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If you are shopping for the best car drying towel, then we have 10 excellent options to showcase to you.
It may seem that any towel will do the job, but no – car finishes are very delicate and can be easily damaged with the wrong towel.
In contrast, with our 10 picks, your car’s finish will be safe (with correct use).
To help you choose the right towel for your needs, we’ll also talk about a few important things that you should know about with drying towels right after we overview the features of the shortlisted products.
Our Best Car Drying Towel Pick
Don’t have time to go through our post? Then you could settle with our top pick Meguiar’s Supreme Shine microfiber drying towel.
This is why we think this towel is the best car drying towel on our list:
- It is very absorbent thanks to its high thickness.
- The large 31 x 21.5-inch size that allows you to cover your car quicker.
- It has great quality with no bleeding and shedding.
10 Best Car Wash Towels
Meguiar’s Supreme Shine Drying Towel
Let’s start our roundup by having a little deeper insight into our top pick – Meguiar’s Supreme Shine microfiber drying towel.
As mentioned above, this drying towel is super-large (31 x 21.5 inches) and will help you cover your car quicker. It should be big enough to dry a small car in one swipe without washing or wringing as well.
The Supreme Shine towel is also very thick, which allows it to absorb more water before becoming saturated. Thanks to its soft edges, the Supreme Shine microfiber towel should not damage your car’s finish as well.
Note that this is quite a pricey towel. You are getting only one towel yet are paying as much as for some multi-towel packs on our list!
With that said, perhaps Supreme Shine’s plush and size are worth the money for you.
Mighty Cleaner Premium Microfiber Towel 6-Pack
If your budget is tight, then consider this microfiber towel 6-pack from Mighty Cleaner. The towels in this pack are very small – 12 x 12 inches – but since you are getting 6 of them, you should be able to cover your car in one go.
The towels included are pretty thick (540 gsm) and should absorb a good amount of water. And thanks to the plush surface and edgeless design, the Mighty Cleaner towels are very unlikely to leave any scratches on your car.
With that said, since these are cheap towels, there are some quality issues to keep in mind. Before use, make sure to give these towels a few washes. Buyers complain that they shed and bleed ink – issues that seem to go away with a good wash.
SINLAND Microfiber Drying Towel 2-Pack
This microfiber towel 2-pack from SINLAND is interesting in that each towel side has varying coarseness. This may not be helpful for drying itself, but if you are also planning to do detailing and deep cleaning, the double-sided design may come in handy.
Although these towels aren’t very large (16 x 16 inches, 16 x 24-inch option also available), they are pretty thick (720 gsm) and should thus absorb a lot of water. The microfiber in these towels is also soft and plush to keep the finish of your car safe.
As a relatively pricey towel pack, the SINLAND 2-pack doesn’t have the issues of the Mighty Cleaner 6-pack. With that said, a very small number of users still complained about lint, so giving these towels a wash before use may still be a good idea.
Chemical Guys Premium Microfiber Towel 12-Pack
This 12-pack from Chemical Guys is yet another budget option on our roundup.
Although this pack is inexpensive, you are getting 12 microfiber towels with an absorbent 70/30 (polyester/polyamide) blend. The towels are decently sized as well (16 x 16 inches), so drying not too large cars in one go should be achievable with this pack.
As for larger cars, these towels may not be absorbent enough because they are only 380 gsm thick. This thinness is somewhat compensated by the number of included towels though.
Like the Mighty Cleaner towels, the Chemical Guys 12-pack leaves lint, so a wash or two is a must before first use. Bleeding seems not to be an issue with these towels, but if it is, then pre-washing should do the trick.
The towels in this pack also for some reason have sewed tags on them. People don’t seem to have had problems with the tags, but to be extra-safe, you may want to remove them.
Liquid X Original Rapid Dry Towel
The Liquid X Original Rapid Dry Towel is the largest and priciest towel on our list.
Liquid X, unfortunately, doesn’t indicate the thickness of this towel anywhere. With that said, the towel doesn’t seem as thick as, for example, the Meguiar’s Supreme Shine towel. The Original Rapid Dry towel is still highly absorbent thanks to its unique microfiber channel design.
And thanks to its large 50 x 30-inch size, this microfiber towel should still be able to easily cover not too big cars in one go.
Pickups or SUVs may need more than that, but fortunately, Liquid X offers a 2-pack listing of this towel.
Sarge’s Car Care .50 Cal Microfiber Towel
The .50 Cal car drying towel from Sarge’s Car Care is an inexpensive yet interesting microfiber towel option. Although this towel doesn’t seem to be very thick, it has a surprising amount of water absorbency. This is probably thanks to the used waffle-weave microfiber.
