November 4, 2019
How to Care for Microfiber Cleaning Cloths
I love cleaning with microfiber – it’s versatile, economical, and eco-friendly. My favorite benefit? How well it cleans. No lint, no spreading dirt and germs around, and you only need to wipe once and your surface is clean. I get quite a few questions surrounding how I clean my microfiber cleaning cloths ( I use these, from my shop) – so if you’ve ever wondered this, today’s post is for you.
A common misconception with any cleaning cloth that you wash and reuse is that it might not be clean or that you might spread germs around from the cloth as you clean. The thing with microfiber is that its ‘micro’ fibers actually grab the dirt and germs and holds on to them in lieu of spreading them around. I think that’s what holds people back from switching from cleaning wipes and paper towels – maybe you can relate? Let’s bust open those misconceptions today and talk about HOW to make sure your cleaning cloths are actually clean before you use them.
Please note: Check the care label on your microfiber first, these are my personal recommendations and how I care for my microfiber cloths.
Here are a couple basic ‘rules’ for washing microfiber:
- Microfiber can be rinsed and wrung out as your using it – don’t just wipe once (unless it’s toilets or something germs/dirty). Rinse, wring out, and continue using.
- Find a place to hold the microfiber while it’s drying and before you have a load to wash. I keep a bucket in my cleaning closet for any cloths that are really wet and then once they are dry or damp I toss dirty microfiber cloths in a wire basket. If a cloth is wet I drape it over the side of the bucket until it’s dry and then I place it in the basket. Dusting cloths don’t get mixed into this bucket, this bucket is for bathroom cleaning cloths so there isn’t cross-contamination.
- Wash microfiber only with other microfiber cloths. If you put other laundry items in the washing machine with your microfiber it turns into a static magnet – just avoid that altogether by washing microfiber all by itself.
- Launder with detergent – use less (I use half the amount that I usually use) so it fully rinses out. Here’s my absolute favorite – Super Laundry Powder.
- Do not use fabric softener – it coats the fibers and ruins its effectiveness, I add 1/4 cup white vinegar to each load.
- Wash on HOT or sanitize – most germs and microorganisms are killed at 140 degrees Fahrenheit. I wash my microfiber that needs to be sanitized on HOT or sanitize. You can look up your particular washing machine or brand and see what temperature the hot and sanitize cycles get to and decide what’s best for you. (As a general rule, washing on warm and drying on low to medium will kill the germs in your cleaning cloths, but if you need to sanitize, it will need to be warmer.)
- I wash the microfiber cloths in this basket weekly or when it’s filled up and enough for a load, and then run a sanitize/clean cycle on the washing machine. Bonus: clean cloths + a clean washing machine. Not sure how to clean your washing machine? You should be doing it monthly at the least to avoid spreading germs in your clothes, bedding, cleaning cloths, etc.
- Dry in the dryer on low to medium. Drying the microfiber in the dryer will kill any germs that might remain after washing them.
A couple more common questions about microfiber:
- If you don’t like the ‘feel’ of microfiber, try dampening your cloth slightly first – that will take away that scratchy feeling and get your cloth ready to clean! My microfiber cleaning cloths are soft and smooth and/or soft and fluffy.
- Microfiber is more eco-friendly for cleaning because you can reuse microfiber cleaning cloths for 300+ uses – think of how many paper towels this eliminates!
- Another common question I receive is if ‘microfiber’ cleaning cloths are harmful to the environment because of the polyester they’re made from. The short answer is: when people talk about microfibers getting back into the ecosystem they are talking about ANY material that isn’t natural (cotton, linen, silk, etc.). The real problem is all of the artificial fibers in clothing like workout wear and other non-cotton materials. If you look at the amount of clothes that you are washing and you have athleisure wear or any material that isn’t 100% cotton, and you look at the size of that pile of clothes versus the small pile of microfiber cleaning cloths, the issue IS NOT microfiber cleaning cloths, the problem is all of the other clothes that are being washed. If you want to not use any microfibers, you can use cotton cleaning cloths – I have 100% cotton Bar Mop Towels in my shop and/or you can put a filter in your washing machine that will catch any microfibers from all of your laundry.
How about you? Do you use microfiber for cleaning? Have a question? Ask it in the comments!