We use the term “wiper” as a sort of catchall, but the reality is that wipers are as diverse as the jobs they can do. Let’s take a look at some of the different shapes, sizes, and styles of wipers and the jobs they do.
In World War II, Airmen used barbershop neck strips to clean the sights on combat aircraft, allowing them to aim more precisely. Made from thin paper, the neck strips could fit into tight spaces, unlike cloth, and cleaned the sights without leaving lint or streaks.
Wipers have come a long way since the 1930s, but paper wipers are still the best bet for getting the low-lint, streak-free clean glass needs.
Metal Prep for Painting
Prepping metal for painting requires a low-lint, contaminant-free wiper that holds up well in degreasers and solvents. Many cloth rags do well in the solvent department, but they tend to be loaded up with contaminants that made it through the laundering process. Heavier duty disposable wipers are much cleaner and work well with continued solvent use.
“Critical task” wipers have been used in laboratories for decades. These single-ply or multi-ply paper wipers are ideal for cleaning slides, ceramics, optics, and many other surfaces found in a lab.
In clean rooms, the even the slightest amount of lint can pose a problem. Disposable wipers used in these environments are usually made of poly or nylon fibers that provide the lowest levels of lint possible.
Absorbency rate and capacity are big factors for machine shops because of the frequent use of cutting oil. There are many heavy duty wipers on the market that can handle this kind of job, including new sustainable wipers made from flax fibers.
Modern assembly lines are flexible and involve a lot of different types of wiping jobs. The strength and weight of wipers will vary across the line, so, regardless of the wiper, a main consideration is getting a portable dispensing system that can move with workers.
Dusting can be made easy by applying a bit of mineral oil to a non-woven wiper – the oil attracts the dust rather than just pushing it around. Some newer types of wipers even feature “fingers” that pick up the dust.
Disposables are becoming increasingly popular in automotive repair and body shops because of the contaminants and metal fragments embedded in rental shop towels – no one wants “fish-eyes” or scratches messing up an expensive paint job. Dispensers that control usage in the shop are also a popular choice.