Microfibre cleaning: to help keep your cloths like new.
Post Open Day - THE BIG WASH
As far as our family is concerned, if it's a cloth and it comes near our cars, it has to be microfibre. Apart from making the whole detailing routine that much easier and faster when using good quality cloths, it also provides you with a far superior finish. We pride ourselves in the higher quality microfibre we offer enthusiasts and have found that when you look after them right, it helps keep them working like new for many, many years to come.
Each year we run a few big Open Day tours of the car collection. It's a massive job cleaning all the cars, so we have a team of eager helpers come and help us prepare the shed. After detailing 70 odd cars, we have a big pile of quite filthy cloths that need cleaning. We wanted all our microfibre to last, as it's a reasonable investment with some 200+ of our cloths of all types used on our cars here. We have learnt a lot over the last 19 years of daily using and caring for our microfibre. The very best tips and tricks in this guide are all learnt from the years of trial and much error!
When the cloths are soiled, or stop absorbing product/smearing, then it's time to wash them. We strongly suggest washing them after every time you use them. Try to wash the cloths as soon as possible after use as well, especially with anything super hydrophobic as the longer you wait the harder they can be to clean.
Targets detailing chemicals.
This stuff our chemists created is a fantastic custom blend, that's 100% created to target detailing chemicals that impregnate your cloths intricate threads and affect their performance over time. One of the most important aspects of this wash is how it won't leave any residual product in the threads of the cloth, unlike other household detergents can and therefore affect both the absorption and cleaning performance of the cloths.
Aside from those important aspects, it has a lot more great attributes as listed below:
- Restores and keeps the softness, plushness and absorbency to your microfibre.
- Created to specifically deep clean the individual threads of microfibre cloths and applicators.
- Gently dissolves wax, cleanser, polish and all other detailing chemicals.
- Super concentrated, just 20 mls needed for a normal washing of around a dozen cloths.
- No damaging fabric softeners or bleach. Super concentrated, just 20 mls needed for a normal washing of around a dozen cloths.
- Hospital grade anti-bacterial formula, to keep cloths fresh. Helps microfibre cloths last longer and perform better.
- Rinses totally clean, leaving no residue in the fibre like a more traditional clothes washes can.
- Versatile formula can be used for both hand or machine washing.
- Lows suds formula compatible for top & front loading machines and new High Efficiency versions too.
- Effective cleaner for foam buffing pads, sponges and microfibre chamois material.
- This formula and its ingredients are all earth friendly and biodegradable.
- 1 litre in size, with a measuring chamber so you don't waste any product.
Machine washing your cloths
We always recommend to wash all your microfibre cloths prior to their first use. This ensures that you remove any dirt, grit and/or skin oils that the cloth may have attracted along its journey.
We recommend all our cloths get washed by machine, either front or top loaders, depending on what you have.
About the biggest thing to remember is that you don't want to wash your microfibre with the household clothes. Wash them separately to everything else. This will end a few hours of fun, as you remove all the lint out of your cloths, strand by strand!
You can mix most of your microfibre cloths together when washing, except any cloths that have been used for metal polishing or cleaning heavy grease and grime (we make our Dirty Deeds cloth dark in colour for those types of jobs). Wash them separate to the rest, otherwise you can have the materials embedded in those cloths, filter through to all your other cloths in the washing process. If it's a cloth that has been used for metal polishing you will see a dark residue through them all (yes we have done it!).
In our range of microfibre, the Big Green Sucker, Big Softie, Circle Work, Drop Bear, Glass Cloth, Chamois, Plush Daddy, Square Bear, Love Glove and Debugger can all be washed together in a machine.
At the bottom of this article we will talk about washing the Dirty Deeds and Muffy Sponge, but for now, lets get into washing these others.
Wax and Cleanser applicators
Before you begin washing all your cloths, give the applicator pads (Circle Work pads) you have used for the wax and cleanser a quick pre-wash. These cloths are about the hardest things to really clean right, as the build up of product gets deep into the cloth and keeps increasing over time. Our new Microfibre Wash completely cleans these fibres and removes all this residue, bringing them back like new every single wash.
Straight after use, put them into a bucket or wash sink with a couple litres of warm water. After an initial soak of a minute, lightly pour about 10 mls of Microfibre Wash into each damp pad, rub it all over the surface till suds appear. I usually rub the two circle work pads together, just for 30 seconds or so, so the wash gets right in there.
Rinse clean with fresh water and then add them with the rest of the cloths to the washing machine.
Step 1 - Washing
Wipe your machine out with a clean, lint free cloth. This is to remove any excess lint left behind in the machine from other clothes, that can become embedded in your microfibre cloths. The put all the cloths and applicators together in your machine, set it to the warm-hot water setting, around 40 degrees, as it helps waxes and oils to be released from the cloths fibres. Don't use just hot water (60 degrees plus) when washing as this can permanently affect the microfibre's absorbency over the longer term.
Add the Microfibre Wash to the detergent dispenser. The amount of cloths you have to clean will depend on how much of the wash you need to use. This wash is a very strong concentrate - when we clean around 30 to 40+ cloths we use only 40 to 60 mls of the wash. If you're only cleaning 5 to 10 cloths, 20 mls will be fine.
Set the machine to a gentle wash cycle and let it do its cleaning magic. Don't use the heavier wash cycles, especially important with the Big Green Sucker and Drop Bear cloths, as we have seen some older machines agitators damage the cloths.
