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[BKARTS] disposable clean room wipes



Our server has been down for several days, so I have not been able to post a follow-up on the list until now.

In all of the discussion about disposable wipes (e.g. Swiffer wetjet refill sheets, Swiffer dry dusting cloths, Pledge grab-it) versus washable microfiber cloths, I forgot to mention clean room wipes.  I know several conservators who are using Tekwipes for a number of applications.  There are also other brands of clean-room wipes. Most are cotton-poly blends.  Tekwipes are low-lint, solvent-free, etc. and pass some ISO standard whose number I don't have handy at the moment. They are packaged in multiples are a far cheaper than the washable wipes.  

Obviously, I would still advocate a nice, soft hake brush with a HEPA vac for most dust/soot/mold removal purposes, but during disaster cleanup you may have to resort to some sort of wipes and washing them may be impractical.  Any sort of woven or non-woven wipe can snag on the textured surfaces of paper, leather, cloth, etc. and cause harm. 

I tend to reserve the washable dustbunny for cleaning glass/plexi/mylar (ie stuff that usually isn't very dirty to begin with).  Washable wipes are environmentally friendly, but they require that one have access to a washing machine. 

I got a response from P&G regarding the wet-jet sheets and they are not coated,  unlike the "dry" dusting sheets.  I had trusted the furniture conservator overseeing the fire clean-up where we used those unmoistened wet-jet sheets to establish that they were safe.  In retrospect, I would have recommended Tekwipes, but I think the convenience of an off-the-shelf product was a consideration at the time.

Valinda Carroll
Preservation Manager
Harvey Library 
Hampton University

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