Updated: Oct 12, 2021
We have all been there, standing in front of the shelf at the drugstore staring at the void of all the different sizes, colors and fabrics of the cloth section (and not only staring at the cloth section)... Which ones do we really need? Even if some are marketing based, some are better at taking dust, soaking up big messes, leaving your mirror streak free or to soft polish metal fixtures. Finding the right one for the right use can only make the job easier. So we are here to present the different types matching which type of chore.
Type of Usage
Material: Dusters are made of soft cotton. Their surface can bind a lot of dust. This works particularly well on smooth surfaces. However, cloths made of synthetic fibers, fine microfiber cloths and dusting cloths do an even better job.
Usage: Use dusters only when dry so as not to stir up dust from furniture and decorative objects. Shake out the cloth outside after use and before putting it in your dirty laundry basket.
For Washing Dishes
Material: To wash: - Classic waffle dishcloths are made of cotton, are highly absorbent and do not lint. - Cloths made of cotton and viscose as well as special microfiber cloths are also suitable. - Swedish dishcloth made of cellulose and cotton - Brush with natural bristles. To dry: We recommend your usual tea towel, a flat-woven fabric soft and thin made of linen or cotton or both.
Usage: A dishcloth is used wet and loosens dirt mechanically. Rinse well and let it dry after use.
Small Spills: Microfibre cloths They are made of polyester or polyamide, do not lint and bind a lot of dirt due to their structure. Each fiber is tiny — less than half the width of a human hair and even smaller than silk fibers cloths and expand once wet. They are known for its absorbent properties and the first choice when a surface needs to be thoroughly cleaned.
Big Spills: Terrycloth Terry is a cotton fabrics made of thousands of woven loops that form the surface. It is designed to hold a lot of liquid and is commonly use in bath towel, bathrobe and so on. A Swedish dishcloth does the trick as well.
Usage: Microfibre cloths - preferably slightly moistened - remove grease- and water-soluble dirt. Since they become statically charged, they also attract dirt. Only use fine, smooth microfibre cloths for smooth surfaces!
For Mirrors, Windows and Glossy Surfaces
Material: We talk about once the surface is cleaned and what to use to leave it streak free.
Classics are polishing cloths with a soft fabric to trap the last droplets, dry the material and leaving no lints and fibers on the surface. Kitchen towel made of cotton will do as well. For microfibers, depending on their fabric content some will do the trick perfectly and others will not be able to dry the surface, if at all.
Usage: Use the cloth dry.
Select Reusable Cloths
One thing is for sure. You can ditch the single-use wipes and dusters from whichever fancy brands tried to wire your brain that you actually needed those in the first place. Instead go for washable, reusable cloths. Those will last longer and lots of options are todays environmentally friendly.
If you prefer an all-purpose cloth, you can either choose a cloth that is at least partly made of microfibre - or buy cloths made of viscose fleece. They are extremely absorbent and very practical because they neither scratch nor lint and you can use them both dry and wet to remove fine and coarse dirt.
We can advise for a combination of organic cotton/linen tea towels and microfibers. You can find nowadays:
Microfibers made of recycled material
Microfibers cloths made of a textile mix with bamboo
Overall you do not need to swap everything from scratch. Go over what you own and make the swap of your different supplies when necessary to do so. Life is not an instagram picture. We would advise to use the items you already own until they absolutely completely worn out and then improve your buying decision.
When to Wash a Cleaning Cloth
The advise would be to rinse after its use and wash cloths every other day. Used cloths are obviously wonderful spreader of germs. Put it in the basket, toss it in the laundry machine and go for at least 60 degrees. Heat and temperature kill germs and bacteria better than most cleaning products so go for your highest setting.
Don't be the person who overuses the kitchen towels heavily then fold it and hang it by the oven to dry and miraculously expect the towel to clean itself and the heat of the oven sanitize the rest ;).
One Container: Dedicate a basket, bin, bowl, bucket anything labeled “dirty cloth for laundry” and store it where most messes occurs like in your kitchen (or next to your washing machine as a reminder). One dedicated container makes it a great nudge to wash or disinfect all cleaning cloths at once and avoid any cross- contamination with other laundry load.
Get the number right: Get a a sufficient number of cloths to last a full week.
CCC - Color Code Cloths: You can go beyond to color code them per use or room.
Drying station: Just like the one container, you can create a smart located place to hang out cleaning wet cloths to dry in between cleaning jobs. For example; some countertop stands can be used to hang wet cloths, place hooks inside a cupboard door or on the side of a cabinet.