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You cannot detail a car without good quality microfiber towels. They can be used and reused for a multitude of tasks. But the number one thing we want from them is to keep scratches to an absolute minimum.
Why Microfiber is Best for Detailing
Like most people I knew absolutely nothing about the different types of towels needed for detailing when I began. Now I know that towels are a key component and can make your life a lot easier.
Microfiber towels grab dirt from your paint in their fibers. They greatly reduce the chances of scratching and marring your paint. You’ll end up with fewer swirl marks over time.
They are great for buffing wax and polish too. The soft fibers spread the pressure out evenly over the area you are buffing. They will also capture the dust that is often produced during the processes.
They are also fantastic for drying your car after a wash. The larger towels can easily soak up a huge amount of water which means you get your car dry faster and get fewer water spots. If there are any specks of dirt it will get trapped in the fibers and won’t scratch your paint.
Best Microfiber Towels
- Best General Purpose Microfiber
Chemical Guys Professional Grade Premium Microfiber Towels, Gold (Pack of 12)
Used for: General Detailing Tasks Interior and Exterior
Type: Terry Cloth, 380gsm, 70/30 Blend
- Best Premium Microfiber
The Rag Company Eagle Edgeless 500
Used for: Buffing wax, removing polish.
Type: Microfiber 500gsm, 70/30 blend
- Best Large Microfiber Drying Towel
The Rag Company Double TWISTRESS (2-Pack) 20 in. x 24 in.
Used for: Drying your Car after washing
Type: Twist Loop Korean 70/30 Blend, 850gsm
- Best Glass Cleaning Microfiber Towel
Chemical Guys Grey Matter
Used for: Cleaning and Drying Glass and Mirrors
Type: Waffle Weave Microfiber
- Best Ultra Plush Microfiber Towel
The Rag Company Everest
Use for: Spoiling your car rotten
Type: Twist Loop Korean 70/30 Blend 1100gsm
How Many Towels do I Need for Detailing?
I sometimes use use up to 10 towels of different sizes when washing and detailing my car. Multiple towels can be used for cleaning doorjambs for example. Also when buffing polish and wax. You should have one large drying towel for drying your car.
What should I look for from a detailing towel?
Blend: Microfiber towels are made from Polyester and Polyamide which are types of plastic. For example, an 80/20 towel is made from 80% Polyester and 20% Polyamide. A blend of 70/30 is considered the best but usually costs more. If you find your car scratches easily you should definitely only use 70/30 blend towels as they feel softer.
GSM: This is kind of important when it comes to towels. It stands for Grams Per Square Metre. A higher GSM is denser and will give you a towel that feels heavier and thicker and can hold more water. Higher GSM is not necessarily better because it depends on usage. Sometimes you want a dense towel and sometimes you want a light towel.
Country: For some reason towels from South Korea are considered the best but I don’t think it matters as long as it’s well made.
Weave: Terry, waffle, twist, and plush towels are a type of weave or pile. Read more about microfiber weave here.
Edging: Cheap microfiber towels can have edges that could scratch delicate paint. A better quality towel will have super soft material around the edges. This material can help your towel to live longer. Some towels are blade cut and don’t need any extra edging material.
Whats the difference between a good towel and a bad towel?
A typical Chinese-made microfiber terry towel is 16 by 16 inches and has a GSM of 320 and an 80/20 blend of Polyester and Polyamide. They are not really a bad towel and are absolutely fine for a lot of detailing tasks but they can cause swirls and scratches on your paint. The towels I recommend above are much better than that and will help protect your car’s natural shine.
Just changing the blend to 70/30 will give you a much plusher towel and better liquid absorption. Up the GSM to 365 and for me that’s the sweet spot. It’s a thicker towel that feels super soft. That’s why The Rag Company – Edgeless 365 or the Chemical Guys Professional Grade Premium Microfiber Towels are my go-to microfiber towels for detailing.
Ways to Use Microfiber Towels in Detailing
There are so many different ways to use the versatile microfiber towels I probably wont think of everything. Here is a list
- Cleaning doorjambs
- Using a Waterless Wash
- Using a Rinseless Wash
- Applying Wax
- Buffing Wax
- Buffing Polish
- Applying Spray Wax
- Applying quick detail spray
- Cleaning Windows
- Drying Your Car
- Cleaning Glass
- Cleaning Dashboard
- Cleaning Seats
- Buffing plastic trim dressing
- Cleaning Leather Seats
Other Microfiber Products
I also use a number of other microfiber-based products.
- Microfiber Wash Mitts, usually chennel noodle
- Microfiber Applicator Pads for Polishing
Washing Microfiber Towels
You will need to wash all of your microfiber towels after you use them. I usually collect a big bucket of cloths and mitts after each wash a polish and wax and put them all in the washing machine. Sometimes I’ll put the dirtiest items in a separate wash.
Don’t use fabric softener with washing your microfiber towels.
Don’t let them dry out with the dirt still on them because it can make them much more difficult to clean.
You can set your washing machine to a low or medium temperature for the best result. Fibres will be damaged if the temperature is over 140 degrees Fahrenheit or 60 degrees Celsius.
I usually let my towels dry naturally instead of using your dryer. But if you do use a dryer you should use a low temperature. The microfibers can get damaged with too much heat as they’re made of plastic. Once damaged they can scratch your paint.
Storage of Towels
I keep all my towels in plastic storage bins with lids. They keep dust away and keep neat and tidy. These stackable bins are perfect for everything detailing-related.
If you care about detailing you should invest in some quality towels. They will protect your shine and make buffing and polishing easier. They will last a long time and are well worth the investment.