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How To Clean and Properly Care for Microfiber Towels


You have educated yourself by reading countless information about washing, waxing, polishing, cleaning, etc..  Now it’s time to clean up your towels and get them ready for the next detailing efforts.

General care: Microfiber towels are great but some of their desirable traits can be ruined if you treat them like other towels.  First, NEVER use fabric softener, sheets or liquid, as the towels will hold onto the chemical softeners and not release them.  Secondly, avoid hot dryers as the towels are really fine plastic threads and pilling or balling will occur over time.  Lastly, if you can make a goal to wash the towels all by themselves separate from other laundry, that is ideal. I even wash all my polishing towels separate from the waxing towels, as to avoid cross contaminate issues.  I have seen my heavy polishing towel hold onto an abrasive, and when I used it to remove wax, I scratched the paint!!! $%^&  You can be as OCD as me or learn what works best for your situation.

It is best to get your towels cleaning as soon as you’re finished polishing, compounding, or waxing.  I like to make a solution of pre cleaners in a 5 gallon bucket to pre soak the towels prior to washing.  I usually have lots of towels in my detailing of a car… the more the better as a clean towel works better.  This pre cleaner is 3 gallons of hot water, 1oz of   Optimum Power Clean, and a grit guard.  I allow the towels to soak for a few hours while I clean up the detailing area from the work.  You might want to only soak them for an hour…figure out what works best for you.  I then rinse off the towels, and try to remove the most grime I can.

It’s now time for the washer to help you out.  I have a front loader so my method is slightly different than a top loader.  I use some warm water, maybe hot, but never steaming and Micro Restore Microfiber cleaner.  Micro restore is an amazing cleaner, and so it CG Detergent.  I have pretty hard water here in Utah, and no soft water system, so I add some white vinegar to help with rinsing and washing.  I add it to the wash cycle, and place some in the container for rinse.  The cleaners work better in the presence of softer water as do most things.  I always double rinse the towels as well.  Of note: I had a buddy of mine, top quality detailer too, tried to use his washers super steam cycle, thinking more the better, but what we found over time is the towels balled/pilled much faster and seem to be more abrasive on paints.  Take the towels out of the washer, and either air dry or tumble on air dry in the dryer.

I store my towels in a trash bag after they are TOTALLY dry, placing the compounding, polishing, and waxing towels in different bags.  OCD makes me feel so much better; it eliminates stress on the next detail!  Again, figure out what works for you and love detailing!

Post up your ideas or questions, as this is not an end all article!

Greg Nichols Reflections Detailing
Greg Nichols
Reflections Detailing
Logan, Utah

6 comments on How To Clean and Properly Care for Microfiber Towels

  1. Jason says:

    What are your procedures for cleaning Microfiber Waffle Weave Drying towels? I have 3 DI Waffle Weave drying towels and have always used CG detergent to clean (soak, front washer, air dry) them but they have not been used more than 10 times and already the towels are not soaking up the water as much anymore. They worked great when I first brought them but now they barely pick up any water. You have any advice on how I can rejuvenate these towels?

  2. Greg Nichols Greg Nichols says:

    I always pre-soak my towels in APC or towel detergent before washing them. I then wash them with the MF detergent and some vinegar (my water is hard). In the final rinse container I add vinegar, this Acid helps restore the towels ability to absorb water.

    If you use dryer sheets or fabric softener these will “clog” the fibers and not allow the fibers to absorb water.

    I suggest you try and restore them by pre-soaking, washing, and air drying. If they are still poor at absorption………I have found boiling to helps. That is another matter for later.

    Please report back on this………………..


  3. Great article Greg!

    I’ve also noticed the really fine plastic threads and pilling or balling when you dry them on high heat. 🙂


  4. Al G. says:

    Is the grit guard used to hold the microfiber towels in the solution? Place in bucket with OPC mixture then put the grit guard as a weight? I like the idea any way to allow pre-soaking buffing pads before I get to wash them so they do not dry out.

  5. Jose C says:

    Great Stuff!! I purchase the DI Microfiber Micro-Restore Microfiber Detergent Concentrate – 128 oz back in Mar 2013 and love it. However I just recently purchased a new laundry set, front load, and it requires HE Detergent, and I couldn’t find it on the label. Is it safe to use on this washers?

    • Greg Nichols greg says:

      I have only had a front load Maytag washer, and its been just fine to use. I can use a little less detergent in the front loader.


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