What are industrial wipers?

Welcome to the GP PRO Wiper Blog!

If you purchase rags, or use rags, or influence the purchase or use of rags, this is the blog for you. In this inaugural post, we define the various types of rags in the marketplace.

What is a wiper?

Anything that, well, wipes!

Although they’re more commonly called “rags,” the term “wiper” refers to anything from rental towels, shop towels, cleaning cloths, disposable wipers, wet wipes, and rags used to clean people, parts, products, machinery – you name it.

Where are wipers used?

Wipers are used at home and away-from-home. While this blog focuses on the away-from-home cleaning done by businesses, the types of wipers discussed here can be used anywhere – even in your garage at home.

The commercial applications for wipers are limitless. Take food service for an example: think about all the cleaning that takes place in a restaurant to clean up spills, buss tables, and prevent cross-contamination. In this setting, wipers are used to clean tables, dishes, surfaces, and hands, and are commonly referred to as Chef Towels, Bar Towels, or Bussing Towels.

Healthcare workers use wipers for everything from cleaning patient rooms to helping patients bathe. These wipers can help prevent the spread of disease.

The manufacturing industry is the biggest user of commercial wipers. In manufacturing plants, everyday jobs can get messy, and these messes often involve grease, solvents, chemicals – you name it.

If you work in one of these industries, chances are you are already buying and using some type of wiper. The only question is what kind – rental towels, rags, or disposables?

Rental Towels

Rental towels, often called ‘shop towels’ or ‘rental shop towels,’ are the most common form of wiper. These non-disposable towels are delivered and picked-up by a laundering service in regular intervals.


A rag is exactly what you envision – cut-up bed sheets, discarded clothing, material scraps. If a piece of fabric is now used to clean but had a prior life as something else, it’s a rag.

Disposable Wipers

As the name implies, disposable wipers are meant to be tossed after use. Disposable wipers are made of natural and synthetic materials and come in varying sizes, shapes, and dispensing options to accommodate each user’s unique cleaning needs.

In coming articles, we’ll detail the pros and cons of each type of wiper as well as key considerations in selecting the most appropriate wiper for your cleaning tasks.

Click here to receive more information about wipers.

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