I no longer feel comfortable putting these in the washing machine given how much they shed. Little micro bits of plastic microfiber thread go everywhere, and you know it's going down the drain where fish eat it. I don't much care for plastic fish, so I'm using these a final time, putting them in the trash, and getting some cotton rags instead.
These rags also take a while to become absorbent; they won't just soak up water right away, you need to get them a little bit damp first otherwise they repel water on their surface. It beads up and rolls around until you rub it into a damp spot. So they work okay for washing, but not for drying.