Alpine Innovations Spudz

If you wear glasses or use a good camera, the Ultra Spudz is a boon. A square of microfiber cloth just-big-enough for an eyeglass lens is attached to a neoprene pod about the size of a grown man’s thumb. Pop the cloth out to clean your lenses, push it back into its pocket when not in use. The Spudz locks to a key ring, camera or bag strap, or a zipper so you won’t lose it. My Spudz lives attached to the zipper pull of my wallet’s change compartment. Since the Spudz is on a quick-release connector, it snaps on and off instantly. There’s nothing special about the cloth itself – it’s just always clean and always handy when you need it.

-- Jonathan Coupe  

Alpine Innovations Spudz
$4
Manufactured by Alpine Innovations

Available from Amazon



Microfiber Cleaning Towels in Bulk

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Microfiber towels are listed in Cool Tools as great for drying and travel and camping, but have you used them for everyday cleaning, dusting and wiping? I buy my 16×16-inch towels in bulk. I’ve used the previously-reviewed MysticMaid cleaning towels and, personally, have seen no difference in cleaning power. Of course, mine may not last as long in the end, but they are are a heck of lot cheaper, so I’m more inclined to use them for everything and anything. And they really are holding their own so far. I’ve washed my current kitchen cleaner over 50 times with no loss in cleaning power (the packaging says good for over 100 washes). Dampen with water and you can clean the kitchen top to bottom without leaving a streak. It removes grease, grime, and the odd stuff on the stove top. Around the house it cleans glass without leaving a streak, removes the haze from inside of your auto windshield, cleans the car interior and removes all the muck the kids have built up on the plastic, doors and even car seats. Around the desk it cleans up coffee spills and rings. I’ve also used mine for cleaning monitor screens, brass, cameras (I collect Minolta 16 mm and Minox cameras), jewels, coins, glass objet d’art, lexan screens, fine wood carvings, some photos, and find no scratches or wearing away of labels, paint, or important stuff — and I’ve looked hard with my loupes. Cleaning wood work is easy and quick, as well. And in the wood shop it does wonders in getting dust off surfaces before staining or painting. A bonus for ribs lovers — it’s better than any napkin or moist towelette.

-- Patrick J. Meyer  

Microfiber Cleaning Towels in Bulk
(12 towels — 16 x 16 inch)
$15
Manufactured by Clean-Rite

Available from Amazon



This tool has been UNRECOMMENDED and is now in the DEAD TOOLS category. See the FAQ for more info.

MysticMaid

My sister gave a MysticMaid cleaning cloth to me for a birthday present. Prejudging the gift (a towel?) I feigned a thanks and a fake smile. Then I tried it. I cleaned my glasses and then my monitor. Wow! I’d swear I got a new prescription.

One of the best uses I found for it, was cleaning up items for online auctions. I cleaned an older digital camera to a nearly brand new state. Cleans CDs and DVDs, too.

Machine washable.

-- Russ Taber  

[Microfiber towels can now be purchased in bulk at significantly lower costs. -- SL]

MysticMaid
$8
Manufactured by MysticMaid

Available from Amazon



Aquis Microfiber Travel Towels

We’ve all suffered from carrying heavy, water-soaked towels while camping or traveling. Or from exfoliating our skin while we try to dry off using a rough pack towel. Enter Aquis towels – luxuriously soft, highly absorbent, and quick drying, woven from microfibers. I use the larger Aquis towels for camping/traveling. I keep a smaller towel on my golf bag to clean my clubs, and I even have a version of Aquis which fully dries my 35 lb. dog far better than a terry towel can.

– Rex Ishibashi

Aquis Adventure Towel
29 x 55 inches
$35
Available from Amazon

Manufactured by Aquis

A compact quick-drying microfiber towel folds up neatly into a tiny square and is the perfect tool to stuff into your backpack anywhere you won’t be provided with clean towels — say traveling in low-budget parts of the world, or an overnight train. This towel comes in a small tidy pouch to keep it clean. It weighs only 3.5 ounces (when dry). I got mine from Rick Steve’s travel store.

Microfiber Travel Towel
$20 (50 x 30 inches)
Available from Rick Steve’s Travel Store

–KK