It's critical that you NEVER add a Fabric Softener! This gear will fill up the special fibres so they stop absorbing and effectively kill your microfibre! Likewise don't add bleach or Napisan. This wash will do a better cleaning job and won't damage the material like these others can.
Step 2 - Drying
When the wash is done, it's time to dry the towels.
Our cloths are of a very high quality, so they will not come apart if you dry them in a dryer, on a cool to low heat setting. We prefer drying this way as your cloths come out beautifully soft and plush again as well. We find our plush towels like the Drop Bear and Big Green Sucker really respond well to this. Also, the chance of anything blowing into the towels clean fibres is eliminated. We don't ever like to air dry outside as airborne particles from trees, lawns, blown up dirt all get back into the cloths. You can machine dry on cool the Circle Work wax and cleanser applicators as well as the Square Bear interior applicator.
If you don't have a dryer, you can air dry the cloths inside on a collapsible indoor clothes hanger, and then use a hair dryer on them for a few minutes while rubbing the material with your hands. This is great for the plusher Drop Bear and Big Green Sucker towels if you cannot use a machine dryer.
We don't recommend machine drying the Shagtastic, Wash Pillow or Muffy washing tools as it can affect their softer sponge inners over time. Air dry these only.
Never dry the Drop Bear cloth outside. It will attract other Drop Bears to your home. You don't ever want these aggressive predators living in close vicinity to your residence!
Do I need to clean my car washing microfibre tools?
All our microfibre washing tools can and should be machine washed and we recommend you do it reasonably often as follows;
The Shagtastic Wash Pad, Love Glove wash mitt and new Muffy Sponge will not always need to be machine washed after each use. Just rinse them out well in fresh water once you're done washing your car and leave them to air dry. We machine wash all ours about once a month, unless we wash a really dirty car, or drop them on the ground, then they will be washed straight after. If you get grease or the like on them, you should hand wash with the Microfibre Wash in warm water, rub the microfibre wash into the more dirty parts you need to clean, then add them to the rest of the wash in the machine. For really dirty stains you may need to use a dedicated laundry spot cleaner.
Our older/ original Muffy Sponge (It was only part covered in microfibre, and has exposed sides) is best hand-washed, in fact it's the only microfibre product we say not to wash in a machine. Wash it by hand in a bucket of 4 to 5 litres with 40mls of the Microfibre Wash added. Once you're happy it's clean, empty the bucket and rinse the sponge well with fresh water.
The Big Green Sucker should be washed straight after each use, again with the microfibre wash and while its still damp/ wet. Reason we say to wash it so often is that the Boss Gloss you use with it is hydrophobic when it dries, so it will make it less absorbent over time if you don't wash it out. Also, any dirt you get in the Big Green Sucker needs to be removed to allow for the safest wash when you next use it. Be sure to put this one in the dryer so it comes back nice and fluffy. If you air dry it, the more plush material will usally become all flat and matted and not feel or work as well as it should.
For the same reason as the Big Green Sucker, the Big Softie cloths you use with our After Glow drying aid or Wet Dreams MUST be washed after each use, as they too will become slightly water repellant due to the dried hydrophobic product in them. If you cannot wash them right after drying your car, rinse them out well with fresh water and put them in a bucket of water, till you can wash them next. (Don't leave it for more than a day though).
NEVER put the Shagtastic Wash Pad, the Wash Pillow or Muffy Sponge in the dryer, it will break down the sponge material inside them and they will come out feeling a lot thinner.. Simply air dry them after washing. The Love Glove can be machine dried if you wish, but its not really needed eaither.
Once washed and dry, fold the cloths up and store them in plastic storage bins that use lids, so they are sealed away from everything, ready for your next big detailing day.
Having your cloths folded also helps easily identify what cloths have been used and what is still clean.
We have a lot of bins for the different types of cloths and another separate tub to use for the dirty cloths as well.
How long does a cloth last, how many times can they be washed?
How long a cloth will keep working usually depends on a three factors;
- How frequently they are used,
- How well they are cared for.
- The types of products they're used with.
On average a microfibre cloth should last most people at least a year or two. Understand that no towels are good forever, they will wear out eventually like anything that sees frequent use. We personally find that our cloths and applicator pads will last a pretty long time, with some of our cloths having been washed well over 200 times and still going strong!
If you experience diminished performance after some time, it might very well be time to retire that cloth or towel and replace it with a new one. Your vehicle is a large investment and having good towels by comparison are a relatively small price in making sure it keeps looking nice.
One thing we have seen over the years is the better care for your microfibre cloths towels, the better they'll do at caring for your much loved vehicles.
Cloths not sucking like they used to?
Over time, the performance of your microfibre cloths can diminish due to many different reasons, such as: using them with hydrophobic spray products (the polymer sets in the fibres of the cloth and then they don't suck up water anymore), not washing the cloths after every use and not storing them properly.
If your cloth isn't sucking water properly any more, give the following process a go:
Soak the cloth in 40ml of Microfibre Wash and around 2-3L of warm water in a bucket overnight. Next day, pop the cloth into the washing machine with another 20ml of Microfibre Wash, with warm water on a normal cycle. Once finished, put the cloth into the dryer for 30-40 mins on the cool setting until it's dry.
This Microfibre Wash has really made a huge difference to the performance of all our cloths and you can find it at many of our great retailers nationwide. Find your closest one in the link at the bottom of this article.
If you have any questions or feedback about this article please contact us by email - firstname.lastname@example.org or call our office on 1800 351 308.
Love your car,