Get to know the magic of microfiber.
Barefoot woman cleaning floor with wet mop pad
Credit: Obradovic via Getty Images

When it comes to cleaning your home, do you usually use a cotton cloth or paper towel for everything? If so, it's time for you to upgrade to a microfiber cleaning cloth.

If you've never heard of one before, keep reading to find out what makes microfiber cleaning cloths so efficient and why they're a must-have cleaning product. Once you learn all about the science behind the fabric, you'll understand the magic of microfiber.

What Is Microfiber?

Microfiber is a synthetic material made from polyester and nylon. It's used to make clothing, upholstery, cleaning products, and industrial filters.

These materials are woven together using heat, and then the fibers are split into microfibers that can be up to 20 times smaller than the original. The end result is so tiny that each fiber measures one denier or less, which is about 1/100th the diameter of a piece of human hair.

Don't let their size fool you, though — their small dimensions are what enable them to remove everything from microbes and spores to dirt and hair from a range of surfaces, making them the ultimate cleaning product. So even though you can't see all of the individual microfibers when you're looking at a microfiber cloth, those ultra-fine fibers are significantly better at cleaning than the standard cloth.

How Microfiber Cleaning Cloths Work

The beauty of microfiber cloth is that you don't need to use soap or detergents with it when you're cleaning. Why? Unlike typical cotton cloths, microfiber cloths rely on physics to remove pathogens from surfaces, like countertops, successfully.

The microfibers in the cloth are positively charged, which ends up attracting all of the negatively charged particles they come in contact with, like dirt, bacteria, and grease. That's why they're able to attach themselves to even the smallest of particles that normal cloth fibers can't pick up, making them exceptional for cleaning.

Microfiber isn't just great at picking up dust; it's also perfect for absorbing spills. A microfiber cloth has the same surface area as a cotton cloth, but it acts four times as large, and it can absorb seven times its weight in liquid. So if someone happens to accidentally spill a whole can of soda, don't worry — a microfiber cloth can absorb it all.

They are also the safest and easiest product to clean your mirrors and windows with, thanks to their unique weave and super-fine fibers that won't scratch the surfaces.

However, when you buy a microfiber cloth, don't go for the cheap options because not all microfiber cloths are the same. Bargain ones only have around 50,000 microfiber per square inch, while a standard microfiber cloth as 3.1 million fibers per square inch, which means they clean better and last longer.

How to Clean with a Microfiber Cloth

For dusting: Don't spray anything on the cloth, because it will break down the fibers. Instead, leave your cloth dry and then clean.

For windows and mirrors: Get your microfiber cloth a little damp and then wipe the surface in a single direction to remove dirt, fingerprints, and 99 percent of germs and grime on your windows or mirrors.

For countertops: Fold your cloth into sections and dampen one half to remove dirt, grease, and grime, then switch to a dry section for shining and polishing.