cleaning cloths and a mop

The Best Microfiber Cloths and Why They Work Like Magic

There’s nothing like microfiber for cleaning just about any surface in and about the house. If you’ve never used a microfiber cloth, you’re going to be amazed by how fast and efficiently you can clean.

cleaning cloths and a mop

Housecleaning and car washing—they’re chores that most of us love to hate. Who would have thought there could ever be a better way to scrub things clean than using good old soap and water plus an old, ratty cotton cloth?

If you’ve tried the latest microfiber cleaning cloths, you know that technology really can make life easier. Not only are microfiber cloths more hygienic, they also avoid the need for expensive cleaning products, which are often laden with strong chemicals that for some cause allergic reactions and skin problems.

Microfiber cloths get things looking far cleaner in a lot less time. Especially windows, mirrors, and stainless steel. And drying dishes. It’s not magic—it’s science.

Adhesive forces

Microfibers, made of polyester and polyamide, are able to attach themselves to even the smallest, most microscopic dirt particles—ones that normal cloth fibers (gigantic in comparison) rudely brush past. If these forces were visible, you’d be able to see that there are “adhesive” forces creating a strong attraction between those teeny tiny fibers and dirt. And even though you cannot see the microfibers, you can feel them.

Good quality microfiber is going to feel unpleasantly “prickly” against your skin—the reason you may have shied away from microfiber in the past. If you are especially sensitive to that feeling, wearing latex gloves takes care of that.

Dusting magnet

For household dusting, use a microfiber cloth dry as you would a traditional dusting rag. But look how differently it works A regular rag moves dust from one spot to another. But a microfiber cloth? It acts like a magnet. You have to see this.

Damp cleaning

But for more general cleaning, you always want microfiber to be damp, even when using it to dry a surface. The first time you use a microfiber cloth, force of habit will have you soaking it with water, adding soap then wringing it out, which only reduces the cloth’s effectiveness.

The best way to use these cloths for normal cleaning is with as little water as possible. You can use microfiber cloths to clean virtually any hard surface. Try them on your bathroom or kitchen surfaces and you’ll be amazed at the results.

Dirty situations

If you’re dealing with a fairly dirty situation, follow this two-step practice: Use a regular cloth and soapy water or your favorite all-purpose cleaner to wash all the dirt off first. Rinse. Now, polish over it with your damp microfiber cloth.

Notice the smear-free, sparkling finish. Sorry to sound like a bad TV commercial, but these things are really good! I think you’ll agree once you hear things getting squeaky clean and shiny with so little effort.

70/30 is best

Microfiber cloths come in varying sizes and grades to clean every surface imaginable from eyeglasses to countertops, windows, and cars, too. The best microfiber cloths are made of at least 70 percent polyester and 30 percent polyamide (70/30). There are plenty of fakes or super poor-quality microfiber cloths out there, so it’s good to know what to look for to know you’re getting not wasting your money on junk.

If you wash and dry microfiber properly (without fabric softener—never use softeners with microfiber) and keep them in good condition, you’ll have them for many years to come. Microfiber just doesn’t wear out like traditional fabric.

How to launder

Because microfiber picks up dust, dirt germs so effectively, it is mandatory that you remove everything that effectively gets stuck in those magnet-like tiny fibers—much of which is not visible to the naked eye. You have to thoroughly clean microfiber cloths after you’ve used them. Follow the manufacturer’s washing instructions.

Surprisingly, perhaps, the best way is to boil a microfiber cloth in a saucepan on the stovetop to avoid washing with regular detergents. In this way, “washing” with water only, you will kill bacteria, germs, viruses without leaving any residues behind. Hang to dry.

Pro-tip

Never, ever use any kind of laundry softener on microfiber. If you use detergent or soap of any kind, make triple sure it is thoroughly rinsed out so that absolutely no residue remains.

 

Best for general house cleaning

Professional premium 70/30

A blue towelI’ve tested many grades and sizes of microfiber cloths. For me, a cloth I use for general house cleaning needs to be easy to use and keep clean. It can’t be too big, but not too small, either. I don’t want cloths that fray around the edge, give off tons of lint, stain easily or shrink over time or fail to pick up dust and dirt. For general cleaning and dusting, low-pile is best.

I’m hard on household linens because I demand so much from them. A pack of 10 cloths from The Rag Company has lasted me for years now and I see no signs of them wearing out anytime soon. I really like having some in a dark color, too, because they always look as clean as I know they are.

