If you’ve been using microfiber cloths for a while, then you’re probably familiar with their ability to make the cleaning process quick and easy. However, that’s only if they stay in good condition. The makeup of microfiber towels make them an ideal tool for latching onto dirt and debris, wet or dry, but it’s important to remove this grime properly. Without proper care, you’ll need to frequently replenish your stock of microfiber towels.
To keep your wipers in top condition, you first need to understand how to wash microfiber towels and maintain their quality for as long as possible. Let’s look a bit deeper into what this process looks like and some tips for proper care.
The Problem with Traditional Cleaning Methods
Microfiber towels have a unique makeup of synthetic fibers with a uniform star-shaped structure that is porous with a high surface area. This composition allows for the cloth to easily pick up tiny particles and be highly absorbent, making them excellent for cleaning lint, dust, and grease. Due to their specific makeup, these rags can’t be tossed into laundry with other materials, such as shop rags or huck towels, or you’ll run the risk of damaging the delicate fibers.
While microfiber is an excellent tool for many cleaning applications, they can pick up even the tiniest particles. That’s why the way you clean and store your microfiber wipers can have a large impact on their performance. Any remaining debris may scratch or damage the surface you are trying to clean. When working with clients, this is an important factor to consider.
If needed, microfiber cloths, towels, and mop pads can be washed in a standard washing machine for convenience, but it’s best to avoid this to keep them soft and prevent damage to the fibers. For optimal performance, hand-washing is the best way to go.
Tips for Using a Washing Machine and Dryer
In a pinch, you may opt for washing machines and dryers to quickly clean your dirty microfiber rags. While this method isn’t always ideal, it can still get the job done if executed properly. Here are a few tips to help you adequately clean your microfiber towels using a washing machine.
- Separate the Towels From Other Materials: You likely don’t want the debris from your microfiber towels to transfer to your other wipers and rags and you don't want lint or cotton fibers from other types of towels to be picked up by your microfiber towels. It’s best to keep all microfiber wipers separate from other rags you may be using in your food service kitchen, automotive shop, or salon.
- Use the Right Detergent: When it comes to bulk cleaning, it’s best to keep things simple. Try to look for a mild detergent that is free from harsh chemicals. Additionally, you won’t want to overdo it with the amount of detergent, as too much can build up on the fibers of the towel and hinder the cleaning capabilities in the future.
- Wash on Gentle: In a washing machine, the fibers in your wipers may become damaged if the machine is on too strong of a setting. Keeping the machine on a low setting will preserve the synthetic fibers and help the rags last longer.
- Add a Touch of Vinegar: If you notice that your towels are holding onto a bad smell, a little bit of white vinegar can help solve the problem. Plus, this can keep the towels soft if you notice that they’ve become a little bit frayed.
- Clear the Lint Trap: Microfiber can pick up almost anything, including lint. If the lint trap is too full, it can easily transfer to the towels. When you go to use them in your kitchen, salon, or garage, you’ll likely leave behind unwanted debris from your laundry machine.
- Dry on Low-Heat: While it’s recommended to air-dry your microfiber wipers, you can still put them in the dryer if needed. The wipers are made of synthetic materials, so drying on too high of a heat setting might melt the fibers.
Try Hand-Washing your Microfiber Towels for the Best Results
To keep your microfiber wipers in the best possible condition, we recommend hand-washing them. Machine washing is great for quickly washing cloths, but they may limit the lifespan of each rag. Here’s what you need to know to effectively wash microfiber towels by hand and preserve their cleaning capabilities.
Fill a Bucket with Cool Water
Hot water can damage low-quality fibers in some microfiber wipers. So, it’s best to stick to cool or cold water to preserve the quality of your rags.
Add a Splash of Detergent
When it comes to microfiber, a small amount of mild detergent, or no detergent at all, is the best way to go. Too much detergent can be difficult to rinse, causing the fibers to clump together and reduce their effectiveness in the future.
Scrub the Towels
When the towels are thoroughly soaked, scrub them by hand to free any dirt and debris from the fibers. It may take some elbow grease and a little bit of time to get the job done, but this method will keep the fibers intact. After scrubbing the wipers, wring out as much of the water as possible before drying.
Hang-drying or drying flat is the preferred method for microfiber towels. This prevents any lint or debris from sticking to the towels, which you may find happens after taking the rags out of a commercial dryer. You may leave the towels in the sun to dry a bit faster, but too much heat can damage the synthetic fibers.
Tips for Maintaining Microfiber Towels
Knowing the best methods to clean your microfiber towels can help them thoroughly clean almost any surface for several years. To ensure that you are adequately cleaning them and preserving their lifespan, here are some tips to keep in mind.
- Shake them out: As previously mentioned, microfiber does a great job of picking up debris. You don’t want large bits of debris mixing in with the towels when you wash them, so it’s best to shake them out while they’re dry and try to remove as much excess dirt before the towels get damp.
- Let them soak: Sometimes, the towels might need a little bit of extra time to dislodge dirt and grime that are stuck to the fibers. Before moving forward with your towel cleaning, let the rags soak in water with a tiny bit of detergent. This will loosen any tough dirt particles.
- Never use fabric softener: One of the key features of microfiber wipers is their ability to pick up most debris. Harsh chemicals found in fabric softeners and fragrances may form a coating that can inhibit the rag’s ability to perform.
- Always rinse thoroughly: Since microfiber acts like a magnet to other materials, it may take a little bit of effort to remove excess products from the towels. Extra care when rinsing can ensure that all detergent is thoroughly removed from the fabric and there’s no leftover product within the fibers.
- Store them with similar materials: To keep your microfiber towels in good condition for as long as possible, you need to consider the way that you are storing them. Keep microfiber towels in one location and try not to mix them with other rags. They may pick up the grime left on other products which will hinder their cleaning performance the next time you use them.
Put Your Towels to Good Use
Preventing dirt build-up and developing a proper cleaning routine for your microfiber towels will ensure that they are thoroughly cleaning almost any surface for several years. Without proper cleaning methods, you might run through microfiber cloths faster than you anticipated, resulting in excessive costs and wasted materials.
With the right care, microfiber towels should maintain their cleaning capabilities for a long time. The Coastal Wipers team is always on standby if you need to find more rags or replace old microfiber towels. For additional help, reach out to Coastal Wipers today!