A stack of folded microfiber towels

How to Wash and Dry Microfiber Towels

Microfiber cloths are popular cleaning tools thanks to their excellent absorbency and ability to grab onto dirt. To keep them working as intended and avoid lint transfer, wash microfiber towels separately from non-microfiber fabrics in cool water without fabric softener. Read on to learn how to wash microfiber cloths step by step.

Why Washing Microfiber Towels Properly is Important

Microfiber towels have special properties that make it essential to know how to wash them the right way. Microfiber consists of millions of tiny synthetic fibers, generally polyester or nylon. These fibers have a uniformly star-shaped structure as opposed to the inconsistent fiber shape and size of other materials, like cotton. This structure makes microfiber towels super-absorbent and ideal for grabbing and holding onto lint, dust, moisture, grease and more. Depending on how the fabric is made, microfiber can also be water-repellent. Learn how to care for water-repellent fabrics, such as how to clean windbreakers.

Microfiber car cloths and towels are commonly used for vehicle detailing, safely cleaning eyeglasses or as a cloth for cleaning windows and mirrors. Washing or drying microfiber towels incorrectly can cause them to lose effectiveness, so it’s important to follow the right steps.

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Get rid of the grime

Ideally, microfiber towels should be washed after every use to remove the dirt and grease picked up while cleaning so you don’t transfer the grime to the next surface.

Microfiber towels in a front load washing machine Microfiber towels in a front load washing machine


Tossing microfiber cloths in the washer is a great option that doesn’t require much deviation from your normal laundry routine. Follow these steps to learn how to care for microfiber towels in a washer. If the towel has a care label, refer to those specific care instructions.

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1. Separate From Other Fabrics

Always wash microfiber towels separately to avoid the transfer of lint, hair and dust from other items. Since microfiber towels are a magnet for lint, don’t wash them with clothes or towels made from natural fibers that tend to shed, like cotton. Consider separating lightly soiled microfiber towels (like dusting cloths) from ones that were used for heavy-duty cleanup to help prevent dirt transfer. Learn how to wash cheesecloth with our guide.

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2. Shake off excess dirt

Before washing microfiber towels, give them a good shake outside or into the trash to loosen and release dirt and dust.

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3. Use a Fragrance-Free and Additive-Free Detergent and Do Not Use Fabric Softener

Avoid detergents that contain fragrances or additives and don’t use fabric softener, which can coat the fibers and render them ineffective at cleaning. Make sure not to use too much detergent—about one or two teaspoons should be sufficient. Refer to the detergent instructions for further guidance.

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4. Add Vinegar to Remove Odors

If your microfiber towels aren’t smelling great, consider adding about a tablespoon of white vinegar to the load to help get rid of any odors.

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5. Machine Wash in Cool or Warm Water Using a Gentle Cycle

Wash lightly soiled cloths in cool water. If your microfiber towels are heavily soiled, use warm water. For washing machine settings, choose a gentle or delicate cycle.

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Presoak Extra-Dirty Towels

If your microfiber towels are more heavily soiled, consider presoaking them before running through the washer.

How to wash Microfiber cloths by hand

Microfiber towels used for tasks like light dusting usually don’t need a spin through the washer—a quick hand wash is all that’s required, no detergent necessary. See the steps below for how to clean microfiber towels by hand.

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1. Shake Off Excess Dirt

Before washing microfiber towels, give them a good shake outside or into the trash to loosen and release dirt and dust.

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2. Fill a Basin or Sink with Cool Water

Add cool or warm water to a bowl, bucket or sink.

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3. Wash and soak towels

Add the microfiber towels and scrub them by hand to remove dirt and other particles. Let the cloths soak for about 15 minutes, then give them one last quick scrub. 

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4. Rinse and wring out cloths

Rinse the microfiber cloths under clean running water and then wring out the excess moisture.

How to Dry microfiber towels

Once you’ve got clean towels, whether by machine washing or hand washing, it’s time to dry. To keep microfiber towels absorbent, air drying on a flat surface or line drying are the preferred methods. 

If you’d rather use the dryer, be sure to do the following:

  • Dry microfiber towels separately from other items.
  • Don’t add dryer sheets or dryer balls. 
  • Clean the lint trap thoroughly before drying to avoid any lint transfer.
  • Use only low heat or an air-dry setting.

Tips & Tricks for Washing Microfiber Towels

Knowing how to properly wash microfiber towels will help you keep them in good shape for effective cleaning.


  • Wash separately from other items and fabrics
  • Use cool or warm water
  • Use fragrance-free detergent without additives
  • Skip the detergent if washing lightly soiled cloths by hand


  • Use fabric softener or bleach
  • Wash in hot water
  • Machine dry using high heat
  • Add dryer sheets or dryer balls
  • Iron the towels 

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