Ian Lofthouse, Business Manager - Tools & Industrial


Ian has spent his entire 32-year career working in the supply of tools and consumables to industrial customers. At Hayley Group, he is responsible for overseeing all activity within the product categories of tools and general maintenance.


Rags are a common sight across many industrial and manufacturing environments. Annually, countless bundles of reclaimed textiles are used by workers up and down the UK to clean up spills, clean hands and faces, and wipe or polish equipment and machinery. These rags have been used for many years and everywhere from local, independent car garages to large scale multinational production facilities, but there are several disadvantages associated with them. WypAll® cloths, from Kimberly-Clark, offer a solution that answers many of the questions posed around rags used for industrial cleaning.

In this article, I wanted to highlight the main issues that rags pose in the workplace, some of which are not often spoken about, and suggest how WypAll® ForceMax cloths represent a best-in-class alternative.


1. Guaranteed consistency

Rags are predominantly sourced from end-of-life clothing not deemed of suitable quality to either be resold, reused, or donated to developing nations. Often provided in large bundles, the textiles contained within can be incredibly mixed in terms of material and quality, provoking uncertainty around both their usability and safety. The mystery involved in every box of rags means that materials of varying characteristics could be being used for janitorial tasks for which they are unsuitable. For instance, consider the differences in how polycotton t shirts, silks, and denim absorb liquid. It also means that potentially hazardous items could make their way into your rags, including needles, presenting a risk to users.

By purchasing WypAll® ForceMax cloths, you are guaranteeing consistency in shape, size, and quality. All cloths are identical and suitable for use across a broad range of wiping applications, meaning that users can be confident of how they will perform in common tasks. There is also no chance of dangerous substances and foreign objects being present in or on the product prior to use, due to the stringent quality checks involved in manufacturing ForceMax.


2. Improved performance

No recycled rag was intentionally designed to mop up oil or de-grease hands or metal surfaces. They may have been created to be worn as a t-shirt, sweater, or a pair of jeans, slept in as bed linen, or used as a bath towel. This gap between original intended use and what is required of an industrial cleaning cloth means that performance and result are often sacrificed.

WypAll® ForceMax cloths have been engineered specifically for heavy-duty wiping. Thanks to this, they are able to absorb 40% more oil than rags and laundered cloths, absorbing it 5x faster in real-world tests.* In terms of water absorption, a switch to WypAll® cloths also makes sense, as they are capable of holding double the volume that rags are. With their improved wiping capabilities, users can complete cleaning tasks quickly and effectively.


3. Better use of storage space

Bundles or boxes full of recycled textiles, take up a lot of space. If your shelf or floor space is being taken up by your cleaning rags, this may represent a safety risk, or simply a lost opportunity to store product or stocks of spare parts, crucial to keeping your business operational and profitable.

WypAll® ForceMax has been designed to help boost process efficiency, right down to how the product is packaged. ForceMax cloths are packed into a cardboard, self-dispensing case that occupies 68% less shelf space than recycled textile rags. This means that, by trading rags for WypAll® ForceMax, scarce storage resource can be reassigned.


4. Quick and easy dispensing

Like any product aiding the many cleaning and janitorial tasks that need taking care of daily, it’s vital that workers have easy access to them, and are assisted in completing these tasks quickly. Travel and picking time involved in repeatedly fetching and selecting rags can soon add up over time. Significant time can be wasted this way, detracting staff from their core tasks during the working day.

Businesses can give their process efficiency and productivity a boost by using WypAll® ForceMax. The self-dispensing case is lightweight and self-contained enough to be portable, meaning that staff have cleaning wipes closer to the point of use. Alternatively, up to 40 ForceMax cloths can be stored and easily dispensed from the WypAll® Quarterfold Dispenser. A flexible solution enabling rapid and convenient one-handed retrieval.


5. Reduced waste

We are all more conscious nowadays about our consumption habits and the issue of waste. This awareness should also stretch to how cleaning cloths are used. A rag’s lifespan is often short, and once it has reached the end of this short life, it is discarded. Special consideration also has to be made when discarding rags, to prevent their spontaneous combustion and fires, that can occur when oily textiles build up en masse.

With their advanced Hydroknit technology ensuring fast and high-volume absorbency as well as strength, WypAll® ForceMax cloths last longer than traditional rags. With fewer materials being used, less waste is created.


* User preference testing conducted by Sepio across 2x UK locations with a panel of 200 industrial workers (May 2017).



Maintenance Essentials Issue 6 stacked-up on a table containing Hayley Group products

This article features in Issue 6 of Maintenance Essentials magazine. Find all back-issues of Maintenance Essentials by using the button below.