How to Clean & Care for Microfiber Cloths!

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We’ve convinced most of your to grab a few and replace your old cleaning cloths with these amazing tools. Microfiber is one of the very best cleaning tools you’ll ever come across, and if cared for properly, can last for up to 500 washes! And, because we have our very own line of microfiber cleaning cloths, we have quite some experience with all things microfiber. This also means we get asked all the time: “How do I care for and clean microfiber cloths?” Well, we have answers, so we put this little guide together as a reference for anyone who has questions about microfiber cloths!

Start By Rinsing

The beauty of microfiber cloths is that they are amazing at grabbing on to dirt, debris, and dust. While that’s great for cleaning, you want to try and get rid of as much of that stuff as you can prior to washing. So, after each use give them a really thorough rinse to get rid of any cling-ons, grease or leftover cleaning product.

Keep ‘Em Separated

You definitely want to keep your microfiber cloths separate from other laundry items. We do this because, as we know, microfiber cloths are designed to pick up absolutely everything! Well, this includes lint and debris that will inevitably come off of other garments and towels. So, if you wash these cloths with cotton or other fabrics, you’re likely to have them come out of the wash with little pieces of lint stuck to them.

Even if you only have a few microfiber cloths, it’s still a good idea to keep them separate. That being said, if you’re in a pinch, some people opt to place their cloths in a delicates bag, that way they have less exposure to potential clingy lint during the washing process.

What detergent should I use?

I like to use a scent free and dye free detergent. Something really gentle with no additives or anything else in it—the purer, the better.

Can I add bleach or fabric softener?

Absolutely not. We’re going with just plain old detergent and water, nothing fancy. Bleach will ruin the cloths, and fabric softener will clog up the fibers. I will on occasion add some vinegar to the fabric softener department, but that’s it.

What temperature should I use?

I generally launder exclusively with cold water. If I’m particularly concerned about a stain because I’ve cleaned up something truly nasty I may use warm water, but that’s it. Hot water won’t necessarily ruin the cloths, but a) it’s expensive, and b) there is a concern with heat (see below).

Can I put microfiber cloths in the dryer?

I recommend tumble drying on low, or no heat. You can even air dry them if you want. You also want to stay away from any type of fabric softener or even dryerballs—essentially anything that reduces static-cling. You want the static-cling! It’s one of the key benefits of microfiber, so you want to generate and store as much of it as you can during the drying process. Now, a note on too much heat; because of the nature of the material, microfiber can burn or melt when exposed to high levels of heat. Your dryer gets pretty hot, so this is why we recommend low, or no, heat when drying.

Don’t forget to check out our selection of the very best microfiber cleaning cloths on the market today at MakersClean.com!

microfiber cleaning cloths

Melissa Maker is an entrepreneur, cleaning expert, founder of Toronto’s most popular boutique cleaning service, and star of the Clean My Space channel on YouTube (but she still hates to clean!). Every week, Melissa delivers new videos dishing expert advice on cleaning products, tools, DIY substitutes, and practical, timesaving solutions to everyday problems. Melissa has appeared on the Today Show, and has been featured in InStyle, Real Simple, and Better Homes and Gardens.

52 COMMENTS

  1. Help, please. I just used a wood cleaning (and polish) kit that came with my furniture. It included a microfiber cloth. How should I clean the cloth? I was thinking of soaking it in soapy vinegar water… wondering what will get the wood oil and also the cleaner off? I used different sides of the cloth for that. The instructions for cleaning wood say “use a clean cloth…” so I want the cloth clean for next time.

  2. Hi Malissa, Is it possible to restore microfiber cloths that have been dried in a hot dryer numerous times? Thanks for your help

  3. Hi Melissa
    I was wondering if you could label your cloths with there intended purpose? I have micro fiber cloths from the company Casabella that have labeled for Glass etc.
    Thanks

  4. I just bought an Aquis microfiber towel 29 x 55 (made of “…Aquitex”…) and it feels so strange. There was some discussion below re: inexpensive vs. quality microfiber towels but I’m confused.

    This was pricy (for microfiber) 32 USD. It feels sticky to the touch. Not sticky-sticky but peculiar… I don’t even want to touch it.

    I removed it from the packaging (and mesh carry bag) and the static was so intense that it snapped, crackled and popped. Just holding it I can hear crackling! It is ultra-static-y.

    Is this normal?

