Are you interested in learning how to clean microfiber cloths?
Microfiber cloths – which include mops, dust cloths, and cleaning cloths – are essential to keeping your home clean in a simpler way. However, you should not forget to take care of them, which is why we wrote this guide on how to clean microfiber cloth.
As you clean with these pieces and items, the microfiber will act like a magnet and attract dust and dirt. Bacteria and debris may also cling to the cloth and make your home dirtier and less sanitary than it already is.
To this end, you need to learn the best way to clean them. Although this might not be as obvious as you think, it is relatively easy especially if you know what to do.
With time, you will get used to washing the cloths properly and, in the process, transform your entire home cleaning regimen.
What is microfiber?
Before we get into the process of cleaning microfiber, you first need to understand what it is, how it works, and what people use it for. You should also learn more about the history of the material as well as its composition.
Essentially, microfiber is made of many parts. In most cases, you would find it in the car care and detailing industries, where it is made from a combination of different polyamides and polyesters.
These are microscopic fibers made in the laboratory and are close to 1/100th the regular diameter of human hair. As such, the ultra fine thread gives microfiber its legendary soft feel and delicate touch.
To put the size in understandable terms, think of the typical regulation basketball as being the diameter of human hair. If this was the case, then a strand of microfiber would be even smaller than the typical M&M chocolate candy.
Tips & tricks on how to clean microfiber cloth
Although you might see a fluffy towel with your eyes, at its microscopic level there are tiny yet durable and uniform strands of microfiber forming the towel. In most of the household items that contain microfiber, the material tends to share the same fiber structure irrespective of the pattern or weave.
The layout of the fibers has an impact on the different characteristics of the material. To this end, suede is used for coatings, flat for glass, waffle weave for drying cloths, and plush fiber for delicate surfaces, and so on.
In the same way, every strand has a star-shaped structure that allows microfiber items and cloths to trap debris, moisture, dirt, and small particles. It is because of this structure that these items are so effective and useful for cleaning. This is especially when you compare them to the tube-like and inconsistent shape of cotton, which tends to be absorbent and may not be as ideal for clean as microfiber.
That said, microfiber is made from particularly thin artificial fiber. It is also used for manufacturing such absorbent items as towels, cleaning cloths, and dish cloths.
Additionally, your ability to keep your microfiber cloths clean is directly interlinked with how useful they will be. Since these items are among the top 10 cleaning tools you should own, it is imperative that you teach yourself how to keep them clean. The most obvious answer, of course, is to always use different colors for every task you perform.
Most of these cleaning cloths are rough and bristly to the touch – more than a regular or standard cloth. This is because they are made using ultra-fine fibers to form the synthetic fabric. For cleaning cloths, the split fibers are effective at powering away at grime and picking dust up. That said, the guide below will teach you how to keep your microfiber items and cloths clean without wearing the split bristles away or ruining their cleaning power.
Similarly, you can easily keep your microfiber items clean, as you will learn from this guide.
Different types of stains and how to clean them
Depending on the type of stains that may attach to your cloths and items, there are different ways to clean microfiber.
As far as possible, clean your microfiber after every use. Although you might be tempted to allow your wet towel to sit before using it again after some time, this may run you the risk of contamination. Contamination will cause swirls and allow stains to set into your towels – making it even more difficult for you to keep these microfiber items clean.
Of course, cleaning microfiber isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.
However, by keeping the course and ensuring that your microfiber cloth and towels get a proper wash after every use, you can easily take care of them and have clean ones around the clock.
Separate your towels from the least dirty to the dirtiest. For instance, you should never mix towels that you used to polish metal or clean wheels with those good plush drying towels. Doing so may lead to cross-contamination. Instead, wash different microfiber towels in separate loads.
During the wash, keep all other material (particularly cotton) out of the microfiber wash loads. This is because microfiber does not do well with other materials.
You should also use dedicated microfiber detergents – such as Microfiber Revitalizer or dye-free and perfume-free liquid laundry soap. As far as possible, try not to use granulated and powdered soap otherwise your microfiber may be ruined.
Then, set your washer to the warm water setting. The extra heat will break down the polishes and waxes. Remember, cold settings are not quite as effective at cleaning dirty microfiber towels.
In case your washer has an extra rinse cycle, you should use it while cleaning the towels. This cycle will ensure that as much of the dirt, grim, and contamination (as well as any remaining soap) is removed from your towels.
If you prefer, you can machine dry the microfiber. However, you should only do so on a low heat heating and with no fabric softener whatsoever. Alternatively, line or air dry the towels but only in a place where they won’t get contaminated with lint or dust.
