10 Best Microfiber Car Cloths: Dry A Car In Minutes

Microfiber Car Cloths

Microfiber car cloths are a must-have when it comes to car maintenance. They’re very flexible and can use them for just about anything.

Despite their multi-use purpose, microfiber towels are best used to dry vehicles. They’re also great to use when cleaning glass, removing dirt, debris, and dust from cars, and for applying quick detailer.

While it’s important that you have the right tools, it’s also important you know the right technique. Learn “How to dry your car properly” so that you can get the best out of the microfiber towels listed below.

The most common types of Microfiber towels

General Purpose – Good for everything, this is possibly the only microfiber cloth you know exists. I can tell you before I started detailing, it’s the only one I had ever seen and now here I am, writing an article explaining all the different types.

While these cloths do everything, they do tend to come in different shapes and sizes. The most notable difference being the pile (the strands of yarn that come out of the cloth).

Shorter pile towels are more dense and compact while longer pile towels have longer fibers and are generally softer and plusher.

There are 3 different types of “pile” but I try to work off of GSM (grams per square meter) as each pile comes tends to weigh in between different ranges.

Short Pile – Better used on harder surfaces that are less likely to be scratched i.e Tires, Trim, Leather, and Engine bays. If you see a cloth with 250 GSM or under, it’s short pile and you should only use it on parts that don’t have a gloss finish.

Medium Pile – Safe on all surfaces, you’ll get away with using it on both hard and soft paint as well as plastics and other tough surfaces. It’s not as “safe” as a long pile cloth but as long as you aren’t careless you’ll be fine. This is the most commonly used cloth and comes in around 360 GSM.

Long Pile – Extremely soft, very plush and is the safest general purpose cloth for using on paintwork. When it comes to drying your car, the long pile towels should be your go-to drying aid if you cannot afford a premium waffle weave cloth. Long pile cloths generally begin at around 400 GSM but I’ve seen many which are 1000 GSM+.

Waffle Weave – The waffle weave towel is used mostly for drying and buffing. It’s lint-free and is a lot thinner than general-purpose cloths.

Waffle weave cloths are able to absorb a lot of standing water with just one pass. Thanks to how absorbent they are you’ll be able to dry your car a lot quicker meaning that there’s less chance of leaving water spots.

I like to use waffle weaves when I’m cleaning my glass as well. Not only are they great at absorbing, but they’ll also leave your paint and glass streak-free!

What to look for when buying a microfiber towel

As you become more familiar with detailing, you’ll start having your own product preferences. What I’m looking for in a microfiber towel could be different from what you want.

It can be hard to see the difference between the cloths from just eyeballing them, but there are many differences. It’s not just the branding to consider, always pay attention to:

Size – Cloths come in all different shapes and sizes. Since we’re using them for detailing, mostly drying, I tend to get the bigger sizes as they cover more surface area and can help you to dry your car quicker.

Having smaller cloths at the ready is always good. You can always find a use for microfiber cloths in detailing no matter the shape or size.

Edges/Softness – It’s incredibly important to have soft edges on your towels, hard edges and labels can cause scratches to your paintwork.

Most detailing brands are aware of this and make towels with this in mind, but if you’re opting for budget options that aren’t necessarily made for cars, you need to think about the potential risk factor.

Reusability – If you’re paying good money for a premium towel, you want to be able to reuse it over and over again without it deteriorating.

Look for towels that are machine washable and come with a guarantee. Make sure that you follow the wash instructions otherwise it’s likely they will deteriorate quicker than expected.

It’s not such a big deal with cheap throwaway towels, as you’ll find out later on but when you’re spending $15-$30 on one or two towels, you want them to last.

Polyester/Polyamide Ratio – This ratio is often indicative of the quality and softness of the towels. The more polyamide content, the softer the towel should be.

Budget microfiber towels are normally 90%/10%

Average general purpose microfiber towels are 80%/20%

Premium Detailing brands offer towels that are 70%/30%

While it’s important to take as many steps as you can to prevent damage to the paintwork of the car, if you’re finding success with a cheaper option, don’t bother changing it up.

Whether you’re a hobbyist detailer or someone looking to start up a business, it’s always good to have products that other people can vouch for and have a proven success record with.

Below I will list the microfiber towels I’ve found to work best and the reasons why they’re so good.

The Best Microfiber Towels for Drying, Waxing & Quick Detailing cars

With cars quickly becoming the most expensive property the average person will own in a lifetime, it’s important that you learn to treat them with the respect they deserve.