    As already stated, I don’t like the unusual texture and I don’t want to touch it. I’m returning it but now I’m uncertain about which one to buy.

    PS
    I was planning on using it for my hair (to cut down on drying time) and buying smaller ones for cleaning but if they are all like this I won’t bother.

  5. I search and I can’t locate a video of you discussing cleaning Microfiber seat cushion covers of sectionals. PLEASE HELP

  6. I have a question. I just received my Maker cloths and am really excited about using them to cut down on paper towel waste. I’m using your home made all-purpose cleaner and disinfectant, one cloth for cleaner and one for disinfectant.

    I wipe down my kitchen counters, sink and dining table every day after dinner. Should I rinse the towels out each day after using them? Or just use them and let the air dry switching them out mid-week? For example, I hand wash our dishes every day so I switch out the tea towels on Mondays and Wednesdays. On Saturdays we do a kitchen laundry load that has 2-6 tea towels and the drying mat in it.

    We live in the drought-ridden southwestern U.S. and try not do more than 3-4 loads of laundry a week (there’s only two of us, and besides we pay for water), so if I have to machine wash these every few days paper towels may end up cheaper, if not as eco friendly. 🙁

      • My husband used them to clean the car and they picked up wax. When i cleaned my patio door, it was so streaky. He ruined my nice cloths. How can I get the wax out?

  7. Can the clothes break down and deposit fibres? Can the fibres break down? And what if people have a nylon allergy, or an allergy to one of the other plastic’s used? Would this make the clothes a no go, in a house where someone had such allergies?

  8. Micro-fiber cloth that is made in Korea suggests hot water wash (not over 140 degrees). With good micro-fiber cloths you can just shake out debris like tree leaves or grass clippings. Cheap micro-fiber (made in China) catches and holds on to everything and you can’t shake it out or wash it out. To know if you have a good micro fiber cloth, run it across your fingers and it will not snag on dry rough patches of skin. Cheap micro fiber will catch and pull on rough dry skin. There is no comparison between the two. Good micro-fiber made in Korea is hard to find. I order mine from The Rag Co. and when you view them it says “Korea”.

  9. I have bleached and used hot water (sanitize cycle on washer). Does this mean I should replace all my cloths as they will not work as well?

  10. If you say “Heat ruins the fibers, and repeated exposure to heat will render the cloth useless” then why is it OK to use the dryer? Wouldn’t it be better to line dry them?

  11. These clothes should really only be used as a final touch to remove finger-prints and the streaks caused by skin oils from monitors and glass windows and maybe for getting dust off of things. For everything else you should just be using regular clothes.

    • You definitely have the right idea. Microfiber cloths are good for only certain jobs and should not be used for others, unless of course you don’t mind spreading around some nasty whatever all over stuff. You will not find a cloth in my kitchen that has not first met the sanitizing process of hot water and chlorine bleach.

  12. Well, darn. I was all excited to buy some microfiber cloths after watching so many of your videos. Then I read this article and see that they do not biodegrade. That’s a no-go for me. I guess I will stick to cotton cloths. I know you love microfiber, but I would be grateful if you could briefly mention other ways to clean as well. For example, I see that you mention using coffee filters for cleaning glass. More tips like that so that we have options for whatever reason.

  13. I have a bunch of what looks like small particles of what looks like wood stuck in my cloths even after washing, although I haven’t wiped raw wood with my clothes. Is there some way to relax the fibers to get them to release this?

  14. You mention not bleaching or hot water. Do you use microfibre for kitchen and bathroom cleaning? If so, how do you keep them sanitary?

    • I recently spoke with an ER nurse who told me that washing linens etc…in warm water is best for killing “germs” (bacteria etc..) as hot cycles don’t really kill them, but warm will. That’s what the hospital does…so it’s good enough for me…can’t wait to see how my MF towels turn out 🙂

  15. “3) Wash using fabric softener or dryer sheets”

    Don’t you mean DON’T wash using fabric softener or dryer sheets?

  16. I’ve heard that you can buy a “brush” to clean out linen pieces that have attached to microfiber rags/cloths. Is this true? Where can you get one because i can’t find it anywhere!

