Microfiber towels vs. Paper towels in the bathroom

Discussion in 'Janitorial, Housekeeping & Maid Cleaning Forum' started by Gasoline, Mar 21, 2013.

  1. Gasoline

    Gasoline EcoTech Carpet Clean: The Green Choice Premium VIP

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    I have been going through some basic bathroom cleaning procedures that are documented throughout the web. Most if not all, prescribe to the use of paper towels over microfiber towels. My guess is that it allows them to be thrown away and will not transfer any germs.

    This goes against what I thought as being an effective cleaner. Clearly, a microfiber cloth is no match against the paper towel in terms of effectiveness. Yes, you must launder the microfiber cloth, which requires more work, but the clean results in the bathroom is quite evident.

    Do you agree? What's your procedure?
  2. David A

    David A Active Member

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    I'll tell you Robert, I would stick with micro fiber. Paper is a waste of a valuable resource (not green at all) and if the restrooms are being disinfected properly, the micro vs bacteria shouldn't be an issue. They should only be needed for wiping down following disinfection and cleaning. We use about 50-100 each day in just the restrooms. The blue ones are great for glass cleaning and red ones strictly for general restroom use (wiping sinks/counters, polishing chrome & other bright work, wiping down partitions, etc.) We use various colors to differentiate between areas/use. We then launder them.
  3. locko-fabara

    locko-fabara TMF Portable & VCT Specialist

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    1. the best microfiber towel is the unger 4000
    2. if you have to wash 50 to 100 microfiber towels every day, it won't be that green because you use too much water and detergent, so it is how you see "green clean"
    3. blue microfiber is not just great glass, green or red are the same materials than blue. I still prefer paper.
    4. I won't use microfiber on the restroom because it will give a chance of cross contamination, I prefer paper, one piece of paper (recycle) will do better and safe.
    5. In the only way i would use microfiber in the restroom is for the stainless steel cleaner
  4. David A

    David A Active Member

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    1) We use low water - high efficiency washing machines. The 50 - 100 towels per day are just for the restrooms (and that is at just one of my larger accounts).
    2) There is a blue towel just made for glass. All of my custodians prefer them to paper (and they are normally a hard sale for any change. They love them! There is a profound difference between them and the others we use for general use.
    4) Paper use is not green and very wasteful. It is also not an efficient cleaner or wiping tool.
    5) Stainless steel cleaner will kill micro fiber. It is the only product where we use the terrycloth towel.
  5. David A

    David A Active Member

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    One of the things you could/should be promoting to potential customers is green cleaning. More and more, it is being mandated throughout the contracting world. One should embrace it and use it wherever and whenever possible.
  6. locko-fabara

    locko-fabara TMF Portable & VCT Specialist

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    David, i have been using microfiber towels with the stainless steel cleaner same towels for 2 years, and still fine, and we use a mf towel for a week, before washing (only for stainless steel cleaner), we now we use terry towel, because the terry towel and the MF towel won't make a difference
    Another thing is when you clean a glass (not spot cleaning), the towel gets wet, and then you can not use it in another glass, you have to wait until it dries. right? so many towels IMO.
  7. David A

    David A Active Member

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    You are putting too much product on the glass/mirrors. With the blue towels, it doesn't take much "juice" to clean a mirror. Cleaning an smaller building with four-six average restrooms, one blue towel can last a week or two between cleanings. You should be able to get a week out of the other towels as well. This one job I have where we launder in-house, we have 25 restrooms with 10-15 stalls each. The micro fiber towels have been a God send. Believe me when I tell you that I was a hard sell at first. But I am now a convert.
    I think you will find that once the microfiber towels have been used with SS cleaner, they are not efficient cleaning other items. That is why we don't use them for that purpose.
  8. locko-fabara

    locko-fabara TMF Portable & VCT Specialist

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    David, there are many ways about the scam from green cleaning. there are stuff that work, but other stuffs are BS.
    example the enmotion dispenser, they say it is green, when the paper is only 20% recycle paper, also you have to use battery, i don't tthink the batteries make them "green". but they call themself green because design, that means, the dispenser dispense a little of paper automatic. Now you don't have a lever you have to touch, but they are other dispenser that you just pull the paper, and they are greener.
    Vacuum:
    with the green seal certification, I had one of those, and they leak dust all over.
    other they tell you the Db are lower, and the only thing they did was to replace the motor wth something less powerful, and instead to vacuum for 6 hours, it takes 7, and you keep the light on for longer period of time, and make people work harder.

