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BY Austin Fracchia , Linsay Thomas / LAST UPDATED ON November 17, 2021
Your car, motorcycle, or UTV’s exterior is a delicate thing. Paint can scratch, glass can fog or blur, and trim can easily be damaged by the wrong cleaning products. This is especially true with how you wipe down, apply wax, or clean your ride’s exterior. Most folks don’t think twice about the towel they use, but they should. Using the wrong one can leave behind a damaged finish. Not so with microfiber cloths. These brilliant little cleaning products gently wipe away dirt, debris, and water and leave a sparkling finish. And now, thanks to your friends at The Drive, we’ve put together a list of the best on the market. Check it out below.
This set of three microfiber towels is perfect for drying your car. Each towel measures 22 by 30 inches. They have a waffle texture pattern to the weave.
A pack of multi-colored microfiber car towels that offer a good balance between budget-friendly pricing and performance.
A premium microfiber towel from one of the top names in the car detailing industry.
Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
We’ve used hundreds of different microfiber towels over the course of our automotive lives. From cheap as heck Amazon products to luxurious offerings from Meguiar’s and Chemical Guys. We’ve bought towels from retailers such as Amazon, Walmart, Autozone, and everywhere in between. Suffice it to say, we know what we’re looking for and that’s absorption rate, size, quantity in the package, color-coding, percentage of polyamide, and types of microfiber. We put emphasis on brands we know and trust, but also threw in some that were worth the bargain-basement pricing. What we have left is what we think are some solid options for your next microfiber towel buy.
More on Cleaning & Detailing
Each of Meguiar’s X2000 microfiber towels in this three-piece set measures 22 by 30 inches and have a waffle texture pattern to the weave and provide a spot-free finish. These microfiber towels are called "water magnets" because they absorb such a great amount of water and compared to regular towels, Meguiar's towels can absorb up to double the amount of water. As a result, you won't have to wring them out as often. Plus, they don't leave behind water streaks. Overall, they make it much easier to clean your car.
However, one problem with these towels is that they are some of the most expensive ones available. Also, you need to be careful when drying them so they don’t get dirty and scratch your car the next time you use them.
These multi-colored, plush microfiber car towels from Sinland are budget-friendly and designed to remove both wax and sealant, are 100 percent machine washable, and work in both wet and dry conditions. They can absorb nearly 10 times their weight in liquid and are easy and quick to wring out, and the material is extremely soft and does a good job of preventing marks, streaks, swirls, and spots on the car's surface while you're polishing or waxing a vehicle. You can use these towels on the paint, mirrors, windows, and more.
Unfortunately, the towels are a little small, and there have been some complaints that they're not as absorbent as some rival brands. They may also leave behind some lint on your vehicle.
Chemical Guys' Woolly Mammoth Microfiber Dryer Towel is a premium product that is 100-percent washable. The towels are made of extra-plush microfiber and have silk-banded edges to remove the potential for swirls and scratches, is 25 by 36 inches, and features fibers in a spiral pattern for added absorbency. This towel is soft and thick, and its high-quality materials and construction hold a lot of water, nor does it cause streaks or scratches on sensitive painted surfaces.
However, you may need more than one towel if you have a bigger vehicle. Also, it may leave some lint behind on the vehicle's exterior after some use, and it can be difficult to slide the towel across the surface quickly on some styles of paint.
Mighty Cleaner Premium Microfiber Towels are super soft and super gentle, and these features make them a fantastic choice for cleaning, detailing, and caring for your car. They’re ideal for delicate car surfaces and materials, like your car’s dashboard and exterior paint. Made with extra-long fur, these microfiber towels can pick up dirt and hang onto it tightly, all while preventing scratches, smearing, and potential damage. With a seamless design, there’s no potential for these soft towels to leave marks behind on your vehicle.
Whether you’re cleaning or drying your car, you’ll want to have a supply of these 12 x 12-inch microfiber towels on hand. They’re exceptionally soft, and they can leave behind a dust-free shine with every use.
