Understanding Microfibre

If you’ve hailed microfibre as the answer to your cleaning prayers, you’re not alone. But this miracle ‘wonder cloth’ is also a victim of its own success.

So what exactly is it?

Ordinary materials such as polyester are woven into fibres so small that a single strand is 100 times finer than a human hair.

It means several materials can be woven together to take advantage of their specific properties. For example two of the most common in microfibre are polyester – for its ability to be split and hold dirt – and polyamide, for its absorbency.

So ‘microfibre’ isn’t just one thing, and all microfibre cloths are not equal.

How does it work?

In layman’s terms, it has millions and millions of little hooks that grab dirt/dust particles, bacteria and so on, and holds on to them without the use of chemicals. It offers greater cleaning ability, great absorbency, reduced risk of scratching and lightness of use.

So what’s the problem?

Its biggest problem is the flipside of its biggest strength: its ability to pick up and hold on to dirt.

Once these millions of hooks are full of dirt/dust, bacteria etc the cloth just becomes an ineffective rag and pushes the dirt from one area to another.

That’s why it’s important to follow BICSc recommended folding of cloths to ensure that all of the surface is used to its potential. Fold it in half, then half again - this will then potentially give you 8 working surfaces.

Put a clean microfibre mophead over a dirty floor and it will load very, very quickly. And it isn’t easy to get that dirt out. Something so effective can’t just be wrung out under a tap. Microfibre needs to be laundered. This means

  • 1.You need to use lots of mopheads per shift – we reckon every 2-300 sq ft or 8 minutes of mopping
  • 2.If the cleaning operative doesn’t change the mophead often enough, floors won’t be cleaned effectively
  • 3.There’s the cost and environmental impact of laundering

If you are laundering microfibre you SHOULD NOT USE bleach or softeners – bleach-based products make the hooks brittle and they could break, softener loosens the hooks into long strands rendering them ineffective.

Is there an answer?

At SYR we have a solution which will allow the operator to carry on working rather than waste time changing sleeves or setting up pre-soaked replacement sleeves, all at a cost either through labour time or water usage.

The solution is ScrubClean. ScrubClean is a patented bucket-and-wringer system that will scrub your microfibre mophead clean as you work. Twin micro motors power a brush roller wringer. Put your dirty microfibre flatmop head in, the brushes scrub it clean, and you are ready to carry on. That’s one mophead to do the whole job with no need to launder.

For more details on our microfibre ranges and ScrubClean, check out the Products section of our website.