Actually I got my first microfiber cloth at least 15 years ago from a French 3M chemist that was visiting headquarters and tied in a sales call to my janitorial supplies distributor.
Was invented in France apparently – was kind of a product in search of an application for quite a while – assume it is off patent the last few years since all manufactures now make or source microfiber mops, dustcloths, etc.
For about the first 10 years the applications were limited to eye glasses cleaners – which worked nicely – I think I still have my original one from that meeting 15 years ago.
Turns out because of the topology of the fibers microfiber cloths pick up and retain something like 99 % of the dirt they touch.
This turned out to have application in the commercial cleaning.
This is way better than conventional dusting cloths, mops and dustmops.
Hence a janitor can get better results with one pass of microfiber than you can with multiple passes of conventional rag cleaning apparatus’.
This either gives you a cleaner building or a higher productivity from not having to repeatedly clean the same surface.
We’ve been standardized on microfiber for these reasons for over 2 years.
Only real issue is logistical (and financial) – standard operating procedure is to brush or wring out conventional rag cleaning mops and cloths. Microfiber won’t release the soil unless you run it thru a washing machine. You have to either have on site washing machines you can use (not time effective anyway) or a lot of inventory in microfiber so you can go for a week or so, take them home, run a lot of them thru the washing machine together, and still have extra microfiber left at the cleaning customers’ sites for that nites cleaning. After a short time tho, the higher productivity more than pays for the up front investment in extra cloths.
You are also seeing these in consumer versions in Target, supermarkets, drugstores, etc. Buy them – they work as advertised.