Microplastics, or plastic fibers that are less than 5mm in length, are said to contribute up to 30% of the plastic soup that is polluting the seas and oceans around the planet. There are many sources for this type of pollutant, and a good number of them are found in your own home, such as microbeads, car tires, packing materials, and synthetic or microfiber cloths.
However, this doesn’t mean that you should start disposing of your microfiber towels and cloths just to live a greener lifestyle; quite the contrary, actually. A closer look at microfibers can reveal how this material can positively impact the environment. Below are just some of the ways using microfiber cloths can benefit the earth:
- Use the same cloth for cleaning up spills and wiping off dust. Cleaning up messes, in itself, can cause a lot of mess. Wet and dry stuff are dealt with differently, and some cleaning materials, like paper towels, end up straight into the trash can after use. Microfiber towels and cloths are designed to deal with both wet and dry messes. The fibers of the cloth have a large combined surface area that facilitates easy absorption of liquid spills. At the same time, the van der Waals force of the fibers allows them to automatically attract and trap dry debris. Microfibers are also washable and reusable, so you can use them as often as you want without contributing to the trash in landfills.
- Reduce detergent use when cleaning up surfaces and spaces. One of the qualities of microfiber that made it such a hit in the 70s is its ability to clean spaces without the use of detergents or soapy water. This makes microfiber cloths an ideal option for people who are allergic to soaps and fragrances. Plus, because microfiber cloths are designed to absorb liquids and attract particles effectively, there’s little need to use detergents for simple cleanups. Reserve your detergents for spills where you need to disinfect the affected area; for all else, you can rely on a microfiber cloth to clean up the mess.
- Lessen the use of electric tools when cleaning your home or workplace. Electric-powered cleaning tools like vacuums make cleaning your home a breeze, but using them frequently adds to your utility bills. Keep your vacuum in the closet for everyday cleaning and switch to using microfiber cloths instead. The microscopic fibers of the cloth effectively cling to dust and debris, so you’ll only need to wipe a surface once to get all the dust particles off it. Aside from saving on expenses and conserving energy, this method also saves you from the added effort of taking the vacuum out and cleaning it after every use.
- Buy cleaning materials less frequently. When cared for properly, high-quality microfiber cleaning products can last more than 300 washings without showing wear and tear or a noticeable decrease in performance. In fact, many homeowners find that their microfiber products can still be used well past their expected lifetime. With a durable cloth like this in your cleaning kit, it would take you years before you have to buy a replacement.
To minimize wastes and still enjoy the superb cleaning power of microfibers, you need to find products that are made to last. If the manufacturers offer a 2-year warranty on their mops and towels, then you can ensure that the cloths will last a long time before you need to replace them. At the same time, caring for your microfiber items properly helps a lot in keeping the cloths effective as cleaning tools.