What’s a Microfiber Cloth? The Complete 2020 Guide to Microfiber

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Microfiber cleaning cloths have been around for just under half a century now. The history of these cloths isn’t set in stone; some say it was first introduced by the Japanese during the mid-1970s, while others claim that it was invented in England around the mid-1980s.

Despite its unknown history, one solid fact remains: with the surge of popularity in microfiber cleaning cloths, it has steadily become a staple in every household, exceeding cotton in demand.

But what exactly is a microfiber cloth and do you really need it in your home?

We’ll be answering all of these questions and more, but first, let’s start with the basics.

What is Microfiber? What’s a microfiber cloth?

Microfiber, as the name suggests, is a type of material made entirely from tiny synthetic fibers. It’s said to be finer than 1 denier, and smaller than the diameter of a strand of silk.

To put that into perspective, silk, in itself, is about 1/5 the diameter of human hair. Suffice it to say that microfiber is one of the finest synthetic fibers in the world. A mere square inch of a microfiber cloth has approximately 200,000 individual strands of fiber!

What is Microfiber Made of?

The most common types of microfibers are made of synthetic materials such as polyester, nylon, or polypropylene.

These materials are what make microfibers highly absorbent, allowing it to hold up to seven times its weight in water. It’s great in wiping and removing soil, dirt, and liquid from all surfaces.

Researchers tested the efficiency of microfiber mops with that of conventional, cotton string mops. They found that the former demonstrated superior microbial removal compared to cotton in terms of cleaning surface areas.

In comparison, cotton, although fairly inexpensive, would simply push dirt and debris around rather than picking it up entirely. This can harbor bacteria, foul odor, and leave particles of lint.

Why Use Microfiber Cleaning Cloths?

There are a ton of benefits for using microfiber cleaning cloths. Here are our top reasons why you should throw your cotton towels and buy yourself a microfiber cloth instead.

Exceptionally Absorbent

Microfiber used in cleaning is widely called “split microfiber”. When microfibers are split, it’s said that they get 100 times thinner than a strand of human hair.

This allows it to be more absorbent, thereby removing larger quantities of microbes and hard-to-kill spores because of its asterisk-like structure.

Microfiber cleaning cloth also absorbs fat and grease with ease and has a dust-attracting power due to its additional electrostatic properties.

Cleans Better

Microfibers, as the name suggests, are designed to clean on a microscopic scale. Multiple tests prove that using microfiber materials to clean a surface removes up to 99% of bacteria, whereas conventional cleaning materials are capped at 33%.

Another great thing about microfibers is that it’s hypoallergenic. Also, you don’t need to combine them with chemical cleaners to use them effectively.

Other than wiping down tables and granite counters, microfiber cloths are used to clean a variety of things. A few of these include:

  • Stainless steel
  • Chrome fixtures
  • Windows and mirrors
  • Showers, sinks, and tubs
  • Delicate surfaces
  • Cabinet doors/drawers

Friendly on the Pocket

Microfiber cloths can greatly reduce the number of products you use for cleaning such as cleaning sprays, bleach, or wood polish.

The fact that they’re durable and reusable is certainly a plus. In the long run, microfiber cleaning cloths will save you a lot of money, especially if you initially invest in a high-quality microfiber cloth.

Good for the Environment

Microfiber eliminates the need for cleaning chemicals, which can subsequently reduce the negative impact on the environment.

More water is saved when microfiber is used, as well.

A 2002 study by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) found that microfiber mops use only 5 gallons of water for a total of 100 rooms. Traditional cleaning soared up to a whopping 105 gallons!

And surely, they’re also more environmentally friendly than using paper towels.

Are Microfiber Cloths Lint-Free?

Yes, microfiber cloths are indeed lint-free! It’s ten times better than lint-free cotton. It’s softer and prevents surface damage as well.

Being free of lint prevents the build-up of ESD (electronic discharge), which can damage or even destroy electronic products around your house.

Our Top Picks for the Best Microfiber Cleaning Cloths

Microfiber cloths range in size, color, and appearance. Over the many hundreds found on the market, we’ve picked three that stood out to us the most.

Best Overall Microfiber Cleaning Cloth

This cleaning cloth comes in a multipurpose set of 8, with each specializing in specific cleaning tasks. Be it moping, polishing, wiping, scrubbing, or dusting. It’s made with high-quality textiles with durability like no other.

Most Affordable Microfiber Cleaning Cloth

This ultra-soft, non-abrasive microfiber cloth cleans without scratching paints, coats, and other delicate surfaces. You can rinse and reuse these cloths hundreds of times without worrying about wear or losing absorbency.

Best Microfiber for Screens and Electronics

This microfiber cloth absorbs and removes smudges, fingerprints, and dirt. It’s so soft that it leaves no scratches, streaks, marks, or lint. That makes it perfect for cleaning eyeglasses, smartphone touchscreens, camera lenses, and LCD screens.

How to Wash Microfiber Cloth

Cleaning microfiber cloths couldn’t be easier. To continue using these wonder cloths effectively throughout the years, keep these few points in mind:

  • Wash in cold or warm water to prevent the fibers from warpage. Avoid washing in water higher than 200 °F.
  • Use with a mild detergent or a microfiber surface cleanser.
  • Avoid using fabric softeners or bleach as they may clog the open spaces in the microfiber, rendering them useless.
  • If you need to use the washing machine, wash individually or with other non-linting synthetics.
  • Drying temperatures shouldn’t be higher than 140 °F, consider using a drying rack.

Even More Uses for Microfiber Cloths

Without a set of microfiber cleaning cloths, your cleaning arsenal won’t be complete, not by a long shot. They’re much more effective than cotton cloths, and would physically remove 99% of bacteria on the surface.

Microfibers make a great, chemical-free alternative for cleaning, especially if you’re interested in using natural cleaners for your home.

We’ve written several detailed guides to help you find the best microfiber cloths for specific use cases:

The Best Kitchen Counter Cleaning Cloth

Best Cleaning Cloths for a Bathroom

Best Cleaning Cloths for Windows

Finding the Best Cloth to Dry Your Car

Try them yourself! It’ll change the way you clean for the better.

Last update on 2020-09-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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