Greener Every Week – Microfiber Cloths

Use microfiber cloths instead of paper towels for a cleaner and greener home

“Greener Every Week” is my ongoing series in which I do one (cheap, easy) thing every week to make my home or lifestyle more healthy & eco-friendly.

I love microfiber cloths. Seriously, they are probably one of the best cleaning/housekeeping related decisions I have ever made. I used to use paper towels to clean glass and countertops, swiffer dusters for dusting, and those flushable brush things to clean the toilets, and I’ve replaced all of it with these lovely little babies. They make cleaning so much quicker and easier and more efficient.  Can you tell I like them?

Obviously they have the huge benefit of generating far less paper waste than disposable products, but even if I didn’t care about that at all I would still use.

The things I use them for:

-Wiping down counters: they scrub better than paper towels and are way more absorbent than most dishcloths.

-Dusting: I used to love Swiffer dusters, and while they do work well they are disposable and therefore not terribly eco-friendly.  Microfibers seem to have that same awesome “dust magnet” effect without the waste.

-Cleaning glass and windows: this is where you will be blown away.  I no longer use anything but water to clean windows, mirrors, and other glass. Wipe the surface with a wet cloth and then rub it dry with a dry one and your glass will be sparkling. I used to hate cleaning glass and now I actually kind of like it.  Not that I do it as often as I should, but when I get around to it I always think “Wow, that was easy!”

-Drying dishes: these are super absorbent and dry stuff really efficiently.

I’m sure there’s a bunch more things I’m not thinking of – basically anything you would normally use paper towels or rags for you can now use these.  I use Zwipes Microfibers because you can get a bunch of them for pretty cheap, and I kind of like the different colors (I use blue and yellow ones in the kitchen and reserve green for dirtier jobs like bathrooms and floors).

The one catch to using microfiber cloths of course is that you have to wash them, but I’ve figured out a pretty convenient system (and if I say something is convenient with regards to cleaning, trust me, it’s convenient).  Just keep two bins (I use a two-sided cleaning supply caddy I had lying around, but two tupperware containers or buckets would be fine) and keep the clean cloths in one and throw the dirty ones in the other.  When the dirty bucket is full, throw it in the wash.  It is better not to mix these in with your clothes because they are super clingy and will be a pain in the butt to separate from your socks and things. Once you are in the habit of doing this it also makes it easier to switch to cloth napkins since you can throw them in the same bin. Anyone else use these and have any other uses for them?

10 Comments

  • I forget about these all the time… but your info about the windows have finally convinced me to go out and get some…. if I do nothing but the windows it will still be a blessing…

    thanks from Aus
    xx

  • I’m wondering if they can be used in place of the swiffer dry pads for sweeping up the floor? My house is giant, so using the swiffer is out of the question unless I want to go through a small box every week. When I sweep, there is a giant dust cloud (We live in El Paso, TX–very dusty!). I know libman makes a reusable swiffer-esque do-hicky, but I already have the swiffer and since I can use these pads for a million other things, it would make sense to get a package. My only concern is they might be too thick to be pressed into the corners and held down.

    Reiterating my question– Can these be used in place of the dry pads for the swiffer sweeper?

    • I’ve had swiffer sweepers but I never tried them with microfibers – I bet you it would work, they aren’t all that thick. I’m not 100% sure they are big enough to reach all the corners but I think they should be – let me know if you try it!

  • I received the microfiber clothes a few days ago and finally tried them with the swiffer. The only problem I foresee is the plastic spikes that hold in the cloth may become worn and break off with repeated use. I’m trying different methods to fashion it to the sweeper, but nothing so far has been 100% successful.

    • That’s a good point – I could see that they might wear over time. Could you attach them with a couple big rubberbands? That might leave them with too much room to move…maybe some velcro strips attached to the sweeper – if you can find a grippy one that the microfibers stick to naturally that might work. Keep me posted! 🙂

  • i tried all that before i found this fabulous mop!

    Don Aslett’s Microfiber Mop

    it’s super easy with the velcro strips; just wash the pads and hang dry. you can’t beat the price and it lasts “forever” 🙂

    there are great reuseable covers on etsy.com for swiffers and swiffer dusters. just search for “swiffer”.

  • you’re welcome!
    so do you! i’ve enjoyed reading your blog, which i just discovered, as you can tell 🙂

    oops on the link.
    just go to QVC.com and search for
    “Don Aslett’s Super-size Microfiber Mop w/ 6 Microfiber Pads”
    or just
    “Don Aslett”.

  • I’ve used then on the swiffer mop instead of the sheets it comes with to pick up pet hair and dust from the floor, it was awesome!

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