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Why Microfiber is Critical in Cleaning Kitchens

Why Microfiber is Critical in Cleaning Kitchens

When it comes to doing a full, deep dive, whole property cleaning, whether you're a seasoned professional or a dedicated homeowner, one room stands above all others in terms of importance — the kitchen.

This isn't just because it's typically the most labor-intensive, requiring your energy when it's at its highest level, but also due to the significant risk of cross-contamination. Bathrooms may be renowned for germs, but it's the kitchen where these germs can have the most detrimental impact, especially when they end up on uncooked food.

This is where microfiber steps into the spotlight. Its unique capacity to trap and hold onto over 95% of germs with each swipe is crucial to establishing a kitchen environment that is as sanitary as possible. The importance of this cannot be overstated, as no client or family will care how beautifully you cleaned their toilet if your shoddy kitchen work results in them sitting on it for the next 12 hours!

For these reasons and many others, we are going to focus this and our next two articles on kitchens and all the ways microfiber can help keep them beautiful and safe!

Safety First: The Importance of PPE and Color-Coding Microfiber to Preventing Cross-Contamination

The potential for cross-contamination in the kitchen is a risk that cannot be overstated. As healthcare cleaning expert Darrel Hicks explains, “A cleaner has the power to prevent more illness than a doctor can ever cure!”

When discussing germs, people’s minds immediately turn to bathrooms, but if illness were a crime, the bathroom is merely where bullets are loaded, and it’s in the kitchen where the shots are fired. The transfer of germs from the bathroom to uncooked food in the kitchen can result in harmful diseases such as E. coli and salmonella.

Most people presume food-borne illnesses are due to the poor hand hygiene of the cook, forgetting how much cooks and their ingredients touch the surfaces of the kitchen after hand washing. If your client or family washes their hands and then places them on a kitchen counter you accidentally wiped with a bathroom towel or a sponge from your last customer's home, their diligence can be immediately undone. If an errant cherry tomato destined for a salad rolls over the same E. coli-smeared counter, the cook will be held accountable even though the cleaner is to blame.

The keys to combating this risk are color-coded microfiber tools and personal protective equipment (PPE). Having a designated color for each area — such as red for the bathroom and blue for the kitchen — creates a strong visual queue reminding the cleaner not to transfer germs from one space to the next.

Personal protective equipment reduces the germ load on your hands, decreasing the likelihood of transferring germs from one room or property to the next. If you are a professional cleaner, you will need an additional step to ensure you have a separate, freshly laundered set of cleaning supplies for each clean to keep one customer's cold from becoming everyone's problem.

Beyond combating germs, disposable gloves, dishwashing gloves, and sometimes even goggles and dust masks are critical in kitchens due to the nature of the cleaning products used. Oven cleaners, heavy degreasers, descalers, and hard water removers are all some of the most dangerous chemicals in a cleaner's arsenal, especially depending on which company makes them.

While there have thankfully been a number of safer and more environmentally friendly products introduced over the past 20 years, they don’t always work against the toughest situations, so cleaners may still find themselves having to purchase very aggressive formulas.

Even if you dodge these dangerous products, getting in the habit of cleaning with gloves on is important for everyone, as frequent exposure to soaps is drying and irritating to the skin, sometimes causing cracks and sores that increase the cleaner's risk of infection. Simply put, color-coding your microfiber and wearing your PPE keeps both you and the people you are cleaning for healthy.

Since staying healthy is the whole point of cleaning in the first place, if you have been slacking on this step, consider this your wake-up call!

The Power of the Spiral — Optimizing Kitchen Cleaning Through Structured Routine

Approaching cleaning in a structured, systematic way can drastically increase efficiency and thoroughness, especially in the kitchen. The spiral cleaning method creates a cleaning routine that is easy to train, even easier to remember, effective, and harnesses one of the greatest forces of the planet: gravity!  

To follow the Spiral Method, simply start every room at the top left corner of the room and follow your right hand around the room in five distinct revolutions.

        1. The first revolution targets high dusting, removing cobwebs and dust from light fixtures and crown molding.

        2. The second focuses on upper cabinets, removing greasy residues and grime.

        3. The third revolution tackles counters and appliances, where food debris commonly accumulates.

        4. The fourth round addresses lower cabinets, where drips and splashes often land.

        5. The fifth and final rotation cleans baseboards and floors, catching any fallen debris from the previous revolutions.

Each revolution builds upon the last, ensuring no area is missed and working with gravity to move dirt and crumbs downward naturally. This method increases the speed and efficacy of cleaning, preventing redundant cleaning efforts and ensuring a comprehensive clean.

