In my humble opinion, a good set of microfiber cleaning cloths is worth its weight in gold! Microfiber cloths make it easy to clean a variety of objects and surfaces, and the fact that they can be reused again and again makes them much less wasteful than alternatives like paper towels.
But before you can reuse your microfiber cloths again and again, you need to clean them first! And cleaning microfiber cloths correctly does require a different approach, but don’t worry. It’s not particularly complicated to do!
In this post, you’ll find a complete guide to cleaning microfiber cloths, starting with some general care rules and finishing off with step-by-step instructions for washing microfiber and drying it too. By the time you finish reading, you’ll be armed with all the knowledge you need to clean your microfiber cloths or towels the right way so they can continue to serve you well!
6 Rules For Caring For Microfiber Cloths
1. Clean After Every Use
It’s important to clean your microfiber cloths after each use, but how thoroughly you clean them can vary based on how dirty they are. Whichever cleaning method you choose to use (we’ll cover those shortly), it will help eliminate dust, dirt, and debris trapped within the fibers that could transfer to (or even worse, damage) the next surface you clean with it.
2. Shake Them Out
Before you hand wash or machine wash your microfiber cloths, it’s a good idea to shake them out first to dislodge any loose dirt. This simple step will help keep the wash water cleaner, and make it more likely that your clothes will get rinsed completely clean.
3. Wash And Dry Alone
Microfiber doesn’t just grab onto dirt and dust while you’re dusting—it can also grab onto lint, hair, and dust while tumbling around your washer and dryer. So if you do choose to wash your microfiber cloths in your washing machine and dry them in your dryer, doing microfiber-only loads will help keep your cloths cleaner so they can perform more effectively.
4. Dry Without Heat
The safest way to dry microfiber cloths is to let them air dry. But if you do choose to toss them in your dryer, choose a low-heat or no-heat setting. High heat (or even hot water) can cause the tiny fibers to melt together, which can’t be undone and may prove fatal to your microfiber cloths.
5. Don’t Use Fabric Softener
Part of what makes microfiber cloths so effective is that the tiny fibers create static electricity that attracts dirt like a magnet. Fabric softeners eliminate static by coating the fibers of a fabric with a softening residue, which can be great for clothes, but can render your microfiber cloths useless. So make sure to never use fabric softener!
6. Be Careful With Detergent
And finally, be careful when choosing and measuring your detergent (again, if you’ll be machine washing microfiber cloths). It’s best to use a liquid detergent that’s free of softeners and fragrances, and only use a small amount of it to ensure that it can all get rinsed out in the wash.
So now that you know what sorts of rules you ought to follow when caring for your collection of microfiber cloths, it’s time to get down to brass tacks! Here’s everything you need to know about how to clean a microfiber cloth safely (and dry it safely too!)
How To Wash Microfiber Towels
Washing By Hand
For the most part, if your microfiber cloths are only lightly soiled, it’s best to wash them by hand. Here’s how it’s done:
- Shake out each microfiber cloth to release loose dirt, either outside or into a trash bag.
- Fill a basin or bucket with warm water.
- Add the cloths to the water and scrub them together with your hands to release stains and dirt.
- Allow the cloths to soak in the water for 15-20 minutes, then agitate them again.
- Rinse each towel thoroughly under running water, then wring out any excess moisture.
If your microfiber cloths are quite dirty or it’s been a while since you’ve machine washed them, you can clean them more thoroughly in your washing machine. Here’s how to do it:
- Shake out the cloths to release loose dirt, either outside or into a trash bag.
- Put the cloths in your washer and select a cold water or warm water cycle. (No hot water!)
- Add a couple of teaspoons of laundry detergent to the machine.
- If odor is an issue, add a tablespoon of white vinegar to the rinse cycle or the fabric softener dispenser, then start the wash cycle.
How To Dry Microfiber Towels
Air drying or line drying your microfiber cloths is the best way to ensure they last as long as possible. To do so, simply hang them out to air dry in direct sunlight, or if drying them indoors, set them in an area with good air circulation.
In Your Dryer
If you choose to dry your clean microfiber cloths in your dryer, be sure to clean out the lint trap thoroughly before doing so. A dirty lint trap may lead to lint being deposited back onto your freshly cleaned cloths, which can make them less effective.
Also, be sure to dry the cloths alone (meaning no dryer balls, dryer sheets etc.) Choose a low-heat or no-heat setting, and be sure to take them out of the dryer as soon as they are dry, or even slightly before they’re completely dry to ensure they don’t get overly hot.
BONUS: Cleaning A Heavily Soiled Microfiber Cloth
If you’ve used a microfiber cloth with a greasy or waxy substance (like car wax, shoe polish, etc.), you’ll need to do a bit more to make sure it gets completely clean. Pretreating it by giving it a good long soak before washing will really help things along!
Fill a bucket with warm water and a scoop of oxygen bleach, then add the heavily soiled microfiber cloth. Agitate it with your hands for minute or so, then allow the microfiber cloth to soak overnight (or at least for a few hours) before transferring it to your washing machine to wash as outlined above.
How do you use your microfiber cloths at home?