How To Clean Your Microfiber Car Cloths

Rags to Riches Microfiber Detergent

Cleaning your microfiber towels is a simple task you’re going to want to stay on top of as much as possible. It’s very easy to get behind on cleaning your microfiber car cloths, and when you need them to detail your car, it’s frustrating when you don’t have any available. I want to take you through my process on how to clean your microfiber car cloths because there is a correct and incorrect way to do it.

Why Should You Care For Your Microfiber Towels

Over the years, I’ve gone through a ton of microfiber towels. One of the lessons I’ve learned from owning so many is the more you care for them, the longer they last. Now, I’m not one to cheap out on buying new microfiber towels, but I do understand that 1) They can get costly, especially when you’re purchasing high-quality towels, and 2) Why buy more if you don’t have to? 

Like with anything, towels for vehicles will begin to degrade over time. The way we’re using them with our cars will inevitably shorten their lifespan compared to just normal around the house usage. I've put several microfiber towels through the wringer in all the years I’ve been detailing my cars and have come to value their existence. 

Car detailers and I love using microfiber towels because they are very efficient at picking up dirt and debris. They are also highly durable and can take a serious beating, as I've mentioned before. So, because we demand so much from these towels, I want to explain how to care for them:  

Cleaning Your New or Already Used Microfiber Car Cloths

Whether you’re purchasing individual microfiber car cloths or buying them in one of our microfiber solutions, you’ll want to ensure you’re following proper microfiber towel cleaning procedures. Here are my steps:

  1. Separate them from any other kind of fabric. Before you wash your new microfiber towels, you want to pay close attention not to mix them with other fabrics (clothes, bathroom towels, etc.). You can risk getting lint or some other fiber/material in your towels that if it gets lodged in there and you use that microfiber towel on your car’s paint or interior, you will introduce scratches and mar the surface.
  2. Don’t mix colors at first. I would urge you to segregate your darker-colored microfiber towels from your lighter-colored ones - at least in the beginning. After a few washes, I’ve found that you can mix them without discoloring the lighter ones. The purpose of doing this is so that the dye from the darker cloths don’t bleed onto the brighter ones. 
  3. Soak if they’re too dirty. Depending on the application you’re using your towels for, they can get beat up a lot. Whether you’re applying a ceramic coating to your car, paint correcting it, drying after a wash, or doing some serious dirty work like cleaning out the crap from your engine bay, you’ll want to be sure to dunk these in the sink or even a 6-gallon bucket with a microfiber detergent like Rags to Riches before washing them. Lukewarm or cold water is fine but never hot.
  4. Choose your cycle. I have a Speed Queen commercial washer, so I’m using a heavy-duty cycle. You’ll want to use a similar selection or whatever gives you the most water. I’ve found that I get a longer cleaning time and a more aggressive agitation when using this cycle.
  5. Choose temperature. I always wash my microfiber car cloths in cold water. Some people will say washing in warm water is fine, but I’ve always done cold. My towels always come out clean, and I don’t want to run the risk of melting the fibers. 
  6. Load size. This depends solely on how many microfiber towels you’re washing. I usually have a bunch, so I’ll typically select large on my washer. I’ll also do a heavy soil level with the second rinse option chosen. This ensures that my towels are really cleaned out. My entire washing process usually takes about 40 to 50 minutes. That’s probably a bit extreme, but it’s what has worked for me, and I’ve maintained many of my microfiber towels for years. 
  7. Load up and pour microfiber detergent. Here’s where Rags to Riches comes into the picture. How much of this stuff you use is based on your load size. I’m going to use around 30 to 40mL. I highly suggest getting the Rags to Riches in a gallon and a quart. Having the quart helps you measure the amount of liquid you’re pouring in and the gallon to refill that quart. You don’t want to use any kind of solution that has additives, bleach, or fabric softeners in it. They’ll clog the fibers of the microfiber towels, which makes them useless. 
  8. Drying process. You never want to dry your towels in a high heat setting. You’re either going to use low heat or no heat. I’m using low heat on my Speed Queen commercial dryer. Depending on the dryer you have, you will use either Air Dry (ambient air) or Tumble Dry. Hang drying is also an option, just don’t hang dry them outside - you’ll risk dust and debris getting on them. I don’t like to have towels hanging around my laundry area, plus I like the plush feel I get from them being in the dryer, so the dryer is what I prefer. 

Keeping your car cloths clean is one of those responsibilities that can be a pain if you neglect it. It’s been a while, but I remember back in the day, I’d forget to wash mine and would be ready to detail my car only to realize I didn’t have any clean towels. Talk about being frustrated. Since then, I have vowed never to run out of clean microfiber towels again. 

I made it a rule of mine and what has become a staple in the OG community to have twenty of most microfiber towels in my garage locker cabinet. It sounds like a lot, but if you’re cleaning your vehicle(s) regularly and don’t want to wash your towels weekly, having extra ones does have its benefits. I also like to use many of them for cleaning around the house. My mom is famous for using her microfiber towels at home and in the business with an isopropyl alcohol like Invisible Glass. This stuff works great as an all-purpose cleaner. You can see why I like to carry so many towels. Not just for car care, but home care as well.