Not All Microfiber is Created Equal



Standards of cleanliness in health care continue to attract attention. Effective cleaning requires the input of energy, and microfiber cloths may help in the physical removal of soil. The ability of these cloths to remove organic soil (measured by ATP) and bacteria was compared with paper towel and a conventional cloth in controlled wet and dry conditions.


When used wet on a dry surface, the cleaning ability of six different microfiber cloths was variable, and in most cases, not significantly better than paper towel or a conventional cloth. One type of microfiber cloth did perform significantly better than the others and paper towel in reducing both organic soil and microbial load. When used dry on a dry surface, there was no significant difference between the cloths, and none of the cloths reduced microbial and organic bioburden effectively. The ability of the cloths to recontaminate the surface was also tested, and some of the microfiber cloths transferred significantly less organic debris and micro-organisms back to the surface than other cloths. Different makes of microfiber cloths have different characteristics, and the name ‘microfiber’ should not imply superior cleaning efficacy.

Copyright 2006 The Hospital Infection Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Corresponding author address: School of Applied Sciences,
University of Wales Institute, Cardiff, Llandaff Campus, Western
Avenue, Cardiff CF5 2YB, UK. Tel./fax: +44 2920 416306.
E-mail address: [email protected]


Present address: School of Health Sciences, Jordonstown
Campus, Shore Road, Newtonabbey, Co. Antrim BT37 0QB, UK.


“A laboratory evaluation of the decontamination properties of microfiber cloths”
Journal of Hospital Infection, Volume 64, Issue 4, Pages 379-385
G. Moore, C. Griffith