Environmental protection has become one of the biggest issues of modern societies. Though very complex, our understanding of environmental and climatic mechanisms is increasing. With it we are realizing that unless we wish to invite catastrophe through inaction, we cannot sustain the way of life adopted in most developed countries during the 20th century.
For most household cleaning chores, microfiber allows our customers to get rid of cleaning chemicals, eliminating their harmful pollution.
As an individual, adopting a greener attitude has become a matter of responsibility towards our future generations and also a matter of respect towards the living world. Green technologies are now available in many fields, such as in car industry or in construction, as a mean to replace the former more polluting ones. Besides seeking cleaner methods of production for those technologies, it is sometimes those manufacturing advances that have a strong environmental impact. For instance, green cars are becoming electrified and designed using recycled components that will make its production less polluting and, in the same time, have a lower fuel consumption that eject fewer pollutants in the atmosphere.
In cleaning applications, microfibers offer both of these advantages and to that extent offers a greener alternative than cotton and other fibers used for the same purpose.
Intensive cotton production from which most of loop mops are made poses stress on the environment. Because microfibers have created a little revolution in the cleaning world, their impact, besides being labor saving and cost saving, is environmental friendly. Microfibers textiles designed for cleaning are precision tools with remarkable efficiency that allow cleaning on a microscopic scale. Thus, according to tests, using microfiber materials to clean a surface leads to reducing the number of bacteria by 99% whereas a conventional cleaning material reduces this number only by 33%. In addition, microfiber cleaning tools have the ability to absorb fat and grease and their electrostatic properties have a high dust attracting power, hence making useless many conventional cleaning products.
But until the arrival of microfibers designed for this purpose, an efficient cleaning could hardly be achieved without the help of various chemical products such as disinfectants and detergents. The use of these household products is still deeply rooted in our culture of cleaning even though they are responsible for heavy water pollution that endangers the ecosystem and threatens our health. Yet for most household cleaning chores, microfiber allows us to get rid of those products, eliminating their polluting ways.
While ordinary loop mops use a large amount of water to dilute cleaning chemicals, microfiber mops efficiently require a small quantity of water, which in some area has become a scarce resource. In fact, too much water decreases the efficacy of microfiber. As for laundering, compared to conventional mops, microfiber mops are easier to launder and do not require specific washing machine or cleaning products. They take much less space in washers and dryers and also reduce the use of water, detergent and energy.
Recycled plastic products are used to produce microfiber, which in turn can be recycled. Critics may argue that because microfibers are synthetic fibers that have a carbon footprint during their production process and take a very long time to degrade if abandoned in the nature. Polyester and nylon, which are widely used to produce those fibers, are originally derived from petroleum or other hydrocarbons. But recycled materials are representing a growing share of new microfiber material production. Production processes have also been improved to reduce rejections and limit their environmental impacts and we are experimenting with polyesters that can decompose through sun light exposure, dampness and bacterial activity. It is also worth noticing that good quality microfiber mops and cloths are very resistant and unlike conventional mops they can sustain several hundreds of washing without losing their efficiency.
To be efficient microfiber mops require a negligible quantity of water. In any case, every fiber, whether vegetable or synthetic, can pose serious challenges to the environment as soon as they are massively produced. Cotton, which is commonly used in loop mops, cannot be considered environmental friendly. Requiring a lot of water and many pesticides to grow, cotton crops have caused pollution and serious damages in many regions (like in the late USSR Aral see area). Transgenic cotton culture which is a way to reduce the use of pesticide, causes other hazards such as its uncontrolled proliferation and the development of new forms of pests.
In many ways, microfibers, provided they are of good quality, are much greener cleaning materials than any other similar products and should be adopted by most people concerned about their environment.
Microfiber consists of very fine threads of polyester and polyamide (nylon) that combine to form a single thread. Microfibers are so thin (100 times thinner than a single strand of human hair) that when they are woven together they create a surface area 40 times more than that of a regular fiber – creating an expanded surface area with dramatically enhanced absorbing power due to the capillary action of the fine threads. Microfiber is traditionally defined as a fiber with a denier of less than one. Denier is a measure of thinness of fiber and is the weight in grams of a continuous fiber of 9,000 meters.
As each microfiber strand may be smaller than the bacteria it is attracting, it is able to penetrate microscopic particles of dirt and grease on a surface. Split microfiber possesses numerous wedges instead of the rounded surfaces on ordinary cloth, sweeping underneath the particles and trapping them inside. In addition, the rounded fibers on most cloths only push the dirt around, whereas the wedge-shaped microfibers grab the particles of dirt and pull the dirt into its dense internal structure. Furthermore, chemicals only become necessary as a disinfectant, as the bonding agent is no longer necessary to keep the dirt on the fiber.
