The Best Way to Clean Microfiber Products

Chances are, you’ve heard of microfiber. A type of synthetic fabric, it’s used for a variety of applications from towels to furniture. What makes it so special? Its fibers are extremely small. To give you a better idea, its diameter is 1/100th of a human hair! Ultimately, what this means is that there a lot of fibers per square inch. This is one of the reasons why it’s often used for towels and other cleaning products. Its large surface area allows it to pick up much more debris!

What’s more, is that it’s super soft—much more so than cotton cloths. From a cleaning perspective, this makes it suitable for delicate surfaces such as glass. Non-abrasive, the microfiber material won’t scratch whatever it is that you’re wiping.

What’s Microfiber Made Of?

Microfiber is made from man-made fibers. More specifically, it’s made from “plastics” such as polyester and nylon. Broken into tiny strands during the manufacturing process, they’re heated and woven into cloths. During that process, they’re also treated with chemicals. Why? To split the fibers. This further increases the surface area, which contributes to its exceptional dirt grabbing abilities.

Characteristics of Microfiber Fabrics

Microfiber is extremely strong and durable, despite the fact that the filaments are super fine. That’s not all, they’re also more breathable and comfortable compared to other fabrics of similar weight. Used for clothing, it’s also good at keeping the heat in—this is due to the fact that it has low heat conductance.

Soft with a suede-like texture, they’re also hypoallergenic. In other words, it won’t create problems for those with sensitivities. On top of all that, they hold their shape well. They’re also easier to dye than traditional fabrics, although more dye is needed to achieve the same shade of color.

Cleaning Microfiber Products

As great as microfiber is, it will get dirty. After all, it’s super absorbent. Put it simply, anything you expose it to can and will be absorbed into the fabric. If anything, that’s why it’s used for cleaning in the first place. As you can imagine, however, this can be a problem, when you’re dealing with other things. Take microfiber furniture, for example, the last thing that you want is for it to absorb stains.

Don’t worry, though—there are numerous ways that you can clean microfiber. As you can imagine, though, the method depends on what it is you’re dealing with. Let's take a look at some of the most common microfiber products below.

How to Clean Microfiber Towels and Cloths

Microfiber is often used for towels and cloths. The reason is simple—it’s soft and absorbent. Not only is it great for cleaning, but you can use them for other purposes such as drying your hair. If anything, it does a much better job than traditional towels. After a while, though, they’ll get dirty and that’s when you need to clean them.

Are Microfiber Towels Machine Washable?

Microfiber towels can safely be put in the washing machine. For the best results, you want to wash them on their own, but it’s okay to have a mixed load as long as your other items are also made from synthetic fibers. Place the cloths inside the washer and wash it on a cool setting with a mild detergent. Avoid using heat as high temperatures can melt the fibers. As you can imagine, that’ll render the cloth or towel useless. Once the cycle is finished, allow it to air-dry. Resist the urge to put it in the tumble dryer—the heat can cause it to shrink over time.

Note: Do not use bleach or fabric softeners with microfiber towels and cloths. Washing Microfiber Towels By Hand

Hand washing is perhaps the most straightforward cleaning method. All you need is a bucket, or if you want, you can use the sink. Fill it up with cool water (never hot) and mix in some soap. Place your microfiber towel or cloth in and agitate it gently with your hands—that will help to release the dirt. Depending on how dirty it is, you might want to soak it for 10-15 minutes. Once you’ve done that, you can rinse it clean with water. Let air-dry afterward.

Cleaning Your Microfiber Cloths With Vinegar

Aside from detergent, you can also use white vinegar to clean your microfiber towels. Not only will it sanitize it, but it’ll also get rid of any odors. It’s simple to use as well. Basically, you just do what we outlined above, but instead of detergent, add white vinegar. For example, if you’re using the washing machine, you’ll want to add in one cup of vinegar. Alternatively, you can soak your towels and cloths in a vinegar/water solution. If anything, that's one of the best ways to get rid of any funky smells.

