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Friday, November 14, 2008

Microfiber Towels and Sponges (Review)

I’ve read a lot about cleaning with microfiber towels. But until now, I haven’t taken the opportunity to try cleaning with microfiber products because my current batch of cleaning cloths are worn out kitchen towels that I cut in half as a reminder to keep them out of the general kitchen towel population. I figured that once I wore out my worn-out-towels-turned-cleaning-rags that I might give cleaning with microfiber sponges and towels a try. Lucky for me that day came early because Marcia of MerryMicrofiberCloths.com and MerryMicrofiberBath.com was kind enough to send me a full compliment of microfiber sponges, washcloths, bath and kitchen towels to review.

First off, I was surprised that there were so many different applications for using microfiber. Honestly, I thought that they just made microfiber towels for cleaning up kitchen spills. Apparently, that’s not the case because Merry Microfiber also offers microfiber wash cloths and towels for not just general household cleaning but for personal use in the bathroom as well. The microfiber bath towels and washcloths were surprisingly soft. However, if you find the texture of a regular microfiber towel a little weird, they also have a waffle weave microfiber washcloths and towels (who knew?) that work just like the traditional microfiber towels. So how did they work? Let’s take a look.

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Pro
  • The microfiber cloths didn’t streak when cleaning mirrors or windows like my cotton cleaning towels.
  • They are very absorbent. Once source says that microfiber towels can absorb up to 6 times their weight in water. I didn’t test the towels that thoroughly but I will say that I was impressed with how well one microfiber towel wicked a ton of water from Blitzkrieg the Pekingese’s double coat after a good long walk in the rain.
  • Strong and long lasting. To test if these towels ripped easily I employed the Pekingese Tug Test. I played a game of tug with Blitzkrieg with a microfiber dishtowel and a cotton dishtowel. The cotton towel eventually ripped under the Power of the Peke but the microfiber towel did not.
  • The bathroom microfiber washcloths can be used to exfoliate dry skin. It worked OK. I will say that it was less messy than using an exfoliating scrub.
  • Good for dusting. The microscopic hooks that make up the microfibers in the cloth are great at capturing and picking up dust and eliminated the need to use furniture polish. I like that. With my limited storage space, buying one less bottle of cleaner is always a good thing for me.
  • They say that reusing a microfiber cloth makes it stronger because you’re splitting the fibers and creating more surface area that can pick up more dirt. Again, who knew that using something makes it better rather than weakening it or using it up?
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Con
  • The instructions that come with the towels say you’re not supposed to wash the microfiber products using chlorine bleach (oxygen cleaner/bleach is OK) or fabric softener. This may be an issue if you use these products but it isn't for me.
  • You’re not supposed to wash the microfiber products with other cotton or terry products, to keep them lint free (and in my case, from sticking to other items after they’ve come out of the dryer.) This is an issue for me because I only do full loads of laundry and I’d have to do a separate load of laundry just for a handful of microfiber washcloths and towels.
  • Microfiber items are a little more expensive than buying a traditional cotton towels and washcloths. However, they are supposed to last longer so the ROI may be a break even point.
  • Microfiber is made from petroleum byproducts. This isn't a deterrent for me, but if you are one of those people who hates any and all forms of plastic whatnots, this may not be the product for you.
All and all, I liked the way the product performed and that it’s durable and long lasting. That means that I don’t need a lot more towels cluttering up what little storage I have in order to get the job done.

However, I must admit I’m not 100% thrilled that the washing instructions make microfiber towels a little more high maintenance.


Update: I tried washing the microfiber towels in a lingerie bag with my regular laundry and it didn't stick to the rest of the laundry in my dryer. I love the microfiber towels even more now.

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