Best for hard flooring

Professional microfiber mop

A close up of a blue table

A good microfiber mop with a swivel head and removable cleaning pads. You won’t find a better mop than this 18-in Professional Microfiber Mop, complete with an adjustable stainless steel handle, three mop pads and a bonus of three microfiber cloths. This is the mop I have owned for several years. I use the thick microfiber pads to dust my hardwood floors, the mop pad for damp cleaning. For the money, this is the best option for a great mop system to keep wood, laminate, vinyl, and tile floors look good!

 

Best for eyeglasses and electronics

Elite Tech Gear Microfiber Cloths

Microfiber and CleaningThis is the most amazing microfiber cleaning cloth specific for cleaning electronic device screens, eyeglasses and other extremely delicate surfaces—in a usable size and at an affordable price.

This cloth isn’t one of those tiny scraps of fabric like the one that came with your new eyeglasses. At 12” x 12”, an Elite Tech Gear Cloth is the right size and quality to clean your big screen TV, your eyeglasses, and mobile phone screen, too. This cloth is ultra-fine microfiber—soft and silky—which means it will not scratch even the most delicate surface, leaving it crystal clear and squeaky clean, too.

 

Best for automotive

Chemical Guys Professional Grade Microfiber Towel

A close up of a towelUsing old towels from around the house to wash and detail your car is one way to do it, but not the best idea if your time is valuable and you’d rather not end up with new scratches on the paint in the process.

Microfiber towels are a much better idea. A good quality, microfiber towel will not harm the paint, cuts the job of toweling off a car in half the time and as a bonus, leaves no streaks or scratches behind.

For this big job, you need a microfiber towel of equal size. Chemical Guys microfiber 16” x 24” towels are made from the best 70/30 softest lint-free materials—just perfect to fold into fourths, the way car washing professionals do!

These cloths have super thick pile—the secret for mopping up standing water on any surface, especially the surface of your car. Works like magic on the windows and windshield, too!


Up Next:

Five Fabulous Super Cheap Homemade Cleaner Recipes for Eyeglasses, Windshields, Counters, Floors, and Carpets

The 3 Vacuums I Use Every Day and Absolutely Swear By

25 Items Under $25 to Help Organize Your Life


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14 replies
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  1. Anne Fine says:

    I have several microfiber OdoBan chamois. I use them for all kinds of cleaning & dusting. Love them! …And none of that static feel.

    Reply
  2. Gina Stevens says:

    Mary, I’ve been a fan of Microfiber cloths for decades. You’re right; you cannot skimp on quality, but they last for years. For windows and mirrors, I use only water and wring the heck out the cloth. I wipe the window/mirror and it dries streak-free within seconds. I color-code the microfiber cloths for various uses, so bathroom cloths are never used in the kitchen and window/mirror cloths never touch soap or detergent. They’re magic! Thanks! Air hugs and elbows!!

    Reply
  3. peggy says:

    at least 10 y/ago, i purchased Campanelli microfiber cloths. they had the same instructions u just gave, and for a change i followed them. i have all the cloths i purchased. to date, half have
    not even been used. i use them for everything, even removing make-up. Mary, thanx for your tips. as proven, they r timeless.

    Reply
  4. Sandy says:

    I really like the clothes made by Kay-Wow, also available on Amazon. They will clean glass and never, I mean never, leave any streaks. The will clean other things just as well and you only wash them in water.

    Reply
    • Mary Hunt says:

      Yes. That’s certainly an option. However, it’s not always easy to determine what “hot” means in terms of temperature, in a washer. In the absence of soap or detergent, we know for sure that good old 212F will kill the bad stuff for sure. I save up the soiled microfiber cloths until I have a bunch, then zap them at once in my biggest pot. I let it boil for about 10 mins. Easy peasy.

      Reply
      • Laurie grossmann says:

        But the manufacturer you recommend says microfiber can’t withstand more than 140 degrees.

  5. Bonnie says:

    Funny you should do this post. I just received my order of ecloths in the mail today! I was invited to a Norwex party so decided to research these cloths & chose the much less expensive ecloths instead. Tired of all the “rags” saved for cleaning & decided to downsize & make my utility room neater. If I’m not happy with these, I will give yours a try!

    Reply
  6. Kim Rubin says:

    I bought some (supposedly) good microfiber cloths a while ago and hate them as they feel “static-y” every time I touch them and I hate that. Do the blue ones you listed above feel that way, or do they feel like regular cloth?

    Reply
    • Mary Hunt says:

      I know what you are referring to. And while that is the nature of microfiber (magnet-y), good quality 70/30 cloths like those in this post are much more feel-friendly. Hope that helps.

      Reply
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