Microfiber towels (sometimes called microfiber cloths) are one of the most important tools used by car detailing experts. If you want to clean your car at home, this is one item you simply cannot do without. They are perfect for interior detailing, wiping glass or even a complete auto detail.
Simply because of how effective and versatile under wet and dry conditions. They also last forever if taken care of properly.
However, there is some confusion over how to use microfiber towels, how to wash and dry them.
Want to know the best part?
Today, with the help of our expert car detailers, we are going to cover everything you need to know about microfiber towels and how to effectively use them without scratching your body paint.
I. What are Microfibers?
A microfiber is an extremely tiny synthetic fiber. It is approximately 1/100th the diameter of a human hair. The fiber is made from a blend of two materials: polyester and polyamide.
What are Microfiber Towels?
Polyester and polyamide is blended at different ratios to create different types of microfibers. This results in a wider range of microfiber towels for unique applications. You can note the blend ratio of towel by looking at the product description. The ratio is often stated as 90/10 or 75/25 which signifies the ratio of polyester to polyamide.
Another major differentiator of different microfiber towels is the density. The more dense the microfibers, the more it can absorb and is generally more expensive. The density of a microfiber cloth is denoted in grams per square meter (GSM). This creates uniformity which you can use to compare different towels. For example, a if a 16×16 cloth is 500 GSM, this means it a square meter of the cloth weighs 500 grams, not the 16×16 cloth itself.
This is crazy!
- Two times thinner than silk.
- Three times thinner than wool.
- Eight times thinner than cotton.
- 100 times finer than a hair. Some dense microfibers are 200 times thinner than a human hair.
What are the benefits of Microfiber Towels?
The biggest benefit of microfibers are their effectiveness at attracting dirt and absorbing liquid. