How to Clean Microfiber Towels
September 9, 2013
Cleaning your car can be a tall order if you don’t know which tools, products, and equipments to use. Fortunately for both detailers and DIY lovers, there is one go-to cleaning implement that they can rely on for every kind of car cleaning chore: the microfiber cloth.
Microfiber cloths deliver superior cleaning results, getting rid of dust, dirt, grease, grime, bits of food, hair, pollen, and anything else that might stick to your car. And the best thing is that microfiber cloths can do the job without leaving any scratch or mark on your vehicle. It is safe for leather, brass, chrome, metal, glass, and any other surface you can think of.
Microfiber cloths have the peculiar ability to absorb water easily, without becoming too heavy to use. Even so, they don’t retain the water for long; you can wring them out or air-dry them and they’ll be ready for use again.
As soon as your precious car is clean, what do you do with the used microfiber cloths?
Should you throw them away, or throw them in the washer instead?
Basic cleaning guide for microfiber cloths
Microfiber cloths bear the brunt of your car cleaning efforts because they come in direct contact with all the filth that your car has accumulated throughout its daily rides. The first thing you should remember when cleaning microfiber cloths is that they should never be tossed into the washer with your other laundry.
The reason why microfiber cloths are incredibly effective at picking up all kinds of dirt is that it is positively charged, while the dirt is negatively charged. A microfiber towel will keep on picking up negatively charged particles even as it is being cleaned, so if you include other laundry during the washing, the microfiber tower will only turn dirtier. If you have just bought a bunch of new microfiber towels, it would be a good idea to wash them before using them for the first time—separately, of course.
You should also remember to stay away from bleach or fabric softener when washing your dirty microfiber cloths. You might be tempted to pour in a few capfuls of bleach in the hopes that it would take out the discoloration in the fabric or make it smell fresh again, but bleach is actually bad for the filaments. It will reduce the positive charge, likewise reducing the effective cleaning action that each micro filament can give.
Fabric softener has the same effect on microfiber cloths. It even lodges into the very fabric, reducing its ability to pick up both water and dirt. So all you will have is a really soft, really clean fabric that won’t be of any use to you.
For washing, use cold water and mild detergent. Hot water can shrink the polymer-polyamide filaments and render them useless. Treat your microfiber cloths as you would your delicate washing. If you wish to dry your microfiber cloths, don’t put them above medium heat. Direct heat is even worse for the filaments than hot water, and you will ruin your microfibers even faster. If you want to add anything to the soap and water, distilled white vinegar is your best choice. It will further clean the microfiber cloths without the negative effects that other cleansers can impart on the filaments.
Storing and reusing microfiber cloths
Microfiber cloths are not expensive, but replacing them regularly is not cost-efficient. Instead of throwing out the microfiber cloths you used on the wheel rims and engine blocks, you could try cleaning them first to see if they can stay on for another cleaning cycle. As a general rule, microfiber cloths are durable and tough enough to last a couple hundred washings, so you won’t need to throw them away just yet.
What you need to do is store your microfiber cloths in separate drawers so that you know exactly which ones have gone through the worst cleaning chores. Don’t use them on the more delicate surfaces of your car, such as the chrome fittings or the windshield, as they will likely leave behind some form of residue. Plus, you won’t be able to pick up as much dirt if your wash cloth is already dirty to start with. For final buffing and polishing, use only a fresh, new towel to lock in the high-class gloss without leaving streaks or marks.
Are you ready yet?
There are just a few key pointers to remember when cleaning your microfiber towels. It’s key to keep in mind that because microfiber attracts and holds on to dirt, so it’s important to separate them from other items. Lastly, microfiber cloths that are dirty can scratch and damage surfaces. Be sure to clean microfiber cleaning cloths after every use, for best results. We all tend to lead busy and hectic lives leaving us unable to clean our micorfiber clothes correctly, in return leaving our vehicles damaged. If this becomes the case make sure to contact DetailXPerts for any questions and to schedule your next detailing appointment.