  17. Hi Melissa
    I found a detergent that is formulated specifically for Microfibre cloths. It is low sudsing and supposed to help the fibre release dirt better than anything else and leave them most free from clogging fillers. I used it at work and it seemed to work very well. I bought a large quantity of cloths and waited to wash them all together.
    This article was very good and very clear. As microfiber picks up germs, I did wash my cloths in hot water now and then and they seemed not to suffer too badly. I dried them on cool.
    I look forward to checking out more of your website!
    thanks.
    Trudy

  18. I just have a question in regards to how you dry your cloths. If you do not own a dryer can you still use the good old natural sun to do the job? I know it doesn’t produce much static but it is really the only way I can dry things. Also I wanted to ask what was the best the way was to remove collected dust from the microfiber cloths. The work a wonder to removing dust, but come trying to remove the dust from the cloths before washing them, or even just washing them without doing anything, some of the dust just seems to stay. Is this normal?

    I haven’t been using them for very long, it has only been since coming across your cleaning videos on youtube that I had even heard of them. I have found they work such a wonder and am in the process of replacing majority of my old teatowels with these amazing cloths and only keeping ones for those jobs which microfibers aren’t suited for (aka the barbeque).

    • Hi Anita,
      to answer you about removing dust, I pick or shake off the larger dust bits or other things and then I wash the cloth by hand in the laundry tub or sink. For this I use plain natural dish soap, or a bar of laundry soap or plain Ivory bar soap and rinse very well. I found this best for getting them pre cleaned. I hang them to dry and collect them in a bag till I have enough for a small load for the washing machine.
      it takes work but I like getting them nice and clean.

  19. I am new fan, and I am excited to be. I have watched a plethora of your videos. I am moving out of my apartment soon, and I am on a budget. I have to clean up my old apartment before moving into my new one, and I watched a lot of your videos to find out the most affordable, safe, and effective way to clean my apartment. Thank you so much!

  20. *High* Heat ruins microfiber. No washing machine I know of reaches the 400F or higher that damages these fibers. A normal washing machine runs about 120F which is perfect for cleaning these fibers without even slightly damaging them. I absolutely recommend running these through at “hot” on a washing machine.

  21. I use these towels with auto wax and related products. Spray them down with a citrus degreaser and possibly pre-soak the nasty towels to dissolve heavy buildup. Lightly brush the stains with a (soft bristle) fingernail brush and wash as directed above.

  22. Hi Melissa! Can you hang dry these cloths? Also, can you make a page where you list links to the cleaning tools you use like the microfiber cloths, the window squigee, scraper etc.? Or is there already a page like this? I didn’t seem to see anything.
    Thanks for all the advice!!

    • Fabric soften will wash out. You can rewash the cloths well in hot water only. or dip them in a large pot of boiling water for a few seconds and wring out well. If you have further questions there are resources search Nordic ultramicrofibers

  23. Many years ago I sold, “The Cloth,” it was the initial introduction of microfiber cloths to the market before 3M and other companies caught on to these fabulous cloths. The thing I wanted to point out is we were always told NEVER wash in the washing machine and especially with fabric softener or bleach. It was always best to wash by hand using dish detergent preferably Dawn liquid. I used one cloth that I cut in half (half in the bathroom and half in the kitchen) for over 10 years before having to replace it. If washed immediately after a dirty job, you can keep them almost stain free for a long time. I don’t think it is possible with the ones on the market now but if you ever get a chance to buy the original do so … well worth it.

  24. Hi Melissa, I watched your video on hand washing dishes and was wondering if you can recommend any particular brand of microfiber waffle weave drying towell. I live in the US (rather than Canada), but maybe I could find your recommended brand online.
    Thanks so much, Renee Blanchard

  25. Hi Melissa. I love your site. I have a question about vinegar and microfiber. I make my own laundry detergent and use vinegar as a fabric softener. Is that safe for these cloths or should I leave the vinegar our of the dispenser?

  26. Hi, Malissa. I didn’t know the benefits of micro fibre clothes! They are fabulous! I’m going to start using them more often even in the bathroom for the tub. You say that you have to use cold water to wash them in. But how can I remove bacteria from the cloths in cold water?

  27. I just bought these – thank you so muc- someone pinned on Pinterest and I am so thankful that they did. I would have ruined the cloths for certain. Fantastic !

  28. Hi Malissa. You have convinced me too to buy microfibre cloth for dusting. LOL.
    May I ask how do you take care of white cloths like white shirts, white cotton pillow covers etc. I just wash them with liquid detergent in machine but eventually after some washes I could notice it turning into yellowish pale colour. How can I retain the same original white colour? Thanks very much.

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