Which is the Best Cleaning Rag to Use?
WHICH IS THE BEST CLEANING RAG TO USE?
Like death and taxes, spills are inevitable! However, will any old wipe, cloth or rag do? Which is the Best Cleaning Rag to Use?
In industrial workshops, rags have long been the standard. Because they are relatively cheap. In fact, rags originate from scrap reclaimed textile clothing. As a result of discarded cotton fleece or thrown away T-Shirts, we recycle these into rags. And, consequently you have white T-Shirt rags or mixed coloured T-Shirt rags. Next, these get packed into 1.5 kg, 5 kg, 10 kg or 20 kg bags. Hence the term “Bags of Rags”.
Because these cloths originate from recycled clothing, they do not add to landfill waste. And safe to use, provided they undergo metal detection to remove harmful metal objects. For example, needles, pins, zippers and buttons. However, not all rag suppliers use metal detectors due to the the high cost of high micron detectors.
But for a more sophisticated wiping solution, many people use wipers. In fact, wipers have certain advantages over rags. For example, they offer a more consistent shape, size and absorbency. Also, they have hygienic features not offered by rags, which can be unwashed. And the absorbency can be engineered to be as high or as low as required. Since manufactured wipes vary accordingly to the requirements of the intended task. For instance, you could ass antibacterial agents to the manufacturing process to extend the life of the wipers. Indeed, you can even determine the ideal lint level of a particular wiper.
But in the end, one needs to balance cost, quality and functionality to finding the best wiping solution. However, this will vary depending on the task. For general purpose, less delicate jobs, any old wipe, cloth or rag will probably do. For example, with high volume, low risk tasks, a lower cost workshop rag works OK. As does jumbo rolls of shop towels. Whereas, with more delicate tasks, especially lint sensitive ones, an engineered wiper wins hands down.
Undeniably, in foodservice, hospitality and healthcare, hygiene plays a much bigger part. Wipers tend to win the decision here as to the most appropriate cleaning solution. Obviously, rags do not meet the requirements in such sterile focused environments. Furthermore, for surface preparation and cleaning, wipers again make a better choice. Especially those treated with antibacterical agents. Also, as they come in colour coded format, they help prevent any unnecessary spread of germs. For example, allocating a different colour to different areas or tasks.
And, in aged care and healthcare, single use disposable wipes win the day. Why? Because they ensure that any germs picked up in a task are disposed of when that wipe is thrown away.
So, the answer to the question of “Which is the Best Cleaning Rag to Use?”, depends on the usage.