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Updated Jun 15, 2022 2:51 PM

Microfiber cleaning cloths are versatile pieces of outdoor gear that have indoor applications as well. From waxing a boat to cleaning your binoculars to keeping you dry while camping, these wonder cloths are a must-have item. The key, of course, is to choose the right one for the job because some excel at cleaning glass while others excel at polishing a gel coat until it shines. I tested the best microfiber cleaning cloths for a wide variety of applications to help you avoid buying a lemon. Here are my top picks: 

How I Tested Microfiber Cleaning Cloths 

One of the challenges of reviewing gear is creating fair tests that provide object data. That challenge was magnified by the wide variety of microfiber cloth applications. I decided to create tests for specific product categories. Here’s what I came up with: 

Absorbency

testing the best microfiber towel
One of the microfiber towels being tested for water absorbency. Scott Einsmann

One of the primary complaints is that microfiber towels don’t get you dry. To test their ability to absorb water, I placed them in a container with one cup of water per square foot of towel. I left the towel in the water for 10 minutes and then measured the remaining water. You’ll see the results in the Key Features section for each microfiber towel. 

Drying Time 

After seeing how much the towels absorbed, I wrung them out and hung them up. I then timed how long it took them to dry. They were hung in my bathroom at 70 degrees without the aid of a breeze you’d likely have in the field. So, you can deduce at an equal temperature you’d have a faster drying time outdoors. 
Glass Test 

Best Microfiber Cleaning Cloths of 2022
Scott Einsmann

For microfiber cleaning cloths designed for cleaning glass, lenses, or polishing, I tested how efficiently and streak free they cleaned glass. To do that, I put a thumb ring on a clean piece of glass, sprayed one pump of glass cleaner, and then made even passes with the cloth until the glass was clean and streak free. Any microfiber cloth that required more than one wipe to erase the thumbprint was eliminated from making the best list. 

Polishing Test 

Microfiber cloths are also used for polishing applications like using one of the best boat waxes to protect a boat’s finish or polishing anything that requires a scratch-free shine. I tested each polishing microfiber cleaning cloth on one of the knives I made with mirror polished hamon. I placed a small amount of polishing compound on the cloth and polished the blade. Any tiny scratch made by the cloth would be easily noticeable on a blade with such a finish. This test was graded on a pass/fail and will be noted in the key features section of each polishing cloth. 

Best Overall: Mr. Siga Microfiber Cleaning Cloth

Scott Einsmann

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Key Features

  • Size: 12.5 x 12.5 inches
  • Cloths in a pack: 12
  • Absorbency test: Absorbed ⅞ cup per square foot
  • Drying time: 5 hours
  • Machine washable 
  • Passed polishing test
  • Passed glass cleaning test

Why It Made the Cut

The Mr. Siga blew all other microfiber cleaning cloths out of the water for its water absorption, streak-free cleaning, and polishing abilities. 

Pros

  • Versatile: Cleans, dries, and polishes
  • Good value

Cons

  • Could be too small for some applications
  • Cannot be machine washed with other items or with fabric softener 

Product Description

Best Microfiber Cleaning Cloths of 2022
The Mr. Siga microfiber towel polishing a mirror polished knife. Scott Einsmann

The best microfiber cleaning cloth title goes to Mr. Siga and at about $1 per cloth they’re also a great deal. During the water absorbency test the water in the bin disappeared the second I dropped in the cloth. Just ⅛ of a cup remained of the 1 cup of water. That water absorption has a lot of household uses, but I’m most excited to use it for drying off wet boat seats. It polishes exceptionally well and when I originally polished the test knife’s hamon, I used a Mr. Siga. So, it was no surprise that it passed that test. These would make a great cloth for detailing a car or boat, as you apply wax or polish. While it’s not my first choice for cleaning camera lenses or binoculars, it can do that job well too. Also consider trying the Mr. Siga Ultra Fine Microfiber Cloth, which carries Amazon’s Climate Pledge Friendly label. 

Best for Binoculars: SpudZ Ultra

Scott Einsmann

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Key Features

  • Size: 6 x 6 inches or 10 x 10 inches
  • Cloths in a pack: 1
  • Hand wash only
  • Passed glass cleaning test
  • Includes neoprene pouch with clip
  • Made in U.S.

Why It Made the Cut

I always have this small microfiber cloth tucked into my bino harness for quick in the field cleaning. 

Pros

  • Compact
  • Comes in a variety of colors, including camo and hi-vis
  • Included case keeps the cloth clean

Cons

  • Hard to use full surface area 

Product Description

Digging through your pack for microfiber cloth is inconvenient and keeping one loose in your bino harness can make the cloth dirtier than your binos. The solution is the SpudZ Ultra, a small microfiber cloth with a built in neoprene case. You can clip it directly to your binos or drop it into one of the pockets on your harness. I like that the cloth is sewed to its neoprene pouch because it keeps you from losing one of them. But, it’s difficult to use any portion of the cloth except for the opposite end from the pouch. For it’s purpose of quick cleanings that keep your eyes on glass, this is a valuable tool. 

Best for Glasses: Koala 

Scott Einsmann

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Key Features

  • Size: 6 x 7 inches
  • Cloths in a pack: 6 
  • Hand wash only
  • Passed glass cleaning test

Why It Made the Cut

These are the perfect size eyeglass or sunglass clearing cloths and they do an exceptional job wiping away smudges. 

