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While most microfiber product manufacturers will provide some basic instructions on how to wash their microfiber cleaning cloths and towels, the instructions can be vague or might miss essential points when it comes to maintenance. this can often leave.
As a result, a lot of folks are left feeling confused or unsure about how to treat or launder their microfiber items.
Here, you’ll find not only the basic how-to instructions on how to wash microfiber cleaning cloths and towels in your machine but also few handwashing tips too.
We also offer some preventative tips and helpful habits to make cleaning your microfiber products easier and cover how to make them last longer in some cases. And we even answer some of the Internet’s top questions regarding washing microfiber towels and cloths in general.
In This Post…
How to Wash Microfiber Cleaning Cloths and Towels
The following steps are basic instructions on how to clean microfiber cloths and towels and are mostly meant as machine-washing methods, but you can apply some of these steps to handwashing as well, or keep reading for more tips.
For cleaning microfiber dusters, you can view the next 5 steps and then head over to the FAQ section for washing dusting products, here. Same for polishing cloths, which you can find further instructions for here.
1. Separate cleaning cloths from other types of laundry to avoid lint buildup.
You can avoid a lot of hassle if you separate your microfiber towels and cleaning cloths from other types of laundry before you go about washing them. This is because most laundry may pill or cause lint which the microfiber items will easily latch onto, giving you more to deal with later.
2. Make sure microfiber cleaning cloths and towels are free of large debris.
Debris might include anything from twigs or vegetation if you’ve been using your cleaning cloth outside, down to coffee grounds, crumbs, hair, sauce-y liquids, etc.
3. Set the washing machine to the appropriate setting or whatever setting the manufacturer of your towels or cloth recommends.
While some microfiber cleaning cloths, such as E-Cloths, say you can use hot water for a short period (i.e., boiling the cloth for 5-10 minutes to remove grease buildup), some manufacturers recommend avoiding high heat altogether. This usually applies to temps no higher than 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 degrees Celsius).
So check with the instructions or the manufacturer or their care instructions first, if you plan to use hot water. You can also test a single cloth on its own before doing an entire load of them.
4. Add a small amount of detergent to the wash.
Less is more when it comes to the amount of soap you should be using to clean microfiber cloths and towels. Most manufacturers recommend using no more than 1 to 2 teaspoons—especially if you’re using high-efficiency detergent.
Avoid detergents with laundry additives like fragrance, bleach, or softeners.
You can set your microfiber items to soak via a pre-treat setting on your machine or manually if they’re stained rather than trying to use more detergent.
5. Line dry or machine dry the cleaning cloths and towels on Tumble Dry with low to no heat.
You can toss your washed microfiber cloths and towels into the dryer on a medium to low heat setting or, if you prefer, line-dry them. Many manufacturers claim that line drying will help the items last longer since there’s no heat involved.
Caution: Microfiber is essentially a blend of plastics—meaning, it can be prone to melting when subject to excessive amounts of heat—or, at the very least, the product may not perform as well afterward. And, again, always dry your items separately from other types of laundry to prevent issues with lint.
You can clean microfiber cleaning cloths and towels by hand if you prefer to, which some manufacturers even suggest as the best option for caring for your microfiber products, and you can also hang them to dry. Just make to use very little soap—less than you might typically use in a machine since they don’t need very much—and rinse well, if not several times over.
We sometimes wash our microfiber cleaning cloths in a sink or large bucket and with a mobile washer. However, ever since we had to go a month or so without a washer and dryer during our move last year, we haven’t exactly been in the mood for manual or hand washing solutions. Sheesh!
Our Personal Method
Overall, as long as you avoid using too much heat and soap, you can play around with it to see what works for you.
For our households, we try to do about a teaspoon’s worth in the washer with several cloths or towels in the washer at the same time about once a week. We’ll occasionally add about 1/4 cup of vinegar to our high-efficiency LG washer during the rinse cycle. Or, worst case, soak them in vinegar water later on if we forget to do it while things are rinse. And then we either tumble dry on low heat or, lately, hang them to dry.
I also prefer to wash my nicer cloths for the kitchen, dusting, and/or interior windows and mirrors separately from ones that are for bathrooms, dirtier jobs, or exterior work. And I personally prefer to clean things like toilets with a proper towel, just because I like to overthink things. 🙂
Troubleshooting & Tips
Here are a few common questions or concerns that people typically have when trying to learn the best methods for washing their microfiber towels or cleaning cloths. Ironically, most of these concerns also tend to involve the same solutions.
