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Professional cleaning is booming. Take an advantage of it

Good news for the cleaning industry: Health and safety is a trend and coming into focus at workplaces all over the world. Being already the preferred option in industrial wiping over traditional textiles, disposable wipes used at workplaces get an additional boost in demand from this trend. The forecasted global growth in this segments is as much as 7% per year, which well illustrates the market potential. As the global market leader in nonwovens for wipes, Suominen has already harnessed the trend and some 11% of our business today is in the workplace segment.

“The upward trend in demand for industrial wipes – or workplace wipes, as we call them – is no surprise for us at Suominen. We have seen the signs for some time and we know what the needs in the market are,” Eileen Calder, Product Manager, says.

But what are the factors behind this trend? There are various, but we would like to highlight three, which are based on consumer behavior, business efficiency and regulation:

  1. Young people spend over 54% of their food budget eating out every month, which is one of the reasons why the amount of casual restaurant chains is on the increase. Those restaurants use workplace wipes that are specifically engineered for the job because they save time and money and are easy to use. This chain reaction benefits wipes manufacturers’ in food service applications.

Sick employees cost the US economy USD 225.8 billion every year.


  1. Sick employees cost the US economy USD 225.8 billion every year. A big chunk of this loss is caused by unclean work environment and business owners have become aware of that, which has put more emphasis on improving employee safety. Generally speaking, they are the lowest paid employees who play the biggest part in this because they clean and thus prevent the bacteria from spreading. Easy-to-use, pre-dozed sanitizing wipes help those employees to keep workplace safe. 
  1. In the United States, after the completion of EPA Wiper Rule, wipes used at workplace are now on an equal footing with laundered cloths. The Rule relieved disposable wipes used in industrial setting from stringent waste regulations and enabled easier disposal, which has already increased the demand for workplace wipes.

Suominen prioritizes workplace segment, adds production capacity

Investing in nonwovens for workplace wipes has been a strategic choice for Suominen. Today, our portfolio is used in a wide variety of workplace applications, including sanitizing tables in fast food restaurants, disinfecting in hospitals and being used in factory workshops where aircraft parts are made. To name just a few.

“Before last spring, we didn’t make too much noise about our offering for workplace wipes. We have been, however, in the market all the time and working backstage: Suominen’s R&D department has had the needs of the workplace wipes market as its priority, new Suominen@work product line was launched in May 2016, and we have recruited new personnel and formed a global team dedicated to serve our customers in the workplace segment,” Calder lists.

“We are not only looking to supply, but also collaborate with wipes manufacturers to create something that the market has never seen.”


The biggest news from Suominen has been, of course, the investment in a new wetlaid production line in Bethune, SC, USA, representing next-generation technology. The investment, worth of approximately EUR 50 million, adds both capacity and capabilities to supplying nonwovens for workplace wipes. Customer deliveries from the new production line are planned to commence in early 2017.

“We see our new wetlaid line in Bethune as a total game-changer in the market. That said, we are not only looking to supply, but also collaborate with wipes manufacturers to create something that the market has never seen,” Calder says.

Suominen at ISSA/INTERCLEAN North America 2016

Suominen will be at ISSA/INTERCLEAN North America, an international cleaning industry exhibition, from 25 to 28 October 2016 to showcase its nonwovens for workplace wipes and discuss the ways Suominen can accelerate its customers’ business.