Coronavirus Disinfection: Why Microfiber Is the Best Choice for Removing Pathogens

While much of the country remains in full or partial lockdown due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus 2019) pandemic, many areas have begun preparing to gradually reopen various parts of their economies. Of course, businesses deemed essential have been hard at work throughout this unprecedented time. Whether your facility has stayed open or plans on reopening soon, one issue has most likely been on your mind above all else: how to best keep your business safe and well-guarded against the spread of infection.

If you’re unable to hire professional disinfecting services on a routine basis, there is still plenty you can do on your own to remove pathogens from surfaces and keep harmful microbes at bay. In addition to stocking up on EPA-registered disinfectants, consider investing in microfiber cloths. Let’s explore why microfiber is the best choice for removing pathogens in your facility as opposed to other options.

The Antimicrobial Power of Microfiber

It should be noted that cleaning and disinfection refer to two distinct but related processes. Cleaning a surface involves removing contaminants of various types and sizes via physical means. Disinfecting is designed to chemically kill germs on surfaces or objects. But if a surface isn’t clean prior to disinfection, the disinfectant may not perform as well, becoming obstructed by dirt, dust, and other contaminants. In other words, cleaning and disinfecting should go hand in hand for optimal results.

So, what does this have to do with microfiber cloths? While microfiber is not in and of itself a method of disinfection, it can aid significantly in both the cleaning and disinfecting processes. This is because microfiber material is composed of millions of extremely small fibers that attract tiny particles through physical forces. As such, microfiber cloths easily pick up all, or nearly all, contaminants on a given surface, even bacteria and some larger viruses. Again, while wiping a surface with microfiber will not kill bacteria or viruses, it can at least remove them from a surface and keep them “locked” in the cloth so they’re no longer a major threat. Better yet, wiping down a surface with a clean microfiber cloth after disinfecting it with the right product and letting it dwell for the instructed amount of time helps ensure that infections, including COVID-19 do not spread within your facility.

Standard Cleaning Methods vs. Microfiber

To truly appreciate the power of microfiber, it helps to compare it to other methods of cleaning, most notably using soap and water as well as sponges, mops, and standard cloths/towels, etc. Both water and detergents can effectively clean surfaces, but the former can’t dissolve all types of contaminants and the latter often come with health and environmental concerns, contributing to allergies and pollution.

As far as tools like sponges, mops, and standard cloths go, these options don’t always yield the best results either. Sponges quickly wear out, especially when used to clean rough surfaces, and their porous nature can actually turn them into breeding grounds for more resilient microbes. Mops can effectively pick up larger areas of dirt and other contaminants, but often miss smaller-sized particles, while spreading them around. Standard cloths run into a similar problem, as their larger fibers often fail to pick up the smallest (and sometimes most harmful) pathogens and contaminants on a surface.

For these reasons, the best disinfecting cleaning services use microfiber cloths to clean all kinds of surfaces. In many cases, microfiber can effectively clean without the need for soap or water. In fact, soaking a microfiber cloth with soap or water tends to reduce its effectiveness. That said, microfiber is indeed highly effective after a surface has been lightly wetted with soap and/or water or let dry after being sprayed with disinfectant.

Can Microfiber Eliminate Coronavirus?

Right now, the main question on your mind is probably whether microfiber cloths can clear your facility of coronavirus. Once again, these cloths do not disinfect surfaces on their own -- rather, they effectively remove pathogens from the surface. With that in mind, killing COVID-19 in your facility involves a multi-step approach, of which microfiber plays an important part. First, you or your disinfection services should initially clean surfaces with microfiber to remove any dirt, dust, or other contaminants. Then, spray your surfaces with disinfectant solutions that claim to eliminate COVID-19 with a given dwell time. After said dwell time has passed, you can wipe the surface using a microfiber cloth to safely rid the surface of the dead or mostly dead pathogens. After cleaning and disinfecting with microfiber, make sure you properly clean these cloths so they remain effective and safe to use (here’s more on how to properly launder microfiber).

While there is no way to guarantee the elimination of COVID-19 from your facility, using microfiber cloths when cleaning and disinfecting surfaces is your best bet for removing pathogens generally. When seeking disinfection companies to work with, ask them about their use of microfiber. And while you’re at it, invest in your own supply of microfiber cloths.

Here at The Budd Group, we employ every optimal method for cleaning and disinfecting available to keep your facility and people safe and healthy. For more information on all of our services, call us at 800-221-8158.

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