While you’ve probably heard of microfiber before, chances are you haven’t given it much thought. You might not have known that it has impressive qualities that make it useful for cleaning, sportswear, and furniture.

Fair warning, the information below may lead you to buying an obscene amount of microfiber cloths. You might think it’s lame to get excited over microfiber, but you haven’t seen what these cloths are capable of just yet!

What is Microfiber Made of?

Microfiber is a synthetic fiber that consists of polyester and polyamide. Polyester is basically a kind of plastic, and polyamide is a fancy name for nylon. The fibers have been split into very fine strands that are porous and dry quickly. The polyester provides the structure of a towel, while the polyamide adds density and absorption.

Microfiber is a material that is durable, soft, and absorbent, making it perfect for a variety of uses. Because of the way it is made, microfiber is excellent for cleaning, apparel, furniture, and even sports gear.

What Are the Different Types of Microfiber Cloths and Their Uses?

There are various types of microfiber cloths that are defined by their thickness. From doing dishes to polishing your smudged eyeglasses, each one serves a different use depending on its thickness.

Lightweight

Lightweight

Features: Very thin, soft, and durable

Works Best For: Removing dirt and oil from smooth surfaces like glass, eyeglasses or phone screens.

Medium Weight

Medium Weight

Features: Most common weight of microfiber, feels like a towel

Works Best For: General purpose cleaning and sanitizing for leather, plastic, stone, or wood

Plush

www.theartofcleanliness.com

Plush

Features: Feels similar to a fleece blanket, fibers are longer and fluffier

Works Best For: Detailing, wax and polish removal, and buffing glassware

Dual Plush

www.theartofcleanliness.com

Dual Plush

Features: Soft and gentle, fibers are long and thick

Works Best For: Cleaning without water, dusting, and safe for all surfaces

Micro-Chenille

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Micro-Chenille

Features: Short thick fibers

Works Best For: Drying, wiping up water, spills, or doing dishes

Waffle Weave

Waffle Weave

Features: Dimensional waffle-weave pattern

Works Best For: Dusting, washing with soap

Who knew there were so many different types of microfiber cloths? Each type is used for different cleaning methods like dusting, waxing, or disinfecting.

How Does Microfiber Work?

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Now that you know about the different types of microfiber, it is important to understand how it works. If you look closely at a microfiber cloth, you’ll notice the strands look like an asterisk because the fiber strands are split, causing them to flare out. In a square inch of fabric, there can be as many as 300,000 strands of fibers. Each strand acts like a hook that scrapes up moisture, grime, and even bacteria!

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Is Microfiber or Cotton Better for Cleaning?

When using a rag to wipe up a spill or dry your dishes, reach for a microfiber cloth over a cotton towel. Fibers on a cotton cloth look just like a circle and tend to just push around dirt and liquid, whereas the split fibers on a microfiber cloth absorb it.

Check out the difference between the two materials!

Microfiber
Cotton
  • No residue
  • Absorbs more liquid
  • Split fibers
  • Has a longer lifespan when properly maintained
  • Requires special laundering

Cotton

  • Leaves residue
  • Does not wipe away dirt
  • Circular shaped fibers
  • Requires a break-in period to disperse the cotton fibers properly
  • More cost effective

How Much Can a Microfiber Cloth Absorb?

A microfiber cloth can absorb up to seven times its weight in liquid, making this material highly absorbent. If you are drying dishes or wiping down your vehicle, you won’t have to worry about trying to dry with a soaked rag.

The absorbency will also help when using cleaning solutions. You’ll have to use less product because it stays on microfiber better than a regular cotton cloth.

Does Microfiber Leave Lint?

Microfibers are made with one continuous filament, so they are nearly lint-free. This means that microfiber cloths are not made up of hundreds of individual strands, but they are made of one continuous strand that is split into fibers.

When you wash a microfiber cloth, you won’t have to worry about pilling or fuzz getting on the rest of your clothes! It is recommended to machine-wash your microfiber cloths once a week and dry them according to the care tag. If you follow the recommended maintenance for your microfiber cloths they will last longer and won’t leave lint or residue behind.

Does Microfiber Scratch Surfaces?

It is important to use a material that’s safe for delicate surfaces because you don’t want to end up ruining your phone screen, car paint, or windows with scratches while cleaning.

Microfiber strands are incredibly thin, so they won’t scratch surfaces and are even safe for use on eyeglasses. Microfiber strands are finer than a strand of silk, which is thinner than a strand of human hair! It is important to make sure your microfiber cloth is free of debris before wiping delicate surfaces because a dirty cloth may cause scratches.

*Disclaimer: Not all microfiber cloths are created equal, so it is important to consult the manufacturer to confirm whether your exact cloth is safe for the desired surface.

Microfiber cloths are amazing tools that are designed to make our lives easier, especially when it comes to cleaning wet or delicate surfaces. In fact, microfiber cloths are widely used across several professions outside of at-home use.

Who Uses Microfiber Cloths?

Cleaning your kitchen isn’t the only time microfiber cloths come in handy. In addition to household use, there are other situations in which microfiber cloths are used, including the following:

Athletes

Compression garments are made of moisture wicking microfiber, along with running shoes and other sports equipment. Microfiber absorbs sweat and keeps athletes cool by drying quickly.

Golfers

Golf gear costs a pretty penny, which is why golfers use microfiber cloths to clean their clubs, glasses, and golf bags so they don’t have to worry about scratches or damage. Many golf companies even have branded microfiber cloths with their business logo on them!

Car Detailing Companies

Microfiber’s excellent absorbency makes it an ideal cloth to use when cleaning windows because it won’t leave a streak! Microfiber is also great at holding polishes and waxes so less product is needed.

Technology Companies

Technology, including laptops and smartphones, can get grimy from constant use. Many technology companies and cell phone stores keep microfiber cloths handy to sanitize and clean smart devices.

You probably weren’t aware of how widely used microfiber cloths are. It just goes to show how diverse microfiber is, and the many uses it can serve in and out of your home!

The Bottom Line

Have you discovered a new love for microfiber? This handy material is capable of some serious cleaning. Able to absorb water, sweat, and wipe away germs and grime, it’s obvious microfiber is a must-have for homeowners, athletes, and more.

References

Gold Eagle. (2017). What Is Microfiber? Retrieved June 28, 2019, from
https://www.goldeagle.com/tips-tools/what-is-microfiber/

Microfiber Wholesale. (2015). What Is Microfiber Cloth and How To Use It. Retrieved June 28, 2019, from
https://www.microfiberwholesale.com/info/knowledgebase/using-microfiber-cleaning-cloths/

Mollenkamp. Becky. (2016, November 23). Differences Between Microfiber and Cotton. Retrieved June 28, 2019, from
https://www.cleanlink.com/hs/article/Differences-Between-Microfiber-And-Cotton–20239

Marlowe-Leverette, Mary. (2019, June 3). All About Microfiber Fabrics. Retrieved June 28, 2019, from
https://www.thespruce.com/how-to-wash-microfiber-clothes-2145813

Gibbs, Karen. (2017, September 6). Is Cleaning with Microfiber Really Better than Using a Regular Cloth? Retrieved June 28, 2019, from
https://www.today.com/home/how-use-microfiber-cloth-clean-t115528

About the author

Gianna Petan

Meet Gianna - no stranger to all things promo products. Her background in research-based writing, linguistics, and advertising gives her an edge in blogging about the marketing industry.