And if you’re looking for even more ways on how you can troubleshoot or better maintain your microfiber cleaning cloths or towels, check out our post on 14 Tips on How to Wash, Use and Maintain Microfiber Cloths, Towels, and Pads, which is also where some of these tips come from—plus many more.
1. How Do You Get Grease Out of a Microfiber Cleaning Cloth?
Vinegar Soak: While we typically suggest not using microfiber cloths on heavy grease messes or spills whenever possible, to get grease out of microfiber cleaning cloth you can try soaking it in vinegar water for a while (about 20-30 minutes) or as long as necessary. Then, you can wash the cloth(s) with a mild detergent (not too much) and repeat as necessary.
Double, Double, Boil and Trouble: Some manufacturers will recommend boiling their cloths for about 5 to 10 minutes to remove grease, such as ones by E-Cloth.
However, always double-check the care instructions that come with your specific product, or contact the manufacturer directly before trying this method out.
This is because most manufacturers say to avoid high heat, and their cloths may not handle boiling temperatures as well since microfiber is essentially made of a special plastic blend.
2. How Do You Remove or Prevent Lint From Getting On Microfiber Towels and Cleaning Cloths?
To prevent lint from getting onto your microfiber cleaning cloths or towels, always wash them separately from other types of laundry.
It’s also important to remove any lint that you might trap on the cloth before throwing them in the wash or as you’re cleaning since it will likely be easier to remove vs. when things are dry.
Removing Lint Buildup
To get lint that’s already on the cloth off, remove the large bits by hand as much as possible. You can use tape with a strong adhesive or a bristle brush. Lint rollers can also help to some degree too.
Some people may also use a pilling device or lint remover for more severe cases of lint buildup and when other solutions don’t seem to work.
3. What Do I Do If I Used Fabric Softener or Dryer Sheets with Microfiber Cloths by Mistake?
Option #1: Boil It.
If you used fabric softener or dryer sheets with microfiber cloths or towels by mistake—no worries!
Some manufacturers recommend re-washing the items in warm to hot water; whereas, companies like E-Cloth mention boiling the items for 5 to 10 minutes.
However, not all manufacturers recommend using high heat on their microfiber products, so test things out first or refer to the product instructions first if you’re unsure.
You can also use water from an electric kettle if you prefer not to do it by the stovetop.
Option #2: Vinegar It.
Vinegar is an awesome natural softener that people use in their washing machines, and it works well for removing buildup in laundry, including microfiber products.
In fact, we love to use vinegar routinely on our microfiber cloths, mop heads, and other items ever so often (about every quarter) to help remove any soap residue, which we feel helps them last longer and perform better.
What we like to do is use white distilled vinegar that’s been diluted with water inside a bowl of warm-to-hot water and let the cloths soak for a while (about 10-20 minutes or as desired). We generally prefer to eyeball it, so do what works best for you, but about 1/4 to 1/2 cup vinegar should be good, depending on how many you plan to wash at one time and if you plan to dilute.
Option #3: Vinegar and Spin It.
Some people will also add vinegar to their washing machine as they’re washing their microfiber cloths and towels. We sometimes do this during the rinse cycle or re-run the machine after the initial washing, using the Rinse option and about a cup of vinegar only.
However, some washing machines may have parts that don’t work well with vinegar, so make sure to check with the manufacturer or use this method with caution.
Running the items through the wash and then soaking them in a vinegar solution before drying them or hanging them to dry can work just as well if you’d rather not risk it.
4. How Do You Keep Microfiber Cloths or Towels From Becoming Stiff?
In most cases, microfiber cloths and towels (or pretty much any kind of laundry type) can become stiff or even downright hard when too much laundry detergent or cleaning product has been used. It may also be an issue of too much grease buildup.
Luckily, removing excess soap, grease, or detergent can be fairly easy to do and generally involves the same options or steps as you might use to remove fabric softener or dryer sheet residue from cleaning cloths and towels.
1. Soak the cloths in warm water with vinegar.
As mentioned under the fabric softener or dry sheet section, you can use anywhere from a 1/4 to 1/2 cup of vinegar and fill the rest of the bowl up with water. However, if the buildup is severe, it might help to do up to 1 part vinegar to 1 part water.
Soak for at least 10-20 minutes, if not longer, to achieve the desired result. It also helps to swirl the cloths around inside the bowl every now and then to agitate and further cleanse the fibers.
2. Try re-washing the product with water only or with a cup of vinegar.**
Some people find it useful to add vinegar to their wash since it works as a fantastic and natural alternative to fabric softener—making it the ideal choice for removing stiffness from laundry in general too.