- Microfiber pads and applicators
As you did with the towels, you should separate all contaminated and extremely dirty pads from the microfiber group and wash them separately. This will ensure that you avoid cross contaminating the items.
Always wash your applicators and pads separate from your towels. This is because the Velcro and foam backing may get damaged or become snagged by towels added to the same load.
Before you wash them, use a brush to effectively break up the heavy and caked in polish residues from the pads. Then, toss them into the washer with Microfiber Revitalizer or with perfume/dye free regular laundry soap if you have some available.
Set your washer to the warm setting (instead of the hot). Microfiber pads have glue membranes that may be sensitive to high temperatures, which is why you should always stick to warmer wash settings.
Once the pads and applicators are clean enough, you should air-dry them on a wire rack. This will expedite drying by maximizing the flow of air through the microfiber construction.
Contamination and heavy stains
At times, your towels, pads, applicators, and cleaning cloths may become so stained and contaminated that you have no option but to either throw them away or give them a deep cleaning.
The contamination may have been from stains you removed from your car (tar, oil, grease, and so one), or when regular dirt becomes so saturated that it causes discoloration to your microfiber.
In such situations, you should first pre-treat the microfiber or pre-soak it to ensure that these tough stains do not set it. Of course, you won’t be able to stop mid-detail and start cleaning the items. However, there are things you can do to get rid of even the heaviest of contaminations, including but not limited to:
- Step 1. Pre-treat
Start by treating any microfiber item that is heavily soiled with brake dust, oil, or grease. You can easily do this by spraying it liberally with Microfiber Revitalizer or All Purpose Cleaner.
As you do this, soak the points of heaviest contamination before rubbing the item against itself to offset and agitate the stain. Set it aside and clean later.
- Step 2. Pre-soak
Alternatively, pre-soak your towels and cloths before you start the cleaning process. Add clean water to a separate bucket and mix in 2 to 3 oz. As your towels become so dirty that you cannot use them, toss them into your prepared pre-soak bucket.
- Step 3. Solution
Then, add a grit guide (standing upside down) on top of the dirty and stained towels to hold them inside the solution longer. If you leave them as they are, the light nature of microfiber may cause them to float all the way to the top of the solution.
For applicators and polishing pads made from microfiber, always use stiff brushes to wring out the dirt and contamination. A good option would be a pad conditioning brush, which works effectively at breaking residues up before they start hardening and setting in. You can also add pads to your prepared pre-soak bucket if you desire.
In case one of your microfiber towels become so contaminated that you can no longer wash it clean, consider retiring it to a different task. Remember to rotate any towels that become heavily stained to other less delicate tasks and jobs.
With time, your microfiber items may become so contaminated that you can longer clean them using traditional methods. At this point, your drying towels may become less absorbent and any plush towels you own may smear products (instead of removing them) and lint slightly.
This shows that the fibers are full from the residues that get deposited during use or from any fabric softener you may have accidentally introduced to the wash while cleaning the microfiber item.
In any case, when your towels and cloths start losing their performance and no longer feel as good as they used to, you may want to give them a boil and revamp them to their old condition.
However, you should keep in mind that this process only works for towels and never for applicators and pads.
Use the process below:
- Fill a large cooking pot 2/3rd of the way will water and bring it to a boil
- Add 1 to 2 Oz. of distilled white vinegar for every gallon of water; give it a stir
- Place a couple of towels into the pot and reduce the heat to a slow boil
- Stir the treatment with a large spoon to ensure the towels do not rest against the sides or bottom for too long
- After 60 to 90 seconds in the boil, use tongs to remove them and rinse under a tap
- Wash the towels following the REGULAR CLEANING instructions above and reuse them at will
Drying microfiber at home
After every wash, you should either air/line dry your microfiber items. However, you can also machine dry them if you want to ensure that they are fluffy, clean, and ready for detailing.
Always machine dry them on the low setting. Using high heat may fry the polyester used and leave your towels feeling hard and stiff – which may lead to swirls and scratches when you use them to clean paintwork and wood.
Alternatively, you can commercial wash your microfiber cloths and towels. This works best for industrial applications where a large volume of towels and cloths are used, meaning that they need to be cleaning at a go.
Check that the cleaning company you use (or the machines you have) is reliable and does a good job. The best way to do this is to read online reviews before you hire a cleaning company or buy a microfiber washing machine and cleaning agent.
As long as you take good care of your microfiber cloths and towels, they should last for 100 washings or more. You will automatically know when you need to get others because they will lose the texture and start feeling like regular washcloths. Overall, as long as you know how to clean microfiber cloths, you should not have a hard time keeping your home or place of work ship shape and Bristol fashion.