Not All Microfiber Cloths Are Created Equal.
This article originally appeared on Monarch Brands.
In recent years many manufactures have tried to imitate the microfiber technology, looking for ways to reduce costs. This has resulted in a compromise of quality industry wide. While these products initially seem similar they are not and will perform as well. Prices for microfiber cloths are directly related to the quality of the product as well and are generally based on the polyester/polyamide blend. These inexpensive microfiber products will have very poor absorption and scrubbing qualities.
There are many microfiber products currently on the market, making it difficult for consumers to determine what the difference between one product and another. In order to get effective cleaning results from your microfiber cloths, it is important to make sure you know which ones to buy.
Microfiber is 1/16th the width of a human hair.
Microfiber used for cleaning should be less than 1 denier or decitex per thread. The type of denier for these microfiber cloths is an important feature to understand the quality thickness and best cleaning performance for the products durability. High quality microfiber used for cleaning should be smaller than 0.5 denier. The yarn used for our SmartChoice Cloths is 160D/72F and after splitting, DPF will be 160/72/9=0.25 denier. This is the finest split available in the microfiber cloth market.
- Q: How can you tell that your cloth is less than 1 denier thick?
- A: You really can’t with the human eye. It’s a question you have to ask your distributor.
Research shows that it is the amount of splits that determines the quality of the microfiber. The splitting process breaks down each fiber into a very thin strand, estimated to be 1/16 the size of a human hair.
- Q: How do you determine if a cloth has been split?
- A: Rub the palm of your hand across it and if it catches slightly on the surface of your hand it has been made with split yarns. Another way to tell is to push a water spill with it. If the microfiber pushes the water instead of absorbing it, then it’s not split.
You should be mindful, that a thick fluffy towel with a little bit of nap on it may feel softer and may appear to be a better product, but it is not. Better microfiber cloths are actually tighter, more tightly woven, which makes them feel stiffer. Test the cloth by holding it up to the sunlight, stretch the cloth and if it is a tight weave and you don’t see a lot of sunlight, it’s a high quality cloth. If it stretches easy and you see a lot of light, it is not a high quality cloth. Our SmartChoice cloths are great example of a high quality cleaning cloth. While they may appear similar at first, compare the quality yourself.
- Q: How will I know that a microfiber cloth is of good quality?
- A: Conduct research and consider this basic test. Take hand lotion and rub it on a mirror. Look at the number of passes it takes to remove the lotion — the Smart Choice cloth will do it in one or two passes.
No matter the thickness of the cloth, there are a couple things you should look for in microfiber cleaning cloths.
- Q: There are many sizes of microfiber cloth, which one is right for me?
- A: A microfiber cloth should be large enough to be folded four times. This allows for cleaning several different surfaces by unfolding and re folding the towel with the clean side exposed.
- Q: How can I tell that a microfiber cloth will last a long time?
- A: Heat sealing around the perimeter of the cloth is another valuable feature, since it will help the fabric to withstand multiple washings.
Recently automated machines have taken over to cut and sew the cloth hems. While quicker, they do not heat seal the edges, which shorten’s the life of the cloth. Read More About This.
- Q: What is the ideal yarn-type for cloth construction?
- A: The cloth should have at least 80 polyester/20% polyamide blends. The polyester is the scrubbing fiber and the polyamide is the absorbing quick drying fiber.
In the end, the old adages “You get what you pay for” and “it looks too good to be true” still pertain. Before considering a plush low priced cleaning cloth do your research and conduct some test. It may not be the right cloth for you.
Author: Dave O’Malley
Title: Account Executive, Monarch Brand
Phone: (267) 238-1649
With roots established in 1947, Monarch Brands delivers high quality and value-priced textiles from manufacturers around the world. By leveraging deep sourcing relationships and purchasing power, Monarch Brands works with distributors to design hospitality programs that work for each client.
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