Day 279 Microfibre Cloths Part II

Before we get into the practical side of today’s post I just want to make a comment about germs. I am not a “germaphobe” by any stretch of the imagination. I believe you don’t build up any immunity to them unless you are exposed to them. In fact I think that chemical companies thrive on putting the germ fear into people with their ridiculous advertising campaigns (don’t even get me started on that rant). I use microfibre cloths because I like to effectively clean my house without using too many chemicals. The fact that they do such a good job of eliminating such a high percentage of germs is just a bonus.

Now back to my usage of microfribre cloths/mitts…

Microwave Oven – Damp MF cloth

  • wet your MF cloth and wring it out so it is damp
  • place the damp MF cloth in the centre of the microwave oven turntable
  • Set the oven for about 30 seconds on high (1000watt models) and press start.
  • The object is to heat the cloth just enough to cause the moister in it to steam up your microwave oven. (It doesn’t take long. You may need to experiment here to get the right timing; more or less depending on the power of your microwave.)
  • Once the 30 sec + is done leave the steaming cloth to do the work for about 5 minutes. DO NOT open the door.
  • Once the 5 minutes are up open the microwave and wipe it out with the now warm cloth. The steam should have softened any stuck on food from all surfaces and it should wipe away easily.

Floors – Microfibre Mop (I use a Sabco mop but I am sure there are plenty of other good brands)

  • vacuum the floor (I vacuum all floors hard or carpet in my opinion nothing does a better job)
  • Dampen the mop pad
  • Mop away to your hearts content

I only rinse my mop once to do my entire shiny white tiled floor. You may need more of less depending on size and whether you have kids, pets etc. The mop I use has a scourer attached for those stubborn spots.

Eye glasses – Nearly all prescription eyeglasses come with their own case and MF cleaning cloth.  Sometimes I use eyeglass cleaning solution but most of the time I use the steam from my breath.

Computer/Television screens – MF cloth water spray bottle

  • Fold the MF cloth to fit in your hand
  • spray a fine mist of water on one side of the cloth
  • gently wipe the screen
  • now gently wipe the screen with the dry side of the cloth
  • NEVER spray the water directly onto the computer/television screens

Face cleaner/Exfoliator – MF cloth and water

  • Check out this web site for some great info on this item. I don’t endorse this product and have never used it. It was just the first choice I found when I Googled microfibre exfoliator. It had so much information I thought they deserved the credit for it.

Dishes –I must confess I use a dishwasher for the bulk of my dishes but for those I wish to clean in a hurry I use a small damp MC cloth to wipe them clean and a larger more absorbent cloth to dry them with. I use this method for all of my good chef knives because they shouldn’t be put in the dishwasher.

Cleaning walls – MF cloth and water spary bottle

  • spray a light list of water on any dirty stops
  • wipe over with the MF cloth

As Odette pointed out in her comment on this page;  Mr. Clean Magic Erasers made from microporous foam are the best things for spot cleaning walls. They act like super fine sandpaper and can remove crayon, magic marker, grease etc with ease.

How Microfibre Works

Don’t be fooled by the smoothness of microfibre. You will notice when you wipe a MF cloth against a dirty surface you can feel the resistance caused by the grit and grime. That is the microfibre doing it’s job attaching itself to the foreign objects on the surface. Keep wiping and when the cloth moves smoothly across the surface you know the job is done. The little fibres get into every tiny fissure to give you a fabulous clean.

Cleaning your MF cloths and mitts

I usually accumulate dirty clothes over a week and then wash them separately from my other laundry. If you don’t want to do this make sure you wash your MF cloths and mitts in a laundry lint bag otherwise they will fill up with lint and be useless for dusting and cleaning glass.

I sometimes dry my MF clothes in the dryer this seems to fluff up the fibres and add an electrostatic charge making them better at attracting and holding dust. (Thanks for reminding me to add that Odette) Once again I do this separate from my other loads as to not introduce lint from other fabrics.

Value for money

I find that I can usually get at least two years out of each cloth. When you consider how many less expensive and less effective cleaning clothes, paper towel and chemicals  you would get through in that time I think it would work out to be very good value for money.

Buying microfibre cleaning products

As you can see from the few links I have included these mitts/cloths come in all thicknesses and sizes. Usually the packaging will tell you what particular cleaning job they are designed for. I am lucky that my husband jets off to the USA periodically and the only thing I ask him to bring back is a supply of Mf cloths from Target. I am sure there are a lot of other retailers and manufactures out there but I will let you investigate that for yourself as every place is different. Enjo are a party plan company who have some great products but like I said before at 3 x the price I am not convinced that they are any better than other brands especially not 3 x better. Enjo does however do very good demonstrations on how and why to use their products.

*Deanna kindly reminded me to tell you that if you buy MF cloths at taget (in the US) get them from the automotive department. There are so many sizes and thicknesses to choose from and they are a lot cheaper there than in the household cleaning section. Vroom is the brand to look for.

I personally have on hand…

  • 2 outdoor mitts (sabco Aust.)
  • 2 bathroom mitts (sabco Aust.)
  • 2 glass/chrome cleaning mitts (sabco Aust.)
  • 2 face mitts
  • several 11 inch clothes for dishes (vroom brand from Target USA)
  • several 13 inch clothes for dusting/surface cleaning (vroom brand from Target USA)
  • several 15 inch clothes for wiping dishes (vroom brand from Target USA)
  • several eyeglass clothes
  • 1 mop (sabco Aust.)

There is also a rather large stash of extras hidden away in the kitchen cupboard just in case my husband stops taking trips to America. These are definitely only likely to leave my home through natural progression decluttering.

I hope I have given you plenty of information to get you started with microfibre cleaning. Just remember I am not an expert and it is best to do your own research to determine how to use these products and if they are right for your needs. There is an abundance of information on the net. To start with check out Wikipedia for the initial rundown on how they are made and work.

REMEMBER: Rub gently when using microfibre clothes or you will flatten the fibres and they will be less effective.

ITEM 279 0F 365 LESS THINGS

The soccer shirt with it’s pink words that I mentioned on Day 273. I am glad to see the back of that guilt trip.

Soccer T

5 things I am grateful for today

  1. Email – it is much cheaper and faster than snail mail.
  2. Warm days coupled with cool evenings – such a wonderful combination.
  3. Daylight savings – now there is enough light in the evening to go for walks with my husband again.
  4. A nice chat with my son – it is not always easy to get a civilized conversation out of a nineteen year old male.
  5. Freecycle – it is a great source of guilt relief

Continue reading with these posts:

  • Simplicity the payoff to decluttering When I began decluttering it was all about downsizing to fit into a smaller home. However it didn't take long to realise that decluttering resulted in simplicity. Here are some ways in […]
  • House Chores – Do a little see a big difference ~ by Andréia One of the things I have discovered with decluttering is that house chores are not all that hard and don’t take that much time. You might laugh and say I am lying and a couple of years ago […]
  • Easy Clean Having just helped some folks clean their home, ahead of a rental inspection, I am once again reminded of how much more difficult cleaning is when there is so much clutter.  Things […]
About Colleen Madsen

Colleen is the founder of 365 Less Things and lives in Newcastle, Australia.

Comments

  1. Two things:
    I dry mine with other items that don’t need a dryer cloth. The electrostatic buildup helps hold dust.

    They are great to take scuff marks off walls and doors (a la the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser). My cat rubs on the doors and corners, and this comes right off with the mf cloth.

    • Hi Odette,
      I think you are right that microfibre cloths work better when they are tumble dried although if I do that I still do them separately.
      And I didn’t think about scuff marks on walls when writing the posts. Although expensive and not long lasting those Magic Erasers are brilliant for that. The micrfibre cloth does a good job of this task too.
      Thanks for those tips.

      • Even though they disintegrate as you use them, Magic Erasers are about as much fun as you can have while cleaning, IMO. My kids really enjoy using them, which saves me work.

        • Hi Cindy,
          that is the only thing I have against Magic Erasers they cost the earth and don’t last long. Their saving grace is that they are just amazing at doing the job they are meant for.

          • I have spilled some port wine jelly down the front of my cream kitchen drawers that left ugly lines when first wiped up. I then tried a Magic Eraser and it worked great, there is a slight stain if looked at in the right light – if I cleaned the drawers more it would remove the shine on them and normaly I don’t notice the mark. Would recommend the Magic Erasers.

            • Hi Wendy W,
              I love them. I just cleaned all the scuff marks out of the back wall of our shoe cupboard today. It came clean just like magic. Imagine that. They are a mild abrasive but for most surfaces they are wonderful. Try cleaning your shower screen with them. You will be amazed.

  2. Several years ago I bought a basic floor Swiffer. It had a package of disposable cloths for dust mopping and a package of moistened disposable cloths for washing floors. It was an impulse purchase right after I had surgery and couldn’t bend or lift for a long time, so it did enable me to keep the floors tidy easily.

