How to Choose the Right Bulk Rag

So you’re in the hospitality, healthcare, or facilities maintenance business. For everyday cleaning, your team uses color-coded bulk microfiber cloths to effectively keep environments safe and spotless. However, you also have kitchens to degrease, woodwork to polish, equipment to fix, and the occasional big spill to absorb. Even in wholesale quantities, microfiber is too expensive for a wipe-and-toss application. With multitudes of fabrics to choose from, how do you know which bulk rag is right for the task at hand?

Choosing the best rag for the job ensures that the task gets done right the first time, which increases your efficiency. Conversely, if you pick the wrong rag, you risk wasting time and doing more damage (e.g., polluting a surface with lint while preparing to paint).

It sounds obvious, but the first thing you need to understand is what attributes are vital for the task. Your team is staining tables for the coffeeshop. They need a rag to apply the polish. Without understanding what properties make for a great applicator, the end result could be disastrous. In this case, you need to know that the rag will be low linting (so it won’t leave cotton in the finish) and colorfast (so it won’t affect the color of the stain). In contrast, an auto shop depends on a rag that will soak up large quantities of heavy grease and grime (lint and color are not a factor). Now, let us break down some of the options to help you find the ideal rag.

Reclaimed (Recycled Rags) -OR- New Mill Ends (Virgin Rags)?

Reclaimed Rags

Reclaimed Rags are post-consumer materials such as towels, sheets, and clothing. They have been pre-cut by hand to ensure each and every piece is a functional wiper. If you’re looking for the most cost-effective wiper, reclaimed will be the way to go. Also, recycled cotton rags will be very absorbent as they’ve already been broken-in through use and laundering.

  • White Flannel (R-W80) durable, very absorbent, and soft. Works great for both grease & oil and delicate applications as well.
  • White T-Shirt (R-W48) great for all-purpose wiping, polishing, staining, and cleaning. Low-linting.
  • White Sheeting (R1-W39) a nice low cost, multi-purpose wiper. It is low-linting and good for water, oil, and grease. Plus, you get more wipers per pound.
  • White Terry (R-W50) soft and thick, absorbent, and works well for medium to massive clean-ups.
  • Color T-Shirt Material (R-C45) one of the most popular wipers, as it is multi-purpose and economical. It can be used for oil, grease, water, and is low linting.
  • Color Sweatshirt Material (R-C13) soft and bulky, and very absorbent. A good option for heavy clean-up duty.
  • Color Flannel (R-C12) durable, very absorbent, and soft. Works great for grease and oil.
  • Color Terry Wiper (R-C54) is soft and thick, absorbent, and works well for medium to heavy clean-ups.

All of Monarch Brands’ bulk reclaimed rag offerings are scanned piece by piece through our metal detector to ensure the removal of foreign objects such as metal clasps.

New Mill Ends

New Mill Ends are generated from pre-consumer textile production and are available in a wide range of constructions and make-ups to hit both function and price point needs. New rags will generally provide a more consistent performance, and, if appearance matters, new rags look better than reclaimed wipers. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular new rag options and the benefits of each.

  • New white washed t-shirt material (N-W48NWB) Rags are washed and treated for absorbency. Low lint option that is good for staining, painting, and automotive tasks.
  • New white premium t-shirt (N2-W43) Bright white color, not quite as absorbent as N-W48NWB but an excellent general wiping option.
  • New white t-shirt material (N-WPK) smooth, bright white cotton jersey material. Low linting, suitable for staining, painting, and automotive tasks. Optically brighter white than N-W48NWB
  • Medium-weight white knitted wiper (N-WPKSM) various textures and GSM’s and is a more economical option than other white knitted wipers. Suitable for general clean-ups.
  • White one-sided terry wiper (N-W51W) – sometimes called French Terry, these rags have been washed and treated for absorbency. Smooth on one side for polishing, terry on the other to be used for picking up dirt. Works well for wiping walls, machinery, and tough clean-up jobs.
  • New Knitted Baby Diaper (N-WBDK) 100% Cotton t-shirt material. Very absorbent, great for disaster relief clean-up.

Terry Wipers and Huck Towels

Terry can be used for a wide variety of applications, from polishing and detail work down to grease and oil clean up.

  • Clean Up Towels (N-W69) Our most popular wiper! 100% Cotton, fully hemmed. Cost-effective for heavy-duty cleaning, polishing, and dusting.
  • Finished Terry Towel (N-W68) Similar to our W-69 towels, but these are slightly lighter weight for smaller clean-ups.
  • Finished Terry Towels (N-W50CB) bath towels that have been cut and hemmed. Work well for wall washing and clean-ups that require a larger size wiper.
  • New White Wash Cloths (N-W11) White washcloth wiper, sizes vary from 11×11 to 13×13.
  • Huck Towels, sometimes called “OR Towels” are 100% Cotton, very low-linting, durable, and highly absorbent. We offer them both New and Recycled and in several colors.
    • N-C67- New Blue Huck Towel
    • N-C67G- New Green Huck Towel
    • N-C67Y- New Yellow Huck Towel
    • N-W67- New White Huck Towel
  • R-C67- Recycled Blue “OR” Towel- generated from hospital laundries. All washed and sterilized.

Colored vs. White Rags

Colored rags are an excellent choice for those tough grease, oil, and substantial clean-up jobs and are available in a wide variety of options such as a sweatshirt, t-shirt, flannel, sheeting, and terry. While the majority of colored rags are generally colorfast, if you’re dealing with a sensitive area, you’ll want to go with a white rag to ensure there is no color bleeding. For cost-conscious customers, colored rags will offer cost savings compared to the same material in white.
Still have questions? Reach out today. We’d be happy to go over your needs and provide samples to help you make the best decision!

Alan Cohen
Account Executive
O: (215) 482-6100 x305
P: (267) 238-1648
F: (215) 482-6191

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