Microfiber cloths must be cleaned in a highly nuanced manner. Otherwise, it will eventually prove unsuitable for future use. Microfiber cloths attract dust, bacteria, dirt and all sorts of other unwanted debris. As a result, they are a bit difficult to clean in a thorough manner. Here is how to do it.
The Dos and Don'ts of Cleaning Microfiber Cloths
Though it is possible to wash a microfiber cloth in a machine or by hand, approaching the cleaning process in any old manner is sure to backfire. Heat should never be applied to the microfiber cloth during the cleaning process. Do not add laundry detergent or fabric softener if you wash your microfiber cloth in a washing machine. This is due to the fact that microfiber cloths work best when used alone or with plain water. As a result, no cleaning products of any sort are necessary when removing the grime from your microfiber cloth. If you apply such cleaning solutions, they could sabotage the microfiber cloth's integrity and prevent it from functioning as designed.
Cleaning a Microfiber Cloth by Hand
If you want to clean your microfiber cloth by hand, all you need is some plain water and a basin. Place the soiled microfiber cloth in warm or cool water. The water should not be blazing hot or ice cold. Move the cloth around with your hands so the dirt can be released. Rinse it off and let it air dry.
Cleaning a Microfiber Cloth in the Washing Machine
It is ideal to wash your microfiber cloth on its own. However, if you are determined to obtain more utility out of the wash cycle, add synthetic non-linting items. Do not add cotton materials to the cycle. You can wash your microfiber cloth on a warm or cool setting. However, a warm setting is better than a cool one as heat serves to break apart polishes and waxes.
If you are lucky enough to have a washer with an extra rinse cycle, make use of it. This extra cycle will eliminate leftover soap, contamination and other gunk as thoroughly as possible. Do not add detergent. Air-dry the microfiber cloth after the cycle has completed. You can also dry your microfiber cloth on a low heat setting.
Tumble Dry, Air Dry or Iron?
The microfiber cloth experts are adamant that air drying is the best way to lengthen the cloth's lifespan. Furthermore, air drying makes it nearly impossible for the cloth to accumulate loose particles that typically work their way into cloths during a tumble drying session. Yet air drying takes longer than other methods.
If you use a dryer, put it on the lowest setting. Ideally, your dryer will have a no-heat setting you can make use of. Never add non-microfiber materials to the dryer when drying your microfiber cloth. Though it is tempting to iron the cloth, doing so is a mistake. Irons infuse heat directly into the cloth and consequently, hinder its ability to clean.
How to Clean Egregiously Dirty Microfiber Cloths
If you have delayed the cleaning of your microfiber cloth and it has become contaminated beyond the point that it can be cleaned with conventional methods, don't give up! You'll know if you have reached this point when the towels appear compromised and/or are less absorbent. The cloth might even smear surfaces. This is a clue that the fibers are loaded with residues and other gunk. The cleaning method of last resort is to boil the microfiber cloth. Only boil an overly dirty microfiber cloth if it lacks backing and foam cores.
Fill a cooking pot two-thirds full and bring the water to a boil. Pace your cloth in the pot and reduce the heat for a light boil. Stir with a large spoon so the cloth does not rest against the sides or bottom of the pan. After a minute, remove the cloth and rinse with cool water. If boiling does not work, the cloth is likely at the end point of its lifespan. You can still use the cloth for less important jobs yet you should use a brand new microfiber cloth for your vehicle detailing purposes.
Frequency of Cleaning
It is awfully tempting to put off the cleaning of your microfiber cloth until it appears substantially dirty. However, this type of specialized cloth should be cleaned after every single use. Otherwise, reusing the cloth will possibly result in contamination that creates swirling. It is even possible that repeated use without cleaning will allow something to seep into the towel and become nearly impossible to remove at a later point in time. Sure, you won't enjoy the cleaning process as much as actually detailing your ride yet you won't obtain much cleaning power out of your microfiber cloth if you let it accumulate grime.