Why Use Microfiber Cleaning Cloths?

Why Use Microfiber Cleaning Cloths?

Walking into a store to buy cleaning supplies can be a daunting task. With all the rows of almost similar products brightly colored and the different brands promising you the best and fastest results it can get confusing. But, sometimes the simpler the cleaning product, the better.

Enter the microfiber cleaning cloth.

What is microfiber?

Microfiber is made from fibers of polyester and nylon that are cut down multiple times; thinner than a piece of human hair. Microfiber is not naturally occurring and is synthetic. Microfiber promotes an electrostatic charge which magnetizes dust and grime easier than a natural occurring material.

Cross sections: microfiber thread above, cotton thread below
Microfiber vs Cotton – Cross sections: microfiber thread above, cotton thread below. Microfiber leaves no residue, contrary to cotton.

One of the reasons that microfiber is able to pick up dust and grime easier then, let’s say a cotton material, is because of the fiber it is made of. The fine, intricate, and wedge shaped fiber of a microfiber cloth has the same shape of a star when looking under a microscope.; compared to a cotton product which has a circular, more smooth construct. The wedge shaped fiber allows for dust to be trapped easier then with the cotton material.

Benefits of Microfiber Wipes

Microfiber cleaning cloths can be used for cleaning almost any surface quickly and effectively like windows, floors, and used for dusting. These cloths are the definition of environmentally friendly. You no longer need to use any harmful cleaning products and can get the job done only using water. This reduces the risk of chemical spills or harm to employees in the workplace. Even though you are ditching the harmful chemicals you are still getting streak-free cleaning.

One of the most common properties of microfiber fabric is its ability to wick moisture. This means that it is both extremely absorbent and dries quickly. Since microfiber is more sturdy then their cotton counterpart, the material dries quicker, which allows less time for bacteria to emerge.

How to Clean with Microfiber

How To Clean With Microfiber

 

When thinking of ways to clean with a microfiber cleaning cloth the possibilities are endless. With so many different cleaning surfaces, multicolor cloths become extremely helpful. Buying cloths of different colors and labeling them for different items makes cleaning easy. With all the different uses here are some examples of items to use your microfiber cloths on:

  1. Automotive Prep/Care: With the ability to absorb more water faster than cotton, the microfiber cloth will be able to dry cars faster with less wastage. Microfiber cloths also result is a spot free shine with no residue left on the car with less risk of scratches.
  2. Industrial/Commercial Dusting: Because of the small wedge-like fibers in the cloth, it creates an almost magnetic attraction to dust. This is great for places that need a clean wipe down fast like hospitals.
  3. Shine Chrome: Chrome fixtures and products tend to lose their shine over time. Whether you are using this to shine office appliances or doing a wipe down to products before you ship them out to your customers. The microfiber cloth will enhance the chrome shine, leaving a dazzling finish.

Prevent Cross-Contamination:

All industries can benefit from using colors to clean, including medical centers, hotels, restaurants, schools, daycares and nursing homes. Microfiber cleaning cloths are available in different colors so that a color-coding system can be implemented for specific uses. For instance, in bathrooms, red cloths can be used for toilets and yellow cloths for sinks. Blue cloths can be used for office cleaning.

Although there is not a color-coding standard, there are some common applications:

Red: Used in areas with a higher risk of cross-contamination and spread of infection — most commonly for cleaning restroom areas including toilets and urinals
Yellow: Used for cleaning objects and surfaces in rooms and lower risk areas of restrooms including sinks
Green: Used in areas where food is handled and prepared
Blue: Used in lower risk areas such as common areas and for general purpose cleaning of surfaces such as glass and mirrors.

To protect your hands consider using disposable nitrile gloves when cleaning with microfiber, and to ensure an oil and smudge-free finish.

How to Take Care of your Microfiber Cloths

Having these cloths also don’t have a great deal of upkeep and can last a long time if they are kept up properly. The cleaning process can be broken down into light cleaning and heavy cleaning.

  • Light Cleaning: If you are just using these cloths for light cleaning they can easily be washed by hand without any soap or products and be left to air dry.
  • Heavy Cleaning: In the event that these cloths are being used for heavy cleaning the best option is to use a washer and dryer. It is still best to not use a laundry detergent and to wash and dry on a low temperature to make sure these cloths last longer.