Treating your car with respect starts with a regular maintenance schedule and owning the right detailing products.

As an experienced detailer, I’ve learned over the years which brands and products are superior, remember, paying more for a product doesn’t necessarily mean it’s any better.

Below is a list of microfiber towels that I found to be the best for detailing my car.

“The Rag Company” Dry Me a River JR Drying Towel (2-Pack)

Dry Me a River 20x40 Waffle Weave Rag

Tech Specs:
GSM – 400
Size – 20in x 40in
Polyester / Polyamide Blend – 70%/30% with Microfiber Suede Edges
Check Price on Amazon

This towel has a reputation for a reason. It’s one of the most popular drying towels on the market and is used by many professional detailers. Why? Because it’s incredible.

The Dry Me a River waffle weave towel is made by the rag company. It’s originally 26in x 59in, but I’ve opted for the “Dry Me a River Jr 2 Pack” as it offers better value for money.

As a detailer, I’ve always found that it’s useful to have 2 slightly smaller towels over one big one.

The only differences between the two towels are the size and edge material. The Dry Me a River Jr cloth is 20×40 and offers a satin edge instead of a stitched edge. Both towels are made using the same premium South Korean waffle weave material.

I’ve talked to many hobbyist detailers that use this towel, many of which have applauded its efficiency.

Thanks to its size and ability to absorb water, you will no longer have to use multiple cheap 16×16 cloths to dry your car.

Using this cloth and the correct drying techniques will allow you to shave minutes off of your drying times meaning no more racing against the sun! goodbye streaks, goodbye water spots!

With proper care, there’s no reason why you can’t use this towel for hundreds of washes. Especially if you were to use the towels for drying paintwork. (stick to using cheaper towels for the wheels, trim, interior, etc).

“Kirkland” Ultra High Pile Premium Microfiber Towels (36-Pack)

Kirkland Towels

Tech Specs:
GSM – 365
Size – 16in x 16in
Polyester / Polyamide Blend – 80%/20%
Check Price on Amazon

Anyone that details their car often will know that you can never have enough microfiber towels. This should resonate with you even more if you’re a professional detailer.

The Kirkland Signature towels will allow you to fill your arsenal with hundreds of microfiber cloths at very little cost.

If you’re fortunate to live near a Costco these cloths will cost you as little as $0.50 each. This is why they’re often referred to as “Costco Towels” among people in the industry. It’s where you can buy them at their cheapest.

Unfortunately, if you’re not close to a Costco store, you’ll need to buy them from another shop such as Amazon, where they’re likely to cost closer to $1 per towel.

The main selling point of these towels has to be their price, but they are actually good quality for their price. You don’t need to worry about them falling apart, and if they do, well they’re cheap as!

While I prefer to use waffle weaves for drying my vehicle, at 365 GSM, the Kirkland towels are soft enough and plush enough for paintwork.

I have read people advise against using them on the paintwork of a car but I know many people that do and have done myself.
They’re 300+ GSM and are 80%/20% Blend which is soft enough for paint. Make sure you’re paying attention and are using the correct practices and you’ll be fine.

If you’re taking these towels to your paint pay attention to the labels, they’re abrasive and obnoxious. The label will marr your paint if you’re not careful.

For me, Kirkland Signature towels are best used in the dirtier areas of your car. If you’re looking to dry your alloys, wash your door jams or detail your trim and interior, these towels are perfect.

If you plan on reusing them, pay close attention to the deterioration of the cloth. Because they’re not a premium option, they may last as long.

Overall they’re a great multi-purpose option and they’re incredibly cheap. Great for the hobbyist, great for the professionals. I can’t think of any reason why you wouldn’t at least try them out.

FINALLY, if you are using one of these towels on your paint and its start getting rough, it’s time to either bin it, or use it on the interior only. It’s not worth risking your paint.

“The Rag Company” South Korean Waffle Weave (5-Pack)

Tech Specs:
GSM – 400
Size – 16in x 16in
Polyester / Polyamide Blend – 70%/30% with soft suede edges
Check Price on Amazon

Another drying towel from the rag company. This towel shares the same premium materials as the aforementioned dry me a river towel.

The main difference between the towels is size and quantity. Buying the Dry Me A River JR bundle would land you with two larger towels, rather than 5 16×16 towels.

