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Minimal products, maximum clean

20 September 2016

Edward Rabey, director of Uniwipe, discusses the benefits of wet wipes in washroom environments and how professionals can provide a maximum clean with minimal waste

Washrooms are renowned breeding grounds for bacteria and it can be difficult for cleaning professionals to identify the correct selection of products to ensure they are free from harmful germs. 

From traditional bucket and mops, cloths and chemicals to impregnated wipes, the cleaning equipment we choose forms a crucial role in helping to stop the spread of bacteria and infections. 

Types of wipes

Many washrooms are cleaned with chemical sprays that are wiped off with paper. This creates an unpleasant chemical mist, uses large volumes of paper, and increases the risk of ‘dry wiping’, where the surface is wiped but not actually cleaned. An alternative to this approach is the use of an impregnated wet wipe, which eliminates dry wiping and chemical mist by giving you the exact chemical concentration that’s required for each job. In addition, because no mixing or spraying action is required there is also no risk of accidental spillages. 

However, just like all cleaning products, wet wipes aren’t effective unless they are used properly, or are fit for purpose. Although 'wet wipe' is a universal term, not all wipes are the same. Due diligence, is therefore essential. 

Whilst single-use wet wipes help stop the spread of bacteria between different surfaces, there can still be some critical differences between products. Before selecting the right wipe for your needs, always research its exact cleaning properties.  

Check to see if the wipe is simply just a disinfection wipe. Also, find out if the wipe includes low-lint micro-fibre fabrics so it not only kills bacteria but picks up and traps the dirt too. This due diligence should form a key part of your procurement, as well as your wider cleaning and hygiene policy. 

Before you begin to use wet wipes or any cleaning product, you need to ensure that your employees are educated on how to use them to best effect and to ensure they are using the right products for the right environment. Make sure your team is taught how to clean methodically, because if they are precise and systematic, you’ll save on both products and time. By getting into a cleaning routine, they will clean from top to bottom, which will not only make the process more efficient, but will reduce the amount of waste they create.

You should identify ‘hygiene hotspots’ such as sink and taps or door handles. These should be areas in your environment that need to be paid special cleaning attention. 

Environmental benefits

Wipes also provide environmental benefits when compared to traditional alternatives, particularly around saving on water, due to reduced laundry costs.

Reusable cloths have to be rinsed constantly and laundered at the end of the day and the soapy chemical mix has to be processed before it can be released into the waterways. Traditional cloths therefore use additional energy, water and chemicals. What’s more, they become less effective as the day goes on, as the cloth gathers dirt and can even start to re-spread it. 

By way of example, certain wipes provide 10 square metres of clean cloth compressed into a volume of 2.5 litres. Rinsing and laundering the equivalent cloth – even with the most efficient machine – would require around 19 litres of water, while typical washers would require between 22 and 30 litres (Alliance for Water Efficiency). 

As a result, wet wipes can enable cleaning professionals to provide a maximum clean with minimal products and waste.