What Is A Microfiber Towel

Microfiber towels have become an extremely popular household item in recent years.

Microfiber Towel

But what exactly are they, and what makes them so great?

What Is Microfiber Made Of?

Microfiber refers to synthetic fibers that are finer than one denier or decitex per thread. To put this in perspective, a microfiber is over 100 times finer than a human hair!

Microfiber towels are typically made from a blend of polyester and polyamide fibers, such as nylon or Kevlar. The fibers are split during manufacturing, resulting in a towel that is exceptionally soft yet also very durable.

Splitting the microfibers gives the towels a greater surface area. A single square inch of microfiber can contain up to 300,000 split fibers. This greater surface area is key to the towel’s enhanced cleaning and absorption capabilities.

How Do Microfiber Towels Work?

There are two primary reasons why microfiber towels are so effective at cleaning and drying:

Increased Surface Area

The splitting process creates millions more fibers per square inch compared to a standard cotton towel. This vastly increased surface area allows the towel to penetrate and trap dirt, dust, and moisture much more effectively.

Positive Charge

Microfiber towels have a positive charge, whereas dirt and dust particles have a negative charge. Opposites attract, so the positively charged microfiber acts like a magnet, lifting away negatively charged dirt, grease, and grime.

Thanks to these two factors, microfiber towels can clean surfaces very effectively using just water, without the need for chemical cleaners.

Absorbency of Microfiber Towels

One of the standout features of microfiber towels is their incredible absorbency:

  • A microfiber towel can absorb up to 7 times its weight in liquid.
  • It has an absorbency rate nearly 5 times higher than a conventional cotton towel.

This high level of absorbency makes microfiber towels perfect for drying dishes, wiping counters, cleaning up spills, and more. You can efficiently sop up large amounts of liquid without needing to rinse out the towel multiple times.

Does Microfiber Leave Lint?

A common frustration with cotton towels is the lint left behind on surfaces. This is not an issue with microfiber.

The ultra-fine synthetic fibers produce virtually no lint. Microfiber towels will not leave behind fuzzy remnants as you clean and polish surfaces.

This lack of lint makes microfiber ideal for cleaning glass, mirrors, phones, computer screens, and other items where lint is undesirable.

Does Microfiber Scratch?

The incredibly fine fibers of microfiber towels are soft and non-abrasive. When properly maintained, microfiber towels are safe for cleaning all hard surfaces without causing scratches, including:

  • Glass
  • Ceramic
  • Marble
  • Granite
  • Stainless steel
  • Laminate
  • Tile
  • Painted wood
  • Car paint

Microfiber towels are even gentle enough to use on delicate surfaces like eyeglasses, watches, and phone screens without fear of scratches.

Just be sure to wash the towels regularly to prevent dirt buildup that could potentially scratch surfaces.

Uses for Microfiber Towels

Uses for Microfiber Towels

Thanks to their impressive cleaning power and absorbency, microfiber towels have a wide range of household and commercial uses:

  • Dusting – Attracts and traps dust better than cotton rags.
  • Cleaning glass – Leaves zero streaks or lint behind.
  • Drying dishes – Absorbs water quickly and prevents spotting.
  • Cleaning electronics – Safe for phones, tablets, TVs, and monitors.
  • Bathroom cleaning – Effectively removes soap scum and grime.
  • Car cleaning – Ideal for dashboards, windows, chrome, and leather seats.
  • Polishing furniture – Removes dust, dirt, and fingerprints from wood.
  • Sports gear – Helmets, shoes, bags, and equipment.
  • Pet care – Cats, dogs, birds, reptiles, and more.

Microfiber towels are versatile multitaskers for cleaning virtually any surface or object throughout your home.

Caring for Microfiber Towels

Follow these tips to keep your microfiber towels working and looking their best:

  • Wash towels regularly in warm or hot water to sanitize and prevent buildup.
  • Use a mild laundry detergent. Avoid fabric softeners and bleach.
  • Wash microfiber separately from cotton items to prevent lint transfer.
  • Line dry or tumble dry on a low setting to protect the fibers.
  • Never wash or dry microfiber at high temperatures.
  • Avoid overloading the washer to reduce pilling.

With proper care, a quality microfiber towel will last through hundreds of washes over several years of use.


Are microfiber towels machine washable?

Yes, microfiber towels are machine washable. Just be sure to wash in warm water and avoid fabric softeners, bleach, and high-heat drying.

Can you put microfiber towels in the dryer?

Yes, but only on a low or delicate heat setting. High heat can damage the fibers. Line drying is best for longevity.

Do microfiber towels stain easily?

No, microfiber is very stain-resistant compared to cotton. Liquids tend to bead up rather than soak in. Spot clean stains promptly.

Are microfiber towels antibacterial?

Microfiber doesn’t kill bacteria, but it does remove up to 99% of bacteria from surfaces when used with water. The ultra-fine fibers trap bacteria.

How long do microfiber towels last?

With proper care, a quality microfiber towel will last 2-3 years or around 500 washes before losing effectiveness. Higher-end towels may last 5+ years.


Microfiber towels utilize ultra-fine synthetic fibers that vastly outperform standard cotton towels for cleaning and absorbing liquids.

Just be sure to launder them properly to maintain their super-power cleaning abilities.

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.