A Closer Look: Wiper Cost

Whether you’re using shop towels, bulk rags made from old clothing, or disposable wipers, it’s important to have a good understanding of what these cleaning tools are actually costing you. With that information, you can effectively decide which type of towel and related services are right for your facility. When it comes to understanding the cost of your cloth or disposable wipers, a good place to start is calculating cost per wiper.

For Rental Towels

For rental towels, start by adding up all the charges for a certain period of time, including laundering, charges for lost or damaged towels, energy surcharges, and so on, then divide that by the number of towels delivered in that period.

For Bulk Rags

For bulk, clothing rags, which are often delivered by weight instead of number, it’s a little trickier. Count out 10 rags and weigh them, dividing by 10 to determine the average weight of a rag in ounces. Divide 16 by the average weight in ounces to get the average number of wipers per pound. You can use this number to calculate the cost per wiper just like you would a rental towel.

For Disposable Wipers

Calculating the cost of a disposable towel is very straightforward: divide the cost of a case by the number of wipers in the case.


Knowing your true cost per wiper – not just the laundry changes – can reveal a lot about where your money is going and help you make the best decision about what cleaning tools to use.

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