The best cleansing cloths for your home will help you get rid of dirt, pet hair, and other gunk from carpets without a heavy vacuum.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Cleansing Cloths

Before choosing a new set of cleaning cloths, take a few minutes to think about which ones you will use and how they will be used. This will help you make the best choice for your home.

Purpose

The purpose of your selection should start with considering the surfaces you need to clean. For example, if you have mostly hard surfaces like glass and ceramic tumblers, then choose soft, abrasive cleaning cloths that are designed to lift fingerprints, dust, and other common grime from these surfaces without damaging them. If youre looking for a set of cloths to use in the kitchen, consider your typical cleaning tasks, such as removing food stains or streaks from stainless steel surfaces.

Next, think about how often you will need to replace the cleaning cloths you purchase and whether a box of mixed cloths or individualized products would be more cost-effective for you. Finally, decide on the size of the cleaning cloths you want to purchase, taking into account the areas you need to cover.

Soft vs. Hard

When it comes to selecting the best cleansing cloths, there is a difference between what we call hard surfaces and those we call soft surfaces. To understand this distinction, consider the surfaces you most frequently clean at home and the kind of messes you encounter. Stainless steel, porcelain, glass, and plastic surfaces are considered hard, while cotton, linen, T-shirts, and pillowcases are considered soft.

To clean these hard and soft surfaces, you need to select appropriate cleaning agents. Most cleaning agents intended for use on hard surfaces can also be used on some soft surfaces, but not all. Keep reading to learn more about the differences between hard and soft surfaces and the cleaning agents that work for each type of surface.

Cleaning Agents

Many cleaning agents claim to offer a magic formula for cleaning hard and soft surfaces, but in reality, most of them perform similarly when it comes to cleaning both types of surfaces. The following section looks at the main cleaning agents available and their functions.

  • Bleach: Chlorine bleach is one of the oldest and most commonly used cleaning agents. Its still a popular pick today because its relatively low-cost, effective, and easy to use. However, chlorine bleach can damage some fabrics and leather items.
  • Vinegar: Vinegar has long been a favorite of homemakers and DIYers for its natural, antiseptic properties. These properties make it an effective cleaner for disinfecting and deodorizing, but vinegar can erode some metals, especially aluminum. Because vinegar is acidic, it can also cause fabric color to run, so its not the best pick for white fabrics.
  • Lactic acid: Lactic acid is another natural cleaner that has been around for ages. Today, its more popular for its ability to penetrate through dirt to dissolve grease and oil rather than for its fresh smell. However, lactic acid can remove protective waxes from metal, causing corrosion if applied to stainless steel.
  • Alkaline solution: Like vinegar, alkaline solutions are often thought of as natural cleaners. In fact, they are highly concentrated solutions of sodium hydroxide, which is a chemical base. They effectively cut through grease and dirt and have a low pH level (around 6), making them safe to use on stainless steel and other metal surfaces.
  • Peroxide: Peroxide is a synthetic compound that is a powerful oxidizer. It has been around since the early 1900s and is still a popular choice today. However, peroxide can be harsh on fabrics, causing colorfastness issues and fading some fabrics.
  • Cleaning agent: A cleaning agent is any substance that helps clean, disinfect, or deodorize a surface. Cleaning agents can be natural or synthetic, and they may be acidic, basic, or neutral in nature. Many cleaning agents are now so specialized that its difficult to find a general-purpose option.

Dirt-Busting Power

The biggest benefit of choosing a set of cleaning cloths is that theyll help get rid of dirt and grime. Whether your goal is to simply freshen up a surface or you want it shining like new, the right cleaning cloths can help.

However, before deciding on a cleaning method, consider the amount of dirt and grime you normally deal with on a daily basis and how much time and effort it takes you to clean each area. Also think about the safety of your pets and children, who might come into contact with cleaning agents and/or materials you cant easily dispose of.

Finally, think about how much elbow grease you are willing to put in to clean each surface. After all, no matter how good a job a cleaning cloth does, if you cant physically reach and scrub the surface, the results will be limited.

Ease of Use

One of the great things about cleaning cloths is that they’re so easy to use. All you need to get started is a box of mixed cleaning cloths or a case of individualized cleaning cloths, a vacuum or mop, and a suitable cleaning agent. You can use the vacuum or mop to apply the cleaning agent, allowing the cloths to do the rest of the work.

After the surfaces are prepped with a suitable cleaning agent, the cleaning cloths should make the job easier by absorbing the excess moisture and loosening the dirt and grime. If you run into any problems, either due to a lack of cleaning power or poor absorption, you can always switch to a different cloth or mix of cloths and increase the concentration of cleaning agent.