Microfiber Towels, Cloths and Cleaning Products

Microfiber towels and cleaning cloths are made from microscopically thin synthetic fibers, equal to one denier (or one-fifth of a human hair). Microfiber products are usually made with a blend of 80% polyester and 20% polyamide (nylon). Some unique microfiber products are made from 100% polyester.

A cross section of the split microfiber fabric under high magnification would look like an asterisk.


  1. Microfiber towels are made of very fine synthetic fibers that can be used for cleaning, polishing, and drying.
  2. Microfiber cleaning cloths are made of the same materials as microfiber towels, but they are usually smaller in size and have a textured surface that is ideal for cleaning surfaces.
  3. Microfiber products are known for their absorbency, durability, and lint-free properties.

Microfibers (blended) are “split” during the chemical manufacturing process, into either 4-split, 8-split, or 16-split. The higher the number of splits, the more absorbent. Most of the microfiber currently sold by Direct Textile Store is made from premium grade 16-split fibers. The cleaning effectiveness of 16-split microfiber is much higher in disinfecting surfaces. Split-fiber fabric is also better for trapping and retaining dirt and absorbing liquids. Unlike cotton, microfiber leaves a lint-free finish.

One way to identify microfiber is to run the cloth over the palm of your hand. Microfiber will typically cling to imperfections on the skin and can be either heard or felt as you move it across your palm.

As a general comparison, cotton will “absorb” approximately 3 times its weight, while microfiber will “adsorb” nearly 10 times its weight. Testing can be performed by placing droplets of water onto a hard, flat surface and wiping them with the cloth. If the water is not absorbed, but rather remains on the surface, it is not likely not made of microfiber. Microfiber is popular for a wide variety of commercial applications, including restaurants and bars (due to their low cost, effectiveness for cleaning, and for their reusability). Microfiber bar mop towels are great for cleaning, due to their ability to absorb liquids, oils and greases well. This product does not scratch surfaces unless it has retained grit or hard particles from prior use. Due to hydrogen bonding, microfiber cloths containing polyamide (nylon) absorb and hold more liquid than other types of fibers. Because they are super absorbent, they are also used for drying dishes, glassware, and cutlery. According to well-known studies, the use of microfiber in cleaning hard surfaces reduces bacteria by 99.9% (UC Davis Study), whereas a conventional cleaning material reduces bacteria by less than 40% (EPA study).

Microfiber is also widely used as a car wash towel. Car detailers like microfiber fabric for removing wax, quick detailing, interior cleaning, glass cleaning, and drying. Because microfibers leave behind no lint or dust, these towels are used by car detailers instead of chamois leather, and at a fraction of the cost.

Microfiber cleaning cloths can be used with cleaning products and disinfectants. When using with cleaning products it is best to fold them into quarters, so you have multiple cleaning sides.

The best way to clean and disinfect contaminated microfiber products is to launder them in a wash machine using the recommended formula below.

Wash/Dry Formula Guidelines – Microfiber Products
Washing Recommendation:

Flush 2 Minutes @110 Degrees – High Water Level
Flush 2 Minutes @120 Degrees – High Water Level
Flush 2 Minutes @130 Degrees – High Water Level
Break/Suds 6 Minutes @ 140 Degrees – Low to Medium Water Level
3 ounces Phosphate with 6 ounces Detergent (Per CWT)
(If no Phosphate, 9 oz Detergent Per CWT)
Rinse 2 Minutes @ 130 Degrees – High Level
Rinse 2 Minutes @ 120 Degrees – High Level
Rinse 2 Minutes @ 110 Degrees – High Level
Extract 5 Minutes – High Speed

Do not use fabric softeners during the wash process, as the oils and cationic surfactants can clog up the fibers and make them less absorbent.

Drying Recommendation:
Dry at a stack temperature that will keep the chamber below 140F. Typical dry time is 10 minutes.
For further information, contact your :Laundering Chemical Representative.

Microfiber is also used to make certain wet, dry and “combo” floor mop cleaning products. Microfiber mop pads are much more absorbent than cotton; and they can hold ten times their weight in water, making them ideal for sweeping, mopping, and disinfecting.

Microfiber mop pads absorb dirt, dust, and hair, instead of just pushing them around the floor. Although the price of microfiber mops may be slightly higher than other mops, the “actual cost” is much lower, since they last much longer (typically over 150 wash cycles), and require less chemicals, and less ergonomic effort from staff, leading to increased productivity.

Microfiber charging mop buckets are often best for microfiber mops due to their extra wide size.

Microfiber is used in numerous cleaning products; and choosing the right product depends on your application needs. Be sure to check out our microfiber user guide that serves as an excellent resource for advising janitorial staff on proper cleaning techniques for your microfiber products.

If you need assistance selecting the right microfiber cleaning product, feel free to contact the Direct Textile Store Customer Service Team at 800-615-5822 or through our Live Chat.

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