Spiff Towels Microfiber FAQ's Answered
Reusable microfiber cloths have found a large following among consumers in Europe but we in the United States still love our disposables and throw away paper towels.
Many people still have questions about what microfiber is and why they should bother to make the change or pay the cost. When deciding whether to make the change thet often count the cost of purchasing reusable microfiber cloths but forget to add up what they spend on cleaning products and paper towels over a month or year.
Have you wondered?
- How cleaning with only water could possibly get your surfaces truly clean?
- Why you should bother to use Microfiber rather than cotton towels or paper towels?
- If microfiber would be worth the trouble of learning to use them and if the cleaning results would justify the cost of purchasing them?
Here are some answers to those and other questions you may have.
Isn't Soap and Water The Best Way to Clean?
In fact water IS a pretty good cleaner.
Although water is a good emulsifier of dirt sometimes water alone can't do the job alone and so adding detergents, chemicals and soaps help the water molecules more easily break apart the dirt and grease that water alone just can't handle.
But more people are becoming aware of the dangers in exposure to toxic chemicals.
They are looking for ways to avoid purchasing and using these expensive cleaning products that use chemicals to act as detergents and soaps. These chemicals have been shown to cause skin and allergic reactions, to disrupt our hormones and immune systems and undermine our bodies natural defenses against germs. Another concern is the residue left behind when using chemically based cleaning products, both in the air and those flushed down the drain. The chemicals gradually build up in the environment to cause pollution in our air and water ways.
This is where microfiber cleaning cloths become so valuable.
Consumers who are looking for ways to keep their homes truly clean while maintaining a healthy and safe environment free of toxic chemicals find their solution in microfiber.
What Makes Microfiber Different?
Microfiber cloths may look like all the towels you have been using but they work dramatically different and their cleaning results are much better.
The fibers in a high quality microfiber cloth are split. This splitting makes the fibers so small you cannot actually see them, much smaller than the fibers in a cotton cloth. Cotton fibers are actually gigantic in comparison so over the same amount of surface the microfiber towel has millions more fibers than cotton.
How Are Microfiber Cloths Made?
Generally microfiber is made of 2 ingredients, Polyester and Polyamide, which is another name for nylon. T
The cloth is made by forcing these two plastic materials through a tiny pipe and heating them so they weave together. In high quality and cleaning textiles these fibers are then split to create millions of fibers each with spaces in between them.
Why Do More and Smaller Fibers Clean Better? These millions of split fibers act like hooks and fingers to grab dirt, dust and bacteria and hold them deep inside the millions of fibers.
They can attach themselves to even the smallest microscopic particles to sweep them up and the spaces make them incredibly absorbent, holding 7 times their weight in water. A cotton cloth just passes over the same dirt and bacteria and leaves it behind on the surface. So with just a bit of water added to a high quality microfiber cleaning towel to help emulsify the dirt you can see that microfiber is not dependent on detergents to clean and do a superior job on all types of cleaning.
Much of the microfiber you buy in the box stores are not split and are in fact of low quality. If the packaging doesn’t say they are split they aren’t, and if the fibers are not split then the cleaning effectiveness is lost! One way to tell if your woven microfiber is high quality is if it sticks just a bit to your hands. That is the split fibers grabbing the surface of your skin.
Does Microfiber Really Attract Dirt Like a Magnet? Yes in fact it does!
In addition to the split microfibers and open spaces microfiber is effective for cleaning because during the splitting process the fibers become positively charged. Since dirt and dust are negatively charged the positive charge of the microfiber attracts it like a magnet and holds it there in the cloth. The force of the magnetism in your microfiber will hold onto the dust and dirt while you move over many dirty surfaces allowing for quick cleaning. The particles it picks up are held securely in the fibers until washed in hot water when the fibers uncurl and release them into the water to be flushed down the drain.
Do the Size of the Fibers Effect How Well a Microfiber Cloth Cleans? High quality microfiber cloth like ours has fibers 1/200th the size of human hair and can pick up very tiny bacteria.
In average cloths, the split fibers are about 3-5 micrometers in diameter which makes them about the same size as typical bacteria(1-5 microns) but bigger than most viruses (generally smaller than 0.5 microns)
Since microfibers do not effectively remove anything smaller than they are, you can expect that an average microfiber cloth is antibacterial or antimicrobial but not necessarily antiviral.
In these average microfiber cloths the fibers are 10-50 times thinner than a human hair. A high quality microfiber has fibers that are 1/200th the size of human hair and so these very tiny fibers can pick up the very tiny bacteria much better than average microfibers and are effective for removing 99% of bacteria and at least some viruses.
These are the quality of our microfiber cloths.
What is the Best Way to Use Microfiber Cloths?
The temptation when first using microfiber is to soak it with water and soap but this actually lessens their effectiveness.
You should use your microfiber cloths just slightly damp and with no soap at all leaving all those millions of fibers empty and available for picking up dirt and bacteria. When you have finished wiping your surfaces flush the dirt and bacteria down the sink by rinsing your cloth thoroughly with warm running water or tossing it in the washing machine.
How Should I Wash My Microfiber Cloths? Never use any fabric softener in the washer or dryer when washing your cloths as they gunk up the fibers.
The best detergent for microfiber is a fragrance free product or simply toss 1/2 cup of vinegar into the rinse cycle once in a while to rejuvenate your cloth and remove residues. When drying them use a warm, rather than hot, cycle or hang them to dry if you like.