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  1. #1

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    Are we cleaning our Microfibers correctly?

    As the title states, with the recent wave of rather impressive OTC LSP products that are able to withstand some pretty tough cleaners and heat, how are we doing with actually cleaning our microfiber towels? Are we using the regular All Free and Clear or Microfiber Restore, with vinegar rinses, and actually getting our towels clean of build up? I have two of the LuxuryMicrofiberStore Sucker, one of which I use every week, the other is backup. After about the fifth vehicle wash and corresponding washing machine trip, using All Free & Clear and vinegar rinse and hot water temp, the towels performance dropped noticeably. Drying aids have been of the QD type, seems like they have been diminishing the towels performance. I have been doing some research to see what the commercial cleaning industry uses to clean MF towels, and it seems like they are using solvent based detergents for highly soiled microfiber, I would think that QD`s, spray waxes, and the like would be considered high soil. Thoughts...?


    I am currently on the hunt for a solution, as of this moment it seems like white spirits or Krud Kutter Tough Task Remover is a starting point to help supercharge our All Free & Clear or MicroRestore.
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  2. #2
    Coleroad's Avatar
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    Re: Are we cleaning our Microfibers correctly?

    I thought hot water, and/or high dryer temps were a no no.

  3. #3
    Hooked For Life Bill D's Avatar
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    Re: Are we cleaning our Microfibers correctly?

    I don’t use All. I use Tide with vinegar with good results. I see that if Tide is great on clothes, it also works well on MFs.
    Treat it like it`s the only one in the world.

  4. #4

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    Re: Are we cleaning our Microfibers correctly?

    What about the orange powder sold here as a pad cleaner? When it comes to solvents, maybe the best thing to do would be to pre-soak the towels in a hot bucket for a while, rinse, then wash in a machine.
    A heavy dousing of wax & grease remover, sold at auto parts stores, might work. Just put a sprayer into the bottle, spray your towels, let them dwell, then toss them in a hot bucket of orange powder pad cleaner.
    I`ve tried the APC method, but it`s just sort-of effective and it can be a real chore to rinse.
    I don`t use wheel brightener; I wonder if using diluted brightener would work. It`s an acid, so it seems like it would, however, it is also highly dangerous and can turn your skin black if you have contact with it for too long.

  5. #5

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    Re: Are we cleaning our Microfibers correctly?

    Quote Originally Posted by Coleroad View Post
    I thought hot water, and/or high dryer temps were a no no.
    I think the hot water is washing machine dependent and could be a generalization, or based on the longer cycles that MF`s are subjected to in a residential washing machine. From my few readings, it appears that commercial launderers are running the towels on *hot* water for about 25-27min for the first two parts of the wash cycle. I wonder what the affect of dry heat vs wet heat is on microfiber. My guess is that the synthetics degrade in the high dry heat, whereas the synthetics do not burn in the hot water.


    Everyone else:

    Can`t we clean our towels solely in the washing machine? There has got to be solution that doesn`t require presoaking in a bucket, I`ll presoak in the washer, but the bucket is a bit of a chore.

  6. #6

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    Re: Are we cleaning our Microfibers correctly?

    Quote Originally Posted by Coleroad View Post
    I thought hot water, and/or high dryer temps were a no no.
    3 answers.
    Yes
    No
    Maybe?

    I have heard different things from different people. And by different people I don`t mean random people on random forums on teh Interwebs. I mean people who are respected for their knowledge. Generally what I`ve heard is yes to washing in hot water, no to drying in anything but low, or better yet tumble. But, a few of the respected big name detailers have said warm water only. While others have said you should boil the towels once in awhile if you really want to get them clean and keep them soft. Which is much hotter than any washing machine out there. 5 years ago I boiled some Eagle Edgeless, and it didn`t seem to effect them negatively at all. But, I only did it the one time, so *shrug*

    Since I`m not smart enough to know on my own, I just wash in warm and tumble dry. Maybe I`m not getting them as clean as I could, but I`m not going to kill them either. If I was richer I would try the Polish Angel MF detergent. It winds up being like $2 a load to use, so it must be suuuuuper good right? lol. Serious though, I`ve bought dedicated MF cleaners, I don`t know if I could tell the difference between the ones I`ve used and the All Free & Clear I generally go with. Which is super cheap.

  7. #7
    dansautodetailing.com Stokdgs's Avatar
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    Re: Are we cleaning our Microfibers correctly?

