans and when to use one cleaning tool over another. Disposable microfiber adds an added layer of safety and assurance against the risk of cross-contamination that can occur from rushed cleaning or inadequate training. 

High-Risk Scenarios: Microfiber products can be tailored to contamination and infection risks. When the stakes are higher, disposable microfiber's single-use is a perfect fit. In an office or school setting, disposable microfiber products are suitable options for areas like restrooms or kitchens where contamination is likely to be higher. Disposable microfiber can help mitigate the risk by encouraging one wipe and one application per surface.

Frequent Use Areas: Some surfaces pose a greater risk than others simply by how often and how likely they are to be touched.38-39 High-touch surfaces can range from the elevator button or computer keyboard in an office, to shared supplies and desks in a classroom. Disposable microfiber is a convenient and easy-to-use solution that can effectively clean each surface through the single-use application. In addition, facilities with high volumes of staff, customers or students may not have the budget in place to handle the supply of launderable microfiber that need to be properly stored and sanitized. 

The HYGEN™ Difference

If disposable microfiber represents the solution to a cleaning and disinfection problem, then HYGEN™ disposable microfiber represents an excellent solution. HYGEN™ disposable microfiber by Rubbermaid Commercial Products (RCP) is purposefully engineered to incorporate all of the evidence-based features that deliver cleaning efficacy and efficiency:

☑️ Manufactured from premium polymers for optimal cleaning, absorbency, and chemical compatibility.
☑️ Proven to remove 99.7% or more of tested microorganisms by third-party laboratories.
☑️ Created with a low-linting, single-use design to reduce risk of cross-contamination.
☑️ Developed to withstand the degradative effects of pressure and chemicals.
☑️ Cloths possess industry-leading thickness with 70 grams per square meter (gsm) of material compared to an industry average of 52 gsm,
      translating into better absorption.Wiping Away Uncertainty: When to Use Disposable Microfiber

HYGEN™ disposable microfiber products are designed to help facilities reduce the risk of infection in high-risk areas by maintaining cleaner and safer environments with products that have superior efficacy and improve worker productivity in a disposable format.

Click the flyer to read the complete whitepaper on disposable microfiber.

As purchasing teams look for ways to improve operations and efficiencies in their facilities, they can turn to Rubbermaid Commercial Products and the HYGEN™ microfiber solutions to satisfy their needs. RCP's collection of cleaning and hygiene products are available on multiple distributor's cooperative contracts through OMNIA Partners. Learn more about the HYGEN™ Difference by following the button below. 



HYGEN™ Difference


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