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Microfiber or Cotton- Which One Is More Eco-Friendly?

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Is Microfiber or Cotton More Eco-Friendly?

If you’re trying to live a more eco-friendly life, switching to reusable items is a great place to start. However, you might be wondering whether microfiber or cotton is more eco-friendly. Read on to discover which option is better for the environment and why.

Why Switch to Microfiber or Cotton?

Switching to a reusable cleaning cloth offers plenty of advantages. It’s a great way to reduce paper towel use. It’s also one excellent way to make your cleaning routine more eco-friendly.

But does one offer more advantages than the other? In fact, one does!

Microfiber Cleaning Cloths

Stack of microfiber cleaning cloths

Microfiber cleaning cloths are made using synthetic fibers. While this means they can be used up to 300 times before they lose their effectiveness, that also means they release microfibers every time they’re washed.

Microfibers are microscopic fibers that are causing massive problems in our waterways. Many microfibers act like a sponge and absorb toxins in the water.

Aquatic wildlife will then consume these microfibers and take in those toxins. These toxins keep moving up the food chain until they eventually find their way into the fish we consume, which means we’re also consuming the microfibers and toxins.

While there are ways to reduce microfiber pollution from the laundry, no solution is 100% perfect. This means some will always be released when you wash these cleaning cloths.

Cotton Cleaning Cloths

So microfiber cleaning cloths are not a great choice. Does that automatically make cotton cleaning cloths the most eco-friendly choice? Not exactly.

Cotton is a resource-intensive crop to grow. When grown using conventional methods, cotton requires a lot of water, fertilizer, and pesticides. Not only is this bad for the environment, but it’s also terrible for the health of the farmers.

Plus, regular cotton cloths are then exposed to harsh chemical treatments to whiten the fibers.

Related: The Best Eco-Friendly Reusable Paper Towels

The Most Eco-Friendly Cleaning Cloth

ZWS Essentials Reusable Paper Towels

So what’s the most eco-friendly cleaning cloth? Organic cotton cleaning cloths.

Organic cotton cleaning cloths have numerous advantages over other types of cleaning cloths.

First, because these cleaning cloths are made with organic cotton, they’re grown without the use of pesticides or fertilizers that harm the environment and farmers. Additionally, since they’re cotton, you don’t have to worry about them shedding microfiber pollution when you wash them.

Since they’re colored with low impact dyes, they’re not exposed to the dangerous chemicals. Finally, when these cleaning cloths lose their effectiveness, you can compost them instead of throwing them away.

What to Do With Microfiber Cloths You Already Have

So now you know that the next time you need to get some cleaning cloths, organic cotton cloths are your most eco-friendly option. They also come from a store dedicated to plastic free and zero waste shipping, so you know you’re making a truly sustainable choice.

But what if you already have some microfiber cloths you’re using right now? Should you immediately throw them away?


They’ve already been produced, so you won’t be doing the environment any good by throwing them away until they lose their effectiveness. Once they start to fall apart, you can then get rid of them and switch to organic unbleached cotton cloths.

In the meantime, you can reduce the amount of microfiber pollution they create by washing them with a Guppyfriend or Cora Ball microfiber catcher.

Microfiber vs. Cotton Cleaning Cloths

If you’re wondering whether microfiber or cotton is more eco-friendly, you now know the clear winner. The next time you need to get some more cleaning cloths, make sure they’re organic unbleached cotton.

More Sustainable Living Tips

Now that you know whether microfiber or cotton is more eco-friendly, are you interested in other great sustainable living tips? Then be sure to check out some of our other popular posts:

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Tuesday 19th of May 2020

Well written and clear!


Wednesday 20th of May 2020


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