Microfiber products, including microfiber towels, finally made their way to the United States after people benefitted from their use for several years throughout Europe and many parts of Asia. Sources often indicate that microfiber products originated in Japan. The material arrived in the United States as an excellent material for cleaning cloths, and as regular kitchen and bath towels.
Microfiber requires specialized, yet easy care. You must take proper care of microfiber towels and cloths, including cleaning them properly, in order to extend the life of your microfiber towels.
How can I use microfiber towels? How can I clean them? Can I wash microfiber towels in the washer, or do they need to be washed by hand? There are simple answers to these questions and other questions that you may have about caring for your microfiber towels and cleaning cloths.
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Uses for Microfiber Towels
Microfiber started out in Japan, but it was Sweden that popularized microfiber towels as cleaning cloths. Japanese scientists wanted to create a towel that quickly absorbed liquids, made parts and materials cleaner, and did not leave debris or lint after using the cloths.
Turbie Twist explains how microfiber towels became popular in the U.S. as a hair towels. Fabrics used in the manufacture of microfiber towels and cleaning cloths may include polyester, polyester with polyamide, acrylic, nylon, viscose, propylene, and any combination of the above fibers. The purpose of the microfiber towel may determine which fibers that a particular manufacturer uses to make the towels or cleaning cloths.
Some uses for microfiber towels, other than hair towels, include:
- Cleaning stainless steel appliances without leaving streaks or lint
- Cleaning windows with a lint-free and streak-free approach
- Using on electronics to remove debris and bacteria and germs
- Using to clean the inside and outside of vehicles
- Cleaning toys without the chemicals used in anti-bacterial wipes
- Cleaning your face to remove makeup and bacteria from your skin
The Pinnacle List also lists cleaning air vents, floors and bathroom fixtures with microfiber towels.
People are likely to get creative about using microfiber towels at home, at work, and other locations once they discover the excellent absorbency of microfiber, how well the towels clean, and the fact that you can reuse microfiber towels and cleaning cloths.
Microfiber towels also help people eliminate the need for paper towels, and to discover the wrinkle-resistant, lightweight, durable qualities of microfiber. They have millions of fibers, lift and hold bacteria, grease, liquids and grime.
Are All Microfiber Towels the Same Quality?
Microfiber towels have a wide variety of applications. Some manufacturers of microfiber products develop microfiber cloths for specific tasks. A Today contributor provides some examples of these specific products, including microfiber cloths used for dusting, cleaning stainless steel, and cleaning hard surfaces throughout the home.
Microfiber towels are not all created equal. The bargain microfiber towels have fewer fibers, compared to better quality microfiber cloths. The result is that the lower-quality towels do not clean as well, and they are not as durable as better-quality microfiber towels.
How Do I Clean Microfiber Towels?
Microfiber towels are not difficult to take care of if you follow the care instructions. Microfiber towels are reusable and durable if you take care of them. It is important to properly clean the towels if you plan to reuse them.
You have options when considering how to clean microfiber towels. Some people prefer to wash them by hand, while other people choose to wash microfiber cloths in the washing machine.
Hand Washing Microfiber Towels
Washing microfiber towels by hand is a personal decision. Start by shaking off all excess and loose dirt and grime. Next, fill a sink or wash basin with cool water. Do not use hot water to hand wash your microfiber towels or microfiber cleaning cloths. Tauwel indicates that microfiber towels are “meant to be washed either in cold or warm water.”
Use a mild, unscented, additive-free detergent to hand wash microfiber towels. Wash them separately from your other hand-washing items. Let the towels soak for about 15 minutes to loosen dirt and grime.
Scrub the microfiber towels where you see dirt or stains remaining after the soaking time. Let them soak again after you scrub them clean.
Rinse thoroughly in cool water. Hang your microfiber towels until dry.
Wash Microfiber Towels in the Washing Machine
You do not have to wash your microfiber towels by hand to get them clean. It is perfectly fine to wash them in your washer. Check the manufacturer’s tag first, to see if there are recommended cleaning products or cleaning methods.
Separate microfiber towels and cleaning cloths from other items. Never wash them with other fabrics. Do not wash them with your regular cotton towels. Maytag suggests that you separate your lightly soiled microfiber towels from the microfiber cloths that you use for deeper cleaning tasks.
Shake off excess dust and dirt before throwing the microfiber towels in the washing machine. Use a mild, additive-free and fragrance-free detergent. Do not use fabric softener when washing microfiber cloth or towels.
Use cold or warm water when washing microfiber items in the washing machine. Do not use hot water.
Do your microfiber towels have an unpleasant odor? Home Depot suggests adding a tablespoon of white vinegar to the load of microfiber towels.
Start the washer and allow the towels and cleaning cloths to wash on the gentle or delicate cycle. Are your microfiber towels heavily soiled? Pre-soak them before running through the wash cycle.
Some sources indicate that you should stop the washer about halfway through the cycle to allow 15 to 20 minutes of soaking time. It is your choice of whether to pre-soak them or to stop your washer and let them soak halfway through the wash cycle.
Drying Microfiber Towels
Air dry microfiber towels on a flat surface or on a clothesline to help maintain their absorbency.
Can you dry them in your clothes dryer? Yes, it is a personal decision. Take some notes into consideration before you throw them in the dryer.
Do not dry microfiber towels on the dryer’s high setting. Do not put any other towels or clothes in the dryer with your microfiber towels. Save the dryer sheets for your other loads of clothes that you put in the dryer. Do not use them when drying microfiber towels.
Dry on the “air” or the “low” setting. Remove promptly.
Maintaining Microfiber Towels
Follow manufacturer’s cleaning recommendations listed on the label of each microfiber towel and cleaning cloth.
Do not use strong cleaning products or products that have chemicals in them.
Always keep your microfiber towels together in one place. That way, you avoid mixing them in with other laundry.
Do not iron microfiber towels.
Why can’t I wash microfiber towels in hot water?
Washing microfiber towels in hot water risks shrinking the fibers of microfiber towels. Tauwel explains that washing them in hot water “attacks all the essential qualities that make a microfiber towel a microfiber towel.”
Why can’t I iron microfiber cloths and towels?
The heat of the iron runs the risk of shortening the life of microfiber towels. The fibers may become rigid.
Are microfiber towels expensive?
No, microfiber towels are often budget-friendly. They save money over time because you do not use a ton of paper towels to clean, and you do not need expensive chemical products for your household cleaning, or for all the other uses that you have for your microfiber towels and cleaning cloths.