Microfiber is a synthetic fiber comprised of a blend of polyester and microfiber polymer, bundled together in a strand that is practically microscopic. These strands are then split into fibers and woven together to form towels, mops and other products used in the cleaning arsenal.

As a rule, a higher-grade microfiber towel is thicker, can be used longer and can be washed more times than lower-grade towels. The more times a fiber is split, and the more times those fibers are woven to create the completed fabric, the more likely a cloth will be considered high-grade.

Thicker, heavier cloths also have more depth, they’re good not only for heavy cleaning, but also for lighter jobs such as dry dusting; the deeper strands will capture and hold more dust. But thicker isn’t necessarily better for all cleaning tasks. Workers who clean glass or polish a surface will want to use a tightly woven, but thinner microfiber cloth. The same is true when it comes to cleaning and polishing floors. Mop-heads with a thicker microfiber do the best job of cleaning and scrubbing — some mop-heads even have synthetic bands stitched into the microfiber to provide extra scrubbing power. But microfiber mop-heads used to apply finishes to floor surfaces will be less thick and often feature a synthetic blend into the microfiber.