February 10, 2021
I love cleaning with washable cleaning wipes – they are versatile, economical and environmentally friendly. My favorite advantage? How well they clean. No lint, no spreading dirt, and no germs, and all you have to do is wipe once and your surface is clean. I tend to get some questions about how do I clean cleaning wipes. It’s easy and in this post I’m going to show you how to wash both microfiber and microfiber blend and cotton. Surprisingly, they can all be washed in the same way, just not all together.
First, check the care label. You will see that what I use is available in my shop. However, these instructions are general and apply to most cleaning wipes.
A common misconception with any cleaning wipe that you wash and reuse is that it may not be clean or that you are spreading germs from the wipe as you clean it. The thing about microfibers is that their “microfibers” actually pick up and hold onto the dirt and germs rather than spreading them out. I think this is what is stopping people from switching from cleaning wipes and paper towels – maybe you can relate to that? Today, let’s clear up those misconceptions and talk about how you can make sure your cleaning wipes are actually clean before you use them.
Here are some basic “rules” for washing cleaning wipes, especially microfiber or a blend of microfibers:
- Microfiber can be flushed and wrung out during use – don’t wipe it just once (unless it’s toilets or something particularly germy / dirty). Rinse, wring and keep using.
- Find a place to store the microfiber while drying and before washing. I have a bucket in my grooming closet for really wet towels and when they are dry or damp I throw dirty microfiber towels in a wire basket. When a cloth is wet I drape it over the side of the bucket until it is dry, then put it in the basket. Dusters are not mixed in this bucket. This bucket is designed for bathroom cleaning wipes to prevent cross-contamination.
- Only wash microfiber with other microfiber towels. If you put other laundry items in the washing machine with your microfiber, it will become a static magnet – avoid this altogether by washing the microfibre all by yourself.
- Wash with an enzyme-based detergent – This is vital as it breaks down dirt and grime and ensures that nothing is left on the towels after cleaning and drying. Both my detergent spray and super powder contain enzymes – you can check out my laundry products here.
- Do not Use fabric softener – it coats the fibers and can affect the effectiveness of the cleaning wipes. I recommend using 1/4 cup of white vinegar as a “fabric softener” with regular laundry and it works well with cleaning wipes too. Don’t worry, there won’t be any odor left!
- Generally wash on WARM – Most germs and microorganisms are killed at 140 degrees Fahrenheit. I wash my microfiber that needs hot or sanitizing. You can look up your washing machine or brand and see what temperature the hot and disinfect cycles come up to and decide what is best for you. (Usually the germs in your cleaning cloths are killed by washing and drying warmly on a low to medium setting. However, if you need to disinfect, it has to be warmer.)
- I wash the microfiber towels weekly in the basket, or when they are full and sufficient for a load, then run a disinfect / clean cycle on the washing machine. Bonus: clean towels + a clean washing machine. Not sure how to clean your washing machine? You should do this at least monthly to prevent germs from spreading in your clothes, bedding, cleaning cloths, etc.
- Tumble dry on low to medium temperature. Drying the microfiber in the dryer kills all germs that might be left behind after washing.
A few more frequently asked questions about microfibers:
- If you don’t like the “feel” of microfiber, try dampening your cloth lightly first – this will remove the scratchy feeling and make your cloth clean! My microfiber cleaning wipes are soft and smooth and / or soft and fluffy.
- Microfiber is more environmentally friendly for cleaning as you can reuse microfiber cleaning wipes for more than 300 uses – just remember how many paper towels are eliminated!
- Another common question is whether microfiber cleaning wipes are harmful to the environment because of the polyester they are made from. The short answer is, when people talk about microplastics getting back into the ecosystem and environment, they are talking about ANY material that is not natural (cotton, linen, silk, etc.). The real problem is plastic bags and the large amount of plastic that is used in everything. Another thing to keep in mind is all synthetic fibers in clothing like workout clothes and other non-cotton materials. When you look at the amount of clothes you wash and sportswear or a material that is not 100% cotton, and look at the size of that stack of clothes compared to the small stack of microfiber cleaning wipes, the problem is NOT A microfiber Cleaning wipes, the problem is all other clothes that are washed. There is a study that shows that if you wash a microfiber cloth more than 200 times, it produces roughly a quarter ounce of plastic in total. If you don’t want to use microfiber, you can also use cotton cleaning cloths. I have 100% cotton bar wipes in my shop and / or you can put a filter in your washing machine that will catch microfiber from all of your laundry.
Here is a video on how to wash cleaning wipes for you:
How about you? Do you use microfiber for cleaning? Have a question? Ask it in the comments!
If you need a little help with your laundry – how to wash anything and everything, folding tips, a laundry schedule tool, and more – check out the new guide to laundry.
Curious about the cleaning cloths in my shop? Here is some information for you….
The Premium bar mop towels are a new cotton blend – they are a bit smaller and have a different weave / edge. They feel like fluffy soft cotton, but they wipe counters and surfaces like microfiber. They also have a trailer with washing instructions. They’re also in a traditional bar-mop fabric against the popcorn texture in the original Bar mop towels. If you prefer 100% cotton, you will prefer the original bar mop towels.
The new Cleaning cloth kit should not replace the original Microfiber cleaning cloths However, 3 different fabrics are offered in one package. All purpose, exfoliation and shine are the intentions of the cleaning wipe kit and will definitely exceed your expectations. The material has a different feel and look as well as a hang tag opposite a corner pocket. The original microfiber cleaning cloths have two options – all-purpose and polishing cloths. Both options are great, I just offer more choices.
The Premium cleaning wipes are bigger than anything else in the store, super soft and luxurious in look and feel. If anyone remembers my large white cleaning wipes, these are similar, but better!
Sponges! Brand new product to replace the sponge you are currently using – these are amazing and I can’t wait to hear what you think of this cute little sponge!