21-Nov-2011

Successful wiping

Abstract

Wiping is the most effective method of cleanroom surface cleaning; in all cleanrooms there is a need for repeatable and validated processes. Wipes that are presaturated with a low surface tension fluid, such as alcohol, are highly suitable for capturing and removing particles and dirt, disturbing biofilms and removing residues. Particle Attraction Technology (PAT) enhances the ability of the wipe to attract and retain fine particles of less than 10m. Technique is also important to prevent the trapped contamination being re-deposited on a surface

The ability of a wipe to retain and remove a particle or fibre depends on the structure of the wipe and the size of the contaminant

Presaturated wipes are an efficient cleaning tool for cleanrooms, but if not used correctly the time and effort of sampling, testing and validating wipes can be wasted. Karen Rossington looks at the science behind effective wiping.

Studies have shown that wiping is the most effective method of cleanroom surface cleaning. Presaturated wipes in particular are highly suitable for capturing and removing particles and dirt, disturbing biofilms and removing residues. The removal of particles is especially key, not only to pick up dirt and particles but also to trap them in the wipe and physically remove them from the cleanroom.

The ability of a wipe to retain and remove a particle or fibre depends on the structure of the wipe and the size of the contaminant. Wetting wipes significantly enhances particle entrapment and removal. Some manufacturers have also developed proprietary surface treatments for the dry wipes that enhance particle removal and retention.

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