Proper washing is a great way to ensure that your microfiber pads last a long time. As we’ve discussed elsewhere, getting the most out of your microfiber pads means saving money and reducing environmental waste. For more specifics see our posts How Long Do Microfiber Mop Pads Last? & Caring for your Microfiber: Things to Avoid.
Here we discuss our recommended way to wash microfiber mop pads.
Microfiber grips really well. You’ll find that pet and human hair sticks to the fiber like a magnet and can lodge into the fiber. You may also find that wood chips and splinters can bury into the microfiber loops.
To remove heavy debris prior to washing, shake the pads in your garbage or dislodge debris with an old comb or brush. Now you are ready to throw the pads into your washer.
Other items to wash with:
While its tempting to wash your microfiber with other towels, microfiber (as its designed to do) grabs all of the lint and fibers that your cotton towels throws off, leaving your microfiber clogged up and less useful. So, use caution in washing microfiber with other cotton and non-synthetic items — especially if those other items are new and will release a lot of stray strands. The goal here is to reduce exposure to lint.
It is best to wash microfiber with other microfiber or synthetics that do not release lint and fiber strands. Older wash rags that have already been through the ringer, so to speak, and are less likely to release lint and threads also work well with microfiber.
Caution: since you may be picking up chemicals on your floor while you wash, or may be using a cleaning solution that has corrosive chemicals, it’s ALWAYS best to avoid washing your microfiber pad with the clothes you wear and other nice laundry items.
Detergents and Chemical Recommendations:
Do NOT use chloride, fabric softer, or bleach in the wash cycle. The bottom line is that any corrosive agents will wear your microfiber pads down over time, damaging the fibers and reducing cleaning ability and lifespan. As for fabric softener, think about it for a minute — microfiber is so great because it is tacky on a microscopic level. It grips things. Fabric softener takes the edge off, giving your microfiber less grip.
It’s best to use a non-chloride detergent. You don’t need a lot, just enough to help pull the dirt and grime out of the fibers. Remember, you’re not wearing these pads like you do clothing. So, you can wash them a bit differently. You just want them to release the dirt and grime in the microfiber without unnecessary wear on the microfiber.
Wash in hot or medium-hot water. The hot water ensures that the dirt, dust, debris, wax, and chemicals are lifted out / dissolved from the depths of the microfiber. A standard length wash or quick cycle of 20-30 minutes gets the job done. We tend to prefer quick – hot cycles that get the dirt out, but reduce wear and tear on the microfiber. We don’t care if our microfiber is stained, as long as it is sterilized and ready to clean.
Drying your Microfiber:
The ideal way to dry your microfiber pads is hanging them up on a clothes line. This reduces softening of the fibers that occurs in a tumble cycle. However, if you prefer the convenience of a dryer (or need a quicker dry), here’s how we recommend you do it. First of all, do not use dryer sheets. What’s the point? You are cleaning your dirty microfiber pads. No need to introduce additional chemicals found in dryer sheets or to use something you are just going to throw away. Further, dryer sheets reduce static electricity in your microfiber, thus diminishing dust collecting action (which we want when collecting dust, dirt, and hair).
We recommend tumble drying on low to medium heat. Too much heat can damage the fibers, but we also feel that a non-heated tumble takes too long and the tumbling action can also damage the fiber.
At any point, do not use fabric softener or dryer sheets.