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How can quat binding & cleaning techniques impact the effectiveness of your purchase of wholesale microfiber from Monarch Brands.

The rapid spread of COVID-19 has brought home the impact of a world that’s getting smaller every day. In light of the current situation, I thought it would be timely to discuss using the proper tools and basic techniques when disinfecting surface areas and removing microorganisms.

There are three significant categories of wipers. Monarch Brands Sells both natural cotton rags and synthetic microfiber products. We believe that when it comes to the appropriate tool, there is not a better product than microfiber.

Microfiber cloths and mops are made of synthetic fibers one–one hundredth the width of a human hair. Microfiber contains microscopic channels that collect and hold six times their weight in dirty water, which is held and removed from surfaces. They are more expensive than cotton or paper products and have a longer lifecycle (500 launderings).

Cotton wiping cloths (rags) and string mops push dirt and bacteria around while removing very little when compared to microfiber products. Their natural fibers hold liquid but harbor bacteria, so they are usually good for a wipe and toss. Cotton rags are inexpensive but bulky. Rags excel in low-risk, high-loss environments as well as various finishing/staining applications.

Paper-based disposable products, by their very nature, do not cross-contaminate surfaces. Typical Paper products typically do not hold up to modest cleaning applications and lack the absorption and scrubbing power of microfiber cloths. There are robust non-woven products designed for hospital use (i.e., one cloth, one room, one application). These products are expensive and damaging to the environment. 

Your cleaning technique plays a pivotal role in the sterility of the final result. Quat binding occurs when the active ingredient (quaternary ammonium chloride) becomes drawn to and incorporated into your cleaning textile. 

The science behind how this happens is ‘elementary’: Quats contain positively charged ions, and cotton and other natural textiles contain a negative charge; positive attracts negative. Microfiber also includes a positive charge. However, the construction of microfiber (explained above) means that more liquid becomes trapped within the cloth. The result is that at least a portion of the quat does not end up on the surface it is supposed to be cleaning. 

One study conducted by CleanLink found that the quat level of a disinfectant remaining on a cotton cloth placed in a solution-filled pail was decreased by 50 percent after soaking for just 10 minutes. That means the solution applied to the surface would contain only half of the parts per million (ppm) listed on the label. In another article on the subject CleanLink experts go on to state: “Microfiber is a better cleaning tool than cotton,” says Hicks. “But not all microfiber is created equal, so you need to do your research. If you continue to use quats, buy microfiber that doesn’t have cotton in it. Microfiber is also more effective at soil removal, and soil will deplete the active ingredient [in disinfectants].”

Like Hicks, Wilcox favors microfiber to prevent quat binding and remove soil and pathogens during the disinfection process. She also highlights its sustainability benefits.


Most table linens are a combination of spun yarn and filament yarn. The combination of which will affect cost, sustainability, softness, and overall quality. There are three primary constructions:

Good: Immersion graphic artwork

Good: Immersion

The material is immersed in the disinfectant for at least 10 minutes before use. This method decreases the quat action in both the disinfectant and the cloth.

Better: Quick Soak graphic artwork

Better: Quick Soak.

The material is dipped in the disinfectant for a few moments and then used. This method can lessen the quat action in both the disinfectant and the cloth.

Best: Direct graphic artwork

Best: Direct

This method reduces quat binding because the disinfectant gets applied directly to the contaminated area. Be careful to ensure all surfaces receive disinfectant and that you mitigate over-spray wastage. 

Use a quat strip to test quat activity, to ascertain whether quat binding is occurring. 

Test the disinfectant itself is at its accurate dilution. Next, add a cloth to the disinfectant, and after five minutes, remove the cloth and retest the solution. The quat should continue to be at the same level if quat binding is not occurring.

Monarch Brands does not sell nor endorse chemicals specific chemical brands. For more information regarding chemical products that meet EPA’s criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19, Click Here.

Infection prevention is optimal when the soil is removed from the surface so the disinfectant can do its job. With the proper disinfectants and the perfect cleaning tool, you have a highly effective strategy for maximum cleaning results.

To recap – For best results use microfiber and the direct method of detergent application.

Author: David Forssell
Title: Account Executive
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (267) 238-1641


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