To find a selection of microfiber wipes you can visit our store.

Eyewash Station Infection Risks

Eyewash Station Infection Risks

Health Effects from Contaminated Water in Eyewash Stations

Eyewash Station Risks for Infection

Eyewash stations are used in workplace environments where potential irritants could lead to eye injuries. By law, research laboratories, production facilities, and medical environments are required to have eyewash stations in place. While designed to keep workers safe, they could pose serious health risks if maintained improperly.

Contaminated Eyewash Stations

Pseudomonas
Pseudomonas. Photo Credit: CDC

According to OSHA, eyewash stations that aren’t being regularly maintained could contain potentially dangerous organisms. This puts employees at risk for developing eye and full body infections.

Pseudomonas, for instance, is a deadly bacteria species known for causing serious health complications. An infection that begins in the eye could spread through an individual’s bloodstream to the other tissue, including the skin and lungs. This is just one type of harmful substance which could be lurking in your eyewash station.

Can You Prevent Eyewash Contamination?

First, it’s important to identify the type of eyewash system your company uses. Plumbed eyewash stations feature plumbing components like spouts. They should be activated each week to ensure proper working order. And to clear away any buildup that could accumulate over time.

There are also eyewash solutions that don’t require any plumbing. Called self-contained eyewash stations, these systems can provide a stream of eyewash to the user for 15 minutes, as mandated by OSHA. They can also be installed quickly and easily in a convenient location. There are also durable self-contained stations. These are ideal in a wide variety of settings, including remote plant areas and construction sites.

Pureflow 1000 Replacement Cartridges
Pureflow 1000 Replacement Cartridges

To ensure compliance, self-contained eyewash stations should be serviced according to manufacturer instructions. One of the most important factors to remember is that the saline solution they contain does have an expiration date.

Some have 24-month shelf lives. Others can be stored safely for up to 36 months. The expiration date will vary from one type of solution to the next.

A final way to provide employees with eye solution is to simply have a small emergency eyewash wall station in place. Many low-risk environments  don’t fall under OSHA’s requirement of a steady stream of 1.5 liters per minute available for 15 minutes.  These facilities will use a wall station with 16 oz or 32 oz bottles  of eyewash.   Others may just have eyewash included with their first aid supplies. These too must be changed regularly to provide employees with access to fresh, contaminant-free eyewash.

Tips for Safe Eyewash Practices

Eyewash should generally be stored at a temperature between 60 and 100 degrees. Different solutions may have more specific storage requirements. To effectively clean or service the station, be sure to follow the manufacturers’ instructions.

It’s important to use only solutions appropriate for eye flushing in your stations. Avoid risk of serious injury by using the proper solution.

Eyesaline Eyewash
Eyesaline Eyewash

If you have a need for eyewash stations or refill cartridges/bottles, Harmony Business Supplies can help. Take a look at our selection of eyewash equipment on our website. Or contact a product specialist for assistance.

Pail Wipers vs Bagged: What’s the Difference?

Pail Wipers vs Bagged: What’s the Difference?

Pail Wipes & Bagged Wipers

The cleanroom wipes we know today are an evolution of baby wipes. Indeed, pre-wetted wipes used for baby care needs existed long before the cleanroom industry designed their own pre-saturated wipes. While the general concept behind the two products is the same, the difference lies in wipes’ composition and solution. To be used safely in critical environments, cleanroom wipes are made from materials like polypropylene and polyester, resulting in low particle generation and non-abrasive qualities.

Cleanroom wipes are saturated with isopropyl alcohol (IPA) to help technicians clean work areas quickly.

There are two main options for purchasing presaturated cleanroom wipes: small packs, and pails (which contain a much higher quantity of wipes). Aside from the number of wipes each option contains, there are some other key differences among the two packages. Let’s take a closer look to determine which option will best suit your needs.

PACKS OF PRE-SATURATED WIPERS

Packs of Pre-Saturated Wipers

Bags of wipers are available, holding about 50 wipes. To retrieve a wipe, the user  opens the seal, which covers the hole into the package. The stacked layout of the wipes and resealable seal work together to minimize evaporation.

