It’s 2018. With the speed technology is advancing, you would think that cleaning cloths should be able to do more than just wipe a chemical around a surface - and you would be right.
Nanotechnology could be about to dramatically improve how effective a lot of cleaning processes are. Microfibre cloths with silver nanofibres are one of the more powerful uses of this technology, and the silver content makes them naturally antibacterial and mildew resistant. Even when used with only water, they clean the surface on a microbial level that many chemicals don’t. They require a shorter contact time with the surface to have a greater antibacterial effect.
Not only that, because they last so much longer without bacteria growing on them, they stay hygienic and don’t start to smell mouldy. This means they can be used for much longer, which saves you money, but also results in less plastic waste being released into the environment. Sea turtles all around the world are reading this and breathing a sigh of relief.
Also, the impact of this technology isn't limited to silver. Charcoal fibres in cloths are valuable for odour control, and ceramic nanoparticles make cloths tougher and more durable, helping to reduce waste yet again. The days of a cloth being nothing more than a tool for wiping water and chemicals around a surface are coming to an end.
It won't be a surprise to you that currently these products come at a price premium. However, if the last two decades has taught us anything, it's that innovative new technologies don't take long to go mainstream and then the price comes tumbling down. We can't say for sure, but I think it won't be long until they could have a significant cost in use advantage over traditional microfibre, as they last longer before deteriorating.
It's going to take a lot to keep ahead of the competition over the coming years, as the cleaning industry becomes more and more squeezed by clients - it will be the little differences in the way contractors do things, the details that show they really pay attention to everything, that really set them apart from the rest.