| In Practice | Cleaning Textiles
A further problem is their often integrated sensors. At the
of the wash program, these machines pump water
into the machine until the usually dry household laundry can no
longer absorb any more. This acts as a load control, so to speak.
textiles, however, are usually wet and can hardly absorb
water as it is. The machine would thus determine
that it had a seemingly small load and would not pump enough
water into the drum for the first washing bath.
In addition, the detergent used for the cleaning textiles should
always conform to the type of textile, the type of dirt, and the
application the mops are used for. The instructions of the textile
or soap manufacturer must always be followed. A general-purpose
detergent may not be adequate for correctly cleaning all mops and
may even be detrimental.
When using detergent, under- or over-dosing should always be
avoided because it can also negatively affect the cleaning results.
Too much detergent may lead to residues in the cleaning textile.
The textile might lose its capacity to pick up water and dirt;
with surface disinfectants, this could cause undesirable
reactions when cleaning – the previously mentioned soap failure.
A much too high dose can potentially lead to pH values over eleven
that damage the material.
Doses that are too low lead to bad cleaning results. Dirt residues
remain in the mop cover, which can lead to lime scale. This also
reduces absorption capacity. Lime deposits may also harden the
textile, which in turn damages the fibers in the backing material,
both in the loops or pile, or even the seams.
The correct washing process can be described as follows:
33Check the washing machine before washing. Do not use a
household washing machine.
33Remove coarse dirt from the mop cover before washing.
33Separate cotton and microfiber textiles.
33Do not overfill the washing machine.
33Use the correct dose of the right laundry detergent. If
use only suitable disinfection procedures.
33Select the correct washing program; if available, a mop washing
program with pre-wash or pre-rinsing. Don’t use temperatures
higher than specified by the detergent manufacturer.
33Do not prematurely interrupt the wash program.
33After washing the textiles, immediately reuse them again or
dry them completely before storage. They should also be dried
according to type; the drying temperature should not
be hotter than necessary.
When preparing cleaning textiles used in hygienically sensitive
areas, hygiene aspects are especially important. N
Dr. Patrick Casper | firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Patrick Casper
is a Project Manager at the Cleaning Technology Institute e.V., Krefeld,
and writes for the FRT.
www.wfk.de | email@example.com | Phone +49 (0)2151 8210-110
greater water absorbency. Due to their large surface
and effective capillary force, dirt and moisture can be easily
or picked up from the dirty surface. Microfiber covers
also release water much more uniformly and thus, more advantageously.
Due to their larger surface area, microfiber covers can create
more friction – especially when wet mopping – which requires
more physical effort. Good microfiber covers made with modern
materials, however, now have very good gliding properties.
In healthcare, the use of microfibers for high-performance mop
is the state of the art. But even some newer building
for example fine stoneware tiles, can only be
cleaned with microfiber covers. Only extremely
thin microfibers are capable of penetrating the fine pores of
these microporous surface tiles and removing dirt and moisture.
microfiber covers are also characterized by greater
Although the thicker cotton fibers can also absorb a relatively great
deal of moisture, in the worst case they may only move around
surface dirt and leave residues. They also release less water than
microfibers. The result is greater washing weight during every
wiping motion, greater residual dampness, and thus longer drying
times. In areas where a great deal of water remains on the surface
or must be removed, however, cotton covers are very good. The
wear resistance of cotton when mopping, as well as during its
preparation, greatly depends on the type of cotton used. A lower
staple length always means lower wear-resistance of the yarn.
In many cases, the best mop cover can only be found through
testing due to the great number of available fiber combinations
(cotton + synthetic fiber + viscose) or bristle types (fringes, loops,
combinations of both).
If both types of covers, i.e. microfiber and cotton, are to be used,
they must always be separately washed. Otherwise, the friction
that results from washing can lead to the abrasion of the cotton
This creates cotton lint that remains in the microfibers and
cannot usually be completely removed. The result? A permanent
reduction in the cleaning performance of the microfiber covers.
Properly preparing cleaning textiles
Before preparing cleaning textiles, the washing machine should
first be inspected. Flawless operation of the washing machine
is crucial for washing quality. It should be examined before use
to make sure, for example, that the water intake and draining
are not bent or squeezed. Any dirt or foreign bodies in the
drum, the rubber seal, or the detergent compartment must also
For professional and correct cleaning, household washing
machines should not be used. They do not usually have the
programs necessary for cleaning the sometimes heavily
soiled cleaning textiles. Neither do they have suitable disinfection
with the necessary dwell times. The rinse and spin
that are sometimes needed after the main wash cycle
are also not available in household washing machines.
50 GLOBAL CLEANING | ISSUE 2017