In a side-by-side comparison of strength, there’s no doubt that woven rags would come out ahead of non-woven wipers. But before championing rags as the winner of the strength-competition, we should ask the question: is strength is all it’s cracked up to be?
Cloths used in a “dirty job” application – one that involves cleaning up a lot of grease and grime – tend to get used up very quickly. Because these towels are used, washed, and used again, there tends to be a lot of oils and lubricants left over from previous use, making them less absorbent.
For dirty jobs, disposable wipers can remedy this problem. To clean up a greasy mess, grab a fresh wiper, let it soak up the grime, then discard it. The next time you have to clean, you’ll be using a fresh wiper instead of a rag that’s already loaded down with grime from previous jobs – not to mention harmful metal shavings.
When considering rags, wipers, and what types of wipers, it’s easy to get bogged down thinking about strength, but the truth is wipers only need to be strong enough to get the job done before they’re discarded.
So what is a non-woven wiper? Unlike a rag, which has fibers woven together like cloth, non-woven wipers use either a glue-like binder or a process called “hydro-entangling,” in which high-pressure water jets tangle fibers together, to create a strong, absorbent cloth.