Most importantly, this method frees cleaners from the slowing speed of stress! When you clean in a disorganized manner, you have to decide what needs to be cleaned, try to remember what you haven’t cleaned yet, and try to keep dirt from that surface from flinging on something you already finished.

This creates intense amounts of mental load in the cleaner, especially if they have a lot of different clients and different cleaning frequencies, where it is nearly impossible to remember when is the last time you cleaned Ms. Smith’s baseboards.

The spiral frees cleaners to clean at top speed, letting crumble fly with wild abandon to lower yet-to-be-cleaned levels instead of slowly sweeping crumbs off the counter into their hands. They can also unleash the memory space previously dedicated to remembering what needs to be done and use it to focus on how to make the property feel as beautiful and inviting as possible.

In short, following the spiral will make you a faster cleaner that accidentally skips stuff less and is less stressed. Who doesn’t want that?!

The Right Tool for the Job - Selecting Microfiber for Optimum Kitchen Cleaning

Selecting the right microfiber tools can significantly elevate the quality of your cleaning in any space, but in kitchens, doubly so, as microfiber is so critical to both germ containment and shine creation.

Here is the definitive list of exactly which microfiber product will help you get the most out of your kitchen cleaning efforts:

      • Waffle Weave Towel: For counters and cabinets, a waffle weave microfiber towel offers superior scrubbing capabilities. The honeycomb pattern creates wells that scoop up the stickiest, thickest messes, effectively removing food residues and stains that can harbor bacteria.

      • 400 Gsm Detailing Towel: This polishing towel, originally created for the auto care industry, is a modern kitchen must-have. Its plush, high-density weave excels in buffing stainless steel appliances to a brilliant shine, reducing the visibility of fingerprints and grime.

      • Glass Cloth: When it comes to removing lint and soap residue from glass surfaces, the microfiber glass towel truly shines! Its tight weave knit leaves windows, glass tables, and mirrors streak-free using just water, reducing reliance on costly cleaning chemicals.

      • Microfiber Scrubbing Sponge: For dishes and counters, the microfiber scrubbing sponge gently yet effectively removes stuck-on food and grime. Unlike cellulose sponges, microfiber sponges are washer & dryer friendly for hundreds of washes, allowing you to ditch those germ-laden stink sponges of the past for good!

      • Microfiber High Duster: High places in the kitchen, like the top of the cabinets or fridge, which often accumulate the stubborn combination of dust and grease, can be effortlessly deep cleaned using a chenille high duster. Unlike its feather duster forebears, microfiber dusters can be used wet or dry and laundered hundreds of times, so you never have to dust with a dusty tool ever again!

      • The Mucho Mop - 18”: For kitchen floors, the Mucho mop is unique in its ability to absorb sticky messes and scrub deep, clean grout lines versus most traditional mops. The key is its unique 100% microfiber chenille fingers, which allow it to mop and dust uneven surfaces like tile floors, baseboards, and more (also available in 10”).

Hands-On Cleaning — The Importance of Tactile Feedback in the Kitchen

When cleaning, you need a keen eye to assess cleanliness, but in kitchens, your eyes may deceive you, which is where touch comes in to save the day. Many modern kitchens feature natural stone, recycled glass counters, and other patterned surfaces that can hide stuck-on food and debris from the eye.

Since it only takes a pinhead size piece of infected fecal matter or uncooked meat juices to make someone sick, finding a backup method to ensure full dirt removal is not optional.

Cleaning by braille is an effective technique to counter this crud camouflage. By wiping with a microfiber towel in your right hand and simultaneously feeling the cleaned surface with the fingertips of your left hand, you can ensure all grime is removed.

Your fingertips are incredibly sensitive to changes in height and texture, even through disposable gloves (do NOT use this cleaning method as an excuse to remove your gloves, as a Doctor and Phlebotomist feel veins under the skin with them every day). Any stuck-on spot can then be targeted with a microfiber scrubbing sponge and re-wiped dry with a microfiber towel, ensuring cleaning results you can trust!

