YES, you do have to wash Norwex and e-cloths – even if they have silver in them!

Two questions I get a lot:

  1. How often do I need to wash Norwex cloths?
  2. How do I wash Norwex cloths?

Therefore, if you’re confused, trust me when I say YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Interestingly, these are not questions that I get about e-cloth microfibre. I’m certain it’s the darned antibacterial silver (BacLock/Antibac) in the Norwex cloths that causes so much confusion.

A little common sense and your best judgement go a long way when it comes to washing your Norwex and e-cloth microfibre cloths (regardless of whether they have silver in them or not). I hope the following helps you out. 

Disclaimer:

Keep in mind the following are my washing suggestions. These suggestions are not set in stone. I have no way of knowing what you have cleaned with your cloths. My suggestions are based on what works best for me and information gained from my Norwex and e-cloth training. If you think I’ve missed something, please leave me a comment! I’m always open to new info.

When and how to wash Norwex and e-cloth Microfiber Cloths

  1. If you’ve used your Norwex or e-cloth for light cleaning (eg. wiping the table, a small spill, the stove top, the outside of appliances, cupboards, etc.) rinse the cloth out in HOT water with a bit of dish soap. Give it a good rinse afterwards with HOT water to get the soap out (the rinsing of the soap is especially important for microfibre cloths with silver in them). Then hang it to dry and you’re good to go again.
  2. If you’ve used your Norwex or e-cloth to clean areas where the bacteria level is high (like around the toilet, to clean raw meat juices, the garbage can, etc.), you need to wash it in your washing machine. YES, EVEN THE NORWEX CLOTH WITH ANTIBACTERIAL SILVER. I always rinse it in my sink in HOT water with a bit of dish soap first for good measure (because it could be days before I actually throw it in the wash). Like I said above, rinse again to get the soap out.
  3. If you’ve been dusting with your Norwex or e-cloth, just brush it off or shake it out (outside) and you’re good to go again.
  4. If your Norwex BacLock/antibac cloth with silver starts to smell or stink, try following the steps in my  “How to Cure Stinky Cloths” post. Actually this will work for Norwex and e-cloth products without the silver too.
  5. If your Norwex or e-cloth starts to get stiff, try following the steps in my “How to Cure Stiff or Crunchy Cloths” post.
  6. If your Norwex or e-cloth starts to look really dirty or stained – this is normal and mostly unavoidable over time. The microfibre grabs the dirt and just doesn’t like to let it go. Hot water will open the fibres and release more of the dirt/grease so try boiling it for 10 – 15 minutes with a bit of dish soap (again, rinse the soap out afterwards). This is why I recommend always washing in HOT water. It may be worth reading my post: “How to remove stains from norwex and ecloth.
  7. In my opinion, you should be swapping your used Norwex and e-cloths out for fresh, laundered ones every day (or two days, max). Yes, this goes for the Norwex BacLock/antibac cloths too. If you won’t be washing them (in a washing machine) immediately, rinse them in hot water and a bit of dish soap and then hang them to dry near your washing machine (i.e., don’t keep your cloths that are waiting to be laundered in a wet ball somewhere).
  8. In my opinion, you should be laundering your used Norwex and e-cloths – with or without antibacterial silverat least once a week. By “laundering”, I mean a proper wash in the washing machine on the HOT setting.
  9. No, you do not have to use the Norwex Ultra Power Plus detergent to clean your Norwex cloths (or any other microfibre cloth). Ideally, you’ll use a detergent that dissolves easily and has no fillers – especially if you’re washing a microfibre cloth with antibacterial silver in it because it’s important that the silver not end up coated after it’s washed. You want all the detergent to wash out of the cloth. The Norwex detergent is good. The problem I have with it (and this is no secret) is it’s price. If you’re looking for a good, non-filler, concentrated detergent that dissolves easily and rinses away completely, look no further than one of a million cloth diapering sites. DiaperJungle provides a lot of information on detergents that are reasonably priced and easily accessible. In my opinion, if it’s good enough for cloth diapers, it’s good enough for your microfibre cloths. That being said, you can use ANY detergent as long as it does not contain bleach or fabric softener. If your antibacterial cloth starts to get stinky (which may happen if soap is not being rinsed out), refer to number 4 above.
  10. Wash and dry (yes, you can put your Norwex and e-cloths in the dryer) your microfibre cloths with non-lint items.
  11. Do not use bleach (it destroys the fibres) or fabric softener. If you accidentally wash or dry your cloth with liquid fabric softener or a dryer sheet, DON’T WORRY. You haven’t ruined the cloth. It may not work perfectly the next time you use it (especially if you’re dusting) but the softener will be washed out over the next few washings. I have a separate post identifying what to do if your Norwex or e-cloth comes in contact with bleach,

I’m writing this in a bit of a hurry as a certain 10 month old is waking from his nap so it’s entirely possible that I’ve left something out here. If you have anything to add, please do! I love to get comments and I’m sure they’ll be helpful to others too.

What Detergent Does Kate Use To Wash Norwex and e-cloth?

It’s no secret that I use Charlie’s Soap for ALL of our laundry. It’s a little pricey up here in Canada (unless you order the mega-box, for which you pay an arm and a leg in shipping) but well worth it. If you live in the states, consider yourself lucky ’cause you can get it cheaper and often with free shipping!

Update June 2015: I got a “too good to pass that up” deal on Nellies Laundry Soda at Costco earlier this year.  The price was way cheaper than what I’d pay for my beloved Charlies Soap up here in Canada.  After a few months of using Nellies on all our laundry, I can tell you that it’s been working great – even on my e-cloth® and Norwex cloths.