In my humble opinion, a good set of microfiber cleaning wipes is worth gold! Microfiber cloths make it easy to clean various objects and surfaces, and the fact that they can be reused over and over again makes them much less wasted than alternatives like paper towels.
But before you can reuse your microfiber cloths over and over again, you need to clean them first! And proper cleaning of microfiber cloths requires a different approach, but calm. It’s not very complicated to do!
In this post you will find a complete guide to cleaning microfiber cloths, starting with some general care rules and ending with step by step instructions for washing microfiber and drying it as well. When you finish reading, you will be armed with all the knowledge you need to clean your microfiber cloths or towels properly so they can continue to serve you well!
6 rules for the care of microfiber cloths
1. Clean after each use
It is important to clean your microfiber cloths after each use, but how thoroughly you clean them can vary depending on how dirty they are. Whichever cleaning method you choose to use (we’ll cover them soon), it helps remove dust, dirt, and grime trapped in the fibers that can transfer to (or worse, damage) the next surface you clean with it.
2. Shake them out
Before you wash or machine wash your microfiber cloths, it is a good idea to shake them out first to remove loose dirt. This simple step helps keep the wash water cleaner and make it more likely that your clothes will be rinsed completely clean.
Wash and dry alone
Microfiber not only grabs dirt and dust while you dust – it can also grab lint, hair and dust while tumbling around your washer and dryer. So if you choose to wash your microfiber cloths in your washing machine and dry them in your dryer, making microfiber loads will help keep your cloths cleaner so they can perform more efficiently.
4. Dry without heat
The safest way to dry microfiber cloths is to let them air dry. But if you choose to throw them in your dryer, choose an option with low heat or no heat. High heat (or even hot water) can cause the small fibers to melt together, which cannot be undone and can prove fatal to your microfiber cloths.
5. Do not use fabric softener
Part of what makes microfiber cloths so effective is that the small fibers create static electricity that attracts dirt like a magnet. Emollients eliminate static by coating the fibers of a fabric with a fabric softener, which can be good for clothes but can make your microfiber cloths useless. So be sure to never use fabric softener!
6. Be careful with detergent
And lastly, be careful when choosing and measuring your detergent (again, if you machine wash microfiber cloths). It is best to use a liquid detergent that is free of plasticizers and fragrances, and use only a small amount of it to ensure that it can all be rinsed out in the sink.
So now that you know what kind of rules to follow when grooming your collection of microfiber cloths, it’s time to get down to brass pins! 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
Wash by hand
For the most part, if your microfiber cloths are only slightly soiled, it is best to wash them by hand. Here’s how:
- Shake out each microfiber cloth to release loose dirt, either outside or in a garbage 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.
- Let the cloths soak in the water for 15-20 minutes, then shake them again.
- Rinse each towel thoroughly under running water, then wring out excess moisture.
If your microfiber cloths are quite dirty, or it’s been a while since you washed them in the machine, you can clean them more thoroughly in your washing machine. Here’s how you do it:
- Shake the cloths to release loose dirt, either outside or in a garbage bag.
- Put the cloths in your washing machine and choose a cold water or a hot water cycle. (No hot water!)
- Add a few teaspoons of detergent to the machine.
- If there is an odor problem, add a tablespoon of white vinegar to the rinse cycle or rinse dispenser and then start the wash cycle.
How to dry microfiber towels
Air drying or line drying of your microfiber cloths is the best way to ensure that they last as long as possible. To do this, simply hang them out for air drying in direct sunlight, or if you dry them indoors, place 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 the lint trap thoroughly before doing so. A dirty lint trap can cause lint to be deposited back on your freshly cleaned cloths, which can make them less effective.
Also, be sure to dry cloths alone (meaning no dryer, dryer, etc.) Choose a low heat or no heat option and be sure to take them out of the dryer as soon as they are slightly dry before they are completely dry to ensure that they do not get too hot.
BONUS: Cleaning a heavily soiled microfiber cloth
If you have used a microfiber cloth with a greasy or waxy substance (such as car wax, shoe polish, etc.), do a little more to ensure that it is completely clean. Pre-treating it by giving it a good long soak before washing really helps things together!
Fill a bucket with warm water and a spoonful of oxygen bleach, then add the heavily soiled microfiber cloth. Shake it with your hands for a minute or so, then allow the microfiber cloth to soak overnight (or at least a few hours) before transferring it to your washing machine for washing as described above.
How do you use your microfiber cloths at home?