Microfiber has two polymers. Polyester is lyophilic, or has an affinity to oil, so that oil and grease adhere directly to the fibers. Polyamide is hydrophilic, which means it has an affinity to water. As a result, any type of dirt is very quickly and completed removed with microfiber, leaving a sparkling clean, streak-free surface. Microfiber cleans without streaking, smearing, scratching or leaving lint. Microfiber is safe to use on all delicate surfaces. It will clean without scratching or harming the surface in any way.
Ordinary cleaning towels move or push dirt and dust from one place to another - microfiber actually lifts or scoops the dirt and stores the dirt particles in the towel, until it is washed. Microfiber can absorb up to seven times its weight in fluids.Microfiber cloths are also extremely durable. They can be washed up to 1000 times and still maintain their effectiveness. This makes it an extremely cost effective product. Machine wash or hand-wash microfiber with mild soapy water.
Microfiber towels from different sources can vary greatly in quality. It is unfortunate that people sometimes purchase a high performance cleaning product on the basis of price alone – what they sometimes get is a product that does not perform as expected. Typically this can be pinpointed to two reasons:
1. The grade of yarn used in the beginning of the process is B,C, or even D grade.
2. The factory may utilize a flawed process when dying/splitting the yarn.
The grade of yarn used is of paramount importance. A, AA, and AAA grade yarn is used in clothing and a select few cleaning product manufacturers that are willing to utilize it. Lower grade yarn is typically made with recycled plastics and polymers which do not have the same chemical structure as A grade yarn. This can reduce the ratio of split to un-split fibers, reduce the capillary effect and static charge, and ultimately lead to lint, streaking, and a dramatic decrease in the amount of dirt and bacteria that can be absorbed and trapped within the fibers. Due to the limited supply of A (or better) grade microfiber, a vast majority of the microfiber offered on the market is B and C grade. Often, factories will purchase what they believe to be a high grade but receive a lower quality. As the difference is in the structure of the fiber itself, even a trained professional may not be able to tell the difference without running tests. When their cloths do not perform as well as StarFiber Microfiber, they do not understand why. As one of the pioneers in a rapidly emerging industry, AquaStar recognized this as a major problem and began working with factories in Korea to manufacture our own yarn beginning with the melting of AA grade non-recycled plastics. Today all of our fabric is made by us, for us, and we can consistently guarantee the absolute best quality microfiber on the market as we have quality control at every step of the process right down to cutting and sewing.
Adding too much fabric softener to microfiber is another easy way to increase the soft feel of the fabric and appeal to the customer. Fabric softener however is essentially a wax-like coating that surrounds and closes off the gaps in microfiber where the dirt, water, etc would ordinarily be trapped. If too much is added, it all but eliminates the static charge that makes the fabric so proficient at trapping dust and liquid. The softener is added during the dying and splitting phase of production and it is essential that just the right amount and type of softener is used.
As you can see, microfiber production is a highly technical and detailed process. With the recent surge in demand, microfiber is available from many new and emerging factories where quality has been deemphasized in favor of quantity. At AquaStar we refuse to compromise the quality of our goods and are expanding to meet production needs. The opening of our newest facility in Qingdao, China is a testament to our commitment to growth and maintaining our position as one of the world’s largest manufacturers of premium microfiber goods. Where others may come and go, StarFiber has and will remain synonymous with the best quality microfiber available.
CLEAN WITH MICROFIBER
Cleaning can be both simple, environmentally friendly and get finished fast. We sometimes unfortunately use cleaning chemicals the wrong way or even un-necessarily. Here are some suggestions of how you can clean your home in a simple and environmentally friendly way.
CLEANING FLOORS WITH MICROFIBER PRODUCTS
In order to get a clean and shiny floor, you often do not need to use chemicals or a vacuum cleaner. It is enough to dust mop the floor with a dry Starfiber microfiber mop, especially during the summer season. You will save both time and electricity. You can also dust your walls and ceilings with the mop.
For dusting and sweeping, use the Microfiber Dust Pad – do not wet! Glide the mop over surface to pick up dust, dirt, pet hairs, etc. When the microfiber pad becomes filled with dust and particles, just peel the pad from the base, and then shake the pad out to remove loose dirt and particles. Re-attached the pad and continue dusting. The Microfiber Dust Pad does not need to be washed after every use – just wash the pad when it becomes very dirty.
If you need to deep clean your floor, damp the Starfiber Microfiber Mop Pad in warm water and squeeze out the water before you start moping the floor. The mop can be used on all floor surfaces since it leaves a minimum amount of water on the floor. Remember to even mop doorsteps and borders.
If the floor is very dirty or, if you would like to get rid of deep stains, you can use soft soap or AquaStar's Floor Cleaning system, which is a line of non-toxic cleaning products. Wet the stain with the Floor Cleaner and work with the mop until the stain disappears.