How to Prevent Cross-Contamination by Using Different Color Towels

Although cleaning isn’t supposed to introduce more dirt or germs, that can be just what occurs via cross-contamination. However, there is a way to prevent cross-contamination and ensure that all of the surfaces in your business remain dirt and germ-free, and that is to use a color-coding system for microfiber cleaning towels.

Why Should You Be Concerned About Cross-Contamination?

microfiber towels

Regardless of the type of business you own, cross-contamination is an important thing to be aware of. Not only can this result in the spread of germs to employees, but it can also put anyone who enters your business at risk.

Almost all infection is transmitted through our environment, whether by air, water, or touching surfaces. When a surface is contaminated with germs, bacteria, and viruses, all it takes to contaminate oneself with them is to touch that surface, and then touch the mouth, eyes, or nose.

The Colored Towel Method

The colored towel method is one of the simplest and most effective means of cross-contamination prevention that can be incorporated into the cleaning program of any business. The basic premise of the colored towel method is that a different colored microfiber towel is used to clean each area where contaminants exist.

We recommend the following colored towel method:

  • Yellow cloths – Best for general use and cleaning
  • Blue cloths – Best for cleaning in healthcare facilities
  • Green cloths – Best for food contact surfaces
  • Black cloths – Best for cleaning in automotive facilities

Although any size of cloth can be used for cleaning in the above areas, 16” x 16” is typically best, as this allows a large area to be covered. It also allows one cloth to be used for more surfaces in a particular area overall.

Why Microfiber Towels?

cubicle workplace with workers

Microfiber towels are used because it’s been found that this material is more effective at trapping contaminants, which means that fewer of them can be used when cleaning. As well, this material absorbs more times its own weight in water and other fluids than other cleaning fabrics. In order to ensure effectiveness, it’s important to ensure a reliable disinfectant spray is used when cleaning.

How This Method Prevents Cross-Contamination

Using the same towel to clean all surfaces greatly increases the risk of spreading contaminants to all areas. Using a different color of microfiber towel for each area ensures that any germs, bacteria, and viruses are contained to that area, therefore limiting their spread.

However, simply telling employees to use certain colors for certain areas isn’t enough. The system and its importance must be clearly communicated so that employees understand why it’s being implemented.

As well, it’s vital to communicate the importance of storing clean and dirty towels properly and away from other products and surfaces dirty cloths may contaminate. Finally, ensure all cleaning equipment is sanitized and supply closets are kept clean.

Apply the Color Method to Mops and Dusters

In addition to cleaning and wiping down surfaces, cross-contamination can also be eliminated by using colored mops. A blue tubular microfiber wet mop offers super absorbency and is quick-drying and durability for any healthcare application, and a blue wet pad allows for complete coverage when finishing surfaces. Where additional general cleaning is needed, a gold and black scrubber pad with polyester bristles can remove ground-in dirt.

It’s also important to remove dust as part of your cross-contamination elimination efforts. A green dust pad ensures that kitchen or lunchroom floors are kept clean. Orange duster pads are ideal for general surfaces, and high-reach handles and frames ensure that unseen areas like the tops of doors and clocks are dust-free.

To prevent cross-contamination, you should always use top-quality cleaning supplies at your business or healthcare facility. Prudential Overall Supply has been supplying businesses with quality products since 1932. Call 800-767-5536 to order today.