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Your car is a precious piece of beautiful metal that, while it’s only second only in value to your home, plays a very important role in your life. That is why it is imperative that you take care of it by wiping off dirt, dust, debris, and other particles off the various surfaces of your vehicle. And while you can just as easily use almost any other kind of cloth or rag, there’s nothing quite like a microfiber cloth when it comes to picking up even the tiniest particles off your car.
Unfortunately, picking the right one can be tricky since they all look the same, they also feel the same. The only difference, it would seem, is the name of the company that makes and sells them. Good thing we’ve come up with this review and guide of the best microfiber towels for cars in 2020. Our aim is to equip you with the right knowledge to make the choice yourself. And if you’re in a hurry to start cleaning your ride using these microfiber towels for cars, you definitely would want to check out our list first.
The Best Microfiber Towel
Despite the fact that it doesn’t come with a published GSM for its product, the Zwipes 735 Microfiber Towel Cleaning Cloth still easily bags the respect of many vehicle owners as well as ordinary folks who need a better fabric for all their cleaning needs. While it doesn’t print any GSM labeling, Zwipes nevertheless puts its design at around 110,000 fibers for every square inch. And at 192 square inches, you’re looking at more than 21 million individual fibers picking up microscopic particles, dirt, and other debris that may be present on the various surfaces of your car.
Many consumers like the plushness of its design as well as its ability to clean glossy and glassy surfaces without leaving nasty swirls and streaks. And if you ask them, the Zwipes 735 is simply the best microfiber cloth in the market. It’s fully washable and reusable, too. The Zwipes 735 also dries a lot quicker than other brands, giving you the opportunity to use it many times over in a day.
- Contains 110 thousand microfiber fibers per square inch
- Ultra-soft, plush, streak-free design
- Washable and reusable
- Size: 16 x 12 inches
- Weight1 Lbs
Featuring a super-soft and ultra-absorbent fabric, the Royal Reusable Microfiber Cleaning Cloth from Equinox International is a great addition to your automotive toolbox or even to your box of household cleaning tools. The 24-pack is a few dollars more expensive than AmazonBasics at exactly the same size.
The softness of its fabric is made possible by its 90/10 microfiber blend, giving it exceptional durability, water absorbency, and plushness that will not create streaks or swirl marks on your digital screens, window glasses, and any other surface on and off your vehicle. Its absorbency is rated 10 times its weight, making it exceptionally ideal for various applications although its primary use is on automobiles and boats.
Ultra-soft, super-absorbent, non-damaging design
90% polyester, 10% polyamide
Size: 16 x 12 inches
- Weight1 Lbs
The only difference between the X2000 and the X2020 from Meguiar’s is that the latter has a slightly smaller dimension at 16 by 24 inches. The 100% polyester edging is guaranteed to be super-soft, making sure your glass and painted surfaces are kept free from streaks, swirls, and other signs of surface damage. It comes with an 80/20 blend of polyester and polyamide making it exceptionally resilient against repeated washings.
The pile design is deep allowing for the more efficient cleaning and drying of surfaces. This Meguiar’s product rightfully deserves a spot on this list of the best microfiber cloth for your car. It may be priced substantially steeper than the other products in this list but considering that it’s a product that’s used by professional car detailers, you do get excellent value for your purchase.
Swirl-free, mirror-like finish
80% polyester, 20% polyamide with 100% polyester edging
Size: 24 x 16 inches
Available only in golden yellow color, this 16 x 24 inch Premium Microfiber Towel is an excellent choice especially if you like the idea of an ultra-soft silk band as its edging. This is quite exceptional since most products typically construct their edging with the same material as the rest of the microfiber cloth. Since silk is naturally more expensive, you might think that the Chemical Guys MIC 507 will be several times pricier than conventional microfiber towels for cars. However, an analysis of its per-piece pricing shows that it is technically of the same price range as other higher end products.
Additionally, in spite of its silk edging, it is still fully machine washable. Its 70/30 blend gives it strength, durability, and softness that should make cleanups a lot easier for you. It’s guaranteed never to leave swirl marks or even scratches on your precious surfaces.