    I have only, repeat, only used either Micro-Restore or C/guys Microfiber wash on all microfibers.. For 15+ years.. I use warm water and occasionally will add some Distilled White Vinegar to the Wash and Rinse Cycles.. My machines are HE Front Loaders..

    I use a warm, short, cycle in the dryer.. And use the extended, heavy duty, longer wash and 2-rinse wash cycle in the Washer..

    Never have any of the issues posted above with my process..

    I bet some of the issues you guys are having may be caused by any fabric softeners residue in the washing machine, and/or the dryer sheets residue in the dryer..

    No one has said they clean out the machines of that nasty, coating stuff before they wash their microfibers... Are you guys doing that ?

    I never use any of those Downy, etc., Coatings/Sheets/etc., for clothes EVER... So my machines are clean inside from that goop...

    When my Mother and Father were alive and I visited them, I always brought my own towels because their huge towel supply in the hall closet would be really bad at drying me off, because of the zillion blue dryer sheets they used in their machine.. That coating is really bad...

    For my laundry needs I only use non-commercial, liquid laundry soap that is made using only oils from plants and soap made by cold process.. No heat, chemicals, etc...

    Clothes come out really nice and soft (no need for dryer chemical sheets) and may have a slight fragrance of some really nice plant flower oils and that`s it..

    Yes, it may be perhaps more expensive, but I like that fact that all my clothes are not retaining any of that horrid chemical crap that you can read on the side of those commercial laundry soap containers... And then you put that chemical residue next to your skin and absorb it all day... https://www.1beauty.us/zum-clean-aro...hu6vdj05fr1mr2

    Dan F
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  8. #8

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    Re: Are we cleaning our Microfibers correctly?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stokdgs View Post
    I have only, repeat, only used either Micro-Restore or C/guys Microfiber wash on all microfibers.. For 15+ years.. I use warm water and occasionally will add some Distilled White Vinegar to the Wash and Rinse Cycles.. My machines are HE Front Loaders..

    I use a warm, short, cycle in the dryer..

    Never have any of the issues posted above with my process..

    I bet some of the issues you guys are having may be caused by any fabric softeners residue in the washing machine, and/or the dryer sheets residue in the dryer..

    No one has said they clean out the machines of that nasty, coating stuff before they wash their microfibers... Are you guys doing that ?

    I never use any of those Downy Coatings/Sheets/etc., for clothes EVER... So my machines are clean inside from that goop...
    Dan F
    The washing machine and dryer get cleaned out about once every few months. May have to try more regular machine cleanings.
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  9. #9
    dansautodetailing.com Stokdgs's Avatar
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    Re: Are we cleaning our Microfibers correctly?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheMeanGreen View Post
    The washing machine and dryer get cleaned out about once every few months. May have to try more regular machine cleanings.
    Great idea ! Or perhaps experiment with running some Distilled White Vinegar through the Washer and that might help break down all that chemical sticky stuff that some of those softeners; (now they have things that take out wrinkles, etc.,) so just imagine how much stuff is in there..

    And then there is that water in the bottom of the machine Tub that never gets all drained out and kind of just gets mixed with the next load...

    I think for helping get rid of that , perhaps use one tablet of that Affresh Washer Cleaner??

    Dan F

  10. #10

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    Re: Are we cleaning our Microfibers correctly?

    There are some detailing experts, like Mr Phillips from that other site, who say hot water is a no-no. However, I heard a microfiber expert say you should use the hottest water possible to wash microfiber towels. I have a Maytag HE washer and wash my MF towels on the "Super Wash" cycle with the extras "steam for stains" and "extra rinse" selected, which is about a 3-hr cycle. I use Tide HE detergent and fill the water softener dispenser with white vinegar. I dry on low heat.
    My stable includes a 2019 Toyota Avalon and a 2016 BMW 550i.

  11. #11
    Hooked For Life Bill D's Avatar
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    Re: Are we cleaning our Microfibers correctly?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joel_MD View Post
    . I use Tide HE detergent and fill the water softener dispenser with white vinegar. I dry on low heat.

    I do the same. Works for me.
    Treat it like it`s the only one in the world.
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  12. #12
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    Re: Are we cleaning our Microfibers correctly?

    3D Towel clean guy here. I use hot water on gentle cycle with cold rinse. I haven`t noticed any degredation in my towels.

