Reusable vs Disposable Microfiber Cloth

by Lawton Brothers | Sep 11, 2023

Most argue that nine out of ten times, microfiber will outperform cotton. When it comes to cleaning glass, microfiber can trap dirt to prevent smearing and doesn’t leave lint behind. For floor finishes, lightweight microfiber can easily apply a thin, smooth coat without scratching or streaking. But did you know that microfiber cloths are available in reusable and disposable forms? Each with its own set of pros and cons. So how do you choose? 

Reusable Cloths

These are the most common microfiber cloths. They must be laundered after every use, but if handled correctly, can last between 100 to 1000 washes. Reusable cloths are often preferred due to the longer lifespan they offer that can help offset the upfront costs of microfiber (which tends to be almost three times as expensive as cotton). While the longer lifespan might seem like an easy tradeoff, you also must take into consideration the need to wash reusable microfiber cloths. They need to be washed after every use, which can quickly add up to a lot of water. Improper laundering can also damage or shrink the cloths, or worse, allow for cross-contamination or dirty cloths to be put back into circulation. 

Disposable Cloths

Disposable cloths are often chosen for convenience and ease of use. They require little training and have far less potential for misuse and cross-contamination. And while the use of disposable cloths will decrease your water consumption, it will increase the amount of waste you contribute to the landfill each year. The decision to use disposable microfiber usually comes down to cost. Facilities without their own on-site laundry service will have to pay a third-party to wash and dry their microfiber (which can cost as much as $.60 a piece). This makes disposable cloths a much more affordable (and easy) option. 


The type of waste being cleaned will greatly impact your decision between reusable and disposable microfiber. In a hospital, for example, would need to consider cross-contamination and extreme infection prevention measures. As such, they would need a reusable cloth that can be laundered with bleach and at temperatures higher than 160 degrees. In cases like this, it is easier and cheaper to use disposable cloth than a reusable one. 

The environmental impact is another thing to consider. While many would immediately assume that reusable are the better option for the environment, the impact depends on the structure of the business. For those businesses without the ability to launder the cloths, they will need to either have a staff member take them to be laundered or have them cleaned by a third-party company. The impact incurred from driving to pick up and deliver the cloths can greatly affect your environmental stewardship. 

Not only can this be a detriment, environmentally speaking, but cost-wise as well. When calculating the cost of your microfiber cloths, you should also include the cost of delivery and wash supplies for your reusable cloths. While disposable cleaning cloths naturally come at a cheaper price, since they constantly need to be purchased and restocked, they can lead to a bigger cost in the end. 

Looking for Microfiber?

Microfiber can be a great option for your counters, floors, and everything in between. Take a look at our online catalog to browse our myriad of microfiber options. Need some help making a decision? Give one of our certified staff members a call and we can walk through the ins and outs of your cleaning routine to help find the best solution for you. Call us today at: 800.432.0813.

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