I remember when I started in the cleaning industries 35 years ago, I was already hearing people in the flea market selling the benefit of microfibers, the new thing in the world of the cool cleaning gadgets. Listening to these guys selling their stuff and saying to myself “what is a microfiber towel?” Now I can’t do my cleaning without it. These are really the best cleaning gadgets to have at home. I certainly missed out on the opportunity to use them a long time ago. I found that the benefit is much greater than I would have expected.
With so many types on the market today, you can find one for every of your cleaning needs, from car detailing, kitchen and bathroom cleaning, regular cleaning around the house, to window cleaning and they truly do a great job.
Now let’s talk about…
What is a microfiber towel?
A microfiber is simply a synthetic fiber so small that its diameter is less than 10 micrometers. In other words, smaller than a human hair, roughly a 1/5.
They made the towel in two steps during the fabrication process, loop or split fibers, according to the intended use. The loop fibers are much more absorbent and a better quality compared to the split one. This is why some are specifically made for car detailing while others are for general cleaning. Higher the density, softer it will be. If you want to know if a towel is made of loop or split fibers, simply rub it in your hand. If it tends to hook on every scratches or imperfections in your hand, then it’s made of loop fibers.
For example, in the car detailing, if you polish your wax, you better use the loop fibers towel with a high density to give a shine. On the other hand, if you are removing the extra wax or do a general cleaning on hard plastic surfaces, you might want to use a towel with a medium density.
In general cleaning, if you are not required to pick up excess water or disinfecting, a split microfiber towel could very well do the job.
microfibers (top) vs cotton (bottom)
Microfiber towel – environmentally friendly
When microfiber was invented around 30 – 40 years ago, they probably didn’t have the environment in mind. Today, we come to realize that they are good for the planet.
Keep in mind that the way they are made, they attract dirt and hold it in their loops. By doing so, if you use them properly, you end up using less cleaning products. Also, these towel are designed to be washed for hundreds of times. No more need for a paper towel.
Who use them?
Because of their great effectiveness in trapping dirt, healthcare facilities are using them in their cleaning procedure. What does a microfiber towel do in a health care environment? Wouldn’t it be better just to use a throwaway towel rather than washing a germ filled towel?
You would think so, but no. The microfiber can be washed several times using disinfectant or soap. It is more expensive on the startup but in the long run, you end up saving lots of money. Besides, throwing germ filled towels or paper in the garbage is not too safe, you never know where they end up and who will come in contact with it.
In health care, they come to realize that the microfiber towel, picks up more than just dirt. It also picks up bacteria and viruses from pretty much all surfaces. Due to its synthetic fibers, these towels are great to destroy germs and viruses as it removes the organic matter from the composition of the fabric and prevents the bacteria from feeding and multiplying. This is particularly important for the healthcare environment, reducing the risk of cross-contamination on other surfaces.
What is a microfiber towel good for in my house? Well, a house is a miniature health care facility when you think about it. You have multiple people coming in and out, carrying with them all kinds of germs and viruses from work or public transit. This is why the microfiber towel is among the best gadgets and a cool cleaning gadgets to have in your home.
The microfiber benefit is greater
Here is a list of advantages and disadvantages:
- They are non-abrasive
- They remain soft all their lifespan
- Offered in various sizes and colors
- Hygienic because of its synthetic fibers
- Absorbs or catches bacteria, germs and viruses if used properly
- Durable (in most cases washable up to 300 times)
- Water absorbent (7 times their weight)
- Long-lasting if cared for properly (see How to maintain your microfiber)
- Requires special laundering (see How to maintain your microfiber)
- Higher upfront costs
Old cotton or Microfibers? – The choice is yours
With the years of experience under my belt, I came to realize that sometimes spending a little bit more will be time-saving and money-saving in the long term. Being more efficient at what you do is always a good idea. Therefore, when looking at all the advantages of working with a microfiber towel, you conclude you will only benefit from using this product.
You can always use old t-shirts or old cotton towels, leaving streaks and particles in mirrors or windows. Everybody has their best techniques or tools. Don’t forget, you ask what is a microfiber towel, if you never used a microfiber, you should give it a shot, that will answer your question. You might never go back to your cottons!
All that being said, the above clearly shows that the benefit in using the microfiber towels outweighs the additional costs.