Pros

  • Folds up small
  • Large surface area for cleaning 
  • Works well with lens cleaner 

Cons

  • Carrying case isn’t durable

Product Description

If you need to wipe off salt from your fishing sunglasses or fingerprints from your readers, the best microfiber cleaning cloth for the job is the Koala. It’s especially, effective when paired with a cleaning solution. You can buy the cloths in a six pack or you can, buy the Koala kit, which comes with lens cleaning spray and three cleaning cloths. In the thumbprint test the Koala left no remnant of the fingerprint and no streaking from the cleaning solution. I like that it’s a large cloth which makes it easy to handle and quickly clean glasses. I also like that the cloth folds up small. But, the included paper envelope isn’t a durable carrying case for the long haul. I’ve instead been keeping my lens cloth in my sunglass case. After you’ve used your Koala microfiber cloth to trap dirt and oil, you can hand wash it with a few drops of mild soap then hang it up to try. 

Best Lens Cleaning Kit: Zeiss Lens Cleaning Kit

Scott Einsmann

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Key Features

  • Size: 6×7 inches, 2 fluid ounces of lens cleaner 
  • Cloths in a pack: 1
  • Machine washable (no fabric softener)
  • Passed glass cleaning test

Why It Made the Cut

If you’re looking for an all-in-one solution for carrying for camera lenses or glasses, this Zeiss kit is the top choice. 

Pros

  • Everything you need to clean optics, glasses, or camera lenses
  • Comes with enough lens cleaner to last a long time

Cons

  • Spray bottle is too large to everyday carry 


Product Description 

If you’re cleaning expensive glass there’s a few basics you need to understand. First is that using a microfiber cloth dry is a big no-no. You’ll first want to blow any large dust particles off with a hurricane blower or your breath because wiping them off can cause scratches. Next, you’ll use a lens cleaner and a microfiber cloth to remove fine dust and oils. That’s why I’m a big fan of this lens cleaning kit. You get a premium lens cloth and cleaner so you can properly clean your expensive glasses. I tested the cloth and cleaning solution on a recent trip to the Davis Mountains in Texas, where it’s very dusty. The dust consists of fine particles of sand that would destroy my expensive camera lenses. But, a few puffs of the hurricane blower and a spray of Zeiss lens cleaner followed by a wipe down kept my camera shooting clean photos. 

Best for Electronics: Zeiss Jumbo Microfiber Cloth

Scott Einsmann

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Key Features

  • Size: 12 x 16 inches
  • Cloths in a pack: 2
  • Machine washable 
  • Passed glass cleaning test

Why It Made the Cut

More surface area for larger jobs with the same great Zeiss performance. 

Pros

  • Large cloth is great for computers, tablets, or big cleaning jobs
  • Easy to maintain 

Cons

  • Not the best option for daily cleaning

Product Description 

If you’re cleaning a computer or tablet the Zeiss Jumbo is the best microfiber cleaning cloth for that job. It’s made by Zeiss, which makes some of the best spotting scopes, binoculars, rifle scopes, and camera lenses, so they know a thing or two about keeping glass pristine. The Zeiss cloth easily passed the thumbprint test and I also used it to clean some of my neglected optics. The large size allowed me to use different sections of the cloth for each optic without having to clean the cloth or grab a new one. It was also extremely easy to handle and efficient at cleaning large objective lenses.  

Best Towel: Matador 

Scott Einsmann

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Key Features

  • Size: 47 x 24 inches
  • Absorbency test: Absorbed 1/4 cup per square foot
  • Drying time: 2.5 hours
  • Weight: 5 ounces
  • Includes silicone travel case
  • Nanofiber material
  • Machine washable 


Why It Made the Cut

This extremely lightweight and fast drying towel is great for getting dry when you don’t want the bulk of a traditional towel.

Pros

  • Fast drying
  • Lightweight
  • Packs Small

Cons

  • Not as absorbent as other microfiber cloths

Product Description

If you prioritize a fast drying and lightweight towel that doesn’t take up a lot of space, then this is the towel for you. It uses nanofiber, which is much thinner than microfiber. For perspective, I would describe this towel like a large lens cloth. It’s not plush like the Mr. Siga, which is likely why it dries so quickly, but doesn’t absorb as much water. It did outperform other microfiber towels I tested by absorbing the same amount of water as the others and drying hours faster and packing much smaller. 

How to Choose a Microfiber Cleaning Cloth

When you’re shopping for a microfiber cleaning cloth keep in mind your intended use. The keys to consider are: What you’ll use to clean, what environment you’ll use it in, and the material you prefer. 

What You Are Cleaning

For general purpose cleaning, waxing, or polishing you can’t go wrong with a general purpose microfiber cloth like Mr. Siga. They’re cheap and effective for their purpose. But, if you’re cleaning binoculars, glasses, or cameras, you’ll want a lens wipe as well as lens cleaning solution. Then there are options you can use as towels while camping or fishing, which are much larger and made from materials that dry quickly. 

Where Are You Using the Microfiber Cloth

If you’re using a microfiber cloth at home you don’t need to worry about it being too bulky or protecting it from dirt. But, if you’re taking it into the great outdoors you should consider a cloth that is easy to wash and has some type of protective case. The packability of the cloth is another important factor for in-the-field use. 

Materials

Microfiber is a wide spectrum of materials that excel at different tasks. From the open weave types that absorb exceptionally well to the tighter knit that are best at polishing away oils and dirt. Then there’s nanofiber material which isn’t as absorbent as standard microfiber, but it is much lighter and faster drying. 

Final Thoughts

The best microfiber cleaning cloths leave no scratches in their wake, just clean surfaces and an obstructed view through clear glass. If you’re in the market for a microfiber cloth, choose the one that best suits your needs and be confident that all the picks in this review are well vetted. 

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