Wipes and Cloths
Wipes are used to make surfaces hygienic and clean. Their aim is to remove small particles, germs and or contaminates. They often partner up with chemicals for optimal results and are truly an essential part of cleaning. Used both during and between shifts, they are useful for removing accidental spills on the go, as well as in deep cleaning. Wipes come in many forms, and there is a number of factors to consider when choosing which wipe is the most appropriate for your needs.
Particularly important in the food processing industry are the colour options minimal lint. Using a blue option contrasts the cloth to the food, which is especially important in cloths and wipes as they are typically smaller and easy to misplace. Lint refers to the little bits of fluff, or when smaller particles of the wipe are left behind. Lint is considered a contamination risk, so choosing low lint options is especially important for critical production areas. Typically, the higher the quality of the cloth or wipe, the less likely it is to leave lint, and it will have a higher resistant to snagging or tearing.
Aperture sizing - Apertures are the little holes or indents in wipes designed to pick up small particles on surfaces. Large aperture size is best for dry ingredients, or when there are lots of small particles. Therefore, for wet ingredients, large aperture sizing is not so necessary. Smaller apertures, or a flatter cloth, are often paired with chemicals, as they provide better coverage.
Then there is the question of disposable verses reusable. Typically, disposable wipes are favoured in the food industry, as contamination is always a critical concern. Single use is considerably more hygienic, as any potential germs or allergens are removed immediately, and not spread. Aside from this, it is much more efficient to replace cloths then try to clean to a satisfactory level. In general, wipes have low environmental impact, as a percentage of them are made from cotton, or other natural fibres.
Another consideration is how wipes are stored or organized. The most common type is on a roll. It is easy to access, quick and visible. Other options such as centrefeed and interleaved are available although these are more common in paper towel. Centrefeed wipes are where the wipes are pulled from the middle up or down, meaning the cloth has not been previously exposed to airborne contaminants. Interleaved or folded, reduces chance of perforation lint. Which option is best could depend on waste levels, dispenser requirements and/or contamination considerations.
Finally, thickness and size can influence your choice of wipe. The type of material you are cleaning, the size of the area, if chemicals are used, and the type of residue you are attempting to clean up all need to be considered. While these tie into the points above, testing is inevitable going to determine which is the most appropriate. Cleaning is a very important consideration, and matching your needs to the correct solution makes cleaning much more efficient and effective.