How To Clean A Microfibre Cloth The Right Way

One of the most used cleaning tools, you would agree, are microfibre cloths. They’re handy for dusting, cleaning grime off the surfaces and other cleaning tasks. It’s probably the best tool to clean your TV screen with safety, your stainless steel appliances, to clean blinds, your car interior, and even your mirrors and windows.

A close up of hands on yellow gloves squeezing the microfiber cloth

Since this type of textile collects grime and dust, washing microfibre cloths is necessary to get the best results and maintain their absorbency. Therefore, keeping them in good shape is super important, and here’s a complete guide on how to clean a microfibre cloth the right way!

How often should you clean a microfibre cloth

microfibre cleaning cloths, like all fabrics, need to be washed. The ideal is to wash them every after use to get the best out of them and not damage the surfaces you clean with them. Dirty microfibre cloths might scratch the surfaces you are cleaning or even smell bad, transmitting it all over the house.

If you can’t wash them after every use, you should do it at least every three times you use them. The next thing you need to do is make sure that they’re completely dry while storing them. And, of course, the same applies to microfibre towels as well.

How to clean a microfibre cloth

There are several methods you can use to clean your microfibre cloth. Let’s take a look at each one of them:

  1. Washing machine

You can wash microfibre cloths in the washing machine with warm water and a gentle liquid detergent in a separate load to avoid cross-contamination with the rest of your garments.

Washing machine with towels on it and a basket of clothes next to it

To machine wash your microfibre items, you need to follow the below steps:

  1. Before tossing them into the device, shake them outdoors to get rid of excess dirt.
  2. Choose to wash them with warm water. Hot water may break down the fibres.
  3. Launder with a gentle liquid detergent with no scent or additives. And use no more than two teaspoons of laundry detergent or half the amount you use for a similar load. Excess soap may not rinse out and stick on the fibres.
  4. To eliminate any foul odours, you can add a tablespoon of white vinegar to the load.
  5. When half of the agitation cycle has been completed, stop it and let them soak for 15-20 minutes.
  6. Then, let the cycle complete.

However, you need to keep in mind a couple of things to ensure that your precious allies in cleaning will remain in pristine condition.

  • Avoid using powdered detergents, fabric softener or bleach.
    • Never wash cotton with microfibre cleaning tools since minuscule lint particles can clog the fibres.
  • Avoid hot water as it can damage the fibres. However, if you have high-quality microfibre cloths, you can wash them, as they can tolerate hot water better.

Extra tip: The exact steps you should follow every time you wash your microfibre towels.

2. Handwashing

Another well-known way to clean your dirty microfibre cloths is to hand wash them. In the same way, you can wash microfibre towels as well.

Steps to follow:

  1. Shake them outdoors to remove most of the dirt.
  2. Fill a bucket or basin with lukewarm water.
  3. Put cloths and agitate by hand. Then scrub them for a while if there are any stained areas.
  4. Let them soak for 15-20 minutes and agitate again.
  5. Rinse cloths under running water.
  6. Finally, wring them very well.

3. Microwave

Surprised? You shouldn’t be! It’s a really effective way for not-so-heavily stained cloths. What do you need to do? Dampen your dirty cloth and place it in the microwave oven. Run your machine for 60 seconds, and voila! You have a clean microfibre cloth ready to use! Just allow your cloth to cool down before taking them out of the microwave. A simple, quick, and effective method that doesn’t require washing and rinsing!

4. Dishwasher

One more weird way is to wash your dirty cloths in the dishwasher. But it’s also very effective. Place the cloth in the dishwasher along with your dishes. It would be best if you lay it on the top rack of the machine. Run your dishwasher, and that’s all. Once the cycle ends, you will have a clean cloth.

5. Boiling

What would you think if someone told you that you need to boil your clothes instead of washing them by hand or pop them into the washer? To tell the truth, it’s a bit of an odd method. However, this method is better applied when you feel that the cloths aren’t so absorbent. This is a sign that residues from the cleaning products you use have been deposited into. You better use the boiling method before hand washing or washing in the washer to loosen the residues.

A pot with boiling water on an electric hob

Needed tools:

  • A cooking pot
  • Water
  • White vinegar
  • A large spoon
  • Tongs

Steps to follow:

  1. Fill the ⅔ rd of the pot with water and bring to a boil.
  2. Once the water has boiled, add 30ml vinegar per 4 litres of water and stir.
  3. Place the cloths in the boiling water and let them boil slowly.
  4. Wait for 60-90 seconds, remove them with a BBQ tong and rinse them under clean water.
  5. Now you can hand or machine wash them.

Extra tip: If you want to deodorise your clothes, add ¼ cup of baking soda to the water before bringing it to a boil.

How to dry a microfibre  cloth

Drying microfibre cloths is a fast process. You can either dry them outside or machine dry. Here are some tips for both ways.

1. Air drying

Once you have washed the items choosing one of the ways mentioned above, shake them and hang them outside on a drying rack in direct sunlight and an area with good air circulation.

2. Machine drying

A hand setting the tumble dryer in low heat to dry microfiber cloths

The use of a tumble dryer is another drying method you can use in case you can’t have your cloths air-dried.

  1. Once you have washed the microfibre s, place them in the tumble dryer.
  2. Don’t add dryer sheets or dryer balls. Sheets coat the fibres making the cloths lose their absorbent properties. Make sure first to remove lint from the filter.
  3. Set the machine to a low heat setting or an air-dry cycle.
  4. Don’t wait for the cycle to end. Check it in a few minutes. These cloths take very little time to dry.

How long does a microfibre  cloth last

Don’t expect a straight answer to that question. As a rule of thumb, a microfibre cloth, even the best one, can last at least one to two years. However, several factors affect how long each piece will last. Some of them might be:

  • The frequency of using it
  • How well you care for it
  • The types of products that you use with it

When it’s time to change your microfibre cloth

Your cloth will speak to you when the time has come to replace it. It will become rougher than when you first use it, and you won’t be able to read the label. But beyond these, there are more that will help you understand that something is wrong with the cloth.

After several uses and washings, you may notice:

  • The edges will start fraying.
  • The fibres will flatten or get mixed up.
  • The cloth will lose its absorbency. It won’t collect dust as it used to.

Extra tips to maintaining your microfibre cloth in shape

  1. After each use, shake the cloth to release excess dirt and dust. You can also rinse them with clean water.
  2. Don’t wash microfibre cloths with other clothes. The dirt from the cleaning cloth might transfer to your garments, plus the cloths will abstract the dirt, lint and dust from the rest of the laundry. Washing all of them together in one load, you might end up with an even dirtier laundry. 
  3. Avoid using cleaning products containing chemicals with microfibre.Microfibres work better with just a few drops of water. If you have to use chemicals, you can use paper towels or other types of cleaning cloths.
  4. Avoid bleach as it can destroy the fibres.
  5. Don’t iron them. High heat can melt the fibres.

Woman wearing rubber gloves holds a micorfiber cloth

Washing microfibre cleaning cloths is an essential and very easy-to-do task. Don’t neglect cleaning them, as it will affect their condition and lose their cleaning power. Keep them away from high heat, fabric softeners and bleach to maintain their absorbent properties. You can clean your microfibre towels and any other microfibre textile with these methods as well.

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