    Then I ran out of disposable cloths and balked at the price for more. I attached a dampened dishcloth to the mop head and saw it worked just as well–plus was washable. From there I tried microfibre cloths and they work great, too. I have a spray bottle of simple cleaner that I use to lightly spray a section of floor, then go at it with the damp-cloth Swiffer. Fast and cheap. The Swiffer head gets under narrow places and cleans right up against baseboards, and thus doesn’t leave grotty marks like a regular sponge mop.

    I use microfibre cloths for all the same things you do. That’s one true practical and minimalist household “tool.”

    • Hi Meg,
      we certainly agree on this subject. I love microfibre and wouldn’t use anything else. The only thing I don’t use it on is the toilet. For that I use paper towel because that is where I draw the line on the germ thing.

      • Another option is to use toilet paper and rubbing alcohol or your regular disinfectant spray and just flush it down after. I do worry about the chemicals going down the toilet, but it’s not a large amount and eliminates the paper towels and chemicals in the landfill. (Sometimes it’s hard to decide which negative result is LESS negative.) Don’t use your soft fluffy TP for this, though!

        • Hi Jo,
          I just flush the paper towel. I have tried using toilet paper but it tends to disintergrate as you use it. But thanks for the suggestion.

    • Meg, thanks for the tips about Swiffers. The price of refills is outrageous. I have been buying dry refills at the dollar store and they work quite well, but was looking for a substitute for the wet cloths. Sounds like this is the answer!

  3. Calico ginger :

    Thanks for all of this info Colleen! I will be putting it into practice ASAP. I can confirm that those magic erasers for wall marks ARE magic – I got mine at Aldi. They are great for cleaning soap scum off shower glass too.

    • Hi Calico ginger,
      I look forward to some input from you once you put my suggestions into practice. I would love to know if you are satisfied with the results.

  4. I’ve started using a MF cloth in my shower which I hate to clean. If it does the job, I’ll be a happy girl!

    • Hi Willow,
      I must confess that the shower is the one thing I dread every cleaning day. I have tried numerous products over 23 years and haven’t found any thing that does a better job of cleaning the shower than my microfibre clothes. I would like to sue all the companies who I have wasted my money with over the years with their flashy commercials full of false claims. I’m not a little bit bitter.

  5. I love my microfiber cloths and mops and have been using them for years now. They are so easy and efficient to use, they save money, and are good for the environment. I rarely buy chemical cleaning solutions anymore. I have never put mine in the dryer, but I’m thinking of trying that after reading this post. Thanks for all the practical information.

    • Hi Di,
      it is entirely my pleasure and I hope I have converted a few new people as well. I don’t even remember when I first discovered microfibre but I find more and more uses for them as time goes by. If I come up with any other uses I will be sure to let you know about it.

  6. Another good tip (in the US at least) is to go to the Automotive Section to buy the microfiber cloths…they will be the same ones as the kind in the cleaning section but for a lot cheaper!!

    • Hi Deanna,
      why didn’t I think to mention that. I knew that because that is where I always bought them when I lived in the US hence why mine are all Vroom brand. Luckily I remembered to tell my husband when I sent him shopping for them the last time he was there. Thank you for reminding me. I will add it into the post.

  7. Great tips – I am actually looking forward to buying some MF and getting started. Especially interested in the tips for cleaning where our cats rub against the walls and doors, and cleaning shower doors – my all-time least favourite activity, period.

    • Hi Jo,
      I’m with you, I hate cleaning showers. I think it is one of those perfectionist issues with me. No matter how much effort I put into it or what I use to clean it with it never looks as clean as I would like.

  8. Just a caution about flushing paper towels. Toilet tissue is manufactured so that it will disintegrate–paper towels are manufactured to stay together, and can cause plumbing problems or possibly septic tank problems. Except for cooking uses such as microwaving or draining fat from foods, we use “throwaway rags”, as our children called them, made from anything that has seen its better days such as T-shirts, dish towels, jeans, shirts, etc., and just use them once, so I use those to clean the bathroom with and then toss. We live in the country and burn our trash, but in volume it would not add much to garbage pickup in town.
    I do love the microfiber cloths and wouldn’t dream of using anything else to dust with.

    • Good point about the paper towel thank you Nana. I have since stopped using them and are using one specific microfibre cloth for the task which then gets washed and reused. I am also using a reusable cover when heating in the microwave so our paper towel consumption has dropped dramatically. I was surprised at how quickly my son adapted to the microwave procedure, I couldn’t even remember instructing him to do it that way.