A Stitch in Time Saves Nine — The Value of Pre-Soaking and Pre-Planning in Kitchens

The greatest determinant of how quickly and effectively you can clean any kitchen actually occurs before you grab any cleaning tool. That underappreciated step is the walk-through.  

It is essential to walk around the room, identifying heavily soiled areas and items that need deeper cleaning before diving headlong into scrubbing. These areas, such as a greasy stove top, hard water stains in sinks, or a splattered microwave, need to be pre-sprayed with the correct cleaner for maximum dirt removal with minimum effort and damage.

Pre-soaking allows the cleaning solution to penetrate the grime, so by maximizing the dwell time, you are letting the cleaning agents do the heavy lifting. By letting the chemicals do their job so you can do yours, a cleaner can remove more soils with less physical scrubbing, minimizing the risk of surface damage from harsh scouring and conserving energy for the remaining cleaning tasks.

Many cleaning chemicals, such as disinfectants and hard water removers, require a minimum time even to start to be effective, so just spraying and wiping right away with them can negate their entire purpose. Even worse, both the cleaner and the people that live there are given a false sense of security that surfaces have been disinfected when they have not, leading to even more chances for food contamination.

Worst of all, excessive scouring of things like stove tops, ovens, and sinks without the proper pre-soak can cause needless extra surface damage to the item, taking years off the lifespan of the product. This is why many scientists argue that ineffective yet “green” cleaners can inadvertently be worse for the environment long term as they send large useful items to the landfill years earlier than they should be due to poor surface care.

This, again, is where microfiber is an advantage, as it allows cleaners to pick up more soils with fewer chemicals, reducing the build-up that requires heavy chemicals and scouring in the first place.

Dealing with Designer Kitchen — How Microfiber Saves the Day for Specialty Surfaces

Historically, kitchens used to be made of highly durable materials selected for the frequent cleaning this space critically requires. Modern aesthetics have driven that practicality from the scene and replaced it with a need to create culinary fantasy lands that feed occupants' need for beauty and cooking convenience over cleaning functionality.

The result has been to turn kitchens from a once straightforward cleaning task to an expert-level obstacle course with costly damage claims hiding behind every turn!

Modern, designer kitchens often feature a variety of delicate surfaces like copper sinks, marble and other acid-sensitive stone counters, and even floors made of high-end stone tiles, flimsy laminates, or fine wood. Each of these surfaces demands a careful approach to cleaning to avoid damage, one that often contradicts the intended use of the space and the adjoining surface beside it.  

It’s not unusual, for example, to see customers select antique bronze faucets in a region with hard water, such that they can no longer use the standard acidic hard water cleaners to fix them.

Microfiber is particularly suited to these situations because it can effectively remove dirt and germs using just water. It also allows for reduced cleaner usage when soap is necessary, minimizing the risk of surface damage from harsh chemicals.

In the cases of surfaces that need restricted water usage, like laminate and wood floors, microfiber flat mops allow you to achieve full dirt removal with as little as 1mm deep of water on the surface through a spray and mop technique called damp mopping, minimizing the risk of water damage to the floor.

 

Continuing Your Kitchen Cleaning Education

As you probably guess, kitchens are far too detailed and varied, a room to be tackled completely in one article. Now that we’ve laid the foundation of critical skills, concepts, and tools you need to master kitchen cleaning, you are ready for a true deep dive into the most challenging elements of the room.  

          • Transform Your Fridge & Oven with Microfiber

          • Microfiber for Pristine Pantries, Cabinets & Drawers

Remember to follow Microfiber Wholesale on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube. These platforms will serve as your reference library, video archives, study group, and community support as we transform you from a novice to a true cleaning master.

Make sure to set a reminder for Tuesdays and Thursdays to check your inbox for our informative courses throughout August.

Finally, don’t be shy about sharing this article with your friend, family, and fellow cleaners, as there is a desperate need for more high-quality cleaning educational content, and we’re proud to support the community at large, not just our amazing Microfiber Wholesale customers. Remember, sharing is caring, but you also are very likely to personally benefit from your benevolence, especially if you ever eat at the recipient's home!

Our curated cleaning kit for homeowners

We’ve curated a cleaning kit of our favorite must-have products to keep a home in top shape. It contains two types of microfiber towels, a microfiber duster, and a heavy duty mop it. Check it out!

Deep Clean Hard Floors, Effortlessly.


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