Swirl-free, lint-free, scratch-free design
Dual pile weave
Dual-length, double sided design
70% polyester, 30% polyamide
- BrandChemical Guys
- Weight1.2 Lbs
Featuring the largest dimension for a microfiber car drying towel in this list at a staggering 9 square feet, the Viking Microfiber Waffle Weave Drying Towel takes on its namesake pretty seriously. The extra-large surface area of the Viking easily translates to better work efficiency as you can cover more areas at once with a single passing. Its non-abrasive and super-soft nature will also not leave any sign of surface damage to your car’s interior and exterior details. This is made possible by its micro-bead action which is the function of its waffle weave design.
Fully capable of holding water up to 3 times its soaked-up weight, you can depend on the Viking to make cleaning and drying various surfaces a breeze. Just be prepared to pay slightly higher since its size is already equivalent to a few pieces of conventional cleaning cloths.
Clear coat-safe, lint-free design
Super-soft, super-absorbent construction
Size: 39 x 33.5 inches
- Weight11.5 ounces
Buff’s Pro Multi Surface Microfiber Towel is an all-purpose cleaning cloth that is available in 10 colors in a squarish design, unlike the traditional rectangular shape. Buff features essentially the same specifications as other premium quality microfiber cloth including exceptional cleaning performance, washability, and reusability.
The split microfibers allow for the more efficient removal of surface contaminants, trapping them within the spaces of the microfibers while easily removing them when shaken off and washed. It’s absorbent, soft, and extra thick, too.
Multi-purpose cleaning towel
Polyester blend with 100% split microfiber fibers
Size: 16 x 16 inches
- Weight1.4 Lbs
There’s a reason why Autofiber’s Zeroedge Detailing Tower is slowly making its way towards the collective consciousness of serious car owners and detailers. Unlike conventional microfiber towels for cars that come with edging, Zeroedge offers one continuous cleaning surface to really eliminate the risk of scratching your car’s delicate surfaces. Edgings usually create a thicker section on the cleaning cloth. This can exert undue pressure on surfaces, leaving certain marks that may or may not be visible.
At the very least, Autofiber’s Zeroedge construction helps guarantee that your surfaces will remain as pristine as the day you first bought it. The fibers follow a more cleaning-efficient split fiber design and are constructed of dual pile combination of polyamide and polyester at a ratio of 1:4. It’s available in 5 colors to suit the owner’s personality or match his other cleaning tools as well.
Scratch-free, edgeless, super absorbent design
Dual pile, split microfiber fabric
75% polyester, 25% polyamide
Size: 16 x 16 inches
- Weight12 ounces
Rounding up our list of the best microfiber towels is this 50-pack set from Simple Houseware. It is especially designed for the budget-conscious homeowner and vehicle enthusiast. Having said that, its GSM 250 rating may not be as thick as the rest of the products in this list, but it sure has good absorbent properties for everyday use.
There are 4 colors in the pack of 50, giving you the versatility of assigning a color for each cleaning activity. If you’re not really interested in very expensive cleaning cloths and would like to have a piece of the best microfiber cloth for every single device, item, or gadget in your home, then this 50 pack from Simple Houseware is perfect.
8 times absorbency rating
Non-abrasive material: 85% polyester, 15% nylon
Size: 12 x 16 inches
- BrandSimple Houseware
- Weight3.6 Lbs
If you’re looking to economize without sacrificing the integrity of your car’s glass, clear coat, dashboard, and trims among others, AmazonBasics is an excellent choice. Although there are quite a few complaints regarding the quality of its construction especially with the edging and the way the fabric ‘shrinks’ after the initial washing.
While these are of minor nuisance, the fact remains that the AmazonBasics Microfiber Cleaning Cloth remains a very viable cleaning cloth for a variety of surfaces, not only on your vehicle. It’s absorbent and provides a streak-free cleaning of all of your surfaces, especially the glassy ones. The combination of polyester and polyamide gives it its durability with repeated washings while also allowing it to pick up all dirt from your appliances, gadgets, fixtures, furniture, and tools.
Super-soft, scratch-free, non-abrasive design
90% polyester, 10% polyamide
Size: 16 x 12 inches
- Weight1.63 Lbs
When it comes to car detailing Meguiar’s is one of those names that professionals turn to. Their X2000 Water Magnet Microfiber Drying Towel is a car drying towel that gives you the opportunity to completely dry off your vehicle in half the time it would take other products to work. The X2000 is super absorbent, fully able to hold up to 2 times the weight of water than the more conventional terrys. It’s fully machine washable, too, and comes with a size that is large enough to use as your own bath towel; well, sort of.
