Problem one: How to know if a product is lint-free
Many distributors and end-users are understandably confused about what products are lint free and which ones are not. Some cloths are advertised as being ‘low lint’, without it being clear what is meant by this. Our grading system goes a long way to addressing this issue, so customers always know how much lint they can expect to find on their white rags.
Lint-free cloth is any type of cleaning cloth that does not give off any fluff or fibres when used. For cleaners who wanted to avoid lint, the simplest solution was to steer clear of fabric rags altogether. As alternatives, they could turn to chamois leather, gauze or cheesecloth. The disadvantage of these was the expense: unit for unit they were many times more costly than traditional mixed rags.
Nylon treatment would also reduce lint in cleaning cloths, but this would make the rag unsuitable for use with some detergents. Fortunately, manufacturers can now produce high-quality lint-free cotton polishing cloths, through a production process known as microfibre weaving.
These microfibre rags are woven together in such a way that short strands do not detach when they are used or exposed to heat. They also create a variegated cleaning surface that is more effective at removing stains and dirt with less dependence on detergents.
All our 100% cotton rags have a very low lint content, including our roller towels, white linen and white sheet industrial cleaning rags.
Problem Two: How To Ensure Your Wipers Are Metal Free
The second largest problem people experience with cleaning rags is metal. It may surprise some people that your average cleaning rag has any metal content at all, but this is unfortunately the case.
The problem with metal is that any metallic particle can scratch a surface. In hygienic environments, this creates a big issue, as microscopic surface scratches become havens for bacteria that are very difficult to clean. For surfaces that need painting, scratches also make it difficult to achieve an even paint job.
Above: A video of the inline metal detection unit in action at our Manchester, UK textile recycling facility.
The presence of metal also increases the risk of fire through sparks, and in extreme cases metal shards can cause injury by puncturing the skin. The presence of metal is therefore something that manufacturers take pains to avoid.
How metal gets into some industrial cleaning rags:
Cleaning rags are frequently made from recycled fabric, including human clothing. When clothing is processed for recycling, spot checks are carried out to remove zips, buttons and pins – which are the most common forms of metal found in clothes. However, many manufacturers rely on the human eye to detect and remove metal components, thus introducing an element of human error. This is how metal fragments make their way into cleaning rags.
How to ensure metal fragments don’t find their way to the finished products?
The only way to be sure is to put them through a metal detecting machine. In our factory the recycled cleaning rags are placed on a conveyor and sent through a sensitive metal detector. Any wipers with metal in them are then automatically cast to one side. It is a simple but effective way of an extra safe guard that none of our products are contaminated by metal shards.
Our metal detected rags stand out from the crowd, the inline food grade metal detection unit – shown in the video demonstration above – is the only one in Europe used in the recycled textile cleaning rags and polishing cloths industry.