How to Clean Microfiber Couches

Microfiber couches are great in that they’re super comfortable. For one thing, they’re designed to last a long time. You won’t have to deal with any tears or rips that happen easily with other materials. On top of that, they require very little maintenance. Did we also mention that they're affordable? Anyway, here's how you can clean them.

A Mini-Guide On How to Clean Your Microfiber Couch Cover

Start by taking out the vacuum. You want to use it to remove any dirt that’s on the surface. Think about it—the last thing that you want is to rub it into the fabric. Once you’ve done that, you’re ready to clean. Generally speaking, rubbing alcohol is safe to use on microfiber. Before you use it to clean the entire couch, however, test it in an inconspicuous spot. Wait for it to dry; check to see if it has discolored the fabric. If not, you can continue with the next step.

Spray the stained area liberally with rubbing alcohol. Don’t be worried if the fabric gets too wet, alcohol won’t take that long to dry. The next step is to rub the stain with a clean cloth. Continue until the stain is no longer visible (consider using more than one cloth if necessary). Pay extra attention to armrests as that’s where it tends to get dirty the easiest.

Once the couch is clean, gently rub the fabric with a soft-bristled brush. That will help it return to its original texture (it can become stifled after it becomes wet).

Alternative: Cleaning Your Microfiber Couch With Soap

Check the manufacturer’s care tag label. If it says “W”, you can use a water-based cleaning solution—such as soap! Don’t apply it directly onto the couch, though. You want to dilute it first. Fill a large bowl with warm water and add a generous amount of soap. Once it’s mixed, dampen a clean cloth with the solution (you can also use a sponge). From there, you can use it to clean the couch. For the best results, rub it gently in a circular motion. To prevent the microfiber from absorbing too much material, work in sections. When you’re finished, brush the microfiber with a soft-bristled brush to “reset” the texture.

Note: You can use the same method to clean microfiber couch cushions, recliners, etc.

How to Wash Microfiber Mop Pads

Microfiber is often used for mops. More specifically, they’re used for the mop pads—the things that go on the bottom. Seeing how effective they are at grabbing onto dirt, it only makes sense that the pads themselves would also get dirty fast. Here’s how you can get them looking like new again.

Using the Washing Machine

Microfiber mop pads are pretty much the same as towels. If anything, the only difference is that they’re designed to stick onto the bottom of your mop. Given that, it’s not surprising to know that you can also throw them into the washing machine. As always, it’s best to wash them separately. However, it is possible to wash them with other items.

The most important thing is to wash the pads with cold water. Like we said earlier for the towels, high temperatures can cause the microfiber fibers to melt. There’s also a chance that it can shrink. As far as detergent goes, you just want to add a little bit. Consider using white vinegar if you want to deodorize your mop pads.

Remove the pads from the washer once the cycle is finished and let them air dry. Do not use the tumble dryer.

Hand Washing Microfiber Mop Pads

As with towels, microfiber mop pads can be hand washed. All you need is a little bit of soap. Add it to a bucket of cool water and mix until the solution becomes sudsy. From there, place the pad in. Consider letting it soak for around 10 minutes before rinsing it clean with water. Air dry afterward.

How to Clean Microfiber Shoes

First things first, get rid of as much dirt and particles as possible by brushing it with a soft-bristled brush. Once you’ve done that, go ahead and spray the microfiber shoes with a cleaner. As for what to use, it depends on what it says on the care tag label (always check it before you begin). If it says “W”, you can use a soap and water solution. If it says “S”, use a solvent like rubbing alcohol.

Whatever it is that you’re using, pour it into a spray bottle so that you can easily spray it onto the microfiber material. Apply it a little at a time, brushing as you go with a soft-bristled brush. When you’re finished, allow it to air dry. If necessary, you can restore the soft texture by buffing the fabric.