This towel is pretty large as well – 27 x 39 inches. Judging by buyer reviews, two of these towels are sufficient to fully dry an SUV!
Although the .50 Cal towel isn’t plush like previous ones, buyers don’t seem to have had any scratch-related issues with it. The binding of this towel is made from silk as well for additional protection.
Although not important in terms of drying, Sarge’s Car Care promises to donate 5% of the profits to military veterans in need, which is a nice undertaking from them.
CleanTools Absorber Drying Towel 2-Pack
CleanTools Absorber is the first non-microfiber car drying towel on our list. It’s made from PVA (polyvinyl alcohol), which gives this towel a chamois-like feel. However, unlike genuine chamois leather towels, this towel is resistant to mold and mildew.
Another advantage of the Absorber towel over regular microfiber towels is that it wrings out very easily. This means that you could use a single towel to dry your entire car.
With that said, like all typical chamois towels (whether synthetic or genuine), this towel needs to be damp in storage. When dry, the Absorber towel will get stiff and may damage your car’s finish.
Size-wise, with the particular Absorber product listing, we based our review on, you are getting two 27 x 17-inch towels, which should be enough for most car drying needs.
Mighty Cleaner Shammy Car Drying Towel
The Shammy synthetic chamois car drying towel offers benefits similar to what you’d get with the CleanTools Absorber towel – excellent absorbency, easy drying, and effortless wringing.
This towel is again very delicate and is very unlikely to leave any scratches on your car’s finish if used correctly.
This shammy car drying towel is sized at 26 x 17 inches – close to the Absorber. However, you are only getting one towel, while the price is roughly the same. Since this is a pricier towel, expect it to offer better longevity and quality.
MATCC Microfiber Drying Towel 12-Pack
The MATCC microfiber towel 12-pack is very similar to the Chemical Guys 12-pack reviewed earlier. Most importantly, the packs are close in price and have the same thickness (380 gsm). There are some differences to know about though.
First up, these towels don’t seem to have a lint problem. With that said, they should be pre-washed nonetheless because they have bled ink with some people.
Secondly, MATCC towels appear to have no sewn tags on them, so you won’t have to bother with removing them.
Thirdly and perhaps most importantly, the 80/20 blend in these towels may not be as absorbent as the Chemical Guys towels 70/30 blend. This is because polyamide generally is the absorbing component in microfiber towels, and there’s less polyamide in the MATCC towels.
With that said, if you don’t want lint or to risk your car’s finish to towel tags, then maybe this 12-pack is the right option for you.
The Rag Company Dry Me A River Jr Towel 2-Pack
Finally, we have the Dry Me A River Jr towel 2-pack from The Rag Company.
As inexpensive towels, Dry Me A River Jr towels may have some shedding and ink bleeding issues. However, their absorbency is excellent thanks to the waffle weave along with the 400gsm thickness and 20 x 40-inch size.
The blend in these towels is 70/30 as well, which is considered the best microfiber blend for drying by some people.
Things To Know When Shopping For The Best Car Drying Towel
Although it may seem that any towel can work for car drying, this isn’t quite true. There are many things to consider when shopping for a good car drying towel – let’s talk about these below.
Why Should You Dry Your Color After Washing?
When washing your car, it may be tempting for you to just give it a clean with soap and water and then leave the car to dry on its own. We do understand that washing a car thoroughly is a daunting process, but this isn’t how you should be doing things.
After treating your car’s surface with water and a car detergent (using a car wash sponge), it is very important that you dry your car. Leaving your car under the sun in hopes that the heat will do the drying for you isn’t optimal because the water droplets left on your car still contain dirt.
Once the water evaporates from your car’s finish, all those impurities contained in it will deposit onto your car. Worse, the dirt and grime will stick to your car, will be very hard to wash off without a deep clean, and will make your car look awful.
If you try to rub off the left impurities without doing a full wash, then you will likely scratch your car’s paint finish. With this in mind, if you spot any dirt left on your car after a wash, then know that you will need to do another wash to eliminate them.
But it would be a much better course of action if you had dried your car right after the wash. It’s better to spend some time to eliminate water from your car’s finish than to get lazy and then have to waste time on another deep wash.
That’s why your car needs thorough drying after a wash, and that’s when a good microfiber towel comes in.
Do You Need A Special Kind Of Towel For Car Drying?
From our roundup, you could have noticed that the towels are mostly made from microfiber, while a few are made from chamois.
We’ll go into the differences between these materials later – right now, let’s try to understand whether you need a special kind of towel for car drying and if so, why.
Short answer – you do need to use a special kind of towel to dry your car safely. Microfiber and chamois towels are far superior to regular cotton towels that many people may have lying around at home.
