materials. These factors affect the green or
more sustainable attributes of the pad.
Binders: Resin binders are the glue that
holds the pad together. The quality of the
binders does not vary that much—but once
again, something to consider is the fact
that some binders are made from non-renewable materials, while others are more
Abrasives: A pad with an aggressive grain
would be needed to scrub or strip a floor
while a non-abrasive pad would be used to
polish the floor. The quality of the abrasives
can vary, and this is important to know. A
higher quality, more abrasive floor pad will
last longer which will help speed up worker
productivity and reduce waste.
SELECTING A FLOOR PAD
We know that most pads are composed
of the same three key components and
that even though they may look the same
and cost about the same, the quality of
floor pads can vary. So how do we select
the most useful pad to meet our needs
and, if it is an issue, our desire to be as
environmentally responsible as possible?
Here are some questions to ask, things to
look for, or—if shopping online—items
Does the pad have an open web or open
A pad with an open web or weave design
allows more soil from the floor to lodge in
between the fibers of the pad. This means
the pad can collect more soils but still work
effectively. If the pad becomes coated in
soil quickly, it must be reversed (which
slows the operator down) or disposed of.
This is more important when scrubbing or
stripping a floor.
Is the pad resilient?
Some administrators and cleaning
professionals may use the term “
flexible” rather than “resilient”. Here is why
this is important. While they look flat,
all floors have slightly higher and lower
areas. If the pad is not resilient or flexible, the pad will wear unevenly, shortening its lifespan. A quick way to test for
resilience is to pinch the edge of the pad.
If it bounces right back, it passes the
test. If it comes back slowly, this pad may
not last all that long.
Why is denier important?
Denier is a term that refers to the thickness of the fibers in the pad. The higher
the denier, the hardier the pad will be,
especially when used for aggressive floor
cleaning. A “ 5” denier pad is pretty thin
while a “50” denier pad is much thicker
GREEN AND SUSTAINABLE
We have touched on environmental
issues in many areas but now let’s dig
a bit deeper. Aware of the movement
toward greener and more sustainable
cleaning products, manufacturers
have been working to make floor pads
more environmentally friendly as well.
Usually what they do is make the pads
out of recycled materials. This is effec-
tive and certainly cuts down on waste.
However, new technologies are going a
There are pads on the market now
that are made of “bio-based” fibers.
As defined by the U.S. Secretary of
Agriculture in the Farm Security and
Rural Investment Act of 2002, a bio-based product is one that is composed,
in whole or in significant part, of biological products or renewable domestic
agricultural materials such as plant,
animal, tree, and marine materials.
Usually, these are grown products such
as soybeans, corn, flax, jute and others.
Pads composed of bio-based fibers are a
step ahead because the typical recycled
pad usually contains both recycled content and non-renewable materials such
as petroleum byproducts.
Hopefully, you see there is a bit more
to floor pads than you may have realized.
Armed with the facts and an understanding
of priorities, selecting the right floor pads for
the job does not need to be a challenge.
Dennis Knapp is Director of Product
Development at Impact Products
LLC. Impact Products markets several
microfiber products including microfiber
bonnet pads used for carpet cleaning.
Consider environmental impact, facility needs and costs when selecting floor pads for your laboratory. Image: Impact Products