The Best Way to Clean All Your Dirty Microfiber Cloths

updated Jun 28, 2021
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

Microfiber cloths aren’t just soft rags. They’re powerful cleaning workhorses that come with more benefits than other rags. Because of their increased surface area (in the form of super-smart fibrous loops!), microfiber cloths are able to erase dirt and grime even without additional cleaning solutions. 

Another plus in the microfiber column? The rags don’t leave behind any lint, and they excel at polishing reflective surfaces, making them a great choice for wiping down mirrors or stainless steel surfaces. 

But even the best microfiber cloth can be ruined if you don’t wash it correctly. It’s true: Cleaning microfiber cloths requires a bit more care than simply tossing them in the washer. Here are some things to know/do when it’s time to clean your microfiber cloths.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

1. Shake them out before washing them.

Whether you’re washing your microfiber cloths by hand or in the washer, shaking off the dust and dirt outside or into a trash bag means they won’t be sloshing around in dirty water. You don’t want the dirt you cleaned up to get redeposited onto your rags. 

2. Be careful with detergent.

Don’t use detergent with any additives, such as softeners or fragrance. These may coat the fibers and make them less effective at picking up dirt. In addition, only use a little bit of laundry detergent. Some people recommend not using any detergent at all. 

3. Consider hand-washing.

If your microfiber cloths are only lightly soiled (if you used them for some light dusting, for example) consider putting them in a bin of warm water, no detergent, and gently swishing with your hands to loosen the dirt. Remember to shake them off first. 

Credit: Joe Lingeman

4. Line dry if you can.

Microfiber cloths are so good at picking up dirt that they do it even when we’re not asking them to. This includes picking up small dirt or debris that’s in your dryer. To eliminate this problem entirely, hang your cloths to dry (either outside or over your shower curtain rod). The good news is that microfiber dries very quickly. 

5. Dry on a low heat setting, alone.

If you have to use your dryer to dry your microfiber cloths, use a low-heat or no-heat setting. Dry microfiber cloths separate from other items. 

Credit: Joe Lingeman

6. Wash and dry alone.

Washing your microfiber cloths separate from other rags or clothes ensures that they won’t pick up lint, hair, dust, and dirt from other items. You want your microfiber cloths as “empty” as possible so that all their fibers are free to pick up dirt as you’re cleaning.

7. Wash after every use.

Washing microfiber may seem a little high maintenance, but it needs to be done. Wash after each use, or dirt that’s caught in the fibers of the cloths could scratch and damage the surface of whatever you clean next.