How do Microfibre Towels Differ?
Microfibre towels are defined by their blend ratio of polyester to polyamide and their density. As the density increases in a towel; thickness, weight or mass, and the number of fibres also increases. The more microfibres in a towel, the better it is to absorb and clean surfaces. A towel density is expressed in grams per square meter (GSM).
By using grams per square meter instead of the actually weight of the towel it allows us to set a standard in which we can compare different towels of different sizes. So a towel that is 16 inches by 12 inches with a 500 GSM will not have a weight of 500 grams, but one square meter of that microfiber towel will have a weight of 500 grams. The actual weight of a 500 GSM 16 x 12 inch towel would be approximately 63 grams. It would be extremely confusing to compare towels if we used weight instead of density as a defining characteristic because weight increases with size and density remains constant regardless of size.
Similarly, as the amount of polyamide in the blend increases, so too does the materials softness / plushness - You should always check the composition of the material when making comparisons between products.
Why Does Microfibre GSM Matter?
The higher the GSM of a towel, the more expensive it is. A towel with a density of 630 GSM is generally softer, always thicker and plusher than a towel with a density of 350 GSM. The 630 GSM towel would be best suited for delicate, scratch sensitive surfaces and for drying due to its higher level of absorbency. The 350 GSM towel would be best for general cleaning purposes such as wheels, exhaust tips, carpets and door jams. It is always good to be able to get the right kind of towel for the purpose it will serve. It will help you save money and make the most of the value of the towel you will get!
Why is Microfibre Superior?
Traditional cleaning cloth fibres are cylindrical and has the tendency to just push dirt and moisture around leaving the surface unclean and still wet. Microfibre, on the other hand, may be extremely small but the size of its fibre is not the only reason for its superiority. Blended microfibre is shaped like an asterisk (*). It has the ability to pick up and lock dirt, dust and moisture into the fibres actually cleaning and drying the surface. If the microfibre is not blended and split, it has a cylindrical shape and has the same problems associated with traditional cleaning towel fibres.
A microfibre is positively charged which makes it like a magnet that attracts dirt. It also doesn’t leave anything behind after cleaning and drying since it is lint free. While cleaning the microscopic surface pores of most materials, the fibres of a microfibre are so small that it can penetrate cracks and crevices that cotton fibres are unable to reach. Due to the increased surface area of the fibres and their asterisk shape they are able to hold 7-8 times their weight in liquid, making them excellent drying towels. You might want to consider using consider a waffle weave microfibre towel instead of leather chamois in drying your car if you want better results.
Summary of Key Benefits of Microfibre Towels:
- Locks in Dirt and Dust
- Highly Absorbent
- Lint Free
- Strong and Durable
- Soft for Delicate Surfaces
- Light Weight
- Resistant to Shrinking and Stretching
- Wrinkle Free
- Quick Drying
How to Clean and Care for Microfibre Towels
It is very important to take care of your towels even before you decide to wash them. To help prevent stains and dirt from drying into the towel have two buckets setup with a small amount of detergent and warm water. Label one bucket for delicate only towels that touch painted and delicate surfaces and one for everything else. This also helps you keep track of where your towels are after use and to make sure they aren’t on the ground or set on another dirty surface. It’s also a good idea to wash both sets of towels in two different loads preventing cross contamination.
Cleaning microfibre towels takes a little more care than your normal laundry load. You must not was microfibre together with other clothes in your laundry because it might attract lint. You can use any temperature you prefer but using warmer water improves the chances of removing stains. It is better to use a detergent with softener combination to preserve softness. On the other hand, it’s a good idea to add a half of cup of distilled white vinegar during the final rinse cycle to eliminate any leftover detergent residue from the towels. Vinegar is a natural fabric softener, which will help to keep your towels as soft as the day you bought them. It is also recommended to use liquid detergents as powdered ones doesn’t completely dissolve in the wash and will be trapped in the fibres and could potentially cause marring to a sensitive surface when cleaning.
Before tossing your microfibre in the dryer, make sure that it is free of debris and the lint catcher is empty. Yes, microfibres are lint free but it makes no exemption in catching lint from other fabrics. It is best to dry your towels in tumble dry of lowest heat setting. Dryer sheets should also be avoided as they degrade the positive charge of the towel and can cause them to be statically charged leading to more problems. If you accidentally used fabric softener in the past on your microfibre towels try washing them several times in a row and using distilled white vinegar in the final rinse cycle. This could restore the towels to close to their original condition and unclog the pores. Be mindful before using these towels on delicate surfaces, as they might be un-salvageable and can now only used for general cleaning.
To sum it up, wash microfibre towels in cold to warm water only using detergent. Specific microfibre detergents are available if you are unsure if your household laundry detergent will damage your towels. Use the tumble dry or lowest heat setting when drying your towels as the fibres are heat sensitive. Quality microfibre towels are not cheap so make sure you are taking care of your investment, 500 washes is a long time.
How to Inspect your Microfibre Products?
Microfibre towels are notorious for grabbing and holding onto dirt and debris. It is best to always inspect your towels visually since no amount of shaking and washing can completely shake debris away. You can typically pick out large pieces of dirt and debris without much hassle or use a toothbrush to brush the loose from your microfibres. If tar or other sticky substances are stuck on your towel you can try to use an adhesive remover or simply cut the problem areas free with scissors or a razor blade.
Always fold your towels after washing. It will not only help you save space in storage, but it will also help you save time in grabbing a towel whenever you need them fast. You wouldn’t want to be searching for towels whenever you need them so plan ahead in storing and folding your towels.
How to store your microfibre products?
It is best to store your microfibre towels in a closed or covered type container. This will keep them protected from dust and dirt. An ideal storage is to place them in plastic clothes storage bags, in a cabinet, or in your drawer. You’ve spent all the hard work from washing to drying and folding your microfibre towels. You wouldn’t want all your efforts put to waste just because you didn’t store them properly leaving them contaminated.