A reader writes: “I don’t like microfiber. It doesn’t wash well, nor does it hold moisture very well. I prefer old hotel terry cloth towels. Your response?

At first glance you have some valid points since there is NO miracle cloth or fiber that works in every situation. There are times when it might be more appropriate to use either terry cloth towels or disposables or shop towels. Remember that microfiber is primarily polyester and can be quite sensitive to some solvents. I have actually had a microfiber cloth dissolve in my hand when I used the wrong solvent. In that case, a shop towel or disposable wipe would have been preferable.

Upon discussing how you are treating this investment (microfiber is usually much more expensive in initial costs) we learn that you are not following basic guidelines promoted within the industry. Let’s address a few of them before proceeding.

First of all, microfiber should not be laundered with other fibers since the other products will give off lint that will actually clog the tiny fibers and make them far less effective. Second, you should NOT use hot water with microfiber since it can actually melt or damage the product. Third, you should NOT use bleach in an attempt to disinfect microfiber, which is by nature, anti-microbial until it is damaged. Fourth, you should NOT use fabric softer with microfiber since it again damages the absorbency of the fibers. Fifth, you should NOT use high heat drying (especially mixed with other cloths) since this again can melt/damage the tiny strands.

You may have lost your investment in this batch of microfibers since too much damage may have already been done. You may be able to use them as shop towels but do not expect them to perform as advertised since you failed to launder them correctly.

Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net