Wiping down soiled surfaces and cleaning up spills are dirty jobs. Ensuring that workplace areas are clean and free from debris plays a critical role in keeping employees safe and protecting expensive equipment. There are times when reusable heavy duty nonwoven shop towels deliver important advantages over rental shop towels.
Many manufacturers enter into contracts with industrial towel services to rent shop towels. These services specialize in managing towel inventory for factories, inspecting used towels for quality control, and laundering towels properly. Shop towels used in factories aren’t used only to wipe up dirt, grease and spills. They may also be used to wipe up metal shavings left behind from milling parts. To facilitate surface cleanup, liquid chemical surfactants or solvents might be applied to shop towels to remove grease, dissolve adhesives or clean up ink among other critical processes. Shop towels are also used by workers to wipe their hands and faces clean.
Factories and shops count on their laundered shop towels to be returned clean and free from contaminants. However, studies have shown that rental shop towels can contain lead and other heavy metals even after laundering. Employees could be at risk for overexposure to the potentially toxic contaminants left in those shop towels in the long term.1 Metal shavings sometimes get caught in the cloth that can cause damage to equipment or injure someone’s skin. Even if your facility does not produce metal shavings or use solvents, cross contamination in the laundry could occur.
Nonwoven, engineered, disposable shop towels are a reliable and consistent answer to help avoid the risk of contaminants left after laundering. Heavy duty nonwovens have all the characteristics of cloth shop towels and more. Like cloth shop towels, they are soft, absorbent, solvent resistant and strong when used wet or dry. It is possible that a typical cloth “one-size-fits-all” shop towel might not the right tool for the wiping task. The benefit of engineered shop towels for critical work processes is that they can be customized with a variety of performance features to optimize results and improve productivity. These include features such as virtually lint-free, absorption capacity, tear resistance, fiber makeup, finish and weight. Every new towel taken from the package is consistently the same as the last, and is clean and free from contaminants that could negatively affect people or equipment.
Nonwovens are also very convenient and usually offer cost savings. Compact packaging is an advantage because it takes up less storage space than laundry bags full of dirty shop towels. Common packaging options for nonwovens include sturdy built-in handles for portability or the option to load the package or towels into a workstation dispensing unit that keeps them readily accessible.
Shop towel rental contracts have hidden costs that tend to add up including minimum monthly quantities, special surcharges and lost towel fees. Replacing rental shop towels with nonwovens can save up to 50% of the cost per towel. Premium heavy-duty nonwovens are manufactured extra thick and bulky to increase absorption and extend their useful life so that fewer wipers are used per task and waste is kept to a minimum. Where the work process allows they can even be laundered! And over-use is controlled through the one-at-a-time dispensing features including in unique package designs.When it comes to protecting people, processes and equipment through the simple but critical process of wiping, engineered nonwoven shop towels are designed with the pristine cleanliness, specific performance features, and lower cost per use to outperform rental towels.