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In this article, industry manufacturers answer common questions asked by building service contractors.

 

What can damage microfiber?  

Chlorine bleach, over time, can damage the fibers and reduce the life of the pad. Fabric softener contains silicone, which cannot only reduce the static properties of microfiber, but can also create build-up in the fibers. Extreme heat can also damage microfiber.

— Jim Beadles, general manager, textile division, Impact Products LLC, Toledo, Ohio


High heat, harsh chemicals (bleach, fabric softener), mixing with other fabrics while washing.

— Bruno Niklaus, vice president, global marketing, Unger Enterprises Inc., Bridgeport, Conn.

 

How can you tell microfiber has been damaged? Are there visual indicators?

On flat velcro pads you will notice the velcro backing is either damaged by dry heat or clogged with lint and debris from linting particles such as cotton products. On microfiber towels, saddle style, microfiber mops, microfiber dust mops etc., you will notice signs of wear if borders or fringes are beginning to fray or come apart. Typically the microfiber will outlast the other components that hold the pad together.

— W. Scott Erwin, regional sales manager, Impact Products LLC, Toledo, Ohio


Yes, the fibers are melted and stick together, the surface becomes flat/non structured.

— Bruno Niklaus, vice president, global marketing, Unger Enterprises Inc., Bridgeport, Conn.

 

 

How can I tell I’m buying quality microfiber?

Most microfiber is some ratio of polyester and polyamide. Generally either 80/20 or 70/30. In and of itself, both are good in certain applications. You also want to look to see if the core is foam or microfiber, with foam being much less quality. An often overlooked factor is the quality of the velcro backing. Typically they are either nylon or polyester. Both can be high or low quality, but it is suggested that the backing be examined for quality, as well as the front of the pad.


Another factor in quality is gram weight. With towels, for example, it is difficult to tell the difference, visually, between a 45-gram and a 49-gram weight. Cloths with a higher gram weight are more plush and more dense. It is one area that manufacturers control costs, sometimes without the customer knowing. This makes constant quality control imperative.

— Jim Beadles, general manager, textile division, Impact Products LLC, Toledo, Ohio

 

Very good question. You need to buy according to microfiber cloth specs: Wash cycle counts, wear resistant cycles, abrasiveness factor, amount of water absorbency and release.  

— Bruno Niklaus, vice president, global marketing, Unger Enterprises Inc., Bridgeport, Conn.