The waffle weave is a great departure from the traditional patterns of cleaning cloths and towels, providing you with a much-better solution for wiping off dirt and moisture off surfaces. Its unique design helps it stay soft even after drying, a characteristic that is best known in chamois products.
Waffle weave, super-absorbent, scratch-free, streak-free design
Machine washable and reusable
Size: 30 x 22 inches
- Weight4.8 ounces
Microfiber Towels Buying Guide
If you look in the market today, you’d definitely have a headache picking the right microfiber towel for your car. The reason is simple. They all look the same. Unfortunately, the difference between a premium quality product and a mediocre one cannot be readily ascertained without performing a series of tests. For one, testing for the absorptive capabilities of such products will typically indicate whether they have split fibers or not. The point is that you will have to be more vigilant and pay attention to even the smallest detail so you’ll be able to bring home the best microfiber cloth for your car or for any other possession of yours.
What is a Microfiber Car Towel?
As the name implies, a microfiber car towel is a piece of cleaning cloth made of microfiber fabrics primarily intended for cleaning a vehicle, be it a car, truck, SUV, a recreational vehicle, or any other mode of transportation. While it is easy to say that other fabric materials can also be used in the cleaning and drying of your car’s interior and exterior details, there are certain unique characteristics of microfiber that make them especially fit for the job.
They call these fibers as such because they are generally smaller than the standard 1 denier measurement of a single silk strand. By comparison, the average diameter of a human hair follicle is 5 times the diameter of a single strand of silk. Since microfiber is smaller than a silk strand, rated at 1 denier, this effectively puts a single microfiber strand at less than 10 micrometers in diameter.
Different materials are used in the fabrication of microfiber towels, often depending on the intended purpose. However, they do share some common characteristics including softness, absorption capability, toughness, filtering capability, and electrostatic property.
It is through these properties that microfiber car towels exert their cleaning and drying efficiency. We shall explore later on just how these so-called water- and dirt-magnets are able to work their magic on almost any other surface. Suffice it to say, while microfiber car towels are labeled as such, they can also be used on other items. As we have already said, these cleaning implements can be used on virtually any surface.
What is a Microfiber Towel Made Of?
Microfiber towels are typically made up of polyester, polyamide, or a combination of these two materials. Some manufacturers also include polypropylene giving it a recyclable characteristic.
Polyesters are valued for their strength and durability, giving them exceptional resistance against repeated washings, shrinkage, abrasion, wrinkling, and even stretching. In many cases, these fibers are also resistant to the formation of mildew. The unique chemical structure of polyesters gives it exceptional insulation and the ability to dry quickly. This makes it easy to wash and dry.
Polyamides, of which nylon seems to be a venerable representative, are exceptionally strong and highly resistant to damage brought about by chemicals and oils. This feature makes it ideal for cleaning grease and grime off certain components or parts of the modern automobile. It’s elastic, too, which is perfect for reaching into deeper nooks and crannies. Like polyesters, polyamides are resistant to abrasion and are easy to wash and dry, too.
Different Types of Microfiber Towels
Microfiber towels are generally classified according to their pile height. Like all other items that use this metric, the longer or higher the pile, the softer and plusher it is. The shorter the pile, the more dense and compact the fibers appear, giving it a more ‘rigid’ structure. It is within these parameters that we shall take a look at the different types of microfiber towels and their specific uses.
- Short pile
As the name suggests, short pile microfiber towels are excellent for all-purpose cleaning, but mostly for non-sensitive or non-delicate surfaces that you don’t want damaged by scratches or even miniature swirl marks. These generally come in 80/20 blends at around 220-250 GSM. Dashboards, plastic trims, car upholstery, exhausts, and other car parts that do not rely on a glossy-smooth finish will benefit from a short pile.
- Medium pile
These types of microfiber car towels come in 3 different variants: the standard medium, plush, and the medium long pile.
The standard medium is ideal for applying and removing car waxes as well as removing car polishes. It is also perfect for other applications where there is no need to rinse the surface. Standard medium piles can also be used for cleaning the interiors as well as buffing your vehicle. However, it should not be used for cleaning really dirty surfaces. These come in 75/25 blend and feel a lot softer than the short pile.
The medium plush pile is perfect for highly delicate surfaces such as chrome finished trims, glass, and clear plastics or any other surface that can be easily scratched. It is way softer than the standard medium although it still comes at the usual 75/25 blend. Typically, the medium plush comes with a higher GSM rating, often in the 600 upwards, while the standard is more on the 360 GSM levels.
