Since the purpose of using microfiber is to clean up the dirt and grime around your home, it seems a bit odd to be talking about how to keep it out of harms way.. but there are some things worth knowing which will improve the longevity of your microfiber.
Things to avoid:
- Excess non-water solubles such as thick wax/polish, gum, and excess oil -- these will gum up your microfiber crevasses and are hard to wash out (as non-water solubles tend to be).
- Extremely gritty surfaces such as stucco and unfinished concrete -- your microfiber will lose this battle and live a short life.
- Fabric softener - Takes the edge off on a microscopic scale. This is what fabric softener is suppose to do, but this tackiness is what helps microfiber grip dust and dirt.
- Dryer Sheets - Reduces electrostatic properties of microfiber (which we want for cleaning).
- Excess solvents, chlorides & bleach - these will eat away at the synthetic microfiber threads and reduce life span.
Exposure to Non-Water Solubles:
First off, realize that microfiber is a synthetic fiber and is constructed to clasp onto dirt and dust, but also traps waxes, oils and other water insoluble paraffin substances. The issue here is that the non-water solubles get lodged into the microfiber and even a wash cycle will not dislodge the substances. Subsequently, future floor cleaning will not go as smoothly since the microfiber is clogged with wax and oil. The microfiber really loses its perkiness.
While some exposure to oil and polish is totally acceptable, it's not recommended that one uses their pads to mop up large amounts of oily substance. Instead, use a rag to clean up oil and then come in with the microfiber.
If polishing of hardwoods or marble is part of your cleaning regimen and you wish to use your microfiber mop, you could consider an older microfiber pad that has lost some of its cleaning effectiveness but is still plenty capable of being used as a buffer.
Microfiber and Gritty Surfaces:
In mopping our floors, we always end up doing some scrubbing of the floors. In fact, that's one of the great things about flat microfiber mop pads, we are able to apply more force than with classic long strand mops. However, for jobs such as cleaning thick grout lines between tile, or working on extremely rough surfaces, such as stucco or unfinished concrete, we recommend taking it easy on your microfiber. The tackiness of microfiber will always be looking to grip onto whatever it comes into contact with, and when it comes to a very rough surface like stucco, the microfiber will not win. Scrubbing on such a substance is a sure way to wear out the microfiber and reduce its future usefulness. For scrubbing grout lines and other gritty surfaces, use our green scrubby pads or for fine grout lines, try using a bristled scrub brush. The fact that those surfaces are gritty will mean you are not damaging them with such a scrub. If the grout is between something such as limestone tiles, make sure to use a very narrow brush that only comes into contact with the grout and then go over the limestone tiles with your microfiber.
Fabric Softener & Dryer Sheets:
As a rule of thumb, limit your washing cycle to use only a moderate amount of non-chloride detergent. Fabric softener makes your microfiber too soft, removes its tackiness, and reduces cleaning effectiveness. Dryer sheets remove the static electricity of your microfiber -- something we really like for once! Static electricity makes dust cling to your microfiber like a magnet.
(Click here: Washing Instructions for Microfiber Mop Pads to see our post on washing instructions for microfiber.)
Since microfiber is a synthetic fiber, it is a bit more susceptible to deterioration from solvents and chemicals. Bleach and chloride solutions can eat away at the fibers leading to reduced effectiveness at grabbing dust and dirt. While chemicals are needed to clean and disinfect your floors, its best to use them in moderation and let the mop do its job. Remember, the nice thing about a microfiber mop pad and solid microfiber mop is that we can apply more force to the ground -- allowing you to get a clean result without over doing it with chemicals.
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