rubber gloved hand cleaning white surface with a blue microfiber cloth

The Magic of Microfiber Cloths Plus How to Use and Care for Them

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 will be amazed by how fast and efficiently you can clean. But there are a few tips and tricks for the best success.

rubber gloved hand cleaning white surface with a blue microfiber cloth

Housecleaning and car washing are chores that most of us love to hate. Who would have thought there could be a better way to scrub things clean than using good old soap and water and 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, but 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 really magic—it’s science.

Magical adhesive forces

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

Good quality microfiber will 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 will solve the problem

Dusting magnet

Use a microfiber cloth as you would a traditional dusting rag for household dusting. 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

For more general cleaning, you always want microfiber to be damp, even when using it to dry a surface. Always get a microfiber cloth soaking wet and then wring it out so that it feels slightly damp. Don’t add soap, which only reduces the cloth’s effectiveness.

Use a slightly damp microfiber cloth to clean virtually any hard surface. Try it on your bathroom and kitchen surfaces. 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, soapy water, or your favorite all-purpose cleaner to first wash off all the dirt. 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 excellent! 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.

Be warned: Plenty of fakes or poor-quality microfiber cloths are out there, so it’s good to know what to look for to know you’re not wasting your money on junk.

The best microfiber cloths are made of 70 percent polyester and 30 percent polyamide, or  70/30 for short.

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, and germs so effectively, it is mandatory that you remove everything that gets stuck in those magnet-like tiny fibers—much of which is not visible to the naked eye. Never launder microfiber with any other items other than microfiber. Lint for other fabrics will stick to them like crazy and microscopic bits of will eventually render microfiber completely ineffective!

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, by “washing” with water only, you will kill bacteria, germs, viruses without leaving any residues behind.

Never put microfiber through the clothes dryer—that place teems with microscopic bits of lint! Instead, Hang to air dry.

 

 

cleaning cloths and a mop

 

Best for general house cleaning

 

I’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 to keep clean. It can’t be too big, but not too small, either.

I like it to be edgeless (no binding or hem) and tagless. But I don’t want them to fray around the edge, give off tons of microfiber bits, stain easily, 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

A good microfiber mop comes 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, and 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 looking good!

 

 

Best for eyeglasses and electronics

 

No products found.

This 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 your 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.

 

 

Best for automotive

 

Using 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 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 a 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!

 


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17 replies
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  1. Kathy says:

    Mary: I have the 10-pack of microfiber cloths you recommended and it clearly states to not use water hotter than 140°. You say to follow the mfr’s instructions, but boiling works best. Are you just ignoring the 140° limit?

    Reply
  2. Wenonah says:

    Hi Mary, I stopped using soap many years ago and use Norwex microfiber cloths. I don’t know why they work so well, but my skin is much better and I have much less body odor. Do you know of any other similar cloths for a more economical price. Thank you in advance.

    Reply
  3. Paulette Almsted says:

    I discovered using my microfiber mop pad was the easiest and best way to get my windows dried fast and streak-free. I use a microfiber cloth to wipe down my shower faucets, trim, and door to eliminate water spots. I have always thrown them in with my regular laundry and haven’t noticed lint on them – just don’t use fabric softener! Thanks to your tips, I’ll use them on many other surfaces too.

    Reply
  4. Glenn Jess Rogers says:

    Cars and windows, wonderful. But what do you recommend for shiny and/or non-reflective TV SCREENS? Thank you, as always.

    Reply
  5. Chris Reid says:

    The best cleaning cloths I’ve ever used are wipe and glow cleaning cloths. I’ve been using the same one for months and it’s still going strong. I just keep washing it and using it. Makes cleaning glass a breeze!

    Reply
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