Have you always wondered how microfibre cleaning cloths work?
Microfibres are able to attach themselves to even the smallest, most microscopic dirt particles—ones that normal cloth fibres (positively giant in comparison) crudely brush past.
If forces were visible, you’d be able to see that there are adhesive forces (the forces of attraction) between microfibres and dirt.
As you may have learned in school chemistry, these forces are called Van der Waals forces after their discoverer, Nobel-prize winning Dutch chemist Johannes Diderik Van der Waals (1837–1923). (Van der Waals forces explain why geckos can stick themselves to ceilings using zillions of tiny hairs on their toes.) Although there is only a microscopic amount of Van der Waals force between one microfibre and any given dirt particle, remember that there are millions of microfibres in a cloth, so the overall sticking effect is magnified dramatically.
That’s why dirt, dust, and other stuff can be “hoovered up” by microfibre cloths. And it’s also why you have to clean microfibre cloths so very thoroughly after you’ve used them.
MICROFIBRE CLEANING CLOTH Chemical Cleaning
If you clean the traditional way, with soap and water, the molecules of the detergent you use stick to and break down the dirt and grime.
When you rinse with a wet cloth, the water molecules glued to its fibres stick to the detergent and wash it away with the dirt still attached. This is old-fashioned cleaning with chemistry.
Compared to a microfibre cloth, a normal cloth has relatively few fibres so it cleans in a hit-and-miss way. Dirt gets missed and detergent and water often get left behind on the surface you’re cleaning.
If you use a microfibre cloth, there’s no detergent involved whatsoever, so how is the dirt removed?
Instead of detergent, we rely on millions more fibres that can sweep dirt away. The fibres are made of plastic and many of them attach themselves to each dirt speck with Van der Waals forces.
Working as a team, many fibres apply powerful enough forces to dislodge the dirt (loosened with a small amount of water) and carry it away, leaving the surface naturally dirt-free.
This is new-fangled cleaning with physics using nothing but the adhesive power of forces—cleaning mechanically and without chemicals.
The dirt stays locked inside the cloth’s fibres until you wash it in hot water, which makes the fibres uncurl slightly and release their dirty content.
THE BARROCCU & CO. MICROFIBRE CLEANING CLOTH
WE WORK CLOSELY WITH A SPECIALIST MIRCOFIBRE FACTORY AND THE FIRST PROCESS INVOLVES WEAVING A BASE FABRIC WITH POLYESTER/NYLON (COMPOSITE) YARN.
THE CLOTH IS THEN CHEMICALLY TREATED TO OPEN AND SPLIT THE FIBRES, MAKING THEM FINER. THIS RESULTS IN EXTRA FIBRE CONCENTRATION WITH AIR POCKETS TO LIFT AND HOLD DIRT AND GREASE AWAY FROM THE SURFACE.
EACH MICROFIBRE IS 0.1 DECITEX (1 DECITEX IS EQUAL TO 9/10TH DENIER) LEAVING IT EXCEPTIONALLY SOFT AND FLEXIBLE. THE SPECIAL SHRINKING PROCESS THAT IS THEN USED CREATES A FINISH WHICH MAKES THE FABRIC STRUCTURE UP TO 40 PERCENT DENSER THAN THE ORIGINAL SIZE. THE LARGE SURFACE AREA THIS PRODUCES RESULTS IN OUTSTANDING PARTICLE REMOVAL.
THIS UNPARALLELED CLOTH FROM BARROCCU & CO IS PERFECT FOR SENSITIVE APPLICATIONS SUCH AS CLEAN ROOMS, LENS MANUFACTURING AND CLEANING, SCOPE/LASER CLEANING, DIAMOND CLEANING, GLASS CLEANING AND MANY OTHER COMPLEX SURFACES.
THE HYDROPHILIC PROPERTIES OF NYLON, THE CAPILLARY TUBE EFFECT, AND THE HIGHLY DENSE FABRIC STRUCTURE ALSO RESULTS IN THE CLOTH HAVING IMPRESSIVELY HIGH ABSORBENCY.