Disclaimer: These scenarios are loosely based on emails I received from kind readers like yourself.
Scenario 1: The Laundry Incident
A man (we’ll call him “Husband”), your dream man, is working shirtless, flexing his muscles as he loads laundry into the machine. Heck who cares what he looks like, HE’S DOING THE LAUNDRY!
He looks your way and dazzles you with a wink and a smile as he throws your Norwex and/or e-cloths into the machine. You smile back and silently congratulate yourself on how well you trained him (Yes, I realize that I’m totally stereotyping here.)
But wait. What is that? WHAT is THAT? Is that BLEACH!?
Everything goes slow-mo.
You run, slow-mo-style, across the room.
But it’s too late, my friend. The bleach is in the washer with your adored microfiber cloths.
Scenario 2: The Bathroom Incident
A woman (we’ll call her “Well-intended-mother-in-law” – WIMIL for short) is visiting. You’re a tired mom with busy kids and the cleaning and cooking have fallen by the wayside. WIMIL has generously offered to do some cooking and cleaning.
Cooking is done and WIMIL heads to the bathroom to make it sparkle. Kids are at school and you’re relaxing with a book and a cup of tea, thinking: “Life is good right now“. You are absolutely loving your WIMIL.
But wait. What is that sound? That sounds like a spray-bottle. You think to yourself “I don’t have any spray bottles“. And then you smell it.
You jump up from the couch, spilling tea in you lap and on the upholstery (but you don’t worry because you’ll clean that up with an e-cloth in a moment). Like an Olympian, you hurdle over the coffee table and stray toys to the bathroom and find WIMIL happily wiping the spray-cleanser-with-bleach with your bathroom e-cloth/Norwex cloth.
You gasp – but silently of course because this is your WIMIL, after all. Then you turn and swear (again, silently), walk away and make a mental note to have your laundry-doing-wonder-husband to give your WIMIL a quick e-cloth/Norwex lesson.
Why Can’t e-cloths and Norwex Cloths be Used or Laundered with Bleach?
E-cloths (and Norwex) work so well because of the quality, number, and thinness of their fibers. Bleach can degrade and break down the fibers, making them less effective.
What to do if Your e-cloth/Norwex Touches Bleach
Firstly, take a deep breath. It’s not the end of the world.
- A little contact with bleach – say you noticed the mistake right away (like you walk in on WIMIL wiping a bit of bleach cleanser) or the bleach was well diluted in water – say 5% bleach to water. Take the cloth out/away from the bleach and rinse it immediately in hot water. This cloth is going to continue to work well and you may not notice any difference in its ability to wipe up grease, dirt, soap scum etc. I can’t guarantee that it will still be picking up bacteria but you’ll find lots of other good uses for it (eg, in the car, windows, cleaning messes on the stove, dusting, wiping crayon off the wall, cleaning the tea off your couch that you spilled when you heard WIMIL spraying bleach to name a few.)
- Lots of bleach – say WIMIL decided your e-cloth/Norwex was too stained and needed a “cleaning” so she soaked it in bleach. Chances are the fibers are going to be destroyed to some level. Definitely do not depend on that cloth to remove bacteria from surfaces any longer. But that doesn’t mean the cloth is done for. Give it a try, it could still be great for other cleaning jobs. It likely won’t be as absorbent as it used to be but I think you’ll still find some good use for it.
As always, if you have questions, please feel free to ask. I’m always looking for new ideas for blog posts and your questions are of great help. If you’re asking, chances are lots of other people are wondering too.