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How to Clean Microfiber Cloths

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1
Washing Microfiber Cloths
A person placing a microfiber cloth in a washer.

When washing microfiber cloths, avoid harsh soap, fabric softener or detergent with any kind of laundry additives, including fragrances and fabric conditioners. These can coat the fibers of the cloth and make them less effective for cleaning.


Lightly dusty or dirty microfiber cloths can be hand-washed.


Hand-Washed:

  • Shake out the fabric outdoors or into a trash bag to release excess dirt.
  • Run a basin of cool or warm water.
  • Add cloths and agitate by hand. Hand scrub any heavily stained areas.
  • Soak the cloths for 15 to 20 minutes, then agitate again.
  • Rinse the towels thoroughly under running water.
  • Wring out excess water.


Microfiber cloths can be machine-washed for convenience or if the fabric is excessively dirty or stained. Do not wash microfiber cleaning cloths with other types of fabric. Other fabrics can ruin the fibers of your microfiber cleaning cloths, abrading the fibers and leaving lint on the microfiber surface. In particular, avoid mixing cotton fabrics with microfiber.


Machine-Washed:

  • Shake the microfiber cloths outdoors or into a trash can to release excess dirt.
  • Machine wash a load of microfiber cloths in cold or warm water. Do not use hot water.
  • If using detergent, choose a gentle detergent with no scent or laundry additives. Use a small amount of detergent, no more than one or two teaspoons.
  • If the microfiber towels have an odor that needs to be eliminated, add a tablespoon of white vinegar to the machine load.
  • Allow the machine to complete half of the agitation cycle, then stop the cycle and allow the load to soak for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Resume the wash cycle and allow it to complete.


Tip: There is a difference between detergent that is “unscented” versus one that is “fragrance-free.” Unscented detergent may contain additives that are used to cover the scents of the soap ingredients, while “free” detergents are generally without any additives, such as color, scent or fabric-conditioning ingredients.

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Drying Microfiber
A microfiber cloth drying on a clothesline.

Microfiber cloths have the advantage of being quick to dry, whether you choose to air-dry or machine dry.


Air-Drying:

  • Shake out the microfiber cloths and hang to dry in direct sunlight.
  • If hanging indoors, make sure you hang them in an area with good air circulation.


Machine Drying:

  • Thoroughly clean out the dryer lint trap both before and after drying microfiber cloths. A dirty trap can spread dryer lint and deposit it on the microfiber, damaging the fibers.
  • Do not add dryer balls or dryer sheets to the load.
  • Set the dryer to a low heat or an air-dry cycle.
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Maintain Your Microfiber Cleaning Cloths
A person wiping a table with a microfiber cloth.
  • Shake cloths out after each use to dislodge dirt; rinse thoroughly.
  • Store microfiber cloths together, separate from other types of cleaning cloths or materials.
  • When using microfiber cloths, avoid cleaning chemicals. Most microfiber works better with water only. If you do want to use chemicals, use very small amounts.
  • Do not iron microfiber cloths; excessive heat can melt the fibers.

Microfiber cloths make short work of most cleaning tasks and clean well while allowing you to reduce the amount of cleaning products you use. Invest in good microfiber cleaning cloths and care for them properly to extend their life and save money over the long term.