One downside is that I’ve found the waffle weave on the smaller cloths not to be as defined. It’s not a huge deal but they do seem to be a little less absorbent.

I personally own 2 Dry Me a River JR towels and 10 of these. They are more than enough for my drying needs and will allow me to dry multiple cars a day.

When drying I tend to use the bigger towels for the bulk of the drying (Mainly drying the upper portion of the cars) and then I follow up with the 16 x 16 ones.

If you’re someone that’s starting up their own detailing business or expect to be drying multiple cars in a day, you will want to have a collection of drying towels.

Buying this premium 5 pack will allow you to get a bunch of high-quality drying towels without having to break the bank. It’s a no brainer, especially when you want to keep your operating costs low.

I found that initially, these cloths were a little bit harder than I would have liked. After multiple car washes, they softened up and managed to hold more water. Don’t bother adding fabric softeners to the cloths to speed up that process, you risk ruining the towels.

This 5 pack is a great option for busy professionals and weekend detailers that want premium towels at a reasonable price.

“Eurow” Microfiber Deluxe Cleaning Towels (36-Pack)

Tech Specs:
GSM – 350
Size – 16in x 16in
Polyester / Polyamide Blend – 80%/20%
Check Price on Amazon

Eurow was the brand of towels that Costco supplied before Kirkland came in and started taking over.
Back in the day, these cloths were the “Costco cloths” and it wouldn’t be unreasonable to say they were better than Kirkland currently have to offer.

Despite having a lower GSM, these towels are plusher than its Kirkland counterparts, they pick up dirt with ease and leave you with a dry, scratch-free car.

I love owning various multipurpose towels. They’re good for every detailing task you can think of. Whether it’s washing, drying, buffing or a dirty trim job, cheap multipurpose towels allow you to get the job done on a budget.

If you choose to buy these cloths there’s a couple of things you will need to do first before using them on your car.

These cloths do have an abrasive tag but they’re incredibly easy to remove. Just tear the tag off using your hand and forget about it.

You will also need to wash them once before-hand (like you should any towel). They come with an oily feel and matted fibers out of the packet but after a wash, the fibers spread the and the oily film has disappeared.

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to pick the Eurow cloths up for anywhere near as cheap as the Kirkland cloths but they’re still cheap enough that you can justify throwing them away after a couple of washes or when they start to deteriorate.

“Ahlink” Microfiber Cleaning Cloths (6-Pack)

Ahlink Microfiber Towels

Tech Specs:
GSM – 625
Size – 16in x 24in
Polyester / Polyamide Blend – 80%/20%
Check Price on Amazon

This is the thickest towel I’m going to recommend. I don’t really find any use for thicker towels in my detailing processes but I still own some as it’s always good to have options.

On colder days where my waffle weave cloths aren’t performing as well as I’d hope I often bring out the plusher Ahlink towels to dry cars. I’ll also use them when buffing or removing wax though it’s very rare I’ll do this with towels.

These cloths are incredibly soft, they’re much plusher than the other towels listed but they also retain water a lot more. I was considering using these as my main drying towels until I found them getting very heavy and full of water, resulting in minor streaking and some scratches.

Obviously what I should have done was change cloths, however, if I can get the job done with one or two cloths from the rag company, why would I want to haul about twice as many Ahlink towels?

Overall this cloth offers a good middle ground between throwaway and premium. They’re in the middle price range too.

Microfiber towels are all preference, they will all do a similar job, but you will find that you get better results with one of another. Your best bet is to keep experimenting until you find a towel that works for you.

Why cheap microfiber cloths aren’t necessarily bad.

A lot of the time buying budget options is a bad idea. When it comes to detailing, cheap towels will always have their place in any professionals arsenal.

Most of the time cheap cloths are short pile and don’t offer much plushness, in the past I was worried about this, especially when using them on paintwork but I’m yet to scratch any surface while using them. If you make sure they’re clean and lubricated you’ll be fine!

Once they start looking used I simply turn them into a tire, trim or interior cloth that way I don’t need to worry about my paintwork getting scratched.

They’re brilliant because you can buy lots of them and discard them without thinking about the cost. If you’re a detailing startup or beginner hobbyist these will do the trick for now and will be a good backup option later down the road.

Don’t bother using them for drying unless you really have to. Instead, I would suggest getting yourself a couple of high-quality long pile cloths or better yet The Rag Companys’ “Dry Me a River” waffle weave 2 pack.

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About the Author: JoshWilkins

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