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  1. #1
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    Question Linting MF Towels. Why????

    It appears that the MF linting is much more common than I would have ever imagined.
    I have MF towels from close to a dozen different sources and have never had the problem.
    This includes some Cobra Juniors and some 530s. It seems like I may have been lucky.

    So..... What is the cause for such a wide-spread problem recently?
    Washing was mentioned as was age, but I have MF towels that are several years old and have been machine washed dozens of times. Regular detergent was used for years and Micro-Restore in the past year or two, but those washed in regular detergent seem to be holding up just fine.
    All have been dried in the dryer at a medium heat setting. They certainly have not received any special treatment.

    I think I remember reading that most if not all MF fabric was being manufactured in Korea and some towels were assembled in Korea and some in China.
    I know nothing about the manufacturing process in Asia, but...... Is it possible that most of the fiber and even the final towels are manufactured by related companies?
    Could there have been a change in that manufacturing process that is now showing up in the finished product?
    Not too long ago, a linting MF towel was pretty rare. At least in the more expensive brands that were considered to be of better quality.
    Now, it seems to be fairly common.
    It seems almost like something has had to change.
    Is it because of the constant striving for ever more plush/thicker towels?
    Are the importers hammering away at the manufacturers to reduce price and the manufacturers are doing that by reducing the quality?

    How about some of you marketing/manufacturing experts figuring this out?
    Charles
    The Rainmaker

  2. #2
    Senior Member ScottB's Avatar
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    Re: Linting MF Towels. Why????

    I think you kinda hit the nail on the head, with the plushier softer versions. As MF towels have gotten thicker they tend to shed a bit more kinda like high pile carpet versus berber initially. (which really has to do with shearing, whereas berber carpet loops back). I dont think it has to do with where they are made, likely thats more to do with costs and variations in their makeup (70/30 versus 80/20)

    I have seen no major linting myself, but some light linting in the beginning with several newer and thickest offerings even from other vendors. All "seems" controlled after a washing them the 1st time.

    I dont do much, wash with MF dedicated cleaner, dry with blue drier balls. I do however store towels in closed cabinet and always keep away from all other laundry. I also clean the lint trap on dryer after every use. Sometimes I notice minor threads in coloring similar to towels being dried so possibly the drier is doing its job and moving to lint trap?? I dunno ..


    Scott

  3. #3
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    Re: Linting MF Towels. Why????

    Great points Charles. I thought initially that it was probably my fault due to something in the washing/drying process on my end, but I followed every single instruction to the T for properly caring for microfiber towels. Then reports started to emerge about many others having the same issues and that makes me feel as if it is not a local problem that is my own making, but rather a broader quality issue.

    I have now had 6 shamrocks lint, and every single one of the dozen 530s lint after being washed many many times. It is affecting my confidence in purchasing anymore Cobra microfibers, and it seems like linting problems are becoming more prevalent as time progresses.

  4. #4
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    Re: Linting MF Towels. Why????

    There IS something strange happening here with microfiber. I think there are alot more linting towels out there than people even realize. If you are wiping them on a white or silver car for example, you might not even notice the significant lint trails unless you put an artificial light on it. Use a defective towel on black paint...yikes! The lint is so fine it literally won't come off unless you wash the car. It's like it gets stuck to the paint with whatever quick detail spray you are using.

    If you read the Cobra towel information on Autogeek, they talk about "splitting" fibers and how this creates the most plush towels while increasing the cost. This also seems to be what exacerbates the linting issues. Cheap, "non-split" towels don't seem to lint, but they are not plush and MAY scratch your paint.

    Intersting enough, waffle weave don't seem to be "split" and so they don't seem to suffer this consequence. I guess that's why most of the microfiber towels made for "glass" are waffle weave.

    Those of you with Cobra towels that DON'T lint: Can you wipe them on your auto glass and still not lint? Glass seems to "grab" the fine fibers and pull them off the towel. Maybe certain polish/wax products make the paint surface more glass-like, thereby causing the same effect if you use the towels on paint. I dunno.

    I'm going with waffle weave for quick detailing (Adams' Polishes waterless wash towels) 16x24 until I find a better "plush" alternative.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Bunky's Avatar
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    Re: Linting MF Towels. Why????

    I would like to see how mf are made. I thought linting in traditional towels is because of the fibers being trimmed to they have an even pile or they separate from the "backbone" of the towel. The trim remnants would come out in the first wash or so. The second type is related to the overall weaving process.

    I really do not notice any significant except when I used them to clean glass so you are pressing harder so there is more stress on the fiber.

    Maybe I will send an email to the viking brand people and ask them what causes linting. They seem to respond within a day to questions.
    Al
    The Need to Bead

  6. #6
    Administrator Meghan's Avatar
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    Re: Linting MF Towels. Why????

    I think this subject is very interesting, since our microfiber has not changed manufacturers. So the materials are the same as they always have been but we are seeing more people comment on the linting. I sat back and thought, what has changed over the years?? And I can tell you in the many years I have been with Autogeek and a part of this growing community I know the one thing I always hear, we want more plush microfiber! If we could make you a towel that resembled a shag rug from the 70’s you all would love it, but guess what, it’s going to lint like crazy!
    The more plush the more lint, it’s just something that will happen. Does it happen so bad it’s not worth it, no! But have you ever seen an Indigo lint, heck no, but its not baby soft and you can’t wrap up in it and snuggle either.
    Kind of a trade out! Here is a good comparison, go to the kitchen (guys this is the place where you grab your beer) and look at the towel your wife dries dishes with, chances are it till resemble the nap on the Indigo. Now go run to the bathroom, feel your bath towel and if you buy them like I do, it will remind you of a very soft plush Cobra MF towel. You ever notice when you dry yourself off you see a bit of lint balls, I can always see them on the white throw rugs in my bathroom. Now when your wife dries the dishes that does not happen, there is no plush to shed! So in essence you are going to get a little lint on occasion, yeah it will happen! If it is that big of an issue for you there is always towels like the Indigo with a tighter nap that will not lint on you, or you can go behind after seeing some lint and use a tight nap to clean up. Life is a trade out sometimes!