Assuming the cloths are not soiled aside from the soap or product buildup (have been washed but came out of the wash stuff), you can add about a cup of vinegar or so to the machine. Let it run on the speediest setting while on warm or hot, unless the manufacturer of the product suggests staying away from high heat temps.
Depending on your machine and the amount of water it uses, you may need to use more or less vinegar, but you can play it by ear if this is the route you choose to go with. We typically find that we don’t need to use much vinegar in our HE washer.
Caution: **While we have never experienced issues across three or four different machines over the years, keep in mind that vinegar can be harsh on some machines and their rubber-like parts, depending on what materials are involved, and leaks may occur. You can contact your manufacturer to see if it’s safe to use vinegar, or you can opt to wash them by hand.
3. Boil the microfiber cloths and/or towels for 5-10 minutes.
As mentioned above, some manufacturers, such as E-cloth, will suggest boiling cleaning cloths for 5 to 10 minutes to remove excess cleaning product or detergent residue from microfiber cleaning cloths to get rid of any stiffness. However, certain manufacturers may recommend avoiding high temperatures, warning that it may ruin the fibers of the cloths, if not melt them entirely.
While boiling can help to reduce stiffness, always check with the care instructions for the type of cloths or towels you have, or consider contacting the manufacturer directly to see if it’s okay to boil the material or if they have an alternative solution.
- Try to wash or change out your cleaning cloths and towel for a new one as soon as the one you have out starts to feel grubby or doesn’t seem to perform as well.
- For cleaning cloths that you might use for cleaning up the kitchen or to do light clean up jobs around the house, it’s best to replace the used cloth with a clean one each day or no more than 2-3 days maximum.
Below are a few of the Internet’s most frequently asked questions (FAQs) on cleaning microfiber cloths and kitchen towels.
1. How often should I wash my microfiber cleaning cloths and towels?
As a good rule of thumb, for things like wet dusting or regular kitchen use, you should generally clean or switch out your microfiber cleaning cloth daily or every other day for a new one. If, however, they aren’t too soiled, you may be able to stretch it out every three days.
The same goes for cleaning up big messes or things like grease, which can essentially “clog” a microfiber cleaning cloth.
Rinse and Wring Them Out Regularly
Make sure to rinse and wring out the cloth really well and often. This includes when you’re done with them for the time being and plan to put them elsewhere to be washed later.
Mold and Bacteria Prevention
It’s also good to leave the items in a place with good air circulation and hang them to dry if possible until you wash them next. However, some people may level them in a bucket or bowl full of vinegar water to help prevent mold for a few days (not too long)—though we haven’t been able to test this out for ourselves yet.
Helpful Habit #1
We also love to use older cleaning cloths that may be beyond their prime for dirty jobs, like cleaning window tracks, the care, outside areas, etc., especially since these jobs may result in staining.
Helpful Habit #2
Consider having several different types of cleaning cloths or designate them by color for the job they perform.
You can learn more about these tips next in our 14 Tips on How to Wash, Use and Maintain Microfiber Cloths, Towels, and Pads post, where we cover them in further detail along with even more tips.
2. How long do microfiber cleaning cloths last?
You can often find out how long a microfiber product might last by reading the product’s packaging, online listing, or referring to the company’s website, if not by contacting the company directly.
It can vary.
How long a microfiber cleaning cloth might last depends on the brand and level of quality. Some types may only be suitable for 100 or so washes, according to certain manufacturers. Others claim that theirs last up to 300-500 washes, such as with some products by E-Cloth and Norwex, which are two of the more popular and better quality brands of microfiber products you can find.
How you use and care for them matters.
The longevity of a microfiber cleaning cloth or towel can vary on how you treat them, as well as how often and well you clean them.
Other factors may include what kind of heat or mess you might put them through, and even what kind of products you use versus just using warm water or other solution, such as a vinegar and water solution.
3. Can you use dish soap with microfiber cleaning cloths?
You can use mild dish soap with microfiber cleaning cloths unless the manufacturer’s care instructions say otherwise.
However, it’s good to keep in mind that soap and cleaning products can clog up the material’s fibers rather quickly and don’t always wash away so easily. This can cause the cloth to become stiff or not perform as well.
And certain soaps may come with harsh additives that can also hinder the performance of a cleaning cloth or towel or cause damage.
Helpful Habit #1
We like to use our higher-quality cleaning cloths for jobs that mostly only need warm water to clean since it can help to preserve them longer (i.e., counters, fridge, stovetop, windows, wet dusting, etc.).
