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What Is a Microfiber Cloth &
How to Use It for Cleaning

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September 29, 2021

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Let’s start with the basics: what is a microfiber cloth? Microfiber cleaning cloths are made with a synthetic fabric that is usually 50 percent polyester and 50 percent nylon. The two plastics are forced through a tiny pipe and weaved together using heat. Then, the fibers are split into microfibers that can be up to 20 times smaller than the original fiber and about 200 times thinner than a human hair.

How Do Microfiber Cloths Work?

The split microfiber technology creates fibers that are so small they can remove microbes, spores, and other tiny pollutants from a range of surfaces without added chemicals or cleaners. The secret behind microfiber’s unique ability to remove and trap dust is an ionic charge. Microfiber contains a positive and negative charge that attracts small particles from most surfaces.

The Benefits of Using Microfiber Cloths

A microfiber towel is one of the most versatile tools in your housekeeping arsenal. What’s more, it may also be the easiest one to use.

Microfiber fabric cleans better than traditional cleaning cloths and doesn’t require harsh chemicals to get the job done. For most surfaces, all you need to add is water.

When you work with microfiber cleaning cloths, you only need to use one section at a time. Folding the cloth twice means you end up with eight sections for cleaning, dusting, and other chores.

A single microfiber towel has a surface area four times as large as a comparably sized cotton cloth. It can therefore absorb seven times its weight in liquid—and because the fibers are positively charged, they attract dirt and grime like a magnet.

Microfiber fabric is also easy to clean, helps reduce the amount of chemicals and water used, and because the material dries quickly, it’s resistant to bacteria growth.

If microfiber is all that, why isn’t everyone using it instead of harsh, potentially dangerous cleaners? The use of microfiber technology is widespread in Europe partly because the leading brands originated there. In the U.S., household cleaners are big business, so there isn’t much incentive to embrace the technology.

Most of us grew up learning that powerful cleaning chemicals were a must for a clean and healthy home. But now we know better. Find out if all the hype is real when you learn how to use a microfiber cloth like a pro.

How to Use Microfiber Cloths for Cleaning

When shopping for microfiber cleaning supplies, it’s essential to select only high-quality microfiber. Because bargain microfiber can have fewer fibers and not last long, it’s best to choose microfiber from a reputable manufacturer. A high-quality cleaning cloth will have millions of fibers per square inch and typically last for hundreds of washings. Remember—the fibers do the work, so the more, the better.

One of the best things about microfiber is it can be used wet or dry. When cleaning with microfiber, resist the urge to lather them up with soap and water. Remember—microfiber technology is designed to clean without cleaners and chemicals. When you’re first learning how to clean with microfiber cloths, a good starting point is to use a slightly damp cloth and then experiment with wet cloths and dry ones.

Sometimes you’ll want to use a traditional cleaning cloth to remove buildup and grime before cleaning with the microfiber. For example, use an old towel and soapy water to wash dirt off exterior windows, then clean with a microfiber cloth. For interior windows, a damp cloth makes the job quick and easy. Once you get the hang of cleaning with microfiber technology, you’ll use them in the kitchen, bathroom, and all over your house.

To prevent cross-contamination, purchase cleaning cloths in different colors for the bathroom, kitchen, and general household use. Here are just some of the cleaning jobs microfiber technology can tackle around your home:

Kitchen Cleaning

You can use microfiber cloths for cleaning ceiling fans, countertops, cabinet doors, and appliances. Fold your cloth into sections and dampen one half to remove dirt, grease, and grime, then switch to a dry section for shining and polishing. Microfiber is even safe to use on stainless steel because it won’t scratch the finish.

Bathroom Cleaning

Because you only need water to clean, keeping a microfiber towel in a bathroom drawer makes cleanup quick and easy. Use the cloth dry for a quick faucet shine or mirror polish and a damp one for counters and toilets. Since you’re using the cleaning cloths in the most germ-ridden room, it’s a good idea to wash them after each use.


Microfiber fabric lifts and traps significantly more dust and dirt than traditional cleaning cloths, making everyday dusting faster and easier. For dusting furniture and other surfaces, use a dry microfiber towel and follow up with a damp one to remove even more dust.

Cleaning Baseboards

Baseboards can take a beating and attract dirt and dust from above and below. A dry microfiber cleaning cloth removes dirt and dust quickly, and a damp cloth makes quick work of cleaning up scuffs and marks.

Window Cleaning

For inside windows, wipe them with a damp cloth to get rid of smudges and dirt, then buff them to a shine with a dry one. To clean exterior windows, spray them down with a garden hose and follow the same steps as you did inside. A dry microfiber towel is ideal for wiping off smudges and fingerprints in between cleaning.

Cleaning Smartphones and Other Electronics

A dry microfiber towel will get rid of grime and fingerprints on your phone, tablet, laptop, and other electronics without the risk of using water. For flat-screen TVs, desktop monitors, keyboards, and mice, use a dry cloth for daily dusting.

Polishing Jewelry and Silver

A damp microfiber towel will remove smudges and grime from jewelry without scratching, and a dry one is perfect for drying and polishing. You can even use a dry cloth to get dingy silverware looking shiny and new.

Cleaning a Car

When it’s time to wash your car, grab a pack of microfiber towels to get the job done right. Wash the exterior with a microfiber towel, soap, and water; use a dry one to dust the interior and clean the windows and windshield.

We bet you’ll be a big fan of microfiber technology now that you know how safe and effective it can be for cleaning. Did you know other microfiber cleaning products can make house cleaning easier? You can invest in microfiber wet mops, dry mops, and cleaning mitts to capture even more dirt and dust.

Microfiber Cloth Cleaning and Maintenance

Like your other cleaning tools, a microfiber fabric needs to be cleaned and maintained to keep it working as it should. Be sure to clean your cloths after every use and use different colored ones for specific chores. Hand washing is convenient and quick, but you can also throw them in the washer.

  • Since static charge that attracts dust will also attract lint, dirt, and hair from other laundry, wash and dry microfiber towels separately.
  • Wash really dirty cloths in hot water with regular detergent. You can get away with washing lightly soiled ones in cold water.
  • Don’t use fabric softener, dryer sheets, or bleach. The harsh chemicals in bleach and the oils in fabric softeners and dryer sheets can break down the fibers and make the cleaning cloths less effective.
  • Microfiber dries fast. Skip the dryer and let freshly washed clothes air dry.

So how long can you expect a microfiber towel to last? If you buy quality ones and keep them clean and well-maintained, you should be able to get a couple of years of cleaning out of them. A recent study found that the cloths’ performance actually improved after 75 washes and leveled out at about 150 washes.

Microfiber Cloths Are Our Secret Weapon

The Maids® cleans for health, so every clean team relies on microfiber technology to lift, trap, and remove dirt and dust from your home. In fact, we rely on microfiber technology so much it’s an integral part of our 22-Step Cleaning Process. From damp wiping after dusting to vigorous scrubbing, microfiber technology and The Maids has you covered.

Find other proven cleaning tips when you check out our handy housekeeping guides! And when you need a helping hand, our popular house cleaning services have you covered. Learn more about how The Maids can give you a cleaner home more often with a free online estimate.

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