When I discovered microfiber cloths many years ago, I thought they were an amazing invention and I still use them every day. It is amazing what you can do with them from dusting to window cleaning, streak-free laptop screens to polishing, and more.
I’ve got into a habit of washing my dishcloths about one per week. I save them up in a pail and then wash them all together. They don’t need any special attention, I use my normal detergent, which is currently an Ecoegg and then a dash of oxygen-based stain remover such as OxiClean or Napisan. If they are particularly grubby I might rinse them first or soak them.
I switched to 100% cold washes a few months ago and I’ve found that cold water is just as effective as warm water for getting my microfiber cloths clean.
Sometimes there are stubborn stains that I need to get out and this is where OxiClean comes in handy.
At first, I was wary of using a cleaner with the word ‘bleach’ in it knowing that ordinary bleach should always be avoided when washing microfibre. However, OxiClean is a different kind of bleach from the kind you might throw down the toilet. It is ‘oxygen-based’ which is much kinder to fabrics.
If you have arrived at this post wondering whether you can use your tub of OxiClean on your microfiber cloths too, I’m here to tell you it is not only safe but very effective at cleaning them. You can use OxiClean as a washing additive or as a pre-soak. OxiClean will not damage the fibers of your cloths as regular toilet bleach will.
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Can you use OxiClean to clean microfiber cloths and towels?
You can safely soak your dishcloths in OxiClean or add a scoop to your wash for extra cleaning power.
OxiClean can be used on most of your laundry including microfiber cloths and towels. It should not be used on delicate items such as wool and silk. For that, you will need a more gentle method such as soap flakes or a non-biological detergent.
What is OxiClean?
OxiClean is a laundry stain remover that comes in both a spray and a powder.
The main ingredient of OxiClean is sodium percarbonate. When mixed with water, sodium percarbonate breaks down into hydrogen peroxide and sodium carbonate (also known as soda ash or washing soda). Sodium carbonate softens the water allowing stains such as grease, wine and oil to be removed. The hydrogen peroxide breaks down into oxygen in the water and makes the PH level of the water more alkaline which improves the performance of your laundry detergent.
Tips for cleaning your microfiber cloths with OxiClean
If your microfiber cloths are particularly grubby you will want to rinse them in cold water first to get all the debris off and to help release stains.
If your cloths are badly stained, soak them in some OxiClean for a couple of hours or overnight.
If your washing machine doesn’t have a soak option (mine does not), here’s a trick to try instead:
- Start your normal cycle.
- Switch off the machine after the first 5 minutes of agitation.
- Allow the cloths to sit in the washing water for a couple of hours or overnight.
- Switch the machine back on to resume the wash.
Always wash your microfiber cloths separately from other laundry
Microfiber cloths are designed to pick up everything. So you don’t want them sharing the tub with the rest of your laundry. Especially things like cotton towels which will release lint onto your cloths. Additionally, you risk transferring whatever you cleaned up onto your clothing and linen.
Pick the right detergent
Here are some tips for choosing the right detergent for cleaning your microfiber cloths:
1. Any type of detergent is fine apart from 2 in 1
You don’t need special detergents to wash microfiber cloths. I like to wash my cloths with my Ecoegg or some homemade microfiber detergent. If you normally use a washing liquid or a powder it is perfectly fine to use that too.
However, there is one caveat. Avoid 2 in 1 washing detergents that contain fabric conditioners because conditioners will clog the fibers.
2. Avoid using too much detergent
You might think that using more detergent will give better cleaning, but actually, the extra suds can stop the detergent from working optimally.
3. Don’t overload the machine
Don’t overload the washing drum because your machine won’t wash effectively. My rule of thumb is to check my hand can fit vertically on top of the washing load.
Choose the right washing temperature
If you are using biological detergents for your cloths you will want to use warm water as this kind of detergent requires it to work.
Avoid high heat because the high temperatures can damage the tiny fibres in the cloth making them less effective at clinging onto dirt.
I find that cold water on an intensive cycle does a great job at cleaning my microfiber cloths. I now do all my laundry in cold water, and it saves a lot on my electricity bill.
Don’t use fabric conditioners
Fabric conditioners will coat and clog up the fibres making them less effective. I recommend adding a splash of white distilled vinegar into the conditioner compartment instead. Vinegar will help to naturally soften and sanitize your cloths.
If you used fabric conditioner on your cloths by mistake you can correct the issue by doing another couple of washes.
When it comes to drying, natural is best for your microfiber cloths. If you can put your cloths out to dry in the sun, not only will your cloths dry, but the sun’s rays will help to kill remaining bacteria and naturally bleach out stains.
If you need to tumble dry, choose a low heat setting.
Don’t be tempted to dry your cloths directly on a radiator. Direct heat can cause damage to the fibers. Plus, it prevents heat from going into the room which should be avoided if you are trying to reduce your heating bill.
Frequently asked questions
What to use to get stains out of microfiber cloths?
There are four things that I like to do to help remove stains from microfiber cloths:
- Use a biological washing detergent. The enzymes in the detergent will dissolve protein-based stains such as oils, and sauces.
- Use a warm wash. Biological detergent works best at 30-40c.
- Add a scoop of OxiClean to the wash.
- Choose an intensive washing cycle.
Can I use bleach to clean microfiber cloths?
If you have stained or smelly microfiber cloths it can be tempting to soak them in bleach. However, this isn’t advisable because the bleaching agents will damage the tiny fibers in the cloth and they will be less effective for cleaning.
I recommend that you add white distilled vinegar to the fabric softener compartment to help to kill bacteria and deodorize without causing damage to the fibers.