Microfiber cloths are an essential tool in every car detailer’s arsenal because they're very efficient at picking up dirt, dust and debris. They're durable but if you want longevity you have to take care of them. In this post we're going to explain all the tips and all the tricks.
What are they made of?
They're made from 2 fibres, generally speaking, which are polyamide and polyester. Both are thinner than a human hair and are a type of a plastic so they do have a melting point and that's why heat is their enemy, or at least high heat.
Tip 1 – Wash Microfiber Towels Separately
You do not want to mix microfibers with other fabrics because they're very good at picking up lint and obviously you do not want that.
Next separate your towels according to what you use them from, for example:
- Separate very dirty towels - used on engine bays, tires and wheels.
- Separate anything used for polishing removal, like compounds and polishes. They usually contain abrasives and they're going to clog the fibers. You don't want to mix these with anything you have for your interior or for a applying waxes or removing paint sealants or ceramic coatings.
- Next, you're going to have a pile of your cleaner towels.
What to do before you start washing the towels:
If they're extremely soiled we recommend to either dump them in a sink, that you can fill with a bit of warm/lukewarm water (not hot water very important) or even cold. Or if you have a decent bucket you can fill that up with water as well. Then use a quality multi-purpose cleaner ‘slash’ degreaser that's going help to start to loosen and break down oils and all that excess dirt from your towels.
After they're done soaking for a few hours ring them out properly and pop them in the washing machine.
Machine Settings - an important part.
Selecting Machine Cycle - you want some agitation in the tub. Agitation scrubs the fibres and helps to remove materials.
The temperature control – A cold wash is awesome for microfiber towels. If they're very dirty, you can go up to either semi warm or warm but never ever use the hot setting, why is that? Because typically your water tank in your household is set to roughly 140°F or 60°C and that's the melting point of microfibers. This will damage the towels, that's why you never use hot water.
Extra Rinse - If you have the option select extra rinse, this is very good to help really release all the dirt and soil.
Detergent – Use a very gentle detergent. Something that's free of any dies, fabric softeners and no bleach. Try and get a pure detergent. The reason is you do not want to clog the fibres of your microfiber towels with any fabric softener or any other chemicals that can leave a residue on the towel.
Distilled Vinegar Tip – Which is your common household white vinegar, pour half a cup in your bleach dispenser or your fabric softener dispenser. This will release some vinegar during the rinse cycle and help to further release any oils, dirt, gunk that might be in the fibres.
The Drying Stage - When you remove your towel of course, from your washer, and you're going to put them inside the dryer. Quick tip, always make sure that your lint trap is free of any lint so that you have good air flow. To increase the efficiency of your dryer. When you turn the dryer on now (again the most important is either low heat or no heat) be sure to you use the least amount of heat possible or no heat.
A dryer helps recharge that electrostatic cling that microfibers are known for. Which helps to pick up all the dust and dirt.
If you don't have a dryer or do not want to use one you have the option of using a rack, basically you are going to let them hang dry. Avoid hanging your towels outside because they're going to be picking up a lot of dust from the exterior air so always hang dry them inside your home.
Final Tip - when you're using a detergent always use the liquid forms, never in powder because powder again can clog the fibres of your microfiber towels and could be quite hard to remove during the wash cycle. If there's any residue of that powder left, well you can scratch the finish on your paint work.
Following theses laundering and care procedures will help maximize quality and, better yet, help reduce costs while boosting your bottom line.