In recent years, a series of natural disasters like extreme weather events have created a shortage in the production of cotton. Cotton crops around the world have suffered greatly from adverse weather patterns and have subsequently decreased in numbers. The shortage of available cotton has also affected the professional cleaning industry, in the sense that manufacturers and cleaning services providers are looking for an alternative of cotton cleaning equipment. Traditionally, cotton has been the cheapest natural material suitable for use by professional cleaners.
A good replacement of cotton should provide the same or at least similar cost efficiency. The most common alternative to cotton is manufactured by blending different so called post-industrial materials. Usually, these are recycled rayon and poly synthetic nonwoven materials. Such synthetic replacements of cotton allow for seventy percent greater liquid absorption and retention properties. Increased absorption properties allow for increased cleaning efficiency while working with less material. Achieving the same efficiency with fewer materials is good news for cleaning services providers as this will also reduce the overall service and material expenses incurred by professional cleaners. Most of the synthetic mops available right now are classified as disposable or single-use, this is made possible by their relatively lower manufacturing costs.
The mops are usually general purpose, meaning they can be used for different cleaning chores, on a range of premises from homes to hospitals. Use of disposable mops in hospitals and other healthcare facilities is actually recommended as this will cancel out the risk of contracting and spreading pathogens or infectious diseases and bacteria. Many of the cotton alternative mops are also low-lint which makes them ideal for use in cleanrooms where immaculate hygiene is crucial. Another big advantage of synthetic mops is that they don’t require a break in period like cotton ones. The synthetic mop releases its full potential at first use thus allowing for higher quality, consistent cleaning results.
Cotton used for making mops usually has a small amount of natural oils in it, so the mop needs to be soaked in water for a period of time in order to become properly usable – a notable downside of natural cotton mops. Professional cleaners using synthetic mops frequently used them for cleaning grease stains and oil spills – the synthetic materials used in the mop seem to resist clogging caused by grease much more than natural cotton. This increases work productivity and reduces material costs.