Although cotton is extremely soft, cotton towels can leave scratches on your car’s paint. This is because cotton towels often have polyester backing material and stitches in the edges. These can very easily scratch your car’s finish.
Some people may argue that 100% cotton towels will leave no scratches on the car. This may be true, but you will have to risk your car’s paint to give a cotton towel a try. In contrast, microfiber and chamois towels are much less likely to damage your car.
Why Are Microfiber & Chamois Towels Better Than Cotton Towels?
So why exactly are microfiber and chamois towels better than cotton towels? Here is why:
- Microfiber towels are made up of extremely fine fibers – typically 1/100 of the diameter of human hair. Thanks to this fineness and ensuing softness, microfiber towels are very unlikely to scratch your car.
- Chamois towels are made from soft and porous chamois leather. Chamois towels are mostly made from genuine leather, but some are made from synthetic leather.
Besides, microfiber and chamois towels share one important trait – they are extremely absorbent and very easy to remove water with.
What About Air-Drying The Car?
Another question to talk about is air-drying the car. When talking about air-drying, most people imply leaf blowers. If you have a leaf blower lying around, then it may seem like a good idea to dry your car with it.
Well, it’s actually not. This is mainly due to the impurity of the air. Your leaf blower will suck air from your surroundings, and chances are that the air will be contaminated with dust.
What would happen if contaminated air hit the finish of your car at high speed? You guessed it – the dust particles, no matter how fine, can very easily scratch the paint on your car.
Gas-powered leaf blowers have an additional problem. The gas may leak into the air and get sucked into the leaf blower. And if gas damages your car’s finish in any way, you may have one more problem to worry about.
So no, air-drying the car with a leaf blower or pretty much any other tool shooting air isn’t a good idea.
Chamois VS Microfiber Towels – Which Is Better For Car Drying?
Now, let’s briefly talk about the differences between chamois and microfiber towels and which you should choose.
For most people, we feel that microfiber towels are going to work just fine.
Microfiber towels are absorbent enough, easy to clean, and are very easy to use.
Chamois towels – whether synthetic or genuine – can easily scratch your car’s paint if used incorrectly.
A common problem with chamois towels is that they become hard if allowed to dry. To prevent this, chamois towels need to be stored damp.
Next, towels made from genuine chamois leather may start to rot, which won’t necessarily harm your car, but it will make the towel nasty.
Synthetic chamois towels may resolve this issue, but they also have their problems.
Their surface is often very smooth, which may lower their ability to trap and pick up dirt from the car. Instead, a smooth chamois towel may just drag the dirt around the finish, possibly damaging it.
Aside from that, a very smooth and flat towel may even stick to your car due to suction (because a flat towel may not leave gaps between itself and the car), which could again lead to you dragging dirt around.
On the other hand, chamois towels have two big advantages over microfiber towels – they are more absorbent and can also be wrung out and reused multiple times during a single wash. With a microfiber towel, you may need to use more than one towel to cover your entire car. With a chamois towel, a single towel can be used to dry your entire vehicle.
With that said, we think that for most people, the disadvantages of chamois outweigh its advantages. Microfiber is sufficiently absorbent to dry your car quickly (as mentioned above). Not only that, but they are easier to maintain and are much less likely to harm your car’s finish.
See this video by the Chemical Guys for some good tips on how to use the drying cloths.
Which Microfiber Blend To Choose?
Generally, polyamide is responsible for absorbing water, while polyester for scrubbing. With this in mind, 70/30 towels should be the best microfiber towels for cars. However, in practice, the differences between the two blends aren’t very significant, and many car owners think that both work well enough.
Avoid 100% polyester blends though – these will be very poor at absorbing water.
Where To Buy The Best Cloth To Dry Cars?
Nowadays, you have two options – shopping for a drying towel either locally or online.
Shopping locally is great in the sense that you can see and feel the towel to determine how fine and soft it truly is.
On the other hand, with online shopping, you don’t have to get out of home, and you also often have access to feedback from thousands of buyers.
We can’t help you with local shopping since we don’t know what stores may be available in your area, but with online shopping, we trust Amazon the most. You can find many towel options on Amazon, tons of reviews from real people, worry-free returns, and free shipping (especially if you are subscribed to Prime).
Best Car Drying Towels – Final Words
Picking the best car drying towel isn’t just about spending money wisely – it’s also about keeping your car’s finish pristine.
So please do make an effort to get the right drying towel for your needs. You should be safe with our picks, like the Meguiar’s Supreme Shine microfiber drying towel, but think over your options well so that you make the right choice.
Last update on 2023-12-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
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