    Years ago I researched it myself and found the melting point of polymide to be slightly above 400 degrees.

    I can assure you my hot water doesn`t even get close to that. However I only use the lowest heat setting for drying. Towels still come out just so slightly damp. I fold them and let them finish air drying before boxing up.
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  13. #13

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    Re: Are we cleaning our Microfibers correctly?

    This is apparently another of those YMMV! topics.

    I wash my MFs with (very) hot water and I use MF Detergents on the Detailing MFs (Persil with OxiClean for the Household ones). Using Persil or other "regular" detergents did *NOT* work well for my Detailing MFs, not at all. I machine dry on Low or Medium. I pre-treat stains with either Dawn Power Dissolver or APC or somesuch, often scrubbing them with a Denture Brush and I sometimes use the Distilled White Vinegar Rinse (followed by a Clear Water Rinse). I generally do multiple rinses and/or cycles without detergent to get *ALL* the soap/etc. residue out of them. I do *NOT* always wash my MFs right away, even my MF Drying Towels that are used with Drying Aids and SprayWaxes. So many would say I`m abusing/neglecting my MFs something awful (ditto for my Sheepskin Wash Mitts). Yet they last for ages and keep working well.

    My HE washer is only effective on Detailing MFs when run on it`s most Heavy Duty cycle with "Sanitize"-level-hot water. Otherwise it`s just to gentle. My older direct-drive agitator washer works much better for this.

    The ones I use for Polish and LSP application/removal are mostly over a decade old and some date to the original debut of MF in the `90s. These still work fine other than a tiny bit of MF Lint (not enough to bug me on paint), although some got so threadbare that I demoted them to [crap] duty.

    All of my MFs have eventually started to lint (my cheapie Plush MF Drying Towels from ?Target/Walmart? linted from the jump, but the same ones did *not* for Tom P.), although it hasn`t happened yet to my MF Madness WWMF (can`t remember it`s cutesy name..?Wave Runner?) or my GG PFMs for Glass. My no-nap and WW MF Glass Towels lint just a little after many years of hard use (they`re now used for non-critical duty around the house).

    All of my WW Drying MFs eventually lost their effectiveness, although that hasn`t happened yet to that MF Madness WWMF. My Dry Me Crazy towels and my cheapie OTC Plush MF Drying Towels (all several years old) and my MF Glass Towels (some of which are very old) still soak up liquids just fine.

    SO, to summarize, I wash/dry (and use) my MFs hard and some would say I abuse them. But I get what I consider a long working life out of `em and have zero regrets, let alone any incentive to change my ways. Are the eventual linting and lack of absorbency caused by how I care for them? Perhaps, but years and years of use are good enough for *me*.

    Note that I don`t sweat stains on my MFs as long as that area of the MF doesn`t fail the CD-Test. If some stain actually *bothers* me, I cut it out and let the MF fray (some really do, some basically don`t).

    BUT... some others here have treated their MFs the way I do, only to have those MFs develop issues. That`s the YMMV factor that you just have to accept and deal with.

  14. #14

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    Re: Are we cleaning our Microfibers correctly?

    For dedicated microfiber detergents there are:
    Micro-Restore Detergent
    3D Towel Kleen
    Poorboy`s Typhoon Microfiber Cleaner
    McKee`s37 Microfiber Cleaner
    Griot`s Garage Microfiber and Pad Cleaner
    Chemical Guy`s Microfiber Rejuvenator and Cleaner
    Blackfire/Wolfgang/Pinnacle Microfiber Cleaner and Restorer

    Which one(s) do you use and why?
    GB detailer

  15. #15

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    Re: Are we cleaning our Microfibers correctly?

    I was using Detailer`s Pro, which I liked, until it was discontinued, and then tried 3D Towel Kleen because of the favorable reviews and low cost. Almost immediately I noticed that while the towels were clean, they weren`t as soft as they had been, and were less absorbent when soaking in a bucket of rinseless solution.

    I contacted Nick, who told me that the Mckee`s 37 product was an improved version of the Detailer`s Pro detergent, so I ordered it. After one use, it restored the towels to the way they had been prior to using Towel Kleen. Yes, it`s more expensive, but to me it also works better.

    Maybe the effectiveness of a particular detergent has something to do with the water in different parts of the country. I have found that Towel Kleen works very well for cleaning pads so at least it isn`t going to waste.
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