Tuesday, March 17, 2009

5 Quick Tips to Selecting Cleanroom Wipes

Use of wipes in cleanrooms is so common and natural that often the need to carefully select cleanroom cleaning equipment and supplies may be overlooked. The following are some general guidelines to help you assess and choose the right products matching your needs.

1. Cleanliness: This refers to the extent to which wipes themselves contribute to contamination. Generally, cleanliness is inversely linked to absorbency. So you'd need to consider your priorities before you make the decision.

2. Absorbing power: Wipes differ in their degree of absorbency based on what they're made of. A good way to choose wipes is to consider the type of contamination they would wipe off. The 'like absorbs like' rule seems to work well here, e.g. natural fibers like cellulose perform well with water based contamination, while polyester works well with other petrol derived contaminants such as fuel oils, gasoline, etc.

3. Packing: From cheap and dirty cardboard to double-packaging and static-dissipative, the packing of these products is as varied as they themselves are. Consider your requirements to choose from a plethora of packaging choices. Also assess the process of packaging use, as in order to be worth their salt, wipes should themselves have been processed and assembled in cleanrooms.

4. Usage: Think about where you're going to be using the cleanroom wipers. While wipes for clinical use need to be sterile, those used in schools and the wood works setting generally make use of tackifiers, which cause dust particles to stick on to them. Also, consider whether any material used in making the wipes doesn't react with solvents and chemicals they are used to clean.

5. The Price Tag: Fabric wipes though generally costlier than paper wipes are sturdier and have more absorbing power. But they eventually might turn out to be cheaper, because they can be reused a couple of times. Paper wipes are more suited to electronics and medical applications, where re-contamination is undesirable.

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