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How Microfibre Cloths Work

December 04, 2015

What makes microfibre different from normal cleaning cloths?
When we clean our homes we often use lots of harmful and expensive detergents. But what if you could use half the effort and get your house even cleaner using just water? Well, you can by using microfibre cleaning cloths. Using just water, these cloths can get your house looking even cleaner and are even more hygienic. But how does this work you wonder? Well in this blog post, we’re going to explain the science behindhow they work and why you should be using them.

How do they work?
Microfibre cloths are different to your normal everyday cleaning cloths in the way that they are made. A traditional cleaning cloth is made from cotton fibres or other synthetic materials such as Nylon. As is obvious from the name, a microfibre cloth is made up of lots of tiny fibres that are much smaller than in an ordinary cloth. The idea behind this can be taken from the saying many hands make light work. Normal cleaning cloths are not fine enough to pick up the tiny dirt particles like a microfibre cloth would. Where a normal cloth would just brush over microscopic dirt particles, a microfibre cloth will pick them up.

When you use detergent to clean, it sticks to the dirt and starts to break it down. By then rinsing with a wet cloth you are them removing the detergent, and the dirt that has stuck to it, but not removing all of the dirt particles. That’s why you only need water when cleaning with a microfibre cleaning cloth. Instead of detergent, it relies on millions of tiny fibres to sweep away the dirt. The microfibres are ten times thinner than a human hair and are usually the same size as dirt particles. This is why they clean so well with water acting as a natural solvent to help break apart the dirt. 

What are they made of?

Although the materials can differ, you will generally find that most microfibre cloths are made from 50 percent polyester and 50 percent polyamide, which is basically a mixture of two plastics. The cloth is made by forcing plastics through a tiny pipe and heating so they weave and create materials like nylon. These are then split into microfibres that are up to 20 times smaller. However, although some cloths may be described as ‘microfibre’, they can vary widely in the size of the fibres and in turn the effectiveness of their cleaning. Good cloths are 10-50 times thinner than a human hair.

Why aren’t they more popular?
Microfibre cloths are growing hugely in popularity but it is true that some people are still unaware about their qualities and usefulness. This is largely due to the fact that the household chemicals market is worth billions to chemical companies and the shops that sell them. This means that they have little or no incentive to popularise a simple cleaning cloth that requires nothing but water. Chemical cleaning companies also spend fortunes promoting their products through massive advertising campaigns so it is instantly the first thing we associate with cleaning. Try out the science for yourself and see the difference a microfibre cloth can make to you.