Here, Chicopee investigates how the latest high performance microfibre disposables can eliminate the threat of cross-contamination.

Thanks to advances in technology, there’s simply no reason for today’s cleaning professionals to spend precious time laundering string mops and woven cloths. High quality disposable wipes are capable of delivering a superior cleaning performance while removing the danger of dirt and germs being spread onto the next surface to be cleaned.

The Microfibre Light from Chicopee, for instance, matches the cleaning prowess of a traditional woven cloth without the risk of cross-contamination. Designed for short-term use, it picks up and traps dirt and bacteria within the fibres of the cloth where they remain until it is discarded.

This not only improves hygiene practices but removes both the danger of cross-contamination as well as the need for time-consuming laundry.

TACKLING INFECTIONS The Microfibre Light is a popular choice throughout the healthcare industry, where there has been much debate over the role that cleaning has to play in reducing the spread of infection. In surface cleaning in particular, the risk of spreading germs is high thanks to the large number of touch points.

Potentially dangerous pathogens – including E.Coli and the MRSA virus – are shed by patients and staff and may remain on surfaces for days unless dealt with. Healthcare workers’ hands as well as high-touch items such as medical equipment are all liable to come into contact with contaminated surfaces during patient care, increasing the risk of bacteria being transmitted to others.

Of the four million cases of hospital acquired infections (HAIs) reported each year throughout Europe, around 20% of these are regarded as preventable, with improved cleaning regimes being central to this.

Switching to microfibre cloths is one option; however, not all such cloths are created equal and some contain as little as 25% microfibre. The Microfibre Light is constructed from 100% splittable microfibre, which at just 0.1375 decitex is 80% finer than standard microfibre and is around one hundred times thinner than a human hair.

Generally speaking, the finer the fibres, the more effective the bacterial removal, and the Chicopee cloth is able to remove 99.99% of microbes without spreading germs onto the next surface to be cleaned.

This method of ‘mechanical cleaning’ requires no chemicals; instead, the fibres attract then pick up and trap dirt and germs from surfaces, keeping them locked up until the cloth is rinsed or discarded. The fibres are positively charged whereas dust and bacteria are negatively charged, and are therefore attracted to the cloth.

The Microfibre Light is discarded after use, removing the danger of cross-contamination.

CLEANING FROM THE FLOOR UPWARDS The same technology applies to floor cleaning. Although it is not regarded as carrying as high a contamination risk as surfaces, a recent study by the American Journal of Infection Control found that bacteria on the floor of patient rooms and corridors was easily transferred to hands and high-touch surfaces when items came into contact with floors.

The research identified that despite items being thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, they were all at risk of contamination from bacteria, including staphylococcus aureus, or the MRSA virus, when they came into contact with the floor.

Again, Chicopee has a disposable solution that improves hygiene practices while matching the cleaning performance of traditional string mops. The microfibre floor mop range is used with the light and ergonomically designed mopping tool and is able to clean over 75m sq without topping up cleaning fluid or changing the mop.

Like the Microfibre Light, the mop picks up and traps dirt and bacteria, then is disposed of after use, removing both the need for laundry and the danger of cross-contamination.

Cleaning may be regarded as one of the most basic infection control activities performed in 21st century healthcare facilities, but it remains of crucial importance, and high quality disposable products are providing managers with a highly effective, cost-efficient alternative to traditional cloths and mops. 52 | DISPOSABLES

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