Microfiber Fabrics Save in the Long Run

Kelly Ann Butterbaugh

Microfiber is the economic solution to cleaning, though it might not seem like it. Microfiber materials are more expensive at the initial point of purchase, but they are long lasting and efficient cleaners.


What Is Microfiber?

Without being technical, microfiber material is specially woven from man-made fibers to be electrostatic and durable. It is a non-biodegradable material, and it is not recyclable. This is the downfall of microfibers. However, similar cleaning products such as Swiffer dusting cloths are also non-biodegradable and non-recyclable. The microfiber cleaning cloth is intended to be reused multiple times, creating less landfill and less lifetime cost.

What Does It Do?

Microfiber fabrics are soft and easily cleaned. They are used for stain resistance and absorbency, claiming the ability to absorb seven times their weight in liquids. Microfibers even boast the ability to absorb oily liquids.

Because of the microscopic levels of the fibers, bacterial cleaning is done on a grander scale as well. By cleaning with a microfiber cloth, 99% of the surface bacteria are destroyed. This same characteristic makes the microfiber towel superior to the cotton towel when left damp, such as children do with beach towels.


What the fabric is most known for is its ability to attract dust and other small particles. Its electrostatic properties attracts dust like static cling. However, one must be careful when using these cloths to clean smooth surfaces because any abrasive dust particles that are attracted to the cloth can scratch the smooth surfaces later.

How Does It Save Money?

Microfiber cloths are initially expensive. One 12x14 inch microfiber cleaning cloth can cost $17 while a box of twelve disposable Swiffer cleaning cloths cost $4. Most people turn away from the expensive cloth. However, the Swiffer box will only last twelve cleanings, and more than one dusting cloth will be needed to clean the entire house. The microfiber cloth will last throughout the cleaning, and it can be washed and reused over and over again. Caution must be used when washing microfiber cleaning cloths, though. Any type of fabric softening agent should not be used as it destroys the fabric's electrostatic properties.


There are other money saving reasons to use microfiber towels. For spills, several paper towels are used to soak up the accidents. Yet, one microfiber towel will most likely absorb most of the spill, or it can be used, rung out, used again, washed, and reused next time. Not only can the towels absorb more, but they dry quickly as well; leaving them ready for reuse even quicker. Think of how many rolls of paper towels will be eliminated with the addition of one microfiber towel in the kitchen.

When purchasing items such as upholstered furniture and table linens, look at the microfiber options. While they will cost more, they most likely will not stain to the same degree and need to be replaced as often as the more frugal option. Upholstered furniture will require less professional cleaning (a typical cost of $50 per seating area) as well.

While the microfiber fabrics might not be completely environmentally and economically friendly, if they last ten times as long as their counterparts they will quickly prove to be the superior choice.

About The Author: Kelly Ann Butterbaugh is a freelance writer who regularly contributes to a variety of magazines and has written a history book for middle readers. Visit her website for writing help, lesson plans, history fun, or work for hire at http://www.kellybutterbaugh.com

October 3, 20090 found this helpful

No need to spend $17 for a microfiber cleaning cloth as this article suggests. They are available in dollar stores. They might not be the largest size, so get several. I've had some for years and they work very well.

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October 4, 20090 found this helpful

No offense intended but you can find large size microfiber cloths for a little over $1.00 apiece when purchased in quantity just about anywhere. There's no way I would pay $17.00 for just one no matter what :-o

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October 9, 20090 found this helpful

I got mine at Dollar General for 2 dollars for 3. They really are great.

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