How to Wash Microfiber Cloths

Multi-colored microfiber clothes on white surface and in white wired container

The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

Project Overview
  • Total Time: 30 mins - 1 hr
  • Skill Level: Beginner

Microfiber cleaning cloths, dust cloths, and mop heads can make the task of cleaning your home simple and easy. The cloths are cleaning powerhouses because microfiber textiles have millions of fibers to attract, lift, and grab grime better than regular cleaning rags. But to get the most out of your microfiber cleaning cloths, a few easy special care steps are necessary.

How Often to Clean Microfiber Cloths

Be sure to wash microfiber cleaning cloths after every use, for best results. Dirt and other particles stick to microfiber cloths. If you use a dirty microfiber item without washing it first, it can scratch and damage surfaces. Microfiber cloths may also smell bad after just one cleaning because they are holding on to moisture in their tiny fibers that also trap bacteria.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Washing machine, sink, or basin
  • Dryer or drying rack

Materials

  • Laundry soap or detergent, unscented
  • Stain remover (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar (optional)

Instructions

  1. Separate Microfiber Items

    Sort your microfiber cleaning cloths into a separate load. The dirt on the cloths could transfer to other laundry items. The cloths will also attract the hair, dirt, dust, and lint from other items in the laundry. If you wash microfiber items with a regular load of laundry, all of the laundry may come out even more dirty than before.

    Some people even like to separate their most heavily soiled microfiber cloths from those that are just lightly soiled.

    Microfiber cloths sorted out of laundry into white wired container

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

  2. Shake the Cloths

    Shake out microfiber items over a trash bag as you sort them. This releases embedded or clinging dirt and particles from fibers.

  3. Treat Stains

    If you want to remove stains on your cleaning cloths, now is the time to pre-treat them. You can use whatever stain remover you rely on for laundry, or just add a little extra laundry detergent to the cloths and rinse them out before the wash cycle. If you don't care if they remain stained, skip this step.

    Stain remover added to green microfiber cloth for cleaning pretreatment

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

  4. Choose the Water Temperature

    Wash heavily soiled cleaning cloths in warm water in the washing machine or basin. Lightly soiled cloths can be washed in cold water, or even on your machine's gentle cycle.

    Warning

    Avoid hot water which may damage or break down the fibers over time. However, high-quality microfiber cloths can tolerate hot water much better than low-quality items.

  5. Add Detergent

    Add a small amount (1 to 2 teaspoons or half the amount you'd typically use for a comparable load) of detergent to the washing machine or bin and wash. That's because excess soap that may not rinse out will cake up on the fibers and the cloth won't be able to clean. The fibers easily release dirt and do not need too much detergent, anyhow.

    Tip

    If the microfiber cloths smell, add a tablespoon of white vinegar to your wash water. Do not use fragrance boosters or bleach to eliminate odors or fibers could be coated or damaged.

    Multi-colored microfiber cloths soaking in bucket with soapy water

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

  6. Rinse Well

    Be sure to rinse out all of the suds. If you are hand-washing your microfiber cloths, rinse them thoroughly under a stream of clean water. Squeeze out excess water before drying.

  7. Dry the Cloths

    Dry your microfiber cloths separately from other laundry to prevent hair and lint attraction. Microfiber dries fast, so it will be a short cycle. You can quickly air-dry the cloths on a rack, as well.

    Warning

    Do not use dryer sheets for microfiber cloths. The sheets will coat the fibers, and the cloths will be less effective at absorbing grime.

    Multi-colored microfiber cloths hanging on drying rack to air dry

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska