Swiffer Cloth Sampling Guide
Instructions for Collecting Dust by Swiffer Cloth
The Swiffer cloth provides an alternative way to collect dust for mould-specific quantitative PCR (MSqPCR) and/or ERMI or HERTSMI-2 analysis. Use Swiffer cloths to take dust samples where the standard vacuuming procedure is not recommended, such as office carpet exposed to traffic; or cannot be performed, such as in hard to reach places and on wood, tile and linoleum floors.
This method allows the collection of either (A) recent or (B) comprehensive mould history of the sampled place, from the time the sampled areas were last cleaned to the moment the samples are collected. The appropriate procedure should be followed depending on the type of mould analysis preferred, recent or comprehensive.
NB: Combining basement or crawl space dusts with upstairs living space samples are strongly discouraged.
Note: Sterile Swiffer Cloths are available from MouldLab – they have been Gamma sterilised to remove background contamination, so using standard wipes from the cleaning industry is not recommended.
- Before starting the process, identify the surfaces/areas covered with visible dust. Try to avoid areas where you see visible mould(s) growth, as this will bias the result to show particular mould species elevation instead of a general overview.
The following areas might be worth sampling:
• Surfaces of tables, chairs, bookshelves, cabinets, etc.
• On the top of the door, cubical divider, blackboard, door-frame, window-frame and the top surfaces of fluorescent lights.
• On top of electronic devices such as monitor screens, printers, computers and
• Window sills, skirting boards, tops of doors, upper walls, and other untouched areas above the floor.
• Surfaces of vents or pipes.
- Please wear clean gloves before handling the wiping cloths. Take a Swiffer Cloth* out of its plastic bag and wipe it on the selected area(s) of the dusty surface(s) to be tested. For multiple surface areas, hold the cloth and wipe the first area. The dust should be visible on the cloth. Move to the next selected area and wipe the dusty surface onto the next clean area of the cloth, and so on.
- Wipe in one direction only, approx. 1 metre in length. Ten different locations are recommended. (Make sure you are folding the cloth to a clean section when wiping each location). Please also avoid rubbing/scrubbing the surface or wiping in a circular motion.
- Please collect enough visible dust to cover at least 50% of the cloth as a minimum of 5mg of dust is required for a valid analysis.
- Fold up the cloth and reseal it in its plastic bag. Write your sample name/information on the bag with a marker.
- Make a note of the sampled areas & fill in all the necessary information on the Chain-Of-Custody (COC) form.
- Send the bag(s) back to MouldLab for testing
*Note: The samples you want in one analysis should be on one cloth. If you want (for example) three analyses, then the dust for each analysis should be on three different cloths and returned in different bags. Please note that the price increases as the number of analysis increases.