How to Get Debris Out of Microfiber Towels

Microfiber towels are a must-have cleaning tool for any home. Their ultra-fine fibers and positively charged fabric attract and trap dirt, dust, and grime like nothing else. However, the same properties that make microfiber towels great at cleaning can also cause them to attract unwanted lint and debris that gets stuck in the fibers.

How to Get Debris Out of Microfiber Towels

It can be very frustrating when your microfiber towels come out of the wash covered in bits of grass, leaves, lint, and other gunk. But don’t worry – with the right techniques, you can get those towels looking and cleaning like new again.

Why Debris Gets Stuck in Microfiber

Microfiber towels are made up of tiny wedge-shaped fibers that are split into even tinier fibers. This creates a very fine, dense pile that has an incredible amount of surface area.

The fibers in a microfiber towel are also engineered to produce a positive static charge. This means the fibers actively attract and grab onto dust, dirt, and debris.

So when you use a microfiber towel, all of that debris gets trapped in the towel’s fibers instead of just getting moved around. That’s why microfiber cleans so much better than regular rags or paper towels.

But the downside is that the microfiber fibers also love to grab onto things like:

  • Lint
  • Pet hair
  • Bits of grass and leaves
  • Human hair
  • Fuzz and fabric pills

These types of debris can easily get stuck in the towel’s pile. And once it’s in there, it can be tricky to get it back out.

How to Remove Debris from Microfiber Towels

Here are the best methods for removing lint, grass, leaves, and other debris from your microfiber cleaning towels:

1. Use a Lint Roller

A lint roller quickly and easily removes surface debris like lint, pet hair, and grass from the towel. Just roll it across the surface to lift off the gunk.

Be sure to work slowly and thoroughly to clean the entire area of the towel. Rolling too fast may rip some of the microfiber loops.

2. Try a Slicker Brush or Pet Comb

For deeper debris, use a slicker brush or metal pet comb to work out the bits that a lint roller can’t reach.

Carefully comb in different directions – with and against the nap. The debris will get caught in the brush or comb tines so you can easily dispose of it.

3. Pick Out Debris with Tweezers

If you just have a few stubborn pieces of debris holding on for dear life, precision tweezers can help pluck them out. This takes patience but works quite well.

Just be careful not to pull or damage the microfiber loops in the process.

4. Use Masking Tape

Wrap a piece of masking tape around your hand, sticky side out. Then gently pat and roll the tape over the microfiber towel surface. The sticky tape will pick up the debris.

You may need to use several fresh pieces of tape to get it all up.

5. Try a DIY Microfiber Wash

For an intensive deep clean, hand wash the towels:

  • Soak in warm water with a mild detergent to loosen debris
  • Add a spoonful of baking soda to help lift debris
  • Gently massage and knead the towels to dislodge gunk
  • Rinse thoroughly

Let the towels air dry to prevent lint transfer in the dryer.

Key Takeaway: Tools like lint rollers, brushes, tweezers, and tape can help remove debris from microfiber towels without damaging the fibers.

How to Wash Microfiber Towels

Proper washing is key to keeping lint and debris from building up in microfiber towels over time. Here are some best practices:

Wash Towels Alone

Wash microfiber towels separately from other laundry. Otherwise they’ll attract lint, pet hair, etc. from items like cotton towels, sheets, and clothes in the wash.

Use a Gentle Detergent

Stick to a mild liquid laundry detergent, which is gentler on the microfiber fibers than powder detergents. Avoid heavy duty detergents.

Wash in Cool or Warm Water

Hot water can damage the microfibers. Wash the towels in the coolest temperature that still effectively cleans them. Warm water is okay too.

No Fabric Softener

Skip the fabric softener, as it leaves a coating on the fibers that diminishes their cleaning capabilities.

Low or No Heat Drying

Tumble dry microfiber towels on the lowest heat setting or no heat at all. High heat can melt the fibers. Letting them air dry is ideal to prevent lint transfer.

Shake Out Towels First

Before washing, shake out each towel vigorously to dislodge any loose debris. This prevents it from getting further embedded during the wash cycle.

Key Takeaway: Washing microfiber towels properly without other laundry, at cool temperatures, with gentle detergent, and low heat drying all help reduce lint and debris buildup.

