Home' Inclean : INCLEAN Nov-Dec 2016 Contents 40 INCLEAN November/December 2016
By Alicia Fenwick*
The thought of cleaning in a public environment without fully
relying on synthetic chemicals is one that is rapidly being embraced.
Awareness of microfibre and its benefits as an alternative or
compliment to chemical cleaning are becoming better understood.
Without the aid of chemicals, microfibre has been proven to
remove 99.9 per cent of microbes, including C. diff from the
environment in which they are used. This stops the chain of
infection and potential contamination. This concept, aptly called
green cleaning, is cleaning with environmental protection and
sustainability in mind.
The benefits of green cleaning don’t revolve entirely around
environmental sustainability. The concept has additional benefits
that impact all involved in the end to end cleaning cycle. The risks
associated with traditional cleaning methods inside a facility can be
minimised as well as limiting the user exposure to cleaning chemicals.
Cleaning products and systems are crucial in effective infection
prevention and control strategies. There is a common assumption
that the use of chemicals produces a cleaner environment but the
continual use of these chemicals, their production and disposal needs
to be considered in their total environmental impact and cost.
Microfibre cleaning systems use less water and don’t rely on
chemicals, but if used, only minimal quantities are required to
achieve optimum cleaning results. Due to this, microfibre cleaning is
often seen as a more environmentally friendly solution.
There is strong evidence that suggests the environment plays a
critical role in transmitting infections and that microbial pathogens
have the ability to survive on surfaces for extensive periods of time
if they are not removed. The use of microfibre, with or without the
aid of chemicals, is the answer for any facility that cannot allow an
outbreak of disease to occur.
However, people need to understand that not all microfibre
products are created equal. Microfibre, as the name implies, is a fibre
that measures less than one denier. For perspective, one strand of
human hair has a ‘weight’ of 20 denier.
Developments in the field of microfibre have enabled the design
of a split blended composite material. The use of different polymers
creates positive attraction, holding pathogens and dirt amongst the
fibre and reducing the risk of transfer. This microfibre has a denier of
0.13 to 0.23, four times finer than the generic un-split monofilament
microfibre filling the market.
The finer fibre used in split blended microfibre is required to remove
microbes and eliminate food sources for live pathogens. It performs
better than disposable impregnated wipes which often leave behind a
film that can serve as a breeding ground for live pathogens. Microfibre
eliminates this issue as it is designed and proven to remove 99.9 per
cent of pathogens it comes into contact with.
The future looks green
As awareness of the environmental impact and concern for those
who use synthetic cleaning chemicals mounts, the need to implement
more sustainable and user friendly systems is proving just as
important as effective infection prevention and control techniques.
If a facility can implement a balanced cleaning cycle utilising the
capabilities of both split blended microfibre and sustainable use of
chemicals, they can help reduce the environmental impact and costs
of their cleaning solution, as well as decrease WHS risks to staff
Implementing a microfibre solution can help any facility achieve
their green cleaning goals, along with optimal infection prevention,
superior cleaning performance and improved productivity, all within
the one system.
*Alicia is the senior manager, brand marketing at Rubbermaid
Microfibre in the age of green cleaning
In this moder n age of technology, the environmental impact of public space
cleaning is subject to increased scrutiny. Facilities are now under pressure
to meet heightened demand for patron and staff safety whilst balancing
sustainability and productivity in their cleaning procedures. Therefore facilities
are now looking for alter native cleaning strategies that increase effectiveness
and productivity, while keeping their costs from sky rocketing.
Microfibre has been
proven to remove 99.9
per cent of microbes
in the environment in
which it is used
By Emma Berthold*
The issue of product substitution can be a
significant problem in the built environment
industries. Architects will specify one particular
product to go into a project, but then somewhere
along the line, a different product gets used
instead – and often the architect or developer
is unaware of the swap. This can be especially
problematic where a product with strong
environmental or health credentials has been
specified for use in a project and if the product doesn’t make it into the
final project, the goals of the architect and developer are compromised.
There are similar stories from the cleaning services and facilities
management industries where cleaning products are concerned.
Despite an industry-wide progression towards using cleaning
products with lower environmental and health impacts and a bigger
focus on sustainability, sometimes the message doesn’t quite reach
all of those involved. Implementing a green cleaning program means
that everyone from the facilities managers, to the cleaning staff, to
the occupants of the building need to be on the same page.
The benefits of a green cleaning program are well documented. Using
green cleaning products helps improve the indoor air quality of a
building, which has been linked to improved productivity, better health,
and reduced absenteeism for the building occupants and cleaning
staff alike. Having healthier, more productive workers translates into
less money spent on sick leave or inefficient working processes. There
are also obvious environmental benefits that contribute towards any
sustainability performance requirements of the building.
In order to reap these benefits, procurement and facilities management
professionals need to select the right products in the right quantity
Are your cleaning services really ‘green’?
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