    Now let’s look at what we can do to properly care for our microfiber to insure we keep then from linting as much as possible and making sure they work to their potential. I talk to people on the phone all the time that just dump their towels in the dirty laundry and hope they get washed and cleaned and all is well when they use them! Microfiber towels are like women, a little high maintenance but if you treat them well they will reward you with a life time!

    SO…. Let’s go over what we should and shouldn’t do and if anyone has some helpful tips I would be very happy for you to jump in too!

    Now I am going to put a disclaimer on this, I did not invent the proper way to care for microfiber but I am good at copy and paste!

    • No fabric softener, no bleach, no heat
    • Wash your microfiber in the washing machine gentle cycle with microfiber detergent only.
    • Tumble them dry on low heat or no heat.
    • High heat will literally melt the fibers
    • fabric softener and bleach will eliminate the electric charge
    • Powder laundry detergent very often leaves a soapy residue in fabric
    • many liquid detergents contain strong perfumes and fabric softeners right inside the detergent
    • best bet for clean, functional microfiber is a dedicated Microfiber Cleaner like DP Microfiber Cleaner




    VERY IMPORTANT
    The static nature of microfiber will attract every bit of lint from other garments. Wash and dry microfiber separately.


    I hope this helps out some people to understand MF a little better, I am always surprised when I talk to people and the way they tell me they care for there MF. I think, thank goodness there is not an agency for MF abuse, cuz I would have to call!!!
    Last edited by Meghan; 02-04-2010 at 03:02 PM.
    If you are needing assistance please contact me via email or call.
    Email: Meghan@PalmBeachMotoring.net
    Phone: 800-869-3011 ext 1207

  7. #7
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    Re: Linting MF Towels. Why????

    Thanks for all the information on microfiber care, but what about those of us who have been properly maintaining the towels and have put them through dozens of wash cycles only they are still linting? My shamrocks are unusable, my 530's are unusable. I follow your directions on microfiber care exactly and yet there are still linting problems.

    The other disconcerting theme is that some get linting with certain towels while others do not even though they have the same towels. I have a hard time seeing that linting it is all user inflicted if the problem is so widespread, especially on a board full of enthusiasts who are aware of the proper care and maintainence towels require.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Shane731's Avatar
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    Re: Linting MF Towels. Why????

    Quote Originally Posted by Meghan View Post
    I sat back and thought, what has changed over the years?? And I can tell you in the many years I have been with Autogeek and a part of this growing community I know the one thing I always hear, we want more plush microfiber! If we could make you a towel that resembled a shag rug from the 70’s you all would love it, but guess what, it’s going to lint like crazy!
    The more plush the more lint, it’s just something that will happen. Does it happen so bad it’s not worth it, no! But have you ever seen an Indigo lint, heck no, but its not baby soft and you can’t wrap up in it and snuggle either.
    I don't think that plusher always necessarily equals better. For example, I have this uber plush microfiber towel that I picked up at O'Reilly for about $5. I mean you could snuggle up with it if it were bigger. Here's a couple pics:





    Like I said, super plush. This thing is like shag carpet. However, I tried to remove some NXT 2.0 with it (which should wipe off stupid easy) and it wouldn't remove it. All it did was spread the dried product around. It took less than a minute for me to put this towel down and grab a Supreme Shine to successfully remove the NXT. Now I have a towel that I don't know what to do with - about the only thing it's somewhat good for is dusting the exterior or the interior of the car. My point is, plusher does not necessarily equate better by default. Yes, I do love it because it's so soft, but it's not good for much. Haven't seen this towel lint, but then again I haven't really used it since that incident, so to say it can't or won't lint is probably not a fair statement. Just my two cents.
    Shane


  9. #9
    Senior Member Matt S.'s Avatar
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    Re: Linting MF Towels. Why????

    Good point, Shane. Plusher is not always better, depending on what you're doing. If I'm QDing my car or giving it a final buff/inspection, then I'll be reaching for a plush towel. Otherwise, for any type of wax or polish removal, I'll take a thinner towel every time.

    I think the same concept applies to using a wool pad with a DA. Wool is usually not as effective as foam, because momentum gets lost in the long nap of the wool. Same idea with a plush towel trying to remove wax residue, or so one would think.

  10. #10
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    Re: Linting MF Towels. Why????

    Matt:

    Thanks for your comments. This discussion is great for tossing ideas about linting. I do have to disagree with your observations that "plusher" means MORE linting. I have not been able to make that correlation.

    For example, I have Meguiar's Ultimate Wipes (one of the thinnest, non-plush micros out there) and they lint furiously. I can get away with polish or wax removal with only minimal linting with them. In order to finish though, I'd have to use a waffle weave or one of my "freakish" non-linting Supreme Shines with a detail spray in order to remove those lint trails.

    If I try to use those same flat, non-plush Ultimate Wipes with a detail spray...LINT everywhere. It looks like they are literally melting fibers all over my black paint.

    There is something mechanical or chemical happening here. Like I've said before, detail spray brings out the worst in linting towels. That final wipe off has a lot of drag/friction and that seems to literally pull the microfibers from the towel.

    I want to understand why some towels are immune. I've ran all sort of tests and abused some towels with degreaser (simple green) and HOT water in the washer just to try to make my GOOD towels lint, and they don't.
    ???

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