How to Prevent Debris in Microfiber Towels

While debris ended up in your microfiber towels, it’s good to learn how to prevent it from happening again. Here are some useful tips:

  • Work in a debris-free area: Choose a work space free of lint, dirt, leaves, grass, etc. Your garage or driveway is better than outdoors under trees.
  • Keep towels off the ground: Never place towels on the ground where they can pick up grass, leaves, dirt, etc. Have a clean work surface handy to set them on instead.
  • Fold towels surface inward: When not in use, fold towels so the cleaning surface is tucked inside, protecting it from debris.
  • Use shorter nap microfiber: The longer the nap, the more debris it will attract. Opt for a low nap microfiber towel for general purpose cleaning.
  • Use towels for intended purpose: Only use lint-prone towels like buffing towels for their designated job. Don’t use them for household cleaning.
  • Clean work surfaces first: Wipe down or vacuum work areas first before cleaning with microfiber to remove debris.
  • Use disposable microfiber: Consider using disposable microfiber cloths for really dirty jobs so you can just toss them after.

Key Takeaway: Simple debris prevention tips like working in a clean area, keeping towels off the ground, and using shorter nap microfiber can help minimize lint and gunk buildup.

When to Replace Microfiber Towels

With time and repeated use, all microfiber towels wear out. At some point, getting debris out of the towels becomes Sisyphean.

Here are some signs it’s time to replace your microfiber cleaning towels:

  • Towels feel rough or scratchy
  • Fibers look frayed, worn, melted
  • Towels leave behind lint and particles
  • They don’t absorb water or clean as well
  • Debris doesn’t come out with repeated washing
  • Holes or tears develop

For high quality microfiber towels, expect to get 1-2 years of use with proper care. Budget microfiber may only last 6 months or so.

Rotate multiple towels into your cleaning toolkit so you aren’t relying on just one or two towels for all tasks. This extends their useful life.


How do you get pet hair out of microfiber towels?

Use a pet comb, lint roller, or masking tape to remove surface pet hair. For deeper hair stuck in the fibers, soak and hand wash towels in cool water with extra rinses.

Why does my microfiber towel pick up so much lint?

High quality microfiber is designed to attract lint and micro-particles. Only use lint-prone towels like buffing towels for their intended use. For other cleaning, choose lower nap microfiber.

How do I remove grass from my microfiber towels?

Try rolling masking tape over the towels to lift off grass blades and other debris. For stubborn grass stuck deeper, use tweezers or a small brush to remove it.

How do you get hair and fuzz off microfiber?

For hair and fabric fuzz on the surface, use a lint roller. For deeper debris, use tweezers or a metal comb. Be gentle to avoid damaging the microfiber loops.

Should you wash new microfiber towels before first use?

Yes, wash new microfiber towels once before first use. Use a gentle detergent, cool water, and low dryer heat. This helps remove any residual lint or debris from manufacturing and packaging.


Microfiber cleaning towels pick up all kinds of dust, dirt, and grime thanks to their dense pile of statically charged ultra-fine fibers. But this benefit can also cause them to attract and hold onto unwanted debris like lint, grass, leaves, and pet hair.

With the right tools and techniques, you can effectively remove the debris without harming the microfiber. Lint rollers, brushes, tweezers, and tape all help lift debris from the towel surface.

Prevention is also key – work in clean areas, keep towels off the floor, wash properly, and don’t use lint-prone towels for household cleaning.

Emma Kellam
Emma Kellam

I'm Emma, and I run Towels Edition, a website for fellow home goods enthusiasts who, like me, are passionate about textiles. After working in high-end retail, I was amazed by how little most people (myself included!) know about all the towel options out there.

I research and write all the content myself. Whether it's specialized towels like bar mops, Turkish cotton production methods, or comparing hair towel absorbency, I cover it. My goal is to share my knowledge and enthusiasm to help others.

Running Towels Edition allows me to constantly expand my own expertise too. I love learning about innovations in bamboo fabric or ideal bath towels. It's so rewarding to receive emails thanking me for recommendations that improved my readers' routines.

I want Towels Edition to be the ultimate online towel resource, making this overlooked necessity far more fascinating. My aim is to open people's eyes to how specialty towels can thoroughly enhance hygiene, cleaning, recreation and self-care.