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Chenille vs. Microfiber Wash Mitt — Any Difference?

Cleanliness is about more than just appearance. A clean boat is a healthy boat. Every time you take your boat on the water, it picks up salt, marine life, organic and inorganic contaminants, and a variety of substances you don’t want sticking to your hull. That’s why boats should be on a regular cleaning schedule, with anywhere from 4 to 12 weeks between cleanings.

If you’re a boat owner, you no doubt want to keep your investment in great shape, and you may already perform deep cleans as part of your regular maintenance. If that’s the case, excellent. But let’s also consider the tools and supplies that are best for boat cleaning to ensure you’re protecting your hull with the right gear. For example, what kind of wash mitt do you use?

Chenille Wash Mitt vs. Microfiber Wash Mitt

The kind of mitt you use makes a difference for both the aesthetic value and the cleanliness of your boat’s exterior. There are a variety of options to choose from when selecting wash mitt material, but let’s narrow it down to two: Chenille and microfiber.

What Is a Wash Mitt?

Before discussing the difference between chenille and microfiber, let’s go over wash mitts. These mitts are worn over the hand and feature an elastic cuff to hold them in place.
Mitts are popular for methodical cleaners because you can’t accidentally drop the mitt when scrubbing. And if the cleaner is wearing any jewelry, such as a ring, there’s no chance it will come into contact with the hull.

What Is Chenille?

Chenille is actually made from microfiber, but it has a completely different texture than products that use the term “microfiber.” This type of mitt uses long strands of twisted microfiber material, which are excellent at holding lots of water and soap. Chenille mitts are gentle on finishes, making them a common choice for boat maintenance, car detailing, and general cleaning.

What Is Microfiber?

Even though chenille is made of microfiber, a “microfiber mitt” is of a completely different construction. Microfiber is composed of polyester and other synthetic materials that are at once soft and durable.
Microfiber is also lint-free, which means that you won’t have fibers left behind after a cleaning job. Unlike chenille, microfiber mitts don’t have long strands of material but are generally more plush and fuzzy.

Which Should You Use?

Chenille is often the choice for boat owners who need to remove lots of dirt and grime from the surface of the hull. The long fibers excel at grabbing debris while still being gentle on surface finishes. This makes chenille the choice for delicate surfaces that need the softest touch.

As for microfiber mitts, they are excellent for tighter spaces or around complex shapes where chenille’s strands may get tangled or caught. If your hull just needs a wipedown and doesn’t have high amounts of built-up surface grime, a microfiber mitt will do just fine.

Ultimately, the choice between chenille and microfiber mitts comes down to personal preference, but boat owners appreciate the scrubbing power of chenille for deep cleans. Both materials are durable and resilient and are easy to wash and reuse.

When Microfiber and Chenille Combine

You may find mitts that have chenille on one side and microfiber on the other. This combination provides the benefits of both materials on a single mitt. In many cases, these dual-sided mitts tout one side as appropriate for washing and the other better for waxing.

What About Sponges?

You might wonder why you don’t see recommendations for sponges in boat cleaning tutorials. The problem with sponges is that their flat surfaces and tight construction mean that they tend to push dirt and grime around rather than pick them up.

As you wipe your boat’s surface with a sponge, the surface debris will grind against the finish and cause tiny scratches. These scratches are what lead to unsightly swirl marks.

Why Captains Preferred Products Sells Chenille Wash Mitts


Chenille is the softest, safest material for cleaning boats. Boats are expensive investments, and using harsh materials that damage the surface shortens the life of the boat and reduces the boat’s value. In addition, improperly cleaned boats can spread contaminants and microorganisms to sensitive areas.

If you don’t have a regular cleaning schedule for your boat, it’s time to create one. Make sure you have the right tools to give your boat the deep clean it deserves.

Captains Preferred Products’ Premium Chenille Microfiber Wash Mitts use a strong yet gentle 70/30 microfiber blend for long life and scratch-free cleaning, and they’re suitable for washing and waxing as well as dry dusting. With our mitts, your hull will be sparkling clean every time.

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