The medium long sits well between the standard medium and the medium plush when it comes to GSM rating at about 400. It has the same characteristics of the standard medium especially when it comes to its cleaning purposes. However, it is softer and plusher, too, but not so much as to mimic that of the medium plush.
- Long pile
At 70/30 blend, often in 600 GSM, the long pile microfiber car towel is the perfect solution of buffing and drying as its exceptionally longer pile allows for greater absorption. It is the softest among the different types of microfiber cleaning cloths and is great for achieving the optimum shine in your car.
Aside from the usual length of the pile, there are also microfiber towels that are categorized according to their intended purpose. Here are two of the more commonly used microfiber towels in car detailing and cleaning applications.
- Waffle weave pile
The waffle weave can be used on all surfaces but most especially on glass and mirrors. It’s superb as a drying towel and comes in an 80/20 blend at 350 GSM.
- Applicator pile
As the name suggests, this microfiber towel is perfect as an applicator or wax, glaze, sealant, and even dressing. It comes in 350 GSM at a 70/30 mix.
Why are Microfiber Towels Good for Cleaning?
The magic of microfiber towels can be found in the way the fibers have been split during the course of their manufacture. This results in the creation of multiple fibers within a single strand of microfiber. If you are going to look at its cross-section, it would resemble an asterisk while a conventional fiber will be cylindrical. Because there are spaces in between these split fibers, dust, particles, dirt, and other microscopic substances can get lodged in these spaces, affording the microfiber towel exceptional cleaning ability at the same time picking up the contaminants and away from the surface. Simply put, dirt is removed without leaving scratches.
The same structure allows water molecules to get trapped and picked up by the fiber giving it the ability to wipe moist or wet surfaces in a more efficient manner. This is made even more efficient because of the hydrogen bonds that exist in polyamides. The fibers of a microfiber towel also do not leave lint, unlike cotton products. It is this combination of efficient dirt and oil removal, liquid absorption, and lint-free characteristics that make microfiber cloths the go-to by professional car detailers.
Are Microfiber Towels Washable?
Because of the inherent structure of both polyester and polyamide, microfiber towels are fully washable. They dry easily, too, allowing for multiple uses within a shorter period of time. However, it is important to use only the correct washing solution when cleaning the microfiber towel. Most manufacturers have their own recommendations on how to properly wash their products including the right cleaning solution to use for such a purpose. The recommendations also include the correct settings on both the washing machine and the dryer. So, if you want to keep the integrity of your microfiber towel, it is imperative to adhere to manufacturer recommendations.
Using Microfiber Car Towels for Cleaning Your Vehicle
Since we’re talking about microfiber car towels as excellent cleaning materials, then it is important to know how to properly use them. Here are some tips.
- When washing your car, wet the microfiber, wring it well, and use this to wipe your car. When drying your car, you will need to wipe it first with the microfiber towel before wringing it out. Then repeat the process until your car is completely dry.
- For detailing chores, simply spray a little amount of your detailing product onto the microfiber and wipe it onto the surface you want to work on.
- Always wipe any surface in one direction only, never in a back-and-forth motion especially when removing dust and grime. This helps minimize scraping or scratching the surface.
- Always rinse the towel after every few strokes to help remove the contaminants and particles from the microfiber.
Tips on Keeping Your Microfiber Car Towels in Great Condition
Microfiber car towels may be constructed of durable and strong polyester and polyamide. However, with repeated use, they somehow lose some of their strength and durability. Here are some tips on how you can keep your microfiber car towel in good condition.
- Always use cold water when washing your cleaning cloths to prevent shrinking. You can also refer to the manufacturer’s recommendation for specific temperatures when washing your microfiber.
- Don’t use fabric softeners as these tend to damage the overall density of the microfiber towel. This significantly reduces its water absorption capabilities.
- Just as you don’t wash your towels in hot water, you’re also not supposed to dry them in high heat. Medium heat should be enough.
- If you want your towels to be smelling fresh and soft, you can add distilled white vinegar during the rinse cycle.
Microfiber towels are increasingly finding their place in the hearts of avid automotive owners and professional detailers. Its exceptional cleaning properties together with washability, strength and durability, and other beneficial characteristics clearly make the microfiber cloth one of the best when it comes to keeping our cars and all of our other possessions relatively clean and dirt-free.
- How to Clean Microfiber - HowStuffWorks