Issue Date: 5 June 2013
THE CASE FOR MICROFIBRE
Recent innovations in microfibre mean that more building care and cleaning teams can take advantage of the performance, productivity and sustainability benefits on offer. Cloths, mops and other tools made from these advanced fabrics are now available in a wider choice which makes it easier to specify the right tools and build a cost justification for more applications.
Sealed Air’s Diversey business, for example, offers microfibre in its two key ranges - TASKI JM Ultra (premium) and TASKI Standard (mid-range). These can be used on their own, in combination, or as part of an integrated cleaning system with chemicals or water alone. This provides operators with complete flexibility to choose the combination uniquely matched to their own specific requirements and which delivers the best value and return on investment.
We should remind ourselves of the key benefits of microfibre. The first is sustainability. Microfibre is often used dry or dampened with water alone which makes cleaning hard surfaces simpler, safer and more sustainable. Even if chemicals are used for some tasks the simpler processes before, during and after cleaning help to promote productivity and efficiency. This means microfibre often represents an excellent investment which reduces the overall cost of cleaning.
Microfibre is durable and will last well if looked after in line with the manufacturer’s recommendations. Although standard microfibre is ideal for many applications, the superior performance, finer filaments and added durability of ultra microfibre make it the ideal choice for applications and areas where the very highest standards in hygiene and long working life are demanded. For both versions, in simple terms the fibre collects dirt through a combination of static charge and capillary attraction as it passes over the area being cleaned. The structure of the fibres helps to retain any soil which promotes cleaning efficiency. Finer fibres, and more of them, produce the best cleaning results because there is a larger surface area to attract and retain dirt.
Equipment is often bought in sets to support a three day rotation regime (in use, ready, in laundry). The TASKI Standard range is ideal for many building care contracts and will last around three years based on a 300 wash lifetime. For even more demanding applications, TASKI JM Ultra - with its 800 wash lifetime - can last even longer.
When used with water alone microfibre is ideal for public areas with reduced risk to occupants and bystanders because the absence of chemicals eliminates any risk of exposure. There is also reduced risk of slips on floors compared with wet mops because tools are used dry or damp with no need for large amounts of water. This can promote better hygiene and higher perceptions of cleanliness that protect and enhance an operator’s reputation.
Reducing or removing chemicals from some or all tasks simplifies cleaning processes and eliminates costly and time-consuming training and compliance processes. There is reduced need to prepare solutions and less time is wasted visiting storerooms and cupboards to fetch replacement chemicals or buckets of water. This also means there are fewer heavy items to lift and carry. Purchasing and supply chain costs are reduced if fewer chemicals are needed while valuable storage space can be put to more productive uses. Costs are predictable and easier to control.
Sometimes, however, cleaning without chemicals is not enough. This might happen, for example, on floors susceptible to soiling or where there is heavy throughput during bad weather which leads to dirt being brought inside the building. In these circumstances microfibre can and should be used with chemicals, as long as everything is selected and used in line with manufacturers’ recommendations. Diversey offers practical advice on suitable combinations of products and equipment from across its extensive range.
A further benefit of microfibre is ergonomic and efficient cleaning, whether or not chemicals are used. Cloths, pads and mops glide across surfaces more easily than a traditional wet mop or cloth so less effort is required. Cleaning staff can cover larger areas in shorter times, which means they are more productive and can spend time on other tasks. Using tools pre-dampened before use eliminates the need to handle buckets, water and chemicals to the working area.
Many operators choose to use ultra microfibre in conjunction with integrated trolley systems such as the TASKI Trolley. The trolley is configured to match the application and equipped with the appropriate colour-coded cleaning tools to ensure staff have everything close at hand and in the ideal position. This reduces unnecessary movements which minimises the time required to complete a specific task. In this way trolley systems and microfibre work together to deliver the pinnacle of cleaning productivity and efficiency.