Still, we will sometimes use them with a little bit of dish soap or mild if necessary. But we generally prefer to use a separate set for dish-washing tasks or other clean-up jobs that may involve cleaning sprays.
Just be careful and avoid anything with bleach, oils, or other harsh chemicals.
Helpful Habit #2
It may also be necessary to remove residue buildup when you use soaps or cleaning products with your microfiber cleaning cloths, which you can find instructions for in our Troubleshooting section.
4. Can you use microfiber cleaning cloths with regular cleaning products?
As mentioned in FAQ Question #3, you can use mild cleaning sprays with your microfiber products in most cases, but you’ll want to avoid products with bleach, hydrogen peroxide, or other harsh chemicals since they can cause damage.
But it should be okay if you’re using something more gentle, like Method or Mrs. Meyer’s products.
Just keep in mind that you may have to remove residue buildup over a period of time to get the cloth to work as well as before, which you can do by soaking it in some vinegar water for a bit every few months or as necessary.
However, you often won’t need anything more than warm water and maybe a hint of vinegar, along with the right microfiber cleaning cloths for most jobs.
5. How can I help prevent microfiber microplastics from contaminating water sources?
While there’s no sure-fire way to prevent all microplastics from shedding from your microfiber cleaning cloths or kitchen towels and getting into the water system, according to some experts, there are steps you can take to help reduce the problem.
- Avoid using high amounts of heat. High heat can cause microplastic to shed off the cloth or towel.
- Try to use liquid detergent instead of powder to reduce unnecessary friction.
- Avoid too much friction. Sometimes friction from high revolutions in the dry or washer can cause more shedding of microplastics. Therefore, consider running your machine at a lower speed when possible.
- Consider using washing your microfiber cleaning cloths and towels inside a fine mesh laundry bag that can help filter the microplastic to some degree. It’s not going to 100% stop the shedding, but it may help filter and keep microplastics from getting into the water system. One popular choice is by Guppyfriend, which is specifically designed for trapping microfiber plastics.
- Hang your cloths to dry when possible.
- Rinse and wring out your microfiber cleaning cloths well after each use to keep them cleaner for longer while in use.
- Try to wash your cloths less, which you can do by investing in more cloths for the tasks you need them for the most and washing in large but still separate (from other types of laundry) loads.
- Take care of your microfiber products to ensure they last longer. You can find extra tips for this in our 14 Tips on How to Wash, Use and Maintain Microfiber Cloths, Towels, and Pads post.
- Consider a special microfiber lint trap.
- Try a microfiber/microplastic ball trap, like the Cora Ball, which is designed to trap microfiber and other lint-like pollutants.
6. How do you clean microfiber polishing cloths?
In most cases, you can wash your polishing cloths alongside your cleaning cloths and towels, as mentioned in the basic instructions guide at the beginning of the post.
Again, make sure to use a minimal amount of detergent and avoid fabric softeners and excessive amounts of heat. If washing solo, you should only need to use a few drops of detergent.
You also won’t likely have to wash polishing cloths all that often–or at least not nearly as often as you would other microfiber products. This is because polishing cloths are usually used after cleaning any given surface and typically only with a small amount of water involved.
To dry, we recommend low heat or hanging them to dry in place with good air circulation (a.k.a. line drying).
7. How do you wash microfiber dusting cloths or gloves?
Most microfiber dusting cloths and gloves can usually be washed alongside microfiber cloths and towels and by following the basic instructions. However, they generally don’t need as much detergent and they do best when they’re hung to dry in an area with good air circulation.
If you’d rather toss the dusting cloth in the dryer, it’s likely best to do so with little to no heat.
In this post, we covered the basic steps on how to wash microfiber cleaning cloths and towels in your washing machine, as well as tips for handwashing or washing them through other manual methods too.
Those 5 basic steps for washing microfiber cloths and towels include:
We shared several tips and helpful habits to try out to help make the experience a little easier. We also provided a few answers to common troubleshooting questions people have regarding washing their microfiber cloths and towels.
And we answered some of the Internet’s most frequently asked questions about laundering microfiber in general, ranging from how do you make your microfiber products last down to ways to deal with preventing microplastics from potentially shedding and getting into the water system in our FAQs section.
We hope you enjoy this topic and found the content to be helpful. If you have any tips you want to share on washing or maintain microfiber cleaning cloths and towels, feel free to post them down in the comments. And don’t forget to check out our other microfiber-cleaning post for even more maintenance tips.
Ciao and happy cleaning!
Great tips! I’m actually washing my towels & cleaning cloths tomorrow, I’ll keep these tips in mind! Thankyou! 🙂
Thank you! I hope they help. 😊