You might be surprised to find out that microfiber towels have been around since the 90s – over thirty years ago! They’ve become a staple in nearly every household since, but most people don’t realize you can get a lot more mileage out of them with proper washing techniques. This post will share methods to clean microfiber towels effectively.
To clean your microfiber towels:
- Shake out the microfiber towels after use.
- Use a conservative amount of gentle detergent.
- Wash the towels in cold or warm water.
- Pause mid-cycle to soak.
- Clean out the dryer’s lint trap.
- Use the low heat or air-dry setting to dry.
These steps (along with some additional considerations) will ensure you clean your microfibers without damaging their effectiveness. Read on to learn more!
Shake out the microfiber towels
Before taking your towels to the laundry, shake them out to remove light debris and dust. We recommend doing this in a well-ventilated area – outside is ideal. Once you’ve shaken them thoroughly, take them inside to be laundered.
Use a conservative amount of gentle detergent
Choose a scentless detergent with no additives, such as scrubbing powder, sudsing agents, or mold killers. These unnecessary ingredients can damage fibers and ruin the towel’s ability to absorb moisture and pick up debris.
You will only need a conservative amount of gentle detergent in your washer. Rather than filling your detergent well to capacity, pour in about a quarter of the amount you’d commonly use. Microfibers are generally small and thin, meaning you won’t need much detergent to clean them effectively.
Additional products to avoid when washing microfibers
You’ll want to avoid two products when cleaning microfiber towels: bleach and fabric softeners.
Using bleach when laundering dirty microfiber cloths may seem reasonable. However, bleach breaks down tiny fibers and removes the electrical charge that makes microfibers so effective at picking up dirt. Chlorine will ruin a microfiber towel in only one wash, so it is crucial never to use bleach.
Though fabric softeners are tempting to use on any washables to add a pleasant scent and prevent static cling, they will make microfiber cloths less effective. In fact, microfibers rely upon their static charges to help them attract dirt. Softeners clog the fibers of towels, reducing their ability to grab onto small particles.
All is not lost if you’ve already washed your towels using a fabric softener. The effects of accidentally using a fabric softener are reversible – simply rewash the microfiber towels, and you’ll be good to go.
Wash the towels in cold or warm water
Start with an empty washer. Fibers on other clothing – t-shirts, jackets, or pants – can grate against microfibers and ruin them. Wash your microfiber towels in a separate load.
Water temperature matters when laundering. Microfiber towels contain plastic that melts in high temperatures. You need a small amount of warmth to get your towels cleaned. Use your machine’s warm or cool setting to prevent damage.
Pause mid-cycle to soak
We include this step in case you’re dealing with exceptionally stained towels. When microfibers are very dirty, it helps to stop the wash cycle midway to allow towels to soak. Pause the cycle for 15-20 minutes if you’re removing stubborn stains, and then resume the wash.
Clean out the dryer’s lint trap
Before spinning your microfibers, thoroughly clean your dryer’s lint trap. Lint readily clings to microfiber towels, and excess dryer lint can leave your towels looking dirty even after a good wash. A clean lint filter will result in cleaner towels and ensure a safe dry.
One other hint about drying: Avoid using dryer sheets or balls. Like fabric softeners, these items can clog or damage the tiny fibers in your towels, causing them to be ineffective.
Set the dryer to the lowest heat setting or an air-dry cycle
Heat can quickly damage microfibers. Opt for the lowest possible heat setting or use an air-dry cycle if available. Set a short drying time of 20 minutes to start. Check the towels and add additional time if they're still damp.
If you don’t have a dryer, just hang your microfibers to air dry.
Once your newly-cleaned towels are dry, shake them thoroughly to remove any lint or strings. Fold, and store them in a clean spot, so they’re ready for your next detail!
Of course, you can go old school
Hand-washing is always an option to clean your microfiber towels. If you prefer to go old school, follow the steps below.
Shake your cloth outdoors or into a trash bag to release excess dirt.
Fill a bucket or basin with cool-to-warm water. Add a few drops of unscented, additive-free detergent.
Add the cloths and agitate by hand. Hand scrub any heavily stained areas.
Allow the microfibers to soak for 15 to 20 minutes, then return to agitate again.
Thoroughly rinse the towels under running water.
Wring out excess water, then hang to dry or tumble dry on your machine’s air fluff or low heat setting.
Keep it clean!
Microfibers are a staple for cleaning households and cars because they’re tough, reusable, efficient, and budget-friendly. Most would agree their benefits are worth the extra considerations you must make before you clean them. Invest in quality microfiber cleaning cloths and care for them properly to extend their life. You’ll keep things clean and save money over the long term!