If you’re looking for microfiber towels for your car that are a bit larger, CarCarez Microfiber Towels are a great option. These 16 x 16-inch towels give you extra material for cleaning, drying, or detailing, and are made out of premium 450 gsm microfiber material, you’ll get softness as well as strong absorbency from each of the six towels included in each set. The light blue material allows you to see dirt as you remove or wipe it away. Plush and thick, these towels will stay strong even when you’re cleaning very stubborn dirt.
With no tags, no seams, and no edges, these microfiber towels are ideal for waterless washing, quick detailing, or even polishing and buffing. They can absorb two times more than a traditional microfiber cleaning cloth, and you don’t have to worry about issues like streaking or scratching on any surface.
For the best of the best (and a few extra towels), we recommend checking out the Meguiar’s X2000 Water Magnet Microfiber Drying Towel (3 Pack). Another great microfiber towel option is the SINLAND 720gsm Ultra Thick Plush Microfiber Car Cleaning Towels.
As with everything, more information is better than less, so here’s everything you need to know about microfiber towels.
Many microfiber towels feature a waffle texture with small depressions on the cloth. They are very absorbent because they have higher surface areas and are great to use after you've washed your vehicle. You can also use waffle microfiber towels to clean areas such as the tires and chrome.
Towels with a suede microfiber texture are ideal when you're polishing your car, truck, or SUV. They have a smooth and satiny feeling to them and are perfect for polishing metal and chrome items on your vehicle. Ultimately, it's a personal preference when it comes to waffle or suede-style microfiber towels.
If you want to remove wax, look for a medium pile microfiber towel. They can also be used to remove water and are best for basic cleaning. They're not designed for delicate surface areas. Long pile towels are the softest and are ideal for buffing. They are very absorbent and will shine up a finish without scratching it.
Generally, thicker microfiber towels are better for car detailing. They absorb more wax and polish and are less likely to leave streaks behind. Some towels are measured in grams per square meter (gsm). Lighter towels have a lower gsm and tend to be the least expensive. Those with around 200 gsm are fine for towel drying a vehicle.
You can find microfiber car towels in a variety of sizes, but the best ones for detailing are between 12 by 12 inches to 16 by 27 inches (or the size of a hand towel). Smaller, more lightweight towels are best for cleaning a vehicle's interior as well as its mirrors and windows. Use larger towels for the exterior surface.
Most microfiber towels are 80 percent polyester and 20 percent polyamide, so they are soft and absorbent. Those with a higher level of polyamide are more absorbent, while those with more polyester are more likely to leave lint behind. Most brands are very careful about the composition and the ability of the towels to remove dirt and debris.
Meguiar's, based in Irvine, Calif., is well known in the industry due to its over 100-year commitment to automotive excellence. It designs products for every automotive surface, including paint, wheels, tires, and interiors. We recommend the Meguiar’s X2000 Water Magnet Microfiber Drying Towel (3 Pack).
California-based Chemical Guys is a popular supplier of automotive detailing supplies. The company manufactures high-quality waxes, coatings, polishes, and sealants as well as this Chemical Guys Woolly Mammoth Microfiber Dryer Towel.
Detailer's Preference, based in Simi Valley, Calif., produces a wide variety of detailing products, such as sheepskin mitts, buckets, and microfiber towels like Detailer's Preference Premium Thick Super Absorbent Wash and Detail Microfiber Towels.
LA-based OxGord designs a variety of high-quality automotive accessories and home products, such as seat covers, floor mats, fender flares, and the OxGord Microfiber Cleaning Cloth.
Generally speaking, the price of microfiber towels is based on the number of towels included in the set. The more towels you get, the more money you will spend, but you can pick up a set of microfiber towels for under $15. There are a few more expensive versions, but you don’t have to spend a fortune.
You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.
Do you like your car’s paint all pristine and shiny like?
There’s your answer. Normal towels are too hard to use on delicate body panels. Using a microfiber towel, on the other hand, won't scratch the surface because the material is soft.
There is no specific amount, but the towel should avoid just pushing the water around as you clean the surface.
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