Are all microfiber towels the same? No, there is a difference between quality cleaning towels and not-so-quality products. This can be based on a variety of factors, such as types of microfiber towels, the microfiber quality itself, GSM, and so much more. When purchasing a microfiber towel, all you really need to consider are these three aspects:
- How well does it dry?
- How well does it pick up dirt and dust?
- How long will last?
So how do you tell if you’ve got a towel that has all 3 of the above? We’ve designed 4 simple tests to determine if your towel meets the quality threshold. These tests only apply to All-Purpose Microfiber Towels, which are the most popular type of towel. Not all of these tests apply to flat woven microfiber towels, such as glass, suede, and waffle weave, because they are uniquely woven for specific cleaning purposes. The best part is you can easily do them in your own home! See our 4 test for a high quality microfiber towel below!
The Water Test: Is It Absorbent?
Microfiber is more absorbent than cotton for many reasons. With that being said not all microfiber towels are created equal! Higher quality towels should dry and clean up spills both better and faster than lower quality ones. So do the water test to see if your microfiber towel is absorbent.
- Pour water on a flat, smooth surface
- Place your microfiber cleaning towel on the surface and slowly slide it toward the puddle of water
- Observe how the towel interacts with the water. Does it: Suck it up like a vacuum, push the water away, or somewhere in between?
- Does it wick through the towel quickly?
If your towel pushes the water away then it’s not very absorbent. You want a towel that acts like a vacuum, sucking the water up, wicking it through the towel. These are signs of highly absorbent microfiber towels.
Make sure your microfiber towel is an 80/20 or 70/30 polyester to polyamide ratio. There is much debate on which of these blends is better. Some say one is better for cleaning and the other for drying, others say there is no difference at all. Of course there are other factors that contribute to quality, as you’ll soon find out. Wherever you stand on the argument, everyone agrees that your microfiber towel needs to be somewhere between these ratios. Make sure to avoid 100% polyester microfiber towels.
The Touch Test: Will It Grab and Hold?
You want to make sure your microfiber towels have a “grippy” feel. The more “grippy” feel of the towel, the more dirt, dust, water, and even bacteria it will pick up! Don’t worry, the grippy feel does not take away from the softness of the cloth, so you won’t have to be concerned with scratching anything delicate. So here’s how to do the Touch Test:
- Run your hand over the towel and ask yourself the following questions.
- Is the cloth soft?
- Would you use it on the finish of your car?
- Does the material grab the imperfections in your skin, getting caught on your hand?
If your towel catches on your hand, it is made with split microfiber. High quality cloths have gone through a splitting process, leaving the fibers to look like an asterisk in cross section. The spaces left by the process is what gives your cloth the ability to pick up dirt and absorb liquid. If your cloth isn’t split, it won’t be any more effective in cleaning than a cotton towel.
Another factor that contributes to how well your towel will clean is the size of each fiber. The smaller the fiber, the more it can pick up. Microfibers are measured in denier, which is the diameter of each fiber. By definition microfiber must be lower than 1 denier, which is equal to 10 micrometers. Good quality microfiber towels for cleaning usually have below 0.5 denier. This makes it small enough to pick up a variety of germs, bacteria, and microbes! For example, our Buff™ Pro and Microfiber Glass Cloths both have extremely low deniers of 0.1 to 0.2. If you are looking for the best quality cleaning cloths, make sure you check the denier (if available).
The Thickness Test: Is It Durable?
Microfiber towels durability is measured by its thickness, meaning it will last more washes, and is much less likely to fray or unravel. When taken care of properly good microfiber towels should be able to lasts hundreds of washings! There are 2 ways to test the thickness of your microfiber towels.
The Weight Test
- Weigh the towel (if you have a GSM scale)
- Is it at least a 250 GSM Microfiber Towel (GSM=grams per square meter)?
The more a microfiber towel weighs, the more microfiber it has. There are a variety of different GSM of Microfiber Towels, and this is because there are a variety of tasks they can be used for. But as a rule of thumb, a good quality towel has at least 250 GSM or more. If you don’t have a scale, just check the website. Usually all microfiber products list their products GSM because they understand how important this is to customers. If they don’t list it, that might be a red flag!
Sunlight and Stretch Test:
- Take the towel outside in the sun
- Stretch the towel while holding it up to the sun
- Does it stretch easily?
- Can you see the sun through it like cheesecloth?
If you can see a lot of sunlight or the towel stretches easily, then you don’t have a quality towel. It is also important to look at the binding of the towel. Make sure the edges are nicely sewn, this prevents any fraying.
If It Passes All 4 Tests, Then You’ve Got High Quality Microfiber Towels
You should never test just one of these areas and rely on the results. You can get microfiber towels at a chain warehouse store that weigh more than 300 GSM, passes the sunlight test and doesn’t stretch very well. However, they aren’t absorbent and they don’t pick up dust very well. It would pass test 3 but not 1 and 2. If possible, a final check for high quality microfiber towels is to find out where they are made. We make sure to source our microfiber towels & cloths responsibly, so you can rest assured you are getting only the best. See where our microfiber towels are made. So in addition to testing, here are some things to look for when buying microfiber towels.
- Split Microfibers
- 250+ GSM
- 80/20 or 70/30 Polyester to Polyamide ratio
- 0.5 Denier Or Less
For a towel that will pass all 4 tests above check out our Buff™ Pro Multi surface Microfiber Towels! We tested their absorbency, durability, and softness against other top brands this video!
At Microfiber Wholesale we want to provide professional cleaners with the best microfiber towels for their cleaning business. Check out some of our wholesale professional cleaning products today!
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