Microfiber vs. Cotton Fiber


When looking to buy that wet or dry mop, surface cloth or a particular style of duster, the two most popular types of fibers that go into those products are microfiber and cotton. Each type of fiber is designed to clean a specific way. But, several factors come into play that one should look at before making a purchase decision.


Microfiber is excellent because it is a synthetic fiber that is durable and lint free.
how microfiber collects dust and grime
Each fiber is split during the manufacturing process to create unique shapes for effective mopping. Its shape lifts up dirt and traps it into the fiber. While the fiber is intended to pick up dirt, it must be washed under warm water to release the particles. If it is not washed properly, the fiber is more prone to scratching floors.


  • Very soft and holds shape well
  • Holds up to seven times its weight in water
  • Can be laundered at a low heat
  • Long lifespan
  • Durable and lint free


  • Considerably more expensive than cotton products
  • Risky to use on delicate surfaces


This is the most popular fiber found in common mops, cloths and dusters to date. It is generally used for picking up liquids, dust and can be used for light scrubbing.
how cotton collects dust and grime
The cellulose in cotton is made in such a way that it gives cotton fibers their strength and absorbency. It is a breathable product that is gentle enough that it will not scratch surfaces during use.

While cotton is somewhat absorbent, it requires more cleaning during use. Cotton needs more wringing out during shifts when compared to microfiber products. It also has a lower life expectancy.


  • Low initial cost
  • Gentle on all surface types and will not scratch
  • Absorbent
  • Limited shrinkage during and after use


  • Requires a break-in period
  • Pushes dirt and debris away instead of picking it up
  • Dries slowly which can promote mildew build-up
  • Bulky and needs washing after each use
  • Cannot be laundered

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