Why do some companies still use rags when a considerably better-wiping solution is available? It is not always recognised that re-usable wipers can create an opportunity to improve efficiency and quality within the work environment ¬– while at the same time reducing waste and saving money.

Within the UK manufacturing sector, the wiping market is worth around £85 million. Of that, the disposable rag market is the largest category at around £20 million, but it is declining at around 5% a year. The rest of the UK wiping market consists of non-woven cloths, paper wipers, laundered rags and pre-set wipes.

The fact that some customers continue to use rags can be down to habit. They have generally been in the industry for many years, so have always used rags, but are also not aware that there are considerably better alternatives available.

Rags remain popular across all sectors, but more traditionally in industries that are what we would call ‘dirty’ or ‘heavy’ manufacturing. Sectors such as aerospace and other process critical environments have moved away from rags, as protecting their processes at every stage is essential. Rags can contain contaminants from their previous use and introducing those contaminants into a critical manufacturing process can be costly.

There will always be a demand for traditional rags within parts of the manufacturing sector, but as companies become aware of better alternatives that help them improve process efficiency, then the demand for rags will continue to reduce.

Making the right wiping solution choice can impact your business positively

The recent ‘Who Would You Hire?’ campaign from Kimberly-Clark Professional* encourages a transition from rags and laundered cloths to products specifically engineered for particular wiping tasks – and challenges customers to apply the same rigorous standards they use in hiring an employee to ‘hiring’ a wiping solution. Why? Because it’s a decision that can really impact critical operational objectives.

With long-standing cleaning contracts, specifiers and decision makers in manufacturing facilities can often become oblivious to the poor standards of cleanliness of their laundered cloths. In contrast, engineered cloths deliver a clean, consistent and high-quality experience every time.

And specifying engineered cloths can enhance productivity too. While employees are sorting through inconsistent and often unusable piles of rags, they could already be on to the next job if they used more durable, absorbent cloths.

Improving cleaning efficiency while cutting down on waste and costs

Engineered, embossed cloths are designed to specifically help reduce waste, improve productivity, and increase the overall efficiency of operations. They absorb 40% more oil than rags and absorb it five times faster. (Results of Laboratory Tests July 2017) They are not only more efficient when compared with rags, but also deliver significant and measurable environmental sustainability benefits, reducing disposal waste by up to 78% against average rag usage (Comparison based on average WypAll* cloths usage vs average rag usage)

Thick and super-durable, without tearing or falling apart, embossed cloths absorb two times faster, and two times more than rags. (Comparison based on average WypAll* cloths usage vs average rag usage) Designed for superior removal of the toughest, most ingrained, dirt across all types of surfaces, embossed cloths provide bulk and extra scrubbing power for tough cleaning tasks without tearing or falling apart. They are the preferred product for removing oil and grease and tackling tough scrubbing jobs across industrial manufacturing sectors including engineering, aerospace, metal and transport.(Results of Hall Test research conducted by Sapio Research July 2017; Precision Research)

The new WypAll* ForceMax is the toughest cleaning cloth in the WypAll* range, featuring Kimberly-Clark Professional’s trademarked Hydroknit technology that blends recycled cotton fibres, soft, absorbent cellulose and tear-resistant polypropylene. The cellulose component allows these wiping cloths to absorb water quickly and effectively, while the tear-resistant polypropylene fabric soaks up more than its own weight in oil and grease. The result is a perfectly engineered durable solution with a softer, more cloth-like feel, which can be used wet or dry.

WypAll* ForceMax cloths are packed in self-dispensing cases with measured stacks, helping users control cloth consumption and delivery of each smooth, consistent, durable cloth – no more jamming, no more torn cloths, no more user frustration. Dispensing boxes occupy 68% less space than rags (comparison based on average WypAll* cloths usage vs average rag usage), which makes them both a dynamic and compact cleaning solution for users across virtually all industrial sectors.

Selecting the correct wiping solution in industrial environments can positively impact business objectives, enhance productivity, increase operational efficiencies and contribute to an improved environmental sustainability story through the reduction of waste. Taking all those benefits into account, if your current wiping solution was interviewed, would it get the job?

Disclaimer: The information provided through Greenham Pulse is for general guidance only and is not legal advice. Greenham Pulse is not a substitute for Health and Safety consultancy. You should seek independent advice about any legal matter.

®/*Trademarks of Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc. ©2018 KCWW