Cleanroom wipes are also available in flex packs, which also have stacked wipes. However, instead of opening a sticker seal, the user opens the interlocking bag (resembling a sandwich bag) to retrieve a wipe. If an entire pack of wipes is to be used over the course of a few days, the wipes will likely retain sufficient moisture.

PAILS OF WIPERS

Pails of Wipers

In addition to bags, pre-saturated wipers are also available in pails. The pails hold more wipes: some hold 150 cleanroom wipes while other pails house as many as 600. The advantage of this packaging lies in the fact that the lid creates a tight seal, which helps to prevent against evaporation.

Advantages of Pre-Saturated Cleanroom Wipes

Using a pre-saturated wiper improves cleaning performance & consistency. Anyone who has used a squirt bottle to dispense alcohol for cleaning knows how tricky it is to dispense just the right amount.  Overly wet wipes will simply saturate the surface and spread contamination further. Using wipes that are too dry may hinder your ability to attract contaminants in the area. A key feature of presaturation is precise saturation of the solvent. This provides optimal particle and contaminant removal and solvent usage as well as increases consistency of critical component cleaning.

Clean Up Right w/ Presaturated Pail Wipes & Bagged Wipers

If you’re working in a cleanroom environment where wipers are only used to clean up spills every now and then, small packs of wipers may suffice. Yet, for everyday cleaning needs, most technicians prefer to have a large supply of fully-saturated wipers on hand. For this reason, along with the cost savings, cleanroom wiper pails are the leading choice in many companies.

Harmony Business Supplies has a large selection of cleanroom wipes available to meet each company’s unique needs. Shop online through our inventory or contact a product specialist for assistance.

 

A Complete Guide to Safety Glasses

A Complete Guide to Safety Glasses

Safety Glasses Eye Protection Guide

The eyes are among the most vulnerable parts of the body, so selecting the right form of protection to keep them safe in certain work conditions is of critical importance. Here, we’ll provide an overview of everything you need to know when seeking out this essential form of protection.

Know Your Hazards

Before you can select the right type of eyewear for your needs, you should start by identifying the hazards in your workplace. Your environment could include any of the following risks, as well as combination of them:

 

  • Chemical: Any line of work exposing individuals to harmful liquids or substances or acids pose chemical risks. These risks include splashes, droplets, spraying, and even causing irritation through mist.

    3M Safety Splash Goggles 334, Clear Lens
    3M Safety Splash Goggles
  • Impact: Occupations like masonry work and carpentry are notorious for their impact risks to the eyes. Sanding, chipping, grinding, and machining are likewise dangerous. Flying particles and fragments can cause serious damage to eyes.

    Crews Checklite Safety Glasses, Clear Lens
    Crews Checklite Impact Safety Glasses
  • Heat: Welding is one common line of work which exposes operators to heat-related damage. Hot sparks and splashes from high-temperature materials can cause devastating burns, not just to the eye itself but also the surrounding skin.

 

  • Dust: If your line of work involves woodworking or buffing of any sort, it’s important to keep your eyes protected against fine dust. Even seemingly harmless particles can cause eye irritation. At worst, they might even cause microscopic scrapes on the eye.

 

  • Optical Radiation: Any job where UV or IR light or laser arcs are produced warrants the need for eye protection. These types of activities could include torch brazing and welding.

Exposure one of these hazards can cause serious damage to the eyes, and could even cause complete or partial loss of vision.

Understand ANSI Devices

ANSI, the American National Standards Institute, sets forth standards for eye and face protection by evaluating hazards and recommending specific types of eye protection to be worn for each. ANSI guidelines identify the following types of eye and face protection:

  • Face Shield: Face shields are designed to either fully or partially protect the wearer’s face. Oftentimes, they consist of a helmet or similar type of headgear and a detachable mask or shield.
  • Full-Face Piece Respirator: Designed to also support the wearer’s ability to avoid inhaling toxins, the full-face piece respirator covers the surface of the entire face, including the nose, mouth, and eyes.
  • Safety Goggles: A general term for safety glasses, this form of protection surrounds the wearer’s eyes to shield them against some or all of the hazards described above. Note the difference between safety glasses, which feature arms that sit on the ears, and goggles, which feature a strap to create a tighter seal against the wearer’s face for a higher level of protection.
  • Welding Face Shield, Goggle, or Helmet: Some types of eye and face wear are designed specifically to protect against the weld spatter and optical radiation produced by welding.

