How To Wash Microfiber Towels After Using Them

pile of towels

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Keeping your car clean and shining takes the right supplies, with microfiber towels being a star player in the team of products that keep your car glimmering.

Maintaining a clean car requires proper cleaning supplies; microfiber towels are especially useful in wiping down your car after washing and waxing. The cleanliness of your microfiber towels will determine how well they are capable of cleaning your car, with excess dirt buildup potentially causing damage. Here we’ll learn how to wash microfiber towels so that you can be sure they’ll perform their job without any worry of spreading dirt or causing damage.

What Is Microfiber?

Microfiber is composed of many parts. In the automotive industry, microfiber is generally comprised of a combination of polyesters and polyamides. The fibers are microscopic and can be around 1/100 the diameter of a human hair. The ultra-fine thread of microfiber grants the material its particularly delicate touch and soft feel. Nearly all microfibers share the same fiber structure, and how the fibers are laid out determines the characteristics of the material, whether flush, waffled, flat, or suede. The various types are useful for different surfaces.

The uniformity of the fibers of the microfiber towel are what makes it so useful for detailing. Cotton fibers can vary in size and length from fiber-to-fiber, leading to an uneven contact with the surface they are being used upon. Microfiber towels provide a uniform level of contact and thread consistency that aids in the application of cleaning agents and polishing compounds.

Microfiber Weight

When considering which microfiber towel to use for your job, the weight of the towel is referred to in this consideration. The “weight” of microfiber references the fiber density of the towel. The higher the grams per square meter, or GMS, of the towel, the softer the towel will be. Softer towels are ideal for use on glass and other surfaces upon which scratches are a concern. Lesser soft microfiber towels are more than sufficient for tougher surfaces such as leather or metal.

Types Of Microfiber Towels

When it comes to microfiber towels, there are a great many types, and knowing which is which will help you in identifying the best washing strategy to adopt. Some microfiber towels are used for interior detailing and drying, and encounter dirt and dust but not oil or soot. Other microfiber towels are used to keep your wheels and engine bays shining, and may regularly come into contact with brake dust, oil, and even gasoline. Each type of towel will be a different level of dirty.

When microfiber towels are not effectively washed, they can be ruined. Knowing how to wash microfiber towels prevents them from being ruined. Ruined towels will need to be replaced. If you continue using those towels, it may lead to poor results when detailing your car. Given the time and effort that goes into detailing your vehicle, you will want to get the most out of your work with clean microfiber towels that perform best. The following are the regular cleaning methods to refer to on how to wash microfiber towels, in addition to techniques on how to remove deep stains.

Regular Cleaning Methods

When using microfiber towels, your car becomes cleaner as they become dirtier. Before going back to your car with them, the towels must be cleaned; otherwise, the towels will just be spreading what you want to remove back on the next time use. How to clean microfiber towels begins with the sorting of the towels, followed by the selection of the appropriate wash for the job.


As mentioned above, there are many different types of microfiber towels, each meant to perform specific tasks throughout the process. Before washing your towels, make sure to divide them into separate groups to prevent cross-contamination. The towels you use on your interiors with Windex and interior cleaner will not hold oil and soot. Mixing the interior towels with wheel and engine bay towels can lead to oil and dirt buildup that makes them useless for interior work. To keep your cleaning efforts organized and streamlined, sorting saves time and effort while making for a better overall outcome.

Using the Right Microfiber Wash

There are many different types of microfiber towels, and knowing how to wash microfiber towels requires you use microfiber wash. Using the appropriate microfiber wash solution is the key maintaining a proper condition of your towels. If you use generic laundry detergent, the life and performance of your microfiber can be reduced. Such detergents make the microfiber feel stiff and rough, which removes from its ability to seamlessly polish and clean your vehicle.

The right microfiber wash will leave your microfiber supple and ready for work. Microfiber wash is specifically designed to remove contamination and dirt from the microfiber towel without harming the material it is made from. After having used microfiber cleaner on your towels, it is important that you not add the extra step of fabric softener. Using fabric softener on microfiber towels clogs the fiber material, which in turn reduces the performance of your towels.

The amount of microfiber wash to include with the load will depend upon the size of the load and amount of dirt and contaminants in the towels. Generally 1 to 4 ounces of microfiber wash is sufficient to ensure they are effectively cleaned. Once the towels are placed into the washing machine and the setting is selected, add in the microfiber wash to the machine.

Wash Settings

After choosing the right microfiber wash for the job, we now turn to the setting to put on your washing machine to provide the best clean for your microfiber towels. For the best results, select the “hot” water temperature setting. Using hot water with your microfiber towels opens the fibers up more so that dirt and contaminants are easily released. In terms of the speed setting to select, go for “regular” to provide for the cleaning out of dirt and contaminants. For especially dirty microfiber towels, however, a double rinse cycle may be best for ideal cleansing.

Drying the Towels

After we’ve finished washing our microfiber towels, they must be naturally dried. While air drying is an option, for best results use your dryer. Machine drying leads to fluffier, cleaner, ready-to-detail microfiber towels. Place all the microfiber towels into the dryer and select the “low” setting.

Using high heat for microfiber towels can fry the polyester within, leading to hardness and stiffness in the towel. Given that we are using microfiber wash specifically to avoid stiff and dry towels, it is important to not ruin the effort by inappropriately drying your towels. When microfiber towels are stiff and hard, they can leave scratches and swirls on your car’s paint.


Microfiber towels are especially useful for detailing projects due to their ability to absorb dust. To prevent the build-up of dust atop your freshly washed and cleaned microfiber towels, store them in a cabinet or container. Keeping dirt and dust from settling into your clean microfiber towels keeps them ready for your next detailing session.

Techniques for Deep Stains

microfiber cloth

Especially dirty microfiber towels may require additional effort to clean. Using hot water is often sufficient to free up many stains; however when they cannot be removed through traditional cleaning methods, additional wash cycles, hotter water, and spot-cleaning may be necessary. Should one area be particularly concerning, the application of microfiber wash to that area followed by light scrubbing may help to free up the excess dirt. Using a secondary rinse cycle can also add to the effectiveness of the cleaning efforts.

Pre-treating your deeply stained microfiber towels is another technique in how to wash microfiber towels in an effective manner. Soak the heavily stained microfiber towels in the microfiber wash before washing, and rub the stained material against itself to free up the dirt and contaminants that are present. To pre-treat, prepare a bucket filled with clean water and add in 2 or 3 ounces of microfiber wash depending upon the amount of dirt. Use a grit guard placed upside down on top of the towels to keep them submerged in the mixture and ensure that they don’t float to the top. Pre-treating can help remove the deepest of stains, so don’t fret when you see a heavily dirty towel.


car washing

Detailing and polishing your car is an extensive process that can take quite a bit of time and work, in addition to the cost of tools and supplies. Of those supplies, the microfiber towel is one of the most important, as it provides the finishing shine on your paint when drying, and keeps the interior dust-free and spotless. To maximize the cleaning power of your microfiber towels, the towels themselves must be kept clean. Make sure to wash them after each use to keep your microfiber towels ready for work and capable of performing a top-notch job.

For more tips, techniques, and recommendations on how to keep your car looking its best, check back to Keeping Cars Clean.

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