Swiffer Cloth Sampling Guide

Environmental Collection Protocol (Swiffer Technique)

This procedure is for isolation and identification of microbial contamination on surfaces. This technique can be used to monitor cleanliness of surfaces in homes, workplaces  as well as other areas of interest.


  • Sterile Swiffer dry cloths (available from MouldLab)

  • Ziploc bags (lunch-size) 

  • Disposable latex gloves (several pair)

  • Fine markers

  • CoC forms

Sample Collection:

  • Identify areas to sample and determine how many cloths are needed. Also, determine what areas can be sampled without changing gloves

  • Put on gloves.

  • For each area, using a Swiffer cloth, swipe 10 horizontal surfaces, rotating to a fress area of the cloth for each area in question.

  • Wipe once in one direction, only

  • Avoid using a scrubbing action

  • Wearing the latex gloves and avoiding cloth touching anything you do not wish to sample, ensures that a valid sample is taken

  • Place the Swiffer cloth inside the Ziplock bag

  • Remove air from the Ziploc bag and seal.

  • Label the Ziploc bag with sample information.

  • Change gloves upon sampling a new area.

Sample Handling/Shipping:

Submit sample to an environmental lab with an accompanying Chain of Custody  form.