Are you tired of going through roll after roll of paper towels just to avoid the sanitary concerns with reusable products? Sponges are notorious germ grabbers and little disinfecting wipes might be good for small projects but they certainly don’t cut it when you are deep cleaning your whole kitchen. I am always on the hunt for good reusable cleaning supplies that allow me to control the chemicals I am using in my home, keep my house as sanitary as possible, and reduce the amount of clutter under my kitchen sink. It took me years to find the best kept secret in reusable cleaning supplies: the microfiber towel.
Sponges are reusable, but they are also the dirtiest objects in your house. Disposable disinfecting wipes are convenient but they lack scrub power and the chemicals in them may trigger asthma and other health concerns. Paper towels are a clean blank slate allowing you to choose your own disinfecting solution, but using them as your only surface-cleaning tool creates a lot of waste.
After I realized I was going through a 14-roll package of paper towels every two weeks, I knew I had to find another solution. This is when I found the magic of microfiber towels. Finding a safe, reusable option has saved me a tremendous amount of money as well as precious under-the-sink storage.
What are microfiber towels?
“Microfiber” is a fine woven polyester material that is both durable and soft. Due to the materials used as well as the manufacturing process, spaces are left between the fibers of the material that cling to dirt, dust, water, and grease. These fibers make the towel an effective cleaning tool with or without cleaning chemicals. Also, it is worth mentioning that microfiber towels don’t absorb liquids in the same way regular or paper towels do. Instead, the liquid is simply held by the fibers and this makes it easy to wring the towel out and reuse it over and over again.
Sanitary Alternative to Sponges
Because microfiber towels don’t fully absorb liquid, they won’t collect bacteria. Sponges are used and reused and come into contact with raw and cooked food all while being marinated in a warm environment. This makes them the single best household object at collecting and growing lots of nasty bacteria. And because it is hard to disinfect sponges, their reusability is sacrificed for sanitation. Microfiber towels can be used to clean and disinfect countertops, cutting boards, and sinks and since they are easy to clean in the washing machine, microfiber towels are even more reusable than sponges.
Microfiber towels certainly make a great substitute for sponges, paper towels, and disinfecting wipes when cleaning bathroom or kitchen surfaces. But they are truly the best reusable cleaning tool because of their variety of other uses.
Top 5 Hidden uses for Microfiber Towels
#1 Total Streak Free-Finish
If you wear glasses, you have most certainly already used a tiny microfiber towel to clear away greasy thumb prints. Even without cleaning solution, a microfiber towel will polish away cloudy glasses far better than the corner of your t-shirt.
But have you ever tried transferring this concept to the other glass in your life? The soft fibers create the same streak-free finish for your windows or wine glasses. Instead of pumping your dishwasher full of anti-streak rinse chemicals, try hand drying your water glasses and kitchen storage jars with a microfiber towel.
I use them to wipe down mirrors or sinks (anything with a shiny finish) because they don’t leave water droplets or streaks on any surface.
#2 Easily Clean Up Messes
Like I said earlier, microfiber towels don’t absorb liquids, they simply hold them. They can actually hold up to five times their weight in liquid and this is my favorite thing about them. When one of my kids makes a major spill on the kitchen floor, instead of reaching for an entire roll of paper towels I only need ONE microfiber towel to clean it up. Once soaking up the spill, the microfiber towel will ring out easily. The same towel can be used as many times as necessary to soak up larger spills. Once the mess has been cleaned up, toss it in the washing machine and it will come out good as new. This has significantly reduced the amount of trash my family produces. Let’s face it, kids are extremely messy. I would much rather stock up on reusable microfiber towels than go through a 12-16 pack of paper towels every other week.
#3 Chemical-Free Dusting
Microfiber towels are the best at picking up dust particles, even without furniture polish or another dust-combating chemical solution. When it comes to dusting my wood furniture, decorations, and windowsills, I prefer to use microfiber towels without any chemical solution. Little ones have a tendency to run around touching surfaces, furniture, and picture frames before plopping their fingers in their mouths. For my kids’ safety, I choose to forgo the harsh dusting chemicals so that they aren’t inadvertently ingesting something harmful! With microfiber towels a chemical solution really isn’t necessary to get the job done. Once you are done dusting, just throw the towel in the laundry and the dust will wash right off.
#4 Remove Stains From Carpet/Furniture
Scrubbing carpet or upholstery can be difficult with a regular rag and practically impossible with paper towels. The later tends to shred with vigorous scrubbing and the former doesn’t have the textured surface it takes to peel through carpet fibers. One of the best things microfiber towels are good for is removing stains from carpet and furniture. Simply spray the stain remover onto the microfiber towel (remember, it will hold it instead of absorbing it) and rub the towel on your couch or carpet. The stain remover will move from the fibers of the towel into the stain while the microfiber fabric withstands serious scrubbing. This is a lifesaver when it comes to pet stains!
#5 Pet Care
Speaking of pets, I would hate to miss the variety of ways microfiber towels have helped me care for my dog while keeping my house clean. Anything from muddy paws to wet fur is easily solved with a microfiber towel. I use one to dry her off after baths, walks in the rain, or any excursion that might get her feet wet. The fibers dry her so thoroughly that she won’t get my house or car wet once I let her free. I make sure to keep a microfiber towel in my trunk and next to all entrances to my house to keep my dog dry and my house clean.
If you are still not convinced that microfiber towels are one of the most versatile and useful reusable cleaning tools I highly recommend that you buy a pack just to try them out. You can find them at most grocery stores, but AMMEX sells the most fibrous and highest quality microfiber towels – find them on Amazon or Ebay. Try them out for a week and see how re-washing the same towels can drastically cut down on your paper towel use. Subscribe to the AMMEX blog for more cleaning tips.