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Safety Supplies in New England

WHICH ONE TO USE? NATURAL OR SYNTHETIC BRISTLES

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When do you reach for the natural bristle broom and when do you rely on synthetic?
  There are many different broom materials to address different maintenance needs.

Natural Bristles
There are three main types of natural broom bristles.  If you are looking for a broom that is environmentally friendly and sustainable, look for these natural bristle options:

Broomcorn – Contrary to its name, this material does not come from corn.  These bristles come from a form of sorghum (a plant typically grown for its grain) which is grown specifically for its ability to trap fine dust particles.  Broomcorn has longevity and sweeps quite well because each fiber is covered with hair-like follicles that trap and hold dirt particles. It is naturally water-resistant,  and is very “green” as it grows in dry environments using only rain water.  Use it on any floor surface.

Yucca – Yucca bristles are actually a blend of broomcorn and yucca fibers from the yucca plant.  – Yucca is a member of the agave plant family, and thrives in warm, arid regions, such as Southern California,  Arizona and Mexico. The stiff yucca fibers are used for the broom’s copre, which is then wrapped with a layer of broomcorn. It is excellent for use on very hard surfaces, such as concrete, but will not pick up fine debris.

Rattan – Rattan will remind you of bamboo in its appearance, as it provides sturdy stiffness.  Typically it is placed inside the broom with layers of broomcorn on the outside.  Ideal for use in wet sweeping applications.

Synthetic Bristles
Polypropylene – Bristles made from polypropylene are waterproof and dry very quickly, as well as being resistant to acids, oils, and bacterial growth.  Sometimes the ends are flagged (Feather Tip®) to provide a soft brushing face to pick up fine dust particles. Great for foodservice or applications on either wet or dry surfaces.

PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) – These bristles are incredibly durable, as well as being resistant to oil and moisture.  Good for a number of applications except for use with sweeping compounds.

Poly Corn – The thicker fibers of poly corn are long wearing, don’t absorb water, and are resistant to most chemicals, detergents, insets, and mildew.  The bristles are good for both indoor or outdoor use, and especially good in damp environments.

Flagged vs. UnFlagged Bristles
On flagged bristles (Feather Tip®), each synthetic filament end is split, forming a soft, tapered tip to effectively pick up fine dust and dirt particles.

Unflagged bristles are not split, which prevents the ends from matting together from grease and grime.  Unflagged bristles are best on rough surface floors.

Banner Systems carries all types of brooms for facility maintenance needs. Have a question about the best choice of broom and bristles for your facility? Just give us a call.

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