Housekeeping: Microfiber Cloths
Why Did It Take Me So Long?
Sure, I've had and used microfiber cloths for a few years now. They were part of my cleaning kit, along with other cloths, dusters, scrubbers and cleaning solutions. I used them for specific tasks, namely wiping down our UPVC door frames and cleaning up water spills. They were okay, I suppose.
Just a few weeks ago, I decided that our home was getting a little neglected and I realized I was becoming overwhelmed with the amount that needed doing. So overwhelmed that I didn't know where to start. I was down to the bare minimum, vacuuming and dusting, cleaning the bathroom and surface-cleaning the kitchen. The house appeared reasonable but if you looked closely, you would see the dust bunnies mating under the furniture and the windows were not letting in much light.
I turned back to Flylady. I'm sure there's not one housekeeper on the planet who hasn't heard of Marla Cilley and her gently nagging website. If you haven't, and your home needs your loving attention, I suggest you get over there now. Flylady.net will do it.
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What About the Microfiber Cloths?
Where was I? Oh yes, well after reading on Marla's site about her wonderful 'purple rags', I took a closer look at my two bedraggled microfiber cleaning cloths. Were they the same as the miraculous purple rags? What was so good about them? Is it true that they can clean without water? I dampened one of mine and took it to the stove top. It was slightly dirty, nothing major, a couple of smears and a minor spill. The cloth cleaned it to a sparkling finish within a moment. Wow, I said, quietly.
I needed to look into this miracle so got on to the web (where else?). I read that microfiber cloth can have multiple personalities, for example, when used for clothing or tablecloths, it is a good idea to have the fabric water resistant. However, for cleaning up a large spill, you want that cloth able to suck up a small swimming pool's worth of liquid. Microfiber can be both those things; soft and reflective when the filaments formed into a flat or ribbon shape, or rugged and slightly abrasive when the filaments are split. With filaments so small that they are half the diameter of silk, microfiber is the ultimate multi-use fabric.
Microfiber Around the Home
I have found it best to have my microfiber cloths in different colors (sorry Marla). I have purple ones for 'clean' cleaning, i.e. work surfaces where food is prepared, my sink and the front of cabinets. I have blue ones for dirtier jobs such as floor spills and window cleaning.
Mostly I use my cloths with no cleaning solution. It makes me feel good to know I am a one-woman, planet-saving, shiny-sink-owning domestic goddess.
Here is a list of some of my microfiber applications:
Dusting - use dry and shake outside every now and then
Polishing - ever so slightly dampened
Kitchen surfaces - dampened as necessary. If you have a glossy kitchen like wot I do, then you will be familiar with the endless battle with fingerprints - fear no more, whip out your microfibre (I keep a couple folded over the door of the undersink cabinet, they are nearly always damp from my dish washing splashing and ready for use.
Appliances, inside and out - as above
Oven cleaning - wipe with warm water and a little dish soap if necessary
Window cleaning - wet and wring out, no need for Windex. Finish with a dry cloth.
Computers, keyboards, printers - wipe with slightly damp cloth. Avoid using on TV screens. I don't worry about the laptops so much and wipe their screens with microfiber all the time.
Floors, natural, laminate, hardwood - cloths for spills, cat widdle, wine accidents, etc. I use a microfiber mop dry then damp. No cleaning solution. required.
Bathroom - use them everywhere. Keep the toilet one separate. Wonderful on shower doors and faucets.
Woodwork - wipe baseboards, doors, etc with a damp cloth.
Car - clean inside and out... I leave that to my husband so can't tell you how to do it.
Other applications - toys, bikes, venetian blinds, inside cabinets, shoes, anything.
More ideas - I have microfiber dish towels now and they polish china and flatware as you dry. If you are going camping or are packing for a trip, take a couple of microfibers instead of towels. They are wonderful as face cloths and for drying off small (or large) humans.
Convinced? If I can keep a clean and shiny home, then so can you.