Microfiber towels are simple by design, as they are only meant to dry things off and clean up messes. However, that doesn’t mean that all microfiber towels are created equal. Generally, you’ll want to consider the following before you buy:
The size of the microfiber towel you purchase is a personal choice, but it should line up with your intended use. If you’re looking for a towel that can get into all the nooks and crannies, then you might want a smaller towel. If you want a towel that can dry your car as quickly as possible, then you may opt for a larger or extra-large towel. However, it should be noted that the larger the towel you buy the more difficult it may become to wield and use.
Types of Microfiber
Microfiber by definition is 100 times finer than a single human hair. That doesn’t mean that every microfiber towel features the same fibers or even the same blend of materials. It should be noted that not all microfiber towels are meant to be used on your car. Below, is a list of common types of microfiber towels you may encounter:
- General use: This towel is 80/20 and 220.0 GSM. It’s best used for all-purpose cleaning.
- Safe: This towel is 75/25 and 360.0 GSM. It’s best for applying wax, buffing, and polishing, making them great automotive detailing towels.
- Delicate: This towel is 75/25 and 600.0 GSM. It’s best for more delicate surfaces.
- Safer: This towel is 75/25 and 400.0 GSM. These washcloths are fine for use on most surfaces.
- Safest: This towel is 70/30 and 600.0 GSM. These multi-purpose wash towels are safe to use on all surfaces and work for car care.
- Glass: This towel is 80/20 and 350.0 GSM. It’s best used for drying and glass cleaning.
It may seem nitpicky, but after the edges of a microfiber towel blemish your car’s paint, you’ll be kicking yourself for not considering your towel edge. Towel edges are often the most overlooked part of a towel, but they can oftentimes cause the most damage. While the towel itself may be made from soft microfiber, the edges of these towels may not.
We recommend that you find an edgeless towel or one with a rolled edge. The soft edges of these towels will ensure that you don’t damage your car’s exterior. If you feel like you must have a towel with edges, we recommend those that are silk-banded, made from silk, or those that are microfiber stitched as the soft material won’t leave scratches behind.
We asked Mike Pennington, the Director of Global Training, Event Marketing, and Consumer Relations at Meguiar’s, about selecting the best car drying towel. Pennington recommended that detailers seek out premium brands with high fiber counts, but also stressed the importance of good towel management.
“[You should] have a variety of towels. For example, your glass towels – keep those as glass towels and wash them separately. Have your paint towels, keep those separately and wash them separately. Have your cotton towels for your leather, your interior, your wheels, your engine bay. Manage those separately.”
Your cleanest towels might be used for exterior paint, and then used for interior cleaning as they age. Once a detailing towel is too grimy for the interior, it might be used as a wheel towel, and finally a floor rag until it needs to be thrown away.
Towel management can be as crucial as towel selection and even the best microfiber towel will at some point become greasy and unusable. As Pennington puts it, “[Proper towel management] will yield far better results as a consumer – or a pro for that matter.”