After determining which type of device is best suited for your application based on ANSI guidelines, you can move on and assess which lens will offer the right form of protection.

 

Learn About Lenses

 

When it comes to finding the best type of eyewear for your work conditions, one of the most important factors to consider is lens type. Let’s take a look at some options.

Coatings

Lens coatings can play an important role in enhancing the wearer’s visibility. Some are also designed to prolong the lifespan of the goggles or glasses. Here are some common types of coatings:

  • Scratch-resistant: As its name suggests, an anti-scratch lens/coating on safety glasses can extend the lifespan of the eyewear by protecting the lenses against scratches.

    Jackson Safety V40 HellRaiser Safety Glasses, Smoke Lens, Black Frame
    Jackson Safety V40 HellRaiser Scratch Resistant Safety Glasses
  • Anti-static: In sensitive environments where static could compromise components the wearer works with, anti-static coating helps to reduce dust and can even limit particulate attraction.

 

  • Anti-UV: For workers exposed to UV radiation, anti-UV coated eyewear is a must. These lenses can absorb upwards of 99.9% of radiation, thus protecting the wearer against long-term retinal damage.

    iNOX F-I UV Safety Glasses
    iNOX F-I UV Safety Glasses
  • Anti-fog: If your workplace is located in a humid environment, anti-fog coatings can help you see clearly by deterring moisture buildup on lenses.

    3M Virtual Protective Eyewear V4, Clear Anti-Fog Lens
    3M Anti-Fog Lens Safety Glasses
  • Hard: Hard coatings can be bonded to most types of lenses to prolong their lifespan.

Tints

Different lens colors are designed to support specific types of tasks. To help you decide which option is right for your needs, simply refer to the color wheel. Lens colors will absorb light of opposite shades. For example, blue will absorb yellow light, since they are on opposite sides of the wheel.

  • Amber: This tint blocks blue light and is best-suited for applications where there’s low light.

    iNOX F-II Wrap-Around Amber Lens Glasses
    iNOX F-II Amber Lens Safety Glasses
  • Brown: Glares produced by outdoor light are blocked effectively with brown lenses.

 

  • Clear: If there’s no danger of optical radiation, clear lenses may be a good fit for the task, as they offer a completely unfiltered view of the wearer’s surroundings.

    Crews Checklite Safety Glasses
    Crews Checklite Clear Safety Glasses
  • Gold, Blue, or Mirrored: Like brown lenses, these tints are ideal for outdoor wear because they block sunlight. Mirrored lenses take it a step further by reflecting light.

    iNOX F-1 Wrap-Around Blue Mirror Lens
    iNOX F-I Blue Mirror Lens Safety Glasses
  • Gray: Gray lenses prevent against eye fatigue in outdoor settings by keeping glare at bay.

 

  • Indoor/Outdoor: This tint is similar to gray, except for the fact that it can also be useful indoors since it protects against glare from artificial light sources.

    Jackson Safety V30 Nemesis Indoor/Outdoor Lens Safety Glasses
    Jackson Safety V30 Nemesis Indoor/Outdoor Lens Safety Glasses
  • Vermilion: Often used for interior inspections, this tint can improve contrast.

Filter Shades

A final consideration for glasses is the shade of the filter. The darkness spectrum ranges from 1.5, which is the lightest, to 14, the darkest. While darker lenses are needed for duties like electric arc welding, lighter shades can be used for activities with less risk of optical radiance, like torch soldering. Of course, it’s always a good idea to err on the side of caution and select the darkest available lens that won’t inhibit job performance.

 

As you can see, the world of safety glasses can be overwhelming. With so many different factors to consider, finding the right pair isn’t always a quick and easy task. If you’re seeking safety glasses for your own protection or for your workplace, look no further than Harmony Business Supplies. We have an extensive collection of eye protection available on our website, and if you need assistance deciding which pair is right for you, one of their product specialists will be glad to help.