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Letting your car air dry after washing or detailing it can create streaks and water spots on the car’s surface. To avoid this, it’s recommended that you use a proper drying towel to dry the car’s paint and glass surfaces to ensure it stays spotless and maintains a glossy shine after it dries.
Unfortunately, some towels can scratch the car paint, leaving you with a swirled and scratched clear coat surface. For that reason, it’s important to ensure that you’re using the right type of cloth or towel when drying, polishing, or waxing your car. This is where the best car-drying microfiber cloths/ towels come in!
Unlike cleaning rags and bath towels, microfiber is less likely to leave lint on the car’s surface since it’s much softer, less abrasive, and more absorbent. This allows it to grab dirt, residue, dust, and moisture from your car’s exterior while being kind to the car paint.
However, choosing the perfect option for your needs isn’t an easy task, especially seeing that there are many types of towels to choose from! Besides, microfiber cloths are not exclusive to just the car care industry.
So, if you’re not careful, you can easily end up using an aggressive microfiber towel intended for drying kitchenware to dry your precious car paint.
Don’t worry though! This guide lists some of the best car-drying microfiber towels that won’t scratch your car paint.
Why microfiber cloths are the perfect option for drying cars!
First of all, microfiber car drying towels are crafted from a blend of 2 fibers; polyamide and polyester. The actual ratio of these fibers tends to vary, but it’s usually a 70% polyester to 30% polyamide mix or an 80% polyester to 20% polyamide mix.
Interestingly, you can use this ratio to determine where the microfiber material comes from. For instance, the EU produces the 70/30 mix, while Asia produces the 80/ 20 mix.
Whichever the case, microfiber towels are very soft since each fiber in their composition can be up to 1/100th the diameter of the human hair. If you want to choose the softest microfiber cloth for your car, look for the one with the highest composition of polyester since its fibers give the towel most of its softness.
You’ll also note that microfiber cloths are better for drying cars than cotton towels. This is because cotton towels tend to spread dirt across your car’s surface. On the contrary, the fibers of a microfiber cloth are so tiny and closely packed in together, allowing them to lift grime right off.
Even better, the microfibers create a static charge that attracts dirt and dust from the surface of your car. Moreover, if you compare similar sizes of microfiber and cotton towels, you’ll notice that the microfiber ones are denser and have a larger surface area.
This makes them much more efficient in removing contaminants from various surfaces than their cotton counterparts.
Another incredible quality of microfiber cloths is that they’re very absorbent. This allows them to absorb water about 8 times their weight, increasing their efficiency in drying your car surface.
At the same time, this reduces their chances of leaving any water spots behind, while eliminating the risk of bacteria- growth. So, if you want a product that guarantees safe and efficient car detailing, microfiber is your best bet!
Lastly, unlike cotton towels, a microfiber towel does not push dirt around your car’s surface. Instead, its absorbent nature allows it to lift dirt particles off the car surface, preventing the formation of undesirable micro scratches on the car paint.
Different types of Microfiber towels for drying cars
The best microfiber towels for drying cars can be classified into 4 different categories. This includes;
Short-pile microfiber towels are ideal for general cleaning surfaces. Also, they’re safe for use on tough car parts that can withstand the scrubbing. For instance, you can use them to clean non-sensitive areas of your car like the upholstery and dashboard.
However, they’re not suitable for use on highly delicate surfaces like chrome since they have a rough texture and usually leave scratches on smooth surfaces.
Medium-pile microfiber towels can be further classified as medium-large, standard and plush towels. Standard medium pile towels are great for removing car wax and cleaning the surface of a vessel. However, they are not suitable for cleaning smooth surfaces.
On the other hand, medium-large microfiber towels are ideal for cleaning semi–delicate areas, while plush towels are recommended for delicate car parts and removing dust from glass and chrome surfaces.
Long pile microfiber towels have many caterpillar-like strands to increase the surface area for contact. Moreover, they absorb more water than other types of microfiber towels, making them ideal for drying and buffing cars.
Even better, they provide a scratch-free performance which makes them ideal for car detailing and applying sealants.
Waffle Weave Pile
These types of microfiber towels have weave patterns that resemble waffles, hence the name waffle-weave pile. As a result, they have a waffle texture with many small depressions to offer a larger surface area for more water absorption.
This makes them great for drying your vehicle after a wash. Also, you can use them to clean delicate surfaces like glass and mirrors.
Other ways to classify car-drying microfiber towels
Apart from the above classifications, car-drying microfiber towels can also be grouped depending on the constituent materials and Grams Per Square Meter (GSM).
In that regard, towels made from a blend of polyester and polyamide are known as nylon microfiber cloths, while those made from polypropylene are classified as Prolen. But as I mentioned earlier, most microfiber towels are usually made from a mixture of polyester and polyamide.
On the other hand, GSM measures the thickness and density of the microfiber towel. For instance, a GSM of 300 – 400 represents lightweight, thin & coarse towels, while 400 – 600 is medium to higher weight, absorbent, and soft. Moreover, 700 – 900 GSM indicates that the towel is heavyweight, absorbent, and soft.
