Posted by Amy Sardone on 2/6/2024 to Cleaning Tips
I recently received the question: "Should I use a cotton cloth or a microfiber cloth?"
Now if you didn't get a chance to read up on why we care about having a good, plush microfiber cloth versus those cheap, thin microfiber rags, then go check out the blog post called "Does the Quality of a Microfiber Cloth Matter?"
And if you've ever wondered how to choose between using a cotton cloth or a microfiber one, I have several things here for you to think about before you make your decision, so read on...
But ultimately, it will come down to preference.
I know...there really is no right or wrong answer, just another gray area in life.
I'm going to break this into 2 categories of cleaning: Floors and Everything Else.
First up - FLOORS. Again, this is still up to your preference but here is what you should know:
Microfiber Mop Covers:
- Microfiber mop covers, like our yellow Sh-Wipes, can work better on hardwood floors because they glide over the floor with little friction while still using those little micro fingers to grab dirt.
- Microfiber also needs less cleaner and less water, so you can do more of a damp mopping of hardwood. You never want to saturate hardwood floors, so microfiber damp mopping is a great option.
Cotton Terrycloth Mop Covers:
- Cotton Terrycloth mop covers are great for a couple of different reasons. We like to use them in areas with high traffic or heavily soiled rooms like bathrooms and kitchens because they can handle more wetness, heavier duty cleaning, and more scrubbing power.
- Since they are cotton, you can also wash them on hot, and bleach them if needed.
Next - EVERYTHING ELSE.
- We like to use 100% linen cotton. They are high quality, and lint-free. Don't waste your time going back over your clean mirror just to try to remove all of that leftover lint. Now, notice that I didn't recommend using an old cotton t-shirt (or worse...) or an old newspaper. Those items will make more work for you and waste your time. Notice also, that I did not call them "rags" because we don't want to work with tools that are in tatters..again, time wasters.
- They are (almost) endlessly reusable. We like these for general use cleaning, and when they become too worn for that, use them on heavier duty cleaning like the oven. After I'm ready to retire my cotton cloths, I use them to wipe my puppy's muddy paws after she comes inside (it rains a lot here in Ohio).
- Since they are so reusable, they are extremely economical, so you can keep a large enough supply on hand so you will not run out once you've started to clean.
- We wash them with hot water and a little bit of bleach to sanitize them.
- These give you the option to color code. Color coding gives you a couple of different advantages. a) you can save time by always grabbing the blue cloth for windows and not have to guess, or second guess, if you've already used that cloth on your furniture with polish. b) you can differentiate between cloths that have been used for the toilet and those that you use on your kitchen counters near your food.
- Color coding is also potentially going to save you from damages. Use your red or black microfibers on your grunge and grime where you might also be using a scrubbing cleanser. Then you'll never reach for that color when you want to polish a delicate surface, and risk scratching it with any remaining scrubbing residue from your grime cloth.
- Here's the color code structure we recommend, but whatever colors you choose, just stick to it:
- Blue for glass,
- Yellow for furniture polish,
- Red for grunge and grime,
- Green for everything else.
- Now you might also want to have a color code for other things like buffing stainless steel, general Red Juice use, or just for kitchen counters. Whatever you choose, don't change it up.
- Lastly for microfiber, a little goes a long way. They do not require as much cleaner or wetness. But they also cannot be washed or dried on high heat, so be careful to wash in cool-warm water and don't use bleach.
I hope this has been helpful! Just remember, in the end, you choose what makes cleaning easier and faster for you.
Here's what a cleaning expert had to say about the two options:
"We prefer a combination of cotton cloths for heavy-duty cleaning, and microfiber for buffing dry and light use cleaning." -Debbie at Buckets and Bows Maid Service