The densely woven material is very soft and very durable and acts like little fingers to grab dirt, sweat and fingerprints and lift them away. That way you are not just rubbing the dirt all over the place. If the cloth gets dirty, just wash it. The more you use it, the better it performs. Paper towels should not be used to wipe off your laptop screen. Kleenex, toilet paper, cotton swabs... keep those in the bathroom. I understand your desire to grab something quickly to clean off some fingerprints or dust, but discs and iPods are not like your kitchen counter or your bathroom floor.