6 Best Car Drying Microfiber Towel Reviews
1. Chemical Guys Wooly Mammoth Microfiber Towels
If you’re looking for a top-quality car-drying microfiber towel, this gray wooly mammoth from the Chemical Guys is an excellent option. It’s crafted from super absorbent fabric that traps any debris and dirt on your car with its deep waffle weave pockets.
As a result, it can hold up to a gallon of water, allowing you to dry your car at a go without wringing it out!
In addition, The towel has soft edges to ensure it doesn’t cause swirl marks and scratches on your car paint and other sensitive surfaces. And it’s 100% machine washable, making it easy to reuse.
Another great thing about this towel is that it’s soft and thick, while its fibers have a spiral pattern for added absorbency. In terms of dimension, this towel measures 36” X 25”, giving you enough surface area to dry your car!
The only issue with this Woolly Mammoth car drying is that it’s not ideal for use with fabric softeners. Using this towel with a fabric softener reduces the static charges as well as its drying effectiveness.
All in all, this towel has a gentle plush feel on the car paint, so it will not scratch the car. In addition, it comes with a handy storage pouch that you can use to keep it clean and ready to use the next time you clean your car!
- Excellent water absorption
- Soft & thick
- Lint-free drying action
- Tons of coverage
- Scratch-free performance
- Not ideal for use with fabric softeners
2. Mr. SIGA Microfiber Cloth
Available in a pack of 12 microfiber cloths, this set from MR SIGA is another incredible product for drying your car without scratching the car paint or leaving a streak behind.
Each microfiber towel measures 12.6” X 12.6” and its material consists of 15% nylon and 85% polyester to ensure top-notch cleaning performance.
Moreover, each cloth has a plush side that effectively removes dirt and dust from your car’s surface. At the same time, the towels feature high-quality stitching with reinforced edges, ensuring they last through many washings.
Moving on, the small size of these microfiber cloths makes them ideal for stowing your car for emergency spills and quick clean-ups. They are lint-free and super absorbent, making them ideal for drying cars as well as interior detailing.
Even better, they’re flexible enough to clean other objects like mirrors, worktops, kitchen appliances, etc.
In terms of care, the manufacturer recommends machine or hand washing these towels separately with water colder than 40 deg C (104 deg F). Doing so will ensure that the towels are fine and functional for up to a hundred washes.
- Reusable & machine washable
- Lint- and streak-free performance
- Highly durable
- Includes 12 microfiber towels in 4 different colors
- Ideal for handling various tasks
- Smaller size variants compared to other microfiber towels
3. ZWIPES Microfiber Cloths
Nobody wants to see scratches or scuffs on their vehicle after they clean it. Luckily, you can easily accomplish this by avoiding abrasive pieces of cloth that may damage your shiny paintwork.
Instead, always look for a super soft and plush microfiber towel that will not leave any marks behind like this set from ZWIPES.
For starters, this set comes with a total of 12 microfiber towels, with each unit measuring 12 X 16”. However, you can also find it in packs of 24, 36, or 48 towels. Plus, each pack has 3 different colors, allowing you to color-code each towel for a specific use.
It’s also worth mentioning that each of these towels is made up of 110,000 fibers per square inch. As a result, you can conveniently use them to clean and dust various surfaces with or without detergents or chemicals.
At the same time, their non-abrasive, lint-free and streak-free design ensures that the towels will not scratch clear coats, paints, stainless steel, and other sensitive parts on your car.
Lastly, these microfiber cloths absorb water 8 times their weight and take half the time to dry as compared to standard dish cloth and hand towels. Also, they’re highly durable as they can withstand up to 500 washes.
- Each pack has 3 different colors
- Lint- & streak-free cleaning
- Washable and reusable
- Multiple uses for cars and home
- Highly durable
- Thinner than microfiber towels from other brands
- Requires to be washed before first use
4. Meguiar’s X2000 Water Magnet Microfiber Cloth
As the name ‘water magnet’ implies, this microfiber cloth was specifically designed with drying in mind. Plus, it even features a waffle pattern to ensure maximum absorbency.
Not to forget that it’s made from standard 80% polyester and 20% polyamide. All these features allow it to absorb up to 2 times the amount of water that a traditional towel can, reducing the drying time.
Moreover, the microfiber fabric is gentle, meaning it will not scratch your paint job. As a result, it’s a great towel for drying any car, truck, or RV. And once you are done, you can easily machine wash the towel and keep it ready for use the next time you want to dry your car.
In terms of coverage, this microfiber cloth measures 22 X 30”. This extra-large size makes it ideal for larger vehicles and boats. The only issue, however, is that this product only comes with one microfiber towel.
Apart from that, this towel will certainly make your life easier if you’re looking for the best car-drying microfiber cloth that won’t scratch your car paint.
- Extra large size to provide good coverage
- Leaves a spot-free finish
- Reduced drying time
- Machine washable & reusable
- Only comes with 1 microfiber towel
5. Adam’s Ultra Plush Microfiber Cloth
The Adam’s Ultra Plush microfiber cloth is another perfect towel for polishing, waxing, and drying your car, thanks to its soft and absorbent nature.
Moreover, its ultra-plush and stitched fibers do not swirl or scratch delicate surfaces, making it suitable for drying any paintwork. On the same note, it offers a safe and effortless way to quickly dry your car, truck, boat, SUV, motorcycle, or RV.
One of the few challenges of this soft towel is that it comes at a premium price. However, it’s certainly worth the price seeing that it’s made from a superior fabric combination that outperforms any material mode of chamois, terry, or cotton.
Plus, it measures 29 X 36”, giving you adequate coverage to dry your car in no time. Even better, its excellent absorbency helps it scoop water droplets with little effort on your part.
As a result, you can easily dry an entire mid-sized car in a single pass. In addition, this towel has a GSM rating of 920, making it one of the plushest and most durable car drying towels on the market!
Bottom line, if you want a soft, absorbent, and long-lasting car drying cloth, disregarding the premium price, this Adam’s microfiber towel is the perfect option for you!
- Maximum absorbency
- Increased thickness
- Extremely soft & plush design
- Scratch-free satin edges
- Good coverage
- Outstanding 920 GSM
6. The Rag Company Waffle Weave Microfiber Towels
Last on our list is this pack of 3 waffle weave microfiber cloths from the Rag Company. Unlike regular towels, these car-drying microfiber towels have a high thread count as they’re designed for professional application.
Best of all, each towel is designed to deliver a streak- and lint-free performance when used for exterior detailing.
In addition, their superior construction makes them ideal for buffing and polishing windows, glass, and other delicate surfaces. Not to forget that they can absorb water up to 8 times their weight, allowing you to use them for different drying scenarios.
Specifically, these towels have an 80/20 polyester to polyamide ratio. As a result, they’re incredibly soft and efficient in drying your ride without leaving any scratches.
More importantly, they have a thread count of 300 grams per sq m and 200,000 fiber per inch. This results in an absorbent, scratch-free, lint-free, and super soft fabric that is ideal for various car care needs.
On top of that, these towels are highly durable and can withstand hundreds of washings. And seeing that they’re available in 3 different colors (light blue, royal blue & yellow), you can easily choose your favorite color option.
- Waffle texture for maximum absorbency
- Non-abrasive performance
- Doesn’t leave swirl marks or streaks on the car’s exterior.
- Satin-banded edges
- Ideal for car interior maintenance as well
- Slightly small for SUVs & trucks (16 X 16”)
Things to Consider when buying the best car drying microfiber towels.
Since microfiber cloths are available in various sizes, this is an important factor to consider before you settle on a particular product. Besides, the size of the microfiber cloth will directly affect its cleaning performance and compatibility with the job you’re undertaking.
For instance, 12 X 12 – 16 x27” microfiber towels are considered the best options for car detailing. While smaller, more lightweight towels are ideal for cleaning the car’s interior, mirrors, and windows.
In this case, we recommend that you choose a large microfiber towel for the exterior surface so that you can dry a considerable area of your car in a single pass. Also, large vehicles like SUVs and trucks will need a larger microfiber towel to reduce the drying time.
Car drying towels are usually made of 3 types of materials’ terry cloth, cotton, and microfiber.
Cotton is an inexpensive soft, woven fabric that is commonly used in towels. Unfortunately, pure cotton isn’t absorbent enough to dry a car thoroughly and can leave lint behind.
However, when cotton is sewn into waffle weaves, it can hold much more water, which may allow it to dry a car.
On the other hand, terry cloth is crafted from loops of soft cotton, giving it a ruffle texture. These towels are very absorbent and affordable, but they usually leave lint behind on the car’s surface.
Lastly, microfiber cloths are made from a blend of polyester and polyamide materials. Although they’re a bit more costly than terry cloth and cotton, they’re soft, highly absorbent, and don’t leave any lint behind.
Moisture absorption determines the amount of a particular microfiber cloth can absorb. Some manufacturers may indicate the absorption of their towels. For instance, the manufacturer may state that the towel can absorb water up to 10 times its weight.
The higher the absorption rate, the more work you can perform with each towel before it needs to be wrinkled or cleaned. Also, a microfiber towel with a high absorption quality will allow you to dry the car within minutes.
The thickness of the microfiber towel is directly proportional to its absorption capacity. So, the thicker the microfiber cloth, the higher its water absorption capacity will be.
Therefore, you should look for a microfiber towel that is relatively thicker and equipped with a softer surface. This will ensure that the cloth piece can absorb more wax or moisture while preventing damage to the car’s paintwork.
Some manufacturers rate the thickness of their microfiber towels in GSM (Grams Per sq. Meter). In short, GSM measures the overall weight of fibers in the cloth per unit area.
A microfiber cloth with a higher GSM rating might be available at a higher price range, but it’s the best option in terms of cleaning capacity and moisture absorption. Plus, such cloth pieces are less likely to leave streaks and scratches behind when drying your car.
After spending an hour or two cleaning your car, make sure you dry it correctly towards the end with the best car-drying microfiber cloth. And as you’ve seen, there are many great options out there that don’t leave lint behind or scratch your car paint.
So, whether you’re looking for a more specialized cloth or a versatile/all-purpose microfiber towel, you’ll certainly find one that meets your needs & preferences!