Ways to Extend the Life of Microfiber Cloths
It’s amazing how microfiber cloths can make house cleanups and car washes a breeze. These cleaning tools make the task easier and faster with their standout ability to absorb spills and wipe away stains and debris. Plus, they’re just as effective if you use them without detergent, so they’re a good option for people who have sensitive skin.
Microfibers aren’t only utilized inside the home; they’re also extensively used in the commercial and community setting, such as in hospitals and schools. You’ll always find them in a professional cleaner’s kit, too. But even if microfiber cloths are extremely versatile, it doesn’t mean that they’re indestructible. They’re actually a specialized type of cloth, and they need to be maintained properly to retain their effectiveness.
What makes microfiber cloths special?
Common fabric threads have a circular shape, but this is not the case with microfiber. Microfiber threads have an irregular look because they are made up of wedge-shaped fibers that are joined together in the middle. This odd appearance is what gives microfiber cloths improved cleaning abilities. The fibers scoop up dirt and debris, and the added surface area afforded by the wedges allows improved water absorption.
At the same time, the qualities and features that make microfiber cloths excellent cleaning tools make them more prone to damage and contamination. If you don’t clean them well, there’s a good chance that the cloths won’t be as effective cleaners as they once were.
To extend the life and serviceability of your microfiber cleaning tools, follow this list of dos and don’ts:
- Wash microfibers as soon as they get dirty. Washing microfiber towels right after using them isn’t a hard and fast rule, but doing so will help you get rid of dirt and stains more easily. Once the material has dried out and stuck to the fabric, the stain or debris will be harder to remove.
- Don’t mix microfiber with other fabrics. Microfibers are good at picking out debris, even if they’re submerged in water. Mixing microfibers with other fabrics is a bad idea because the fabrics will pick up lint from cotton or other types of fabric. The lint will end up clogging the wedge-shaped fibers and prevent them from picking up dirt and other residue.
- Keep an eye out for microfiber cloths with Velcro. Microfiber cloths come in all shapes and sizes, and some even have fasteners like Velcro to attach them to certain products like dust mops. Wash these separately from towels and other types of microfiber cloth as the Velcro can snag the threads and damage them in the process.
- Use the right water temperature. If you used the cloth to clean up oily stains or apply products with grease, then wash it in hot water to get rid of the sticky residue. But if the cloth has Velcro on it, then use warm water to avoid damaging the glue bond that holds the cloth and Velcro together.
- Make sure you’re using the right soap. Avoid using powder detergents on microfiber cloths as the granules will adhere to the fabric. Instead, opt for liquid detergents or cleaning solutions designed especially for microfiber cloths and towels.
- Keep microfibers away from fabric softeners. Fabric softeners can clog the gap between the wedge-shaped fibers, limiting their capacity to pick up dirt particles and absorb liquid. As such, avoid using fabric softener sheets and liquids when washing or drying microfiber cloths.
- Dry microfiber cloths using low heat. Drying microfibers under high heat can cause them to become hard and stiff, which makes them less effective when wiping flat surfaces. To avoid this, machine dry the cloths with the temperature set to low, or air dry them away from direct sunlight and sources of dust and debris.
With proper care, your microfiber towels can last a long time. Giving them special treatment during laundry time might be a bit of a chore at first, but extending their usefulness is definitely worth the extra effort.