Which is the Best Cleaning Rag to Use?

A man wiping his hand with a red cloth

Like death and taxes, spills are inevitable! However, will any old wipe, cloth or rag do? Which is the Best Cleaning Rag to Use?

Because these cloths originate from recycled clothing, they do not contribute to landfill waste. And safe to use, provided they undergo metal detection to remove harmful metal objects. For example, needles, pins, zippers and buttons. However, not all rag suppliers use metal detectors due to the high cost of high-micron detectors.


But for a more sophisticated wiping solution, many people use wipes. In fact, wipes have certain advantages over rags. For example, they offer a more consistent shape, size and absorbency. Also, they have hygienic features not offered by rags, which can be unwashed. And the absorbency can be engineered as high or as low as required. Since manufactured wipes vary so to the requirements of the intended task. For instance, you could add antibacterial agents to the manufacturing process to extend the life of the wipes. Indeed, you can even decide the ideal lint level of a selective wipe.

But in the end, one needs to balance cost, quality and functionality to find the best wiping solution. However, this will vary depending on the task. For general purposes, any old wipe, cloth, or rag will probably do less delicate jobs. For example, a lower-cost workshop rag works OK with high-volume, low-risk tasks. As does jumbo rolls of shop towels. Whereas, with more delicate tasks, especially lint-sensitive ones, an engineered wipe wins hands down.

Undeniably, in food service, hospitality and healthcare, hygiene plays a much bigger part. Wipes tend to win the decision here regarding the most proper cleaning solution. Rags do not meet the requirements in such sterile-focused environments. Furthermore, wipes make a better choice for surface preparation and cleaning. Especially those treated with antibacterial agents. Also, as they come in a colour-coded format, they help prevent any unnecessary spread of germs. For example, allocating a different colour to different areas or tasks.

And, in aged care and healthcare, single-use disposable wipes win the day. Why? Because they ensure that any germs picked up are disposed of when that wipe is thrown away.

So, the answer to “Which is the Best Cleaning Rag to Use?” depends on the usage.