    If i continue it will be on and on, but I can also tell thing that are green. I have been a custodial manager for 10 years, i was a cleaner for 4 years, I was the type of person, I was going early to work, and stay late even without pay to do tests, and learn new techniques etc.
  9. locko-fabara

    locko-fabara TMF Portable & VCT Specialist

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    Not hard to sell, we have over 200 MF towels, and we used them, even micorfiber mops, from unger, that thet are the best, and BTW I helped them to developed those mops, unger is only 20 miles from where i leave, and 3o miles from where i work.
  10. David A

    David A Active Member

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    Jamie, I agree about green cleaning. It is still in its new and will take a while to shake it out. I agree about the dispensers. We just changed out tons of crank and lever types for pull-downs. I happen to be a big advocate for hand dryers (get rid of hand towels all together). We use the ProTeam back-pack vacuums. I'm not sure about how green they actually are, but they sure do save time and money.
    Re: I have been a custodial manager for 10 years, i was a cleaner for 4 years - you are but a child ;-)
  11. David A

    David A Active Member

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    They are a good company. Old man Unger and my dad were good friends. We were his guinea pigs when he was developing and perfecting the strip washer.
  12. locko-fabara

    locko-fabara TMF Portable & VCT Specialist

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    HAHAHA
    A child......
    they are people with 30 years of experience, but doing things wrong!
    anyway proteam back packs are great, but they are not green and they shouldn't be, the new proteam are with better filtration close to hep, but the are slightly under power.
  13. David A

    David A Active Member

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    Touche'
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  14. Gasoline

    Gasoline EcoTech Carpet Clean: The Green Choice Premium VIP

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    We use both microfiber cloths and flat mops. Colors don't mean anything to me. One for glass, one for sink, one for toilet etc. and I do at least 4 -6 loads of laundry everyday.

    So why are they pushing paper use on a lot of sites describing bathroom cleaning procedures? Seems odd.
  15. David A

    David A Active Member

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    There is a big difference between the general cleaning micro and the glass cleaning. Most of the glass cleaning seem to be blue for whatever reason. We use color for more of an inventory control thing than anything else. I also use the micro fiber dust mops, but in some facilities, flat wet mops have been an issue due to dry times. This one large facility is in operation 24/7. So we have switched to a micro fiber string (type) mop. It seems to be working out very well.
    I don't understand the paper push Robert. I would think they would be going the other way. Perhaps it is about the money. Big paper houses wanting to increase sales? Have a great weekend!
  16. 0331grunt

    0331grunt Active Member

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    I spent some time as Director of EVS for a local hospital that was LEED Gold. We used the blue micro glass towels, they are of a different design than regular micro fiber towels as they arent as aggressive in weave. My associates loved them on glass and chrome, but liked the other ones for other cleaning. We used red for toilets/urinals, yellow for sinks, green for general cleaning and blue for glass and chrome. We were a small, 45 bed facility and used probably 50-75 towels a day/per associate, depending on their assignment for that day. Micro wet mops and dust mops, back pack vacc- Pro Team, uprights- Windsor. I had 15 employess full time and they all seemed to like the way things went. In my 17 years in janitorial/housekeeping experience, micro fiber is the way to go. Just my $0.02 worth to the conversation.
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  17. locko-fabara

    locko-fabara TMF Portable & VCT Specialist

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    shoot, you will have an employee only to wash rags!
  18. 0331grunt

    0331grunt Active Member

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    We had a contract serice to do our laundry at the hospital, but we also had other linen, too. When I worked at other companies, it was part of our shift to do any laundry, at least start it when we returned to the shop. As a supervisor, it was my responsibility to ensure the staff had sufficient time to do so. I don't do too much of the janitorial aspect now, but do post construction cleans and have to do my own laundry. On the issue of the Enmotion dispensers, I have replaced a lot of them to go with hot air dryers. I still buy the towels, tho, as my shop has a lot of the dispensers...
  19. Gasoline

    Gasoline EcoTech Carpet Clean: The Green Choice Premium VIP

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    I get the differences in the different colored microfibered towels; I just can't be bothered with sorting them. Ugh. Time consuming fer sure.

    Those emotion dispensers get beat up in the shops I clean. Those guys are animals anyway. Lol. I don't they are truly green. But that's how they are sold.
  20. dandan

    dandan Active Member

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    Color coding microfiber prevents cross contamination. And even if you've properly disinfected and allowed dwell time the microfiber will remove and hold more of the nasty stuff on toilets. Even if the bacteria or pathogens are dead due to disinfecting, you still wanna remove it from the surface. Microfiber will do this better than paper.

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