Micro Fiber Tips & Types

Discussion in 'Detailing' started by Prima Car Care, Mar 12, 2010.

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  1. Prima Car Care

    Prima Car Care New Member

    Jul 16, 2009
    Denver, CO
    +0 / 0 / -0
    Microfiber Care Tips

    Here's a summary of what we've found to be the most important tips in caring for microfiber.

    When high quality microfiber (that is, typically more than 200,000 threads/square inch) is treated well, it should last for several years and hundreds of washings.

    Care Tips:

    • Ideally and when possible, wash new microfiber before use. This will remove any loose lint/particles that may be in the cloth during processing, etc. If this isn't possible, often times a good shake will do the same or nearly the same.

    • Do not use bleach, ever. Bleach can chemically burn the fibers, which makes the microfiber much less effective.

    • Do not use fabric softener, ever. (including both liquid fabric softeners and "dryer sheet" fabric softeners) Fabric softener coats the fibers, which prevents the microfiber from the grabbing and absorbing that it is known for.

    • Do not wash or dry with linty things, such as cotton towels. Doing so will free up a lot of lint from your cotton... which will then be stuck in your microfiber (often permanently or semi-permanently)

    • Only use liquid detergent! Powdered detergents often don't dissolve fully and the particles stick in your microfiber. These particles can then scratch your paint when you use your microfiber. This tip is especially important because it's a safety issue.

    • It's safe to machine wash at any temperature setting. It was previously thought by industry experts that hot water was a bad idea; however, we have since found out that even hot water is just fine and actually helps dissolve buildup. Cold wash water isn't as effective as warm or hot. From a safety standpoint, any temperature is fine. From an effectiveness standpoint, warm or hot temps are best.

    • Machine dry only on low or medium. Avoid using the high heat setting.

    • Ideally, use a detergent that is free of dyes and perfumes. Over time, these dyes and perfumes can cause a some buildup in the microfiber, thereby reducing its effectiveness. The microfiber-specific detergents work well too but we've found no real difference between these detergents and the perfume/dye-free regular laundry detergents.

    • If you have a lot of microfiber and/or you have some microfiber that you use for nasty stuff (engine and wheel cleaning, for example) along with your pristine microfiber (for paint), it's a good idea to wash them separately from each other. We have 2 bins in our bay... one for used grimy microfiber and one for used "nice" microfiber.

    • If over time you find your microfiber's effectiveness decreases a bit, despite following all of the above tips, you may have some wax/polish buildup. To fix this, do either one of the following:


    Wash the microfiber for one full wash cycle normally. Then wash again, except this time open the lid and let it soak overnight. In the morning, close the lid and let the cycle finish. Good technique


    Wash the microfiber for one full wash cycle normally. Then wash again, except do not use any laundry detergent. Instead, add 1/2 Cup of white vinegar to the load (assuming a medium to full size load). Run the cycle normally. Best technique

    Again, your high quality microfiber should last you a very long time when properly cared for.

    Types of Microfiber

    Microfiber comes in a variety of weaves/designs/densities/etc. all of which optimize each type for different tasks.

    Here are some guidelines:

    For anything that touches paint, you should aim for at least 150,000 threads per square inch and 200,000 or more is ideal. This high thread count is primarily for increased performance, although can often help decrease your scratch risk. Discount or bulk microfiber is less than 100,000 threads per square inch, most often around 50,000 threads per square inch, as a rule. Premium microfiber is often more than 150,000 threads per square inch.

    For wax/polish/quick detail removal, buffing, polishing, etc. you should use microfiber with long, plush, non-looped threads, as opposed to very short or looped threads (there are some exceptions though, i.e. the Platinum has looped threads on one side although they are longer and plusher than most looped threads and offer more muscle and structure for stubborn chemicals).

    In general, using plush microfiber with long threads will not only give you significantly better performance but will also help reduce your scratch/swirl risk, often by a large margin.

    General Types and Common Uses:

    Drying: Waffle-weave
    Buffing (wax removal, etc): Plush, long threads, high thread count
    Glass/Window: Smooth, non-plush, tight weave
    Non-paint (interior, etc): Almost any style or weave of microfiber will usually work fine

    Hope this helps! Happy Detailing!

  2. lotsie

    lotsie Club Coordinator

    May 5, 2009
    stagehand/part time detailer
    Right here
    +400 / 0 / -0
    #2 lotsie, Mar 14, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2010

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