Move over, sponges
SunCity/ShutterstockIt’s the 21st century. Why are we still cleaning with sponges?
You’ve upgraded almost everything else in your home, adding new appliances and technology to make everyday life more efficient. There’s no reason you should need an entire closet of mops, towels, sponges and sprays to clean your home when there’s one tool that can do it all. Not only that, it’ll save you money and benefit the environment at the same time.
Allow us to introduce a better way to clean: microfiber cloths! You probably have a few of them lying around at home, maybe to dust your car or clean your glasses. What most people don’t realize is that these cloths are durable and versatile enough to clean a variety of surfaces, making them the ideal replacement for your grimy ol’ sponge. What can you clean with them? We have some ideas.
Anna Andersson Fotografi/ShutterstockKitchen spills, meet your new nemesis. Microfiber cloths work just as well as paper towels to wipe away any countertop messes, but since they’re reusable, you’ll be doing the planet (and your pocketbook) a favor! After you clean, just rinse the cloth, hang it to dry and it will be ready to use again.
How does it work? Instead of using a chemical cleaner, these cloths’ unique fiber structure picks up 99% of bacteria with just water. That’s right—you can say goodbye to counter spray. (If you’ll miss the scent of Lysol, chin up. You can always make your kitchen smell citrus-fresh by cleaning naturally with lemon.)
Reflective surfaces like windows and metal
Syda Productions/ShutterstockBecause they leave a streak-free finish, microfiber cloths are genius to use on reflective surfaces. Use one next time you’re wiping off windows, removing fingerprints from the fridge door or cleaning grease off your stovetop.
(Psst…if the thought of grease makes you cringe, you might want to read this.)
FotoDuets/ShutterstockWait…you have to clean those? If you want a squeaky-clean house, the answer is yes—along with these other cleaning tasks most people forget about. The idea of getting on your hands and knees to dust the border of every room might sound like a nightmare, but with microfiber cloths, it’s quick and easy. The microscopic split fibers in the cloths grab dust and dirt particles with only one swipe.
Just about any bathroom surface
FotoDuets/ShutterstockFaucets, shower heads and counters can get dirty pretty quickly, so it’s important to have a tool on hand that can wipe them off quickly. Keep a separate set of microfiber cloths for heavy-duty bathroom cleaning and replace more often than your lightly used ones. Because you need only water to clean, you can even keep one in the shower to give those fixtures a once-over while you’re waiting for your conditioner to work its magic!
Be sure to wring out the cloth when you’re done. It can hold up to eight times its weight in water and will get moldy if left completely soaked. Here are some other surprising ways you're cleaning your bathroom wrong.
Andrey/Popov/ShutterstockLaptops, cell phones and tablets can get pretty grimy with constant use. Microfiber cloths are gentle enough for the fragile screens, so you can give them a good wipe-down without worrying about causing damage. Here are some more cheap, easy ways to clean your laptop.
Pretty much everything else
FotoDuets/ShutterstockThere’s not much out there that microfiber cloths can’t clean! It might seem strange to use them on dirtier surfaces like a toilet or stovetop, but throwing the cloths in the washing machine after cleaning these extra-grimy places will remove the bacteria so you can use them again and again. Imagine how much money you’ll save because you won’t need to buy counter spray and sponges—and how many trees you’ll save by skipping paper towels!
Ready to get cleaning? You can buy a 24-pack of the cloths here.
Looking for more ways to revolutionize your cleaning routine? Here are some major cleaning myths, debunked.