Updated May 22, 2022
Microfiber cloths are more than just common rags that wipe dirt and grime off your surfaces. These cloths are powerful cleaning tools that swiftly pick up the tiniest of dust particles with hardly any use of detergent or abrasive chemicals, leaving your counters and shelves spotless after just one wipe. However, knowing the best way to wash microfiber cloths is vital to keeping them sanitary and in your usable longer.
Our expert team has conducted extensive research to find an effective method to wash microfiber cloths that maintains their soft feel, cleanliness and strong absorbance. Along with that, we compiled a list of tried-and-true techniques designed to help you use your microfiber cloths to its maximum cleaning potential. Before we delve into hashing out the most worthwhile way to wash microfiber cloths, let’s make sure we have an understanding of what exactly microfiber is.
What is Microfiber?
Microfiber fabric is so effective at cleaning on its own with just water, the use of additional cleansers is not necessary to help it remove bacteria from surfaces. This is because each microfiber cloth is made up of millions of tight-knit polyester and nylon fibers that work together through positive and negative-charged ions to pull up microscopic molecules of whatever contaminant you’re trying to clean. Altogether, microfiber cloths alone remove up to nearly 99% of bacteria as opposed to regular cotton cloths doused in bleach that are only 92% effective.
Above all, cloths made from microfiber are eco-friendly, cost-efficient and extremely versatile. With an astounding longevity of up to five hundred washes, quality microfiber cloths can last several years and save you money on cleaning agents while also reducing waste. Simply dip them in water and use them in your kitchen, bathroom, living room, or anywhere else that needs a refreshing clean.
Method 1: Hand-Washing
- Cold Water
- Gentle Detergent (optional)
Due to their delicate nature, the best and least damaging way to wash microfiber cloths is by hand. To do so, rinse your cloth under running water until it runs clear, then fill a sink or basin with cold water. Since microfiber contains nylon, anything hotter than lukewarm could cause the fibers to break down and render it ineffective. You have the option here to add a small amount of gentle detergent, but keep in mind that water alone is just as effective and excessive use of chemicals could damage the fibers. Take your cloth and let it soak in the water for at least thirty minutes, then wring it out with your hands. Once you feel that all the dirt has left the cloth, leave it out to air dry on a rack or over the kitchen faucet.
Method 2: Machine Washing
- Washing Machine
- Gentle Detergent
While rinsing microfiber cloths thoroughly after each use can keep them clean for an extended amount of time, tossing them in the washing machine once a week may help to remove odors and refresh the fabric back to its naturally soft texture. However, there are a few rules to follow to ensure that your cloths come out fully clean and undamaged to maintain longevity. For one, it is recommended to wash microfiber cloths separately from other laundry as their potent ability to pick up dirt and debris can cause them to attract lint from the other items. Moreover, you should never use bleach, fabric softener or powder detergents to clean your microfiber cloths as they will damage or clog up the fibers. Instead, add a gentle liquid detergent with no additives to your washing machine and wash with cold water. Once finished, let your cloths air dry.
Method 3: Boiling
- One Medium-Sized Pot
- ¼ Cup of Baking Soda (optional)
- Water to Boil
If you find that your microfiber cloths carry an unpleasant odor even after washing with a mild detergent or they no longer seem to be working as well, boiling may restore them back to normal. Since heat can destroy the fibers, it is crucial to follow these exact steps when boiling your microfiber cloths to prevent damage. In a medium-sized pot, bring water to a boil. Optionally, you may drop in ¼ cup of baking soda to deodorize the cloth. Add your microfiber cloths to the water and stir with a wooden spoon to disperse the dirt particles. Let it boil for 90 seconds before removing the cloths and placing them on a rack to let air dry.
Keep caution—boiling should only ever be used as a last resort. For daily cleansing, hand-washing is always best
How to Clean With Microfiber Cloths
Once all of your microfiber cloths are freshly washed, it’s time to get back to cleaning!
Just like there are methods to washing them, there are methods to cleaning with them as well. The main rule of thumb to follow when cleaning with these cloths is to be gentle.
For starters, when handling microfiber cloths, try not to pull on them too hard or crunch them up to avoid tearing the fibers. In addition, folding as you clean is also a great way to maximize the amount of cleaning that gets done with a single cloth. One cloth can be folded in half twice on both sides to get eight surfaces for cleaning. Moreover, some people recommend that since microfiber cloths are so delicate that they be used only for mild cleaning jobs such as a light dusting or wiping up a spill. However, others swear by microfiber’s powerful cleaning properties, and use them even for the messiest occasions. Overall, there is no reason why microfiber cloths should not be able to clean your entire home and leave it sparkling from top to bottom, especially considering how versatile and potent microfiber is.
Without a doubt, using microfiber cloths is a great option if you’re looking for cleaning supplies that need little maintenance but pack a cleansing punch. The best way to wash microfiber cloths is one of three: hand-washing; machine washing; and boiling. You may alternate between these methods whenever necessary or simply hand-wash all the time according to your preference or availability of materials.
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