Your microfiber cloths are probably THE most important cleaning tool you own – they play a central role in almost every cleaning task and need to be kept in good shape to perform properly. From floors to sinks and countertops, microfiber cloths do it all! It can be expensive purchasing and replacing microfiber cloths, so it is important to take good care of them and make them last.

Nothing is more frustrating than using a clean microfiber cloth fresh out of the laundry and having it leave lint and dust behind as you clean, so here are a few tips on laundering and caring for your microfiber cloths and microfiber mop heads!

1. Practice a folded “separate surface” microfiber cleaning method
To get the best performance from your cloth during cleaning, use the “separate surface” method – fold in half and then half again to give yourself 8 distinct, separate cleaning surfaces. When one side is dirty and full, turn to the next. You will get the most efficient use from each cloth with this method and go through fewer cloths in a clean. Some people like to create 8 sides, some even more. See what works for you!

2. Keep one “dry rub” cloth ready at all times
When cleaning smooth surfaces such as mirrors and kitchen appliances, often it is useful to give a final wipe with a dry microfiber cloth to remove any stray lint left from your main “damp” cleaning cloth.

3. Different cloths for different tasks
Come up with a color system that works for you to assign your cloths to different tasks – that way you are careful to keep certain microfiber cloths ready for different jobs and will avoid cross contamination. We like this method: GREEN (general purpose) YELLOW (dusting) BLUE (polishing glass, chrome and stainless) RED (contaminated areas such as toilets, garbage cans)

4. Launder your microfiber cloths properly!!!
Here’s what we found works well when laundering microfiber cloths:

1) PREP YOUR DRYER by tumbling a few dirty cloths for 5 minutes or so and then wiping out the interior of the dryer – this will remove lint that will contaminate freshly washed cloths. Then simply wash those cloths as usual with the rest of the load.

2) ALWAYS wash cloths by themselves in a small load and never with other items of ANY SORT. If you wash microfiber cloths with other materials, the fibers from the other items will get caught in the microfiber and render them useless (they’ll already be loaded full and will leave behind dust and lint when you are cleaning)

3) NEVER USE BLEACH or commercial detergent, this will break down the fibers and ruin your microfiber cloths (plus they’re terrible for you and contain loads of chemicals!)
We recommend using 1/2 – 1 teaspoon (a capful) of Branch Basics concentrate per load of cloths. Alternately you can simply add 3/4 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup baking soda to the load during the wash cycle. (Add each straight to the load, if you pre-mix they will foam!)

4) Use HOT water for wash cycle (cold water rinses are fine) This helps disinfect as well as loosen soil and lint.

5) EXTRA RINSE – set your machine for an extra rinse to thoroughly wash away lint and soil.

6) LINE DRY or TUMBLE LOW – if you use your dryer, make sure you prepped it first (see #1) With proper care, your microfiber cloths can last up to 300 uses or more! Once you notice a cloth is losing its “power” even after careful laundering, discard and replace with a new one.

Happy Cleaning!

rachel

 

 

Rachel is the founder of Nature Maid, an Austin-based 100% Non-Toxic Maid Service.
She is also a fine artist – view her paintings here!