Microfiber Facts – despite the hype
As is true for many “advancements” throughout history, little is known about them until we experience their impact over time. This is definitely the case with microfiber cloths and similar synthetic scrubs and sponges, especially when used in abrasive or chemical cleaning applications. In fact, recent studies have shown that these materials actually do more harm than good.
Microfiber Cleaning Cloths and Plastic Scrubs are Simply Inferior.
It’s hard to believe that microfiber cloths are still touted as an “eco-friendly” choice, when nothing could be further from the truth. These petroleum based textiles are cheap to make, expensive to buy, and though they may last a little longer under some conditions, they actually result in a whole host of environmental and consumer challenges.
For instance, as aptly named, “micro” fiber is made up of tiny plastic filaments tightly packed together, with some leading manufacturers boasting more than 1 million filaments in a single square inch. While that may sound impressive, the fact is that germy goop and abrasive particles can find their way into the tight weave, but cannot be effectively rinsed or even washed away.
This trapping characteristic leads to what the cloth has become well known for, smelling moldy quickly, and scratching polished surfaces. And, when consumers detect the inherent mildew smell, they tend to either detergent wash the cloth more often or use harsh chemicals during or after each use, which defeats much of the consumer’s original intent. On one hand, if they do not use chemicals to kill bacteria and eliminate odors, consumers intuitively know they are likely re-spreading germs. On the other hand, if they do use chemicals to neutralize the smell, they increase chemical exposure to both the environment and skin.
Recognizing the Significant Environmental Impact…
As our society is becoming increasingly aware of our ‘plastics’ dilemma, with massive floating islands polluting our oceans, untold tonnage accumulating in our landfills, and toxic emissions resulting from incineration…, our scientists have been tracking the alarming buildup of such synthetic particulates throughout our eco-system.
Every time we use a synthetic, especially in a cleaning application, the plastic filaments mechanically break down. However, those micro-particles do not biodegrade. After decades of living in a “plastic” era, we are just beginning to realize that this manmade micro-waste has been infiltrating every aspect of our living. According to UC Davis researchers, the stomach contents of nearly a quarter of the fish sold at a California fish market were carrying some sort of un-natural material, with more than three quarters of that being a buildup of plastic. Sea life, wild life and humans are ingesting this material at increasing rates, with only more time to tell what the net effect has been, or will be… Until then, we are reminded that there is always a better, smarter and more responsible choice. In today’s information age, we can quickly discover thoughtful products which accomplish all of the fundamental goals of promoting healthier living for an improved eco-sustainable future.
In review, microfiber cloths: 1) effectively pick up messes (like many items), 2) trap germs & particles within the tightly packed fibers, 3) foster mold growth and mildew smell quickly due to trapped matter, 4) can lead to unknowingly spreading germs (unless harsh chemicals are introduced), 5) are not biodegradable or incineration friendly (they build up in landfills, oceans, or give off toxic emissions when burned).
One way to address this problem is for consumers to use the most eco-friendly and sustainable items in their everyday routines. A leading item to consider in the cleaning cloth category is the exceptional rinsing and biodegradable wood fiber cloth called DuraFresh. DuraFresh Cloths are made from nature’s most abundant and fastest replenishing resource – trees, and although made from the same bio-fiber as paper towels, the clever multi-layer open-weave construction makes DuraFresh extremely durable while allowing it to rinse 99.9% bacteria free, vastly superior to microfibers, cottons and sponges (essentially as clean as the water used). The award winning DuraFresh becomes incredibly soft, absorbent, and gets more function out of less natural resources. With one cloth replacing the utility of 20 paper towel rolls, consumers save significant money and reduce waste, all while promoting cleaner living. The DuraFresh brand is “all about smarter solutions” and their Team would love to share their growing line of better performing bio-fiber solutions such as their natural okra scrub pad, an effective and responsible alternative to conventional plastic and metal scrub products.
Whatever your reason; reducing plastic use or disposable waste…, please consider upgrading soon to something that cleans better, is healthier for your family and the planet, and saves you money! Please check out DuraFresh!