What is the Best Lint Free Shop Towel & Prep Wipe?
There are three stand out options for “Lint Free” Shop Towels, Wipes and Cloths. We will tackle each below separately because each option is a very effective “essentially lint free” wipe in specific applications. Just to be clear, we are talking about the type of “lint free” towel that will be used in applications like a paint prep booth, DIY hobbyist critical work, car detailing, manufacturing & painting of machined metal or composite parts, solid surface manufacturing and that is just to name a few. You get the idea. We are not talking about microscopic lint elimination for a class 10 or higher cleanroom.
So, for the applications we mentioned above and those in similar categories, you can purchase one or all three of the wiping cloths below depending on your shop and application.
- Spunlaced Nonwoven Fabric Wipes & Shop Towels
- Woven Tack Cloth
- Woven Microfiber Cloths
Spunlaced Nonwoven Fabric
Spunlaced Nonwoven Fabric for Wipes & Shop Towels is the most lint free nonwoven option and the most cost-effective disposable option. The highest quality spunlace nonwoven fabric is made in the USA. This wipe is not readily available in stores but can be found on-line if you know where to look. See a link below for more information on where to buy spunlace on-line. No binder (glue) is present in USA made spunlace. There are other brands of spunlace made in Asia. These may or may not have binders. Spunlace woodpulp/polyester blends are popular for lint free shop towel applications. Prices vary on-line from $.10 - $25 per wiper depending on size and packaging. Spunlace fabric is very strong wet or dry and feels more like a cloth than a paper product. Spunlace fabric works well with a solvent for cleaning too.
Blue Spunlace shop towels being used in the Printing Industry
Woven Tack Cloth
Woven Tack Cloth is a great lint free option for paint prep. Tack cloth is made by taking a woven cotton mesh fabric and impregnating it with a tacky resin. As you move tack cloth across a surface, it easily picks up dust and particles. No solvent is needed. Prices on tack cloth vary from $.70 - $1.50 per cloth. Used tack cloth is disposed of so the dust is not redistributed on parts.
Tack cloth being used to wipe down a car part in a paint booth
Woven Microfiber Cloths
Woven Microfiber Cloths are very popular for car detailing. These cloths are made of mostly polyester but may have some nylon as well. The great thing about microfiber is that it is very soft and it does pick up dust and particles very efficiently. The cloth is strong and can be washed, dried and reused which is nice if you are not worried about cross contamination. Cross contamination can occur if particles remain in the microfiber cloth after washing. Because the cloth picks up particles and debris easily and doesn’t let them go, this can be a problem for some applications as there may be debris left in the cloth after washing. This could be worrisome for the next cleaning job. If you use a microfiber cloth and then dispose of it, you eliminate cross contamination. As a single use cloth, cost is about $.50 - $1.25 per cloth.
Microfiber cloths often come in various bright colors
What NOT to use for low lint applications!!
Under no circumstances should cloth cotton rags, paper towels or DRC (double re-creped) Shop Towels (Such as Scott Shop Rags at Home Depot, Lowe’s or Amazon) be used for low lint applications. These products are all very linty and can cause significant issues for low lint applications. They may be less expensive but may cost you more in the end.
Learn more about spunlaced nonwoven lint free fabric and Tack Cloth at Telestoproducts.com. We specialize in high performance wiping cloths and shop towels at a comfortable price. We don’t do anything but wiping cloths, and we are happy to recommend specific products for your applications. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Microfiber cloths can be found on Amazon or at your local Home Depot or Lowe’s at a reasonable price.