When you think about cleaning materials, common products like soap, water, and cleaning solutions like bleach probably come to mind. However, traditional cleaning tools are changing, and consumers are becoming more conscious of how cleaning methods affect themselves and the environment.
Microfiber technology is one of the most important innovations for the cleaning industry in the last few decades. It’s a simple switch toward helping preserve environmental resources. When using microfiber material, the central benefits extend beyond just your own wellness. Microfiber helps preserve the environment by reducing how much waste you make and the use of water and harmful chemicals.
How Microfiber Cloth Is Different
Microfiber is a certain type of very small, synthetic textile fiber. Unlike the more common cotton towel, microfiber cloths more easily pick up microscopic materials, like bacteria and even viruses, without the need for chemicals. In many cases, microfiber actually eliminates the need for water and chemicals by capturing dust and dirt within its densely layered fibers.
These fibers can efficiently remove dirt, dust, soil, and microorganisms, and they even capture up to 99 percent of bacteria from surfaces. Essentially, they physically remove germs instead of immediately killing them. As a result, microfiber cloths and towels make effective, chemical-free alternatives for people interested in more natural cleaning products. They can be used to dry and pick up dust and debris, or you can wet them with water for larger messes. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many cleaning professionals use microfiber cloths combined with EPA-approved disinfectants on List N to remove and kill COVID-19 and other pathogens.
Microfiber cloths are also good for polishing surfaces on cars in addition to mirrors and windows. Perhaps best of all, instead of throwing them in the trash after every use, most can be put straight into the washing machine and be used at least dozens of times.
A Few Benefits Of Microfiber Cloths
- Microfiber cloths, when used with just water, are 98.9% effective at getting rid of bacteria from smooth surfaces. A cotton cloth or mop paired with Lysol or bleach is documented to be only 92% effective.
- Microfiber cloths don’t have lint and are non-abrasive.
- Microfiber cloths are hypoallergenic.
- Microfiber cloths can be reused over and over. They’re more plush and durable than other cleaning materials.
- Microfiber cloths dry in under half the time of traditional cleaning cloths.
Why You Should Use Microfiber For Cleaning
- Microfiber decreases exposure to chemicals in early childhood environments and decreases pollution from cleaning chemicals. By decreasing the need for harsh cleaning chemicals, microfiber cleaning tools help ensure both a hygienic and chemically safe environment.
- Microfiber is durable and reusable. Made from synthetic fibers, it saves the user money long-term and doesn’t easily break down.
- Microfiber products are often lighter than other cleaning materials. They’re able to secure bacteria and dirt without needing heavier cloth or supplemental cleaning agents.
Use Microfiber Cloths The Right Way
To get the most of microfiber cleaning cloths, start by using only one section of the cloth at a time. For example, fold the cloth into half, then fold it in half again. This folded sectioning of the cloth will give you a total of eight surfaces for cleaning. After the cloth begins to leave behind dirt or pieces of lint re-fold to a new section. Repeat until each side has been used or the cleaning is complete.
To get a sense for how different surfaces benefit from different microfiber cleaning techniques, let’s consider some examples:
After using the shower or bathtub, the wet surfaces can be dried with a microfiber cloth, which is usually absorbent enough to make the scrubbing process effortless. For instance, with a little force, you can clean the “ring around the tub” because of the “gripping-but-not-abrasive” quality of the microfiber. It should wipe off easily.
For dusting, it’s usually best to leave the cloth dry. The microfiber often removes the dust and holds onto it, and microfiber won’t scratch or scuff any furniture because it’s soft to the touch. It’s similar to cleaning with a cloth full of many small dust-grippers.
For glass and mirrored surfaces, many users wet just the corner of their microfiber cloth before wiping them down. Windows or mirrors don’t usually need to be sanitized, but if you wanted to mimic the cleaning agents in a normal glass cleaner without the toxicity, using a small amount of vinegar in a spray bottle of mostly water would help the microfiber cloth polish the glass while cleaning it.
Microfiber cloths come in different sizes, which is great for differentiating between dishcloths and more traditionally-sized cleaning towels. Microfiber’s excellent absorbency can soak up a lot of liquid, like after opening a ripe fruit or spilling a drink.
How To Clean Microfiber Cloths
In general, it’s best to hand wash microfiber cloths and towels with normal dishwashing liquid. Microfiber cloths are so effective at picking up dirt and germs that they do it even when we’re not intending them to. This can include capturing up small dirt or debris from your dryer. To eliminate this possibility, you can hang your cloths to dry outside with the sun or draped over your shower’s curtain rod.
You can also machine wash them at temperatures not exceeding 200 degrees Fahrenheit, and microfiber should dry at temperatures below 140 degrees. Don’t use bleach or fabric softener with microfiber cloths, and avoid mixing microfiber fabric with other materials in the wash, such as cotton (microfiber will absorb other materials’ lint and will have a shorter lifespan).
Due to microfiber’s densely packed, durable fibers, it’s an excellent cleaning material for public areas like malls, schools, hospitals, and smaller spaces like your own home. It’s especially effective at keeping environments free from dirt, dust, and bacteria. As consumers become more attentive to the environmental impact and lifespan of their cleaning tools, microfiber products help save money through reusability and protect the environment from without the need for harsh cleaning chemicals.