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Drying your car is one of the most important steps in washing your car to ensure a streak free finish. This is best done with a dedicated microfibre drying towel that has been designed to be soft on your paintwork whilst having a high absorbency.
At first glance it may seem like all microfibre cloths are the same, but in this guide we’ll share the key things to look for and recommend our favourite products for you.
What is a Microfibre Drying Towel?
A microfibre cloth is made up of tiny fibres of polyester or polyamide (a nylon by-product). These fibres mean that these clothes can pick up even the tiniest particles of dirt, but they absorb liquid really well too.
This is all thanks to thousands of fibres that come into contact with your car with every swipe. The fibres of any cloth, act like hooks when you clean your car.
These hooks (gently) pick up dirt and water to leave your car shining nicely. However, microfibre clothes have a lot more fibres than typical cotton cloths. So, they can collect more water and dirt with less work from you.
Microfibre vs Cotton Drying Cloths
If you have ever wiped your car down with a cotton cloth, you may have noticed that it isn’t completely dry afterwards. This is because the cotton becomes saturated in water, and it cannot absorb any more.
With microfibre cloths, though, they have a lot more surface area and more fibres that can absorb way more water than any other cloths on the market. This is why so many car owners have switched to microfibre cloths. They are also gentle on your car’s paintwork and require very little elbow grease.
Most microfibre cloths on the market are good enough to make cleaning your home nice and simple. When it comes to cars, though, a general-purpose microfibre cloth will not get the job done.
This is because general-purpose microfibre cloths are too rough for your paintwork and they can scratch it. So, here are some things about microfibre cloths to look out for and why general-purpose microfibre cloths aren’t the best tool for the job.
Grams per square metre (gsm) is the scale that microfibre cloths are measured in. A general-use microfibre cloth is between 200 and 350 gsm. However, for car drying towels, it is better to have a higher gsm for paintwork and a lower gsm for glass. This is to ensure the cloth can absorb water and remove dirt in these areas.
For paintwork, a microfibre cloth should have a gsm from at least 450, but higher is better. The higher the gsm, the more surface area. This means the cloth will soak up more water and be gentle on your paintwork at the same time.
Best Microfibre Car Drying Towels
These are our top recommended microfibre drying towels:
- Best Overall: Meguiars Supreme Drying Towel
- Runner Up: Autoglym Hi-Tech
- Large Size: Glart 44WG
- High Density: Auto Finesse Aqua Deluxe
- Budget Pick: Detailers United Hydro Hoover
Below, you’ll find full reviews of each product where we share the pros and cons, along with key specs.
Meguiars Supreme Drying Towel
A great all-round microfibre drying towel from the leading brand for detailers
Density: 920gsm // Size: 55cm x 76cm (also in 30cm x 45cm) // Material: 87% Polyester – 13% Polyamide
This drying towel from Meguiars is thick, absorbent and soft, all the best things for drying a car. It’s the perfect size and glides across your vehicle due to the soft fibres, making light work of drying your car.
It also has soft edging that is stitched securely to make sure that no area of this drying towel will damage your glass or your paintwork. At 920gsm, this car drying towel is very dense and therefore extremely absorbent, so it makes light work of drying your car.
The large surface area(55x76cm) means there is plenty of towel to work with, you can keep folding it in half to ensure it stays dry. The best way to get a fantastic finish before you begin waxing and polishing your car is to use two of these, one in the initial stages of drying and then another to finish off.
At 87% polyester, the microfibres in the cloth aren’t as finely split as other products which impacts the absorbency of the product.
Autoglym Hi-Tech Microfibre Drying Towel
This drying towel uses a unique microfibre fabric that’s smooth and leaves a streak free finish
Autoglym is a powerhouse in the car cleaning world and for a good reason. Its car cleaning products are some of the best in the world, and this car drying towel is no exception to this.
Autoglym has chosen the best microfibre fabric for this towel. This means this towel is highly absorbent and reduces the drying time of your car.
If used correctly, this towel won’t leave any streaks thanks to its unique construction, plus you’ll only have to wring it out a few times when drying a typical size car.
The towel is suitable for machine washing provided you don’t use fabric conditioner, but it is known to shrink if tumble dried.
Glart 44WG Super Absorbent
A premium drying towel that has a large surface area so will absorb lots of water
Density: 600gsm // Size: 90cm by 60cm // Material: 80% Polyester – 20% Polyamide
This is a large car drying towel, and so it works best if you fold it a few times. Of course, the towel will perform its magic when not folded, but it can be difficult to control.
However, because this towel is so big, you can dry half of your car (depending on the size) with one side of this towel. Then, simply use the other side to dry the other half. It is also super absorbent, and you need hardly any pressure to see amazing results! This large drying towel will greatly speed up the drying time when you wash your car.
The towel is made from 80% polyester which indicates finely split microfibres that accounts for the softness of the material and how absorbent it is.
Auto Finesse Aqua Deluxe Drying Towel
At 1200gcm this towel has the highest density of any on the market and has a really soft texture
Density: 1200gsm // Size: 50cm by 70cm // Material: 80% Polyester – 20% Polyamide
This microfibre drying towel from Auto Finesse can easily dry your whole car without leaving any watermarks at all. This towel is doubled over and stitched together to provide double the drying power with each wipe.
It’s the most dense of all those we reviewed at 1200gsm which means it will be really soft against your cars paint.
It also absorbs a lot of water so you shouldn’t need to go over the car too many times, however being so absorbent means that it can be a bit hard to wring out so you may want to use two.
Detailers United Hydro Hoover
Budget priced drying towel that has high pile and low pile side for different parts of your car
Density: 950gsm // Size: 45cm by 40cm
While this car drying towel isn’t the largest on the market, it is so absorbent that you will barely notice the smaller surface area.
One of the selling points of this towel is that it has a low pile side which is ideal for glass and a high pile side which is best used for your paintwork.
This drying towel is a professional-grade product that many car detailers in the UK use. You will need to wring this drying towel out a few times when drying your car. Still, for how much water it absorbs, that’s a small price to pay. Plus, it’s really soft on your car’s paintwork too.
Most car owners who buy this drying towel end up buying more because of the excellent quality and how easy they are to use to get a fantastic finish.
How To Dry a Car With a Microfibre Drying Towel
Here’s how to dry your car with a microfibre drying towel to ensure a perfect, streak-free finish:
- Wet your towel – this may sound a bit counter-intuitive, but soak your microfibre towel in clean water first. A damp towel can still absorb water, but it will also be gentle on the paintwork too.
- Wring out your towel – whenever your towel is full of water, wring it out. If you notice it is dirty, rinse it. If you notice any dirt on the towel, you may transfer that back onto your car, and ruin all your hard work.
- Keep drying – although using a microfibre cloth to dry your car is a lot easier than other methods, it does still take a bit of work. So, if you notice a layer of water on your car, even after you have wiped it down, keep going. If you leave this layer of water to evaporate, it will leave marks. So, keep wiping your car down until all water is gone.
That’s how to dry a car with a microfibre cloth and get fantastic results. Use a damp cloth, take your time and put in the work to ensure that your car is completely dry. Here are some FAQs about microfibre cloths, though, just in case we missed any info!
Are microfibre cloths good for drying cars?
Yes. In fact, microfibre cloths are quickly becoming the go-to for many detailers and car owners around the UK. They can really soak up the water and leave your car looking shiny and new!
Do microfibre towels scratch cars?
A good quality microfibre cloth that is designed for drying cars will not scratch your paintwork. If you use a general-purpose microfibre towel from your kitchen cupboard, then there is a fair chance that it will. This is because these microfibre clothes are not as fine as those designed for the job.
What does a good microfibre cloth feel like?
When you run your hand over the microfibre cloth, does it grip the imperfections on your hand? If it does, it means that your microfibre cloth has split fabric. This is the sign of a good quality microfibre cloth.
It means that there are spaces between the fibres that will absorb water and dirt much more effectively than a cloth without spilt fibres. In fact, if your microfibre cloth doesn’t have split fabric, it is about as good as absorbing water as a normal cotton cloth.
Featured image credit: Pixabay
Scott’s love for cars goes back as far as he can remember which is why he’s our go-to guy for all automotive product reviews. When Scott’s not at hotrod shows or drag racing events, he’s dreaming about that E-type drag that will hopefully appear on his drive one day.