How to Clean Microfiber Cloths The Right WayPin

Quick Tips to Clean Your Microfiber Cloths and Eliminate Germs

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It’s no secret: I am a big fan of microfiber cloths and consider them one of the essential cleaning tools every home needs. You’ve probably noticed they feel different than other fabrics. It’s important to clean microfiber cloths differently, too.

Microfiber cloths are woven from ultra-fine fibers that are then split. Those splits—or micro fibers—give them more cleaning and drying surface, but also more surface to hold on to stains.

Cleaning them is all about protecting those micro fibers, so you need to know how to wash microfiber cloths properly, but also what to avoid.

Washing Microfiber Cloths

Shake your microfiber cloths outside before washing to get rid of dust and debris. Pretreat stains with a few drops of liquid dish soap or laundry detergent, then wait 10 minutes. Wash microfiber cloths in their own load using a warm, heavy duty cycle and a mild detergent. Tumble on low heat, or air dry.

What to Avoid

  • Heat, bleach and vinegar will all ruin the bristles that make these such excellent cleaning rags.
  • Wash them separately to protect the fibers. Abrasion from other clothes in the wash will ruin them.
  • Also skip the fabric softener: it adds a coating that keeps the bristles from picking up debris.

Pro Tip

I buy sets of microfiber cloths with different colors, then use one color for dusting, one for glass and mirrors, and one for bathrooms. Then I just need to worry about eliminating germs from the bathroom cleaning cloths.

How to Eliminate Germs

If you’re concerned about cross-contamination, the solution is at least 30 minutes in a hot dryer or line-drying in bright sunlight: both methods eliminate germs. You can also wash them in hot water—I do—but understand that hot water wears them out sooner.

How Long Do They Last?

With proper washing, microfiber cloths last around 100 laundry cycles. When they stop feeling bristly and start to feel more like soft fabric, it’s time for new ones.

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11 Comments

  1. I use mine to sweep the floors – it does a really good job! Unfortunately, I cannot get the cloths cleaned in the machine! I remove any large dust balls and hair but it always comes out a mess – a big mess. Any advice on how to get the hair and dust off these towels so I can start fresh? Thanks!

    1. Katie Berry says:

      You can always try vacuuming them with the upholstery attachment on your vacuum cleaner. 🙂

    2. This is the single biggest reason I hate microfuber cloths. Everyone touts then and I wanted to jump on the bandwagon but they are impossible to remove all the hair and lint from. Making then less and less effective everytime I use them. And I wash per all recommend methods too: not too hot, by themselves, no softeners etc. But after maybe just a couple of weeks and washes they are depositing more random lint fibers than pieces of dust they pickup. Makes me want to tear my hair out!

    3. Katie Berry says:

      I just fill a sink halfway with hot water straight from the tap, add a few drops of dish detergent, and rinse my cloths repeatedly while cleaning them. Then give them another good swish after use and let them dry. When I have enough dirty ones, I toss them together into the wash in their own load.

  2. Hi can I dry two different color microfiber cloth together after washing. exp: blue and red .

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Yes. They don’t really bleed onto each other and, even if they did, they’re cleaning cloths so it doesn’t matter.

  3. Katie Berry says:

    Pretreat the stains how I described above.

  4. What do you recommend for dealing with microfiber ha is getting hard/crunchy feeling due to hard water? I’ve read other places that a vinegar rinse will help with that but I want to extend the life as long as possible as well.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      I haven’t encountered that problem, to be honest, even though I have hard water. Are they “crunchy” from air-drying perhaps?

  5. Thanks, Katie! I am going through your 30 Days to a Clean and Organized House book and loving all the cleaning solution recipes and checklists!

    1. Katie Berry says:

      I’m so glad you’re enjoying it!

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