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Five Reasons to Replace Your Old Rags With Wipes

Submitted by whitney on

Wet wipes are a fantastic alternative to reusable rags in industrial settings. Specified solutions exist for degreasing, disinfecting, static elimination, stain removal, insect repelling, general purpose cleaning and an array of other subcatagorized purposes within those realms.

In a head-to-head face off between rags and industrial wipes, rags don’t hold a candle to the suave wiping power of the contemporary wet wipe. But old habits die hard, and the conventional system that pairs shop towels with separate solvents still reigns supreme in many minds. Here are a few very convincing reasons to rock the boat, dump an antiquated system, and modernize with pretreated wet wipes. 

1. Wipes are more cost effective

Rags carry with them a considerable cumulative price when you consider the cost involved in buying separate cleaning solution for each application. It’s very hard to determine exactly the amount of cleaning solution an employee should use on a particular job, and even then, who knows if the correct amount with even be used! Too much product, and there’s waste, increasing operating costs. Too little, and the job may take longer, or need to be done again sooner, increasing labor costs.


2. Wipes are more efficient than rags

The longer you use a rag, the less absorbent it becomes. Reducing the effectiveness of a rag means either using more product, or taking more time, to complete a cleaning or sterilizing project. Ultimately, your company pays the price in cleaning solution and labor cost, as employees require more product, and time, to get the job done.


3. Wet Wipes Reduce cross-contamination

Reusing rags and shop towels can lead to chemical cross-contamination, and the spread of bacteria. Cleaning your rags in-house may seem clever and efficient, but even the best laid plans can be fouled up by human error or less than adequate machinery. It’s very difficult to get certain substances out of cloth fabric, and just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t still there in the fibers of your rag.

Sending your shop towels out with a service isn’t a guarantee that you’ll end up with completely clean rags either. Many different types companies can send their cloth towels to be laundered with the same service, so you never know whose rags from yesterday will become your rags tomorrow. Certain solvents simply should not mix, and if the wrong chemical residue from another company’s facility mixes with your company’s chemicals, it could spell disaster.

Businesses in the Food and Beverage industry should be especially wary of cloth rag use. Contamination and bacteria can easily spread, practically inviting disaster.


4. Wet wipes are more environmentally friendly than rags

Though it may seem counterintuitive, disposable wet wipes are actually more environmentally friendly than rags. Not only are most wipes today biodegradable, but any company using a wipe coated in an even remotely harmful chemical is required to dispose of it properly, reducing the chance that our environment is impacted in any way by its use.

Rags, on the other hand, whether privately owned and washed in-house, or rented and laundered through a service, take a hefty toll on our environment during their lifecycle. They consume valuable fossils on their maiden voyage from the manufacturer, then continual use and subsequent cleaning requires a myriad of trips back and forth to the laundering facility, impacting the environment again and again.


5. Wet wipes are a safer option for employees

When rags sit around in a bin or bucket, waiting to be cleaned, they aren’t just sitting idly by. Those rags are busy giving off potentially dangerous gases called Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). These VOCs evaporate off the rag fibers and into the air creating a dangerous environment for workers, and putting them at risk for a myriad of possible health complications.

It’s clear that the wet wipe is more economical, safe and effective for our employees and environment. Take steps now to modernize your company’s methodology, replace outmoded rags with contemporary wet wipes, and put your company at the forefront of a work-smart revolution that isn’t going away anytime soon. 

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