How to Clean Microfiber Cloth

Microfiber or Microfibre has really revolutionised cleaning. This handy, man-made fabric is now used in all kinds of products from cleaning cloths to mop heads. It’s also commonly used in gym and beach towels because it’s highly absorbent and dries super-quickly.

Microfibre cloths are also great for the car. I use them for wiping windows and mirrors, picking up dust around the dashboard and mopping up all kinds of spills.

There are so many ways that you can use Microfibre cloths around your home and workplace. If you want some microfibre inspiration, check out the video below:

Microfiber really lends itself to cleaning tasks because unlike more traditional fabrics like cotton and linen, it doesn’t lose fibres. It’s also easy to wash, quick to dry and on average a microfibre cloth will lift up at least 20% more dirt than a cotton cloth.

These cloths are best used without detergent. You can use them slightly damp for cleaning or dry for polishing. Avoid using harsh detergents or cleaners on this kind of fabric as these can damage the fibres, ruin the absorbency and make your cloths useless.

Microfibre cloths are made up of thousands of tiny fibres. The smaller the fibres, the more effective the cloth so the very highest quality microfibre cloths will have fibres as tiny as 1/200 the width of a human hair.

Microfibre traps dirt within the fibres of the cloth and doesn’t release it until the cloth itself is washed. This is fantastic for mopping and polishing because it means that you are really removing dirt and debris instead of just moving it around the areas that you’re trying to clean.

It’s also good news for allergy sufferers because microfibre cloths and mop-heads can pick up and trap particles that would be left behind by other fabrics. This includes dust, pollen, animal hair and may other substances.

Microfibre is particularly good for drying and polishing. It will give you a sparkle on glassware and cutlery. It’s also the perfect fabric for buffing mirrors and countertops to a gleaming, high shine. Because it is so soft, it’s suitable for use on the most delicate surfaces and you never need to worry about scratching or abrading fragile items and areas.

These cloths are much more effective than traditional cleaning cloths because the microfibres can attach themselves to the tiniest microscopic dirt particles which would be left behind by cotton or linen cloths. It means that they give you an extremely hygienic clean finish but it also means that you have to clean them after every use to remove the debris and bacteria which are trapped in the fibres.

When treated well, a high-quality microfibre cloth should survive hundreds of washes making quality cloths a really good investment. However, you can quite easily destroy microfibre if you don’t follow the correct process for washing and drying it.

That’s why I’ve put together this guide to buying and taking care of microfibre cloths. With a little TLC, these cloths should last you for years making them easy on your pocket and better for the environment.

Best Microfibre Cloths

Every supermarket, DIY shop and discount store now sells microfibre cloths but you’ll find that quality can vary dramatically. Generally speaking, if something seems too good to be true, then alarm bells should ring. If your local discount store is selling 20 microfibre cloths for £1, then chances are, these are going to be landing in the bin before long.

Quality is very important when it comes to microfibre and the price is often an indicator of how good the fabric standard is. As well as the price, look at the quality of the cloth. Good microfibre should feel heavy and plush. Thicker cloth indicates a higher number of smaller fibres which gives you a better clean. Give the cloth a shake in direct sunlight and see if it releases dust or fibre. If it does, put it back down and walk away.

Look for Microfibre cloths that are lint free. This means that they won’t drop fibres all over your mirrors and glass and they’ll survive many spins in the washing machine.

There are a number of reliable, well-known brands which produce high quality microfibre cloths and purchasing from these will usually guarantee you a better quality than buying an unknown brand. Spontex, Exel and Mr Siga are just a few of the top microfibre brands.

Buying your microfibre cloths from an online retailer like Amazon gives you the added benefit of being able to read and compare customer product reviews and prices. You will also have a better selection of brands, sizes and colours and you’ll often be able to save money by buying in bulk.

Exel offers bundles from 10 to 200 Lint free microfibre cloths in a variety of colours and sizes. With more than a thousand positive reviews for these products on the site, you can be confident that your microfibre cleaning cloths will last you for years to come.

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Amazon Basics is another popular retailer for these cloths giving you great quality products at a really low price. This brand also offers deals and discounts for Amazon Prime members.

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How to Clean Microfibre Cloths

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You can use a mild liquid laundry detergent to wash microfibre cloths but it’s very important never to use fabric softener. Fabric softener will destroy the absorbency of the cloth and prevent it from picking up dirt and moisture.

  1. To hand wash your microfibre cloths, fill a basin or sink with warm but not hot water and allow the cloths to soak for about an hour.
  2. You can add a small amount of washing detergent to this water but it is not necessary.
  3. Use your hands to agitate and wring out the cloth.
  4. Rinse under running water and then leave to air dry on a washing line or clothes airer.
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Machine Washing

While you can wash your microfibre cloths in the washing machine, beware of mixing them with other items that could transfer fibres onto the cloths. If you are putting microfibre cloths in a mixed wash, make sure that you are only washing synthetic and lint-free items. You should especially avoid washing microfibre with cotton.

Use a maximum temperature of 40 degrees and only a mild liquid detergent. Don’t use a powder detergent as this can penetrate the fibres, leaving a residue on the cloth and impairing its performance.

After the washing cycle has completed, hang your cloth to air dry on a washing line or airer.

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In the Dishwasher

Yes, you can wash microfibre cloths in the dishwasher! Just lay the cloth flat on the top shelf of your machine and run a normal cycle along with your dishes. After the cycle has completed, leave your cloth to air-dry.

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Can I use the Tumble Dryer?

You shouldn’t dry microfibre on a high heat. You could use the tumble dryer on a very low setting but there is really no need to do so as microfibre air-dries remarkably quickly, even indoors.

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Can I iron my Microfibre Cloths?

Aside from being a big waste of time, it’s not a good idea to iron microfibre. The heat of the iron can damage the absorbency and integrity of the cloth, flattening the fibres and ruining its performance. Avoid exposing your microfibre cloths to any extreme temperatures

If you take care of your Microfibre cleaning cloths, they will last you for years. However, eventually, they will wear out. Over time you’ll notice that the cloth will pick up less dirt and become less absorbent.

When this happens, it is time for your microfibre cloth to go in the bin – unfortunately, there’s no going back. However, if you take care of your cloths you’ll get several years of good use before this happens.

I hope this information is helpful and your microfibre lasts you for many years to come! Enjoy!

Claire has been in the cleaning industry for over 15 years. She's worked numerous jobs including both domestic and industrial cleaning. Her most recent role has been head of product testing for a major cleaning supplier. Following the birth of her second child, Layla, Claire has set up Cleaning Mentor to help people become better at cleaning, saving time and money.

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