Washing microfiber cloths

ma-bookreaderFebruary 1, 2011

I'm having a problem with laundering my microfiber cloths.

I purchased at Costco the microfiber cloths from the automotive section (the ones that I read many rave reviews about on this GW forum).

I enjoy using them, but I find it impossible to get the stains out of them. Also, I find that the fibers picked up during cleaning remain trapped in the microfiber cloths even after I launder them. So,they become useless for jobs like window washing and mirror cleaning.

I launder my microfiber cloths together with no other textiles. I use plain detergent and no bleach or fabric softener. I dry them in the drier just long enough to dry them without over drying them.

Does anyone else have this problem?

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1. Create a separate load for heavily soiled cloths or those used with toxic cleaners or finishing products. Set these aside.

2. Use stain remover on visible oil or grease spots and let treated items sit for a short period.

3. Adjust the washing machine's water level to small, medium or large, covering the amount of microfiber cloths you are cleaning.

4. Select a cold-water wash and normal or gentle cycle, depending on the weight of the load.

Start the washing machine and add soap according to the package directions.

6. Wash the extra-soiled load separately in warm or hot water, depending on the degree of the grime you see.

7. Dry a whole load of cloths in the dryer on low, or hang them to air dry if you have the space.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2011 at 9:44PM
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I am having the same problems that Bookreader had. I keep washing them in hot water and I can't get out the stains. I am thinking of adding some bleach.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2011 at 10:49PM
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Me too- the stains don't come out, and I thought you weren't supposed to use bleach of anything other than detergent on them? I just keep using them though they do look horrible- I know I 've washed them.... but was wondering the same thing.
someone else mentioned that they got the microfiber cloths in black- which probably at least Looks better!!!

    Bookmark   February 2, 2011 at 8:25AM
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i bought a pack of 4, various shades of blue. They still gat stains.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2011 at 10:09AM
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At time cloth is used, rinse under faucet making sure excess particles rinse off, hang/spread some place to dry.

Do not wash microfiber cloths with anything else, lint and/or strings will stick to them making it a pain to pull off.

Use OxyClean Stain Remover on badly soiled areas before putting in washing machine. Use a brush to work stain remover into fibers.

Use OxyClean Powder along with laundry detergent.

Wash in warm or hot water.

Use Soak Cycle on washing machine and let it continue full cycle wash. If no soak cycle, soak for 15 minutes.

I use a microfiber cloth to mop kitchen floor after it has been swept with broom. Cloth gets very dirty, does come clean in the washing machine using the above method.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2011 at 1:02PM
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Well, I am very glad to find out that I'm not the only one with this problem! My cloths are bright yellow (well, they started out that color and are now a dingy yellow) so they show the stains quite clearly. Sigh.

It's interesting to me that one posted said to wash in cold water and another said to wash in warm or hot water. Hmmm. Does the water temp not matter?

Oh and I never wash them with anything but other microfiber cloths. I have a separate laundry basket just for them. And I have often let them soak in the detergent for a time before beginning the wash cycle. Didn't seem to make much of a difference in getting the stains out. And these stains are not from grease. Just regular household dirt.

Thanks to everyone who posted.

I'll try using OxyClean. I've used it with my other laundry and have not been impressed with it. It didn't seem to get the stains out as well as others said that it did. Maybe my water is too hard for it to be very effective. But I still have some left over so I'll certainly try it on the microfiber cloths.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2011 at 1:39PM
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Some of my microfiber cloths have stains on them that don't come out, but I don't care what they look like, and the stains don't affect their use. I wash mine in the sanitary cycle with detergent.

As for picking up fibers, I have made the mistake of cleaning up sawdust with a couple of them and had quite a mess. I sat in front of the TV one night picking stuff out of them. It helped, but not completely. As a result, I make a point to use the yucky ones for floor cleaning and the cleaner ones for glass and other sensitive surfaces.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2011 at 3:46PM
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Really though, what difference does it make if the cleaning cloth has a stain...it's not like you are going to wear it? Just wash and dry them seperate from anything else. Never dry them in a dryer with other clothing...they will be full of their lint!

If you are worried about stains so much, keep them color coded. Like for instance only use blue ones for the kitchen and never use those blue ones for very dirty messes. Then use only the yellow ones for really dirty messes...etc....then don't worry about if it has a stain on it or not.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 8:55AM
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The stuff you're cleaning up would likely stain any kind of material. Really no different than a dinner napkin. These cloths, however, are totally synthetic and really bad with certain stains (oil-based mostly). Unless you treat them immediately, the stain will linger a for a few washings. Heat sets any stain. The dryer could be your worst culprit. IF they've been in there, it might be a lost cause.

The stains wont affect cleaning ability though.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2011 at 6:13PM
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Hey folks, I know that stains won't effect the ability of a cleaning cloth to clean. It just looks lousy and does nothing to motivate one to clean. A cloth that looks clean is just more pleasant to use than one that looks dirty even though it's clean.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2011 at 12:10PM
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My spouse paints. She has a laundry basket for old rags. Should I want to remove an unsightly stain on a microfiber cloth it would go in that basket. VBG etc.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2011 at 2:12PM
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I use masking tape to roll off lint hair etc off clean and dried, microfiber cloths. Not all comes off, but enough! They do such a good job of picking junk up that I don't always sweep prior to using them, especially in rooms not used often.
I have been replacing mine every 6-9 months. The convenience to me of just swishing them around on a swiffer mop is worth it.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 12:10PM
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I think that you can just wash it with warm water and it will be fine, without detergent without anything.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2011 at 2:32PM
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Mine lose the nap after repeated use, but I just put those in the garage for cleaning the car wheels etc...
Their usefulness outweighs the fact that they don't stay nice and yellow for long! =)
I sometimes add a Tide stain release tablet to the load since mine get pretty dirty. Seems to work quite well. I also admit I might set stains because I wash them in warm or hot water.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2011 at 9:48PM
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Does anyone else notice the very fine fibers left behind on the glass surface after cleaning with these Costco yellow microfiber cloths?

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 3:06AM
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My real cheap micro cloths stink badly, even when they've just been washed. Boiling them helps, but 12 minutes of boiling costs.....

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 5:51PM
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To clean a microfiber cloth, wash with warm soapy water and rinse well. The warm water opens up the fibers, allowing them to release the locked-in dirt. Placing the cloths in a washing machine and then drying them in a dryer on low heat is also effective. No fabric softeners of any kind should be used as the chemicals clog up the microfibers, making them less effective. Bleach should also be avoided as it corrodes the fibers over time, making them less effective. Ironing is also potentially damaging.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2011 at 3:36AM
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things get old and dirty as time passes. especially things you use to clean up. Things you use to wipe up dirt and liquid waste.

Just have to accept that fact. Probably just use cloth from old clothes (we call them rags remember) for applications that dont really need microfiber functions.

and the newer microfiber? use them for when you have guests.

unless of course you want to make the most of the microfiber the moment you have brought it to your home, then we really shouldnt care if it has stains do we...

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 6:44AM
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I soak mine in generic OxiClean (Dollar Store & works just as well),& detergent for about 30-60 mins. Wring them out & rinse w/white vinegar. If I wash in machine, I take them out & let them dry naturally. Stains have always come out, and I've had some bad stains, and they still look brand new. Hope this helps. Esp the part about the Dollar Store generic OxiClean for $1.00.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 12:39PM
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Just curious: Why does it matter if the cloths are stained, as long as the stain doesn't rub onto anything and it's not a garment you're wearing? I use microfiber cloths (purchased through the Solutions catalog) for all types of cleaning and some have stains but still do a great job cleaning. I wash them in the washing machine on warm setting, dry on warm, and they're good to go for another round.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2011 at 12:24PM
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Just to chime in with everyone else...

I have different kinds of Microfiber cloths but gravitate to the yellow Costco ones the most since they are handy in the pantry. Over time and with certain kinds of dirt, they do get very stained but I keep using them as well (I know they're clean they just look dingy).

I got them looking better by soaking in 3-4 scoops of Oxy cleaner for 24 hours then laundering them in hot water and another 2 scoops of Oxy. Some of the stains are still there but overall they look much better.

The Costco towels do leave small fibers behind on glass and mirrors. I bought some glass-specific microfiber cloths at Big Lots last year (I think they were 3 for $3-$4?). I only use them for mirrors and glass and they don't shed at all. I wash those along with the Costco microfiber and have no problems with lint traveling over to the other cloths. The best thing about the Costco towels is that after 2 years of constant use, I just bought a new package of them. The older cloths can now get relegated to tackling very dirty tasks (like window sills outside).

Hope that helps!

    Bookmark   November 28, 2011 at 9:33PM
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Just a side note...those slick ones for glass are awesome for eye glasses. Just had to say...

    Bookmark   December 1, 2011 at 4:44PM
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