We know that e-cloth has a bit of a learning curve – and we’re ok with that. Here’s why it’s a good thing:
Cleaning should be easy! But your cleaning product shouldn’t just work, but work well. To know that your e-cloth is living up to it’s claims, you need to understand a few basic chemistry principles. For example: Say you spill oil on your kitchen counter and you wipe it up with a wet paper towel. If you think back to high school chemistry (WARNING big words ahead, just keep reading), you know that oil is hydrophobic which means it will resist water. So, instead of cleaning your counter, you just moved oil around. That same oily mess, cleaned with an e-cloth and just water, will remove all residues from the surface. Even if you used a dry paper towel, the towel quickly gets saturated with the oil and then ends up smearing it around.
e-cloth is made up of microfibers and you use just water to clean, doesn’t that go against what we just said about oil and water?
The reason e-cloths work is because of it’s made up of those millions of fibers we’re always RAVING about. These tiny fibers (up to 1/200th the width of a human hair or 1,000 times finer than cotton) in conjunction with their overall density (3.1 million fibers per square inch) grab onto even the tiniest particles that normal cotton fibers miss. This is the Van der Waals principle at work which allows the fibers to attract dirt, grease and grime. “Although there is only a microscopic amount of van der Waals force between one microfiber and any given dirt particle, remember that there are millions of microfibers in a cloth, so the overall sticking effect is magnified dramatically.” Explain That Stuff
If e-cloth fibers attract dirt so well on their own, why do e-cloths need water?
“Water is pretty good at cleaning most things all by itself. That’s because its molecules have two very different ends. They’re electrically unbalanced, so they stick to all kinds of things (including lumps of dirt) like tiny magnets and break them apart. Water is sometimes called a universal solvent because it can dissolve so many different things.” – Explain That Stuff
Water molecules are electrically unbalanced which causes the attraction to particles of dirt, grease, grime and bacteria. The other thing that these water molecules are attracted to is an e-cloth fiber. These tiny fibers lift and grab onto the water-coated particles and trap them inside, because of this attraction, until rinsing releases them.
This video explains all of this in a little more detail as well as explains the difference between the various e-cloth fabrics.
This is the first in a short series we’ll be doing so be sure to check back over the next few weeks for more!