How to Keep Your Microfiber Cloths Like New: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Keep Your Microfiber Cloths Like New: A Step-by-Step Guide

Microfiber cloths are a popular cleaning tool used in many homes and businesses. Made from a blend of polyester and polyamide, microfiber cloths have an extremely fine weave that enables them to trap dust, dirt, and grime much more effectively than traditional cotton cloths.

Unlike cotton, microfiber cloths are ultra-absorbent. They can hold up to 7 times their weight in liquid. This absorbency allows them to lift and lock in dirt and grease when used wet or dry. Microfiber cloths are also durable and can last through many washes. With proper care, a high quality microfiber cloth can be reused hundreds of times before needing replacement.

Because of their construction and absorbent properties, microfiber cloths require specialized washing to get them clean and extend their lifespan. Washing microfiber cloths improperly can lead to linting, reduced absorbency, and faster breakdown of the material.

This article will provide guidelines on the best practices for washing microfiber cloths. Properly washing microfiber will remove dirt, grease, and bacteria from the cloths while preserving their cleaning performance and longevity. The proper wash cycles, water temperatures, detergents, and drying methods will be covered. Following these best practices will maintain the integrity of microfiber cloths and maximize their usefulness as an eco-friendly cleaning tool.

Why It's Important to Wash Microfiber Cloths Properly

Microfiber cloths are made of synthetic fibers that are tightly woven together. This construction gives them incredible cleaning abilities, as they can pick up dirt, dust, and grime much more effectively than other fabrics.

However, one downside of microfiber is that the tiny fibers can break down over time, especially when washed improperly. When microfibers break down, microscopic plastic particles are released into the wastewater. These particles are so small that they bypass filters and end up flowing into lakes, rivers, and oceans.

The accumulation of microplastic pollution poses a major threat to marine life and ecosystems. Tiny aquatic creatures often mistake the particles for food, which allows microplastics to enter the food chain. Over time, this can have devastating impacts up and down the food chain.

That's why it's critical to handle and wash microfiber cloths with care. Following the proper washing methods helps minimize fiber breakdown and plastic particle release. By being mindful of how we care for microfiber products, we can help reduce plastic pollution and protect the environment.

Recommended Wash Cycles and Water Temperatures

Washing microfiber cloths in hot water can actually damage the fibers and reduce their effectiveness. Instead, it's best to wash microfiber cloths in cold or warm water using a gentle or delicate cycle.

The heat from hot water can cause the microfibers to melt and clump together. This seals the pores and gaps in the microfibers that allow them to pick up and hold dust and dirt. Washing in cold or warm water helps maintain the structure of the microfibers so the cloths remain soft and absorbent.

Gentle and delicate cycles use lower spin speeds and avoid harsh agitation that can be rough on microfiber material. Aggressive wash cycles can cause pilling, fraying, and accelerated wear. A delicate cycle provides a gentle clean while helping to extend the usable life of microfiber cloths.

Stick to cold or warm water, around 60 degrees Fahrenheit or less, and choose the gentle or delicate setting. This will keep microfiber cloths in good condition so they can grab dirt effectively for longer.

Avoid Using Fabric Softener

Fabric softener leaves residue on microfiber that reduces its effectiveness. The waxy coating left behind by fabric softener fills in the gaps between the microfibers, causing them to lose their super absorbency.

Instead of fabric softener, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of distilled white vinegar to the rinse cycle. Vinegar naturally softens fabrics and helps remove detergent residue. It cuts through grease and grime, getting microfiber perfectly clean without leaving any buildup behind. The natural acidic properties of vinegar help restore absorbency. Just be sure to use vinegar in place of, not in addition to, fabric softener.

Vinegar is an economical and environmentally-friendly alternative that will keep your microfiber cloths in top shape. Avoid dryer sheets as well, as they leave a similar coating that diminishes effectiveness.

Wash Microfiber Separately

When washing microfiber, it's important to wash it separately from other fabrics, especially lint-producing fabrics like cotton towels. Microfiber is designed to attract and pick up lint and particles, so washing it with lint-heavy fabrics can lead to a lint-covered microfiber cloth that is less effective at cleaning.

The best practice is to wash microfiber cloths only with other microfiber items. Wash them separately from cottons, linens, or terry cloths that can shed lint onto the microfiber material. This prevents lint buildup and keeps your microfiber cloths lint-free and able to effectively pick up dust and dirt.

You'll also want to wash microfiber cloths separately to prevent dye transfer. Microfiber can bleed dye when washed with fabrics of different colors. To avoid ending up with a stained pink microfiber cloth from washing it with red towels, wash your light and dark microfiber items separately. Group same color microfiber cloths together to prevent colors from bleeding onto each other in the wash.

Washing microfiber cloths separately from other fabrics takes a little extra effort but helps preserve their cleaning power and avoid ruining them with lint, dye stains, and damage from other fabrics. Keeping them away from lint-producers and grouping same colors allows them to properly clean your home and last longer.

Use a Laundry Bag

When washing microfiber cloths, it's recommended to place them inside a laundry bag or mesh bag designed for delicates. Using a bag offers a couple key benefits:

  • Keeps microfibers contained. Microfiber cloths shed microscopic fibers during washing. Containing them inside a bag prevents these fibers from getting loose in your washing machine and being released into waterways.

  • Prevents cloths getting stuck or tangled. Microfiber cloths tend to stick to each other and other fabrics when washed. Putting them in a bag keeps them separated and stops them from tangling around other items in the load.

The best laundry bags for microfiber are mesh or net bags with very small holes to contain the microfibers. Some microfiber cloth brands sell laundry bags specifically designed for their cloths. Or you can purchase a delicates bag from most stores that sell laundry supplies. Just be sure the weave is tight enough to trap microfibers shed in the wash.

Skip the Dryer

Microfiber cloths are designed to be ultra-absorbent, thanks to the tiny fibers that make up the material. But heat can actually damage these microfibers, causing them to become less effective at absorbing liquids and particles.

That's why it's recommended to skip the dryer when laundering microfiber cloths. The intense heat can degrade the microfibers over time. Air drying is a much better approach for preserving your microfiber cloths.

Simply hang or lay the microfiber cloths flat to air dry after washing. It may take longer than machine drying, but allowing them to fully air dry at room temperature will help maintain the integrity of the microfibers. This extends the useful life of the cloths so you can get the most out of your investment.

Drying microfiber cloths with heat, whether in the dryer or another heat source, should always be avoided. Stick to air drying only for the best results. Your microfiber cloths will thank you!

Disinfecting Microfiber Cloths

Microfiber cloths are great at trapping dirt, bacteria, and other contaminants when cleaning. However, over time germs can build up in the fibers. Periodically disinfecting the cloths helps kill bacteria and other pathogens.

Washing microfiber cloths in hot water is effective for disinfection. But you can also periodically add bleach or another sanitizing agent to the wash.

Vinegar and hydrogen peroxide work well for disinfecting microfiber. Add 1/2 cup of white vinegar or 1/4 cup hydrogen peroxide to the washing machine drum. Then wash the microfiber cloths on a hot water setting. The acidic properties of vinegar help kill germs. And hydrogen peroxide is a natural bleaching agent that also sanitizes.

Only use 1/2 to 1 cup of bleach per wash load. Too much can start to break down microfiber over time. Also make sure to wash the microfiber cloths separately from other laundry when using vinegar, hydrogen peroxide or bleach.

Disinfecting the cloths every 5 washes or so helps keep them fresh and germ-free. This extends the useful life of microfiber cloths. And ensures any bacteria picked up when cleaning is killed.

Extend the Life of Microfiber Cloths

Proper washing preserves the effectiveness of microfiber cloths. The tiny fibers that make microfiber so great at cleaning and dusting wear down over time. Following the proper wash methods keeps those fibers intact longer, maintaining the cleaning power of the cloths.

Avoid using microfiber cloths for harsh chemicals like bleach or ammonia. The fibers can break down when exposed to harsh cleaners. Reserve microfiber for gentle, everyday cleaning tasks.

When your microfiber cloths start to show some wear, use them for less sensitive tasks like cleaning the floors or wiping up spills. Rotate your newer, less worn cloths for dusting and cleaning mirrors and screens where you want to avoid any scratches. With proper care and rotation of use, microfiber cloths can last through many washes.


Microfiber cleaning cloths are an effective tool for cleaning all kinds of surfaces in your home. However, they require special care to prolong their lifespan. By following these simple care instructions, your microfiber cloths will last for years. Proper maintenance ensures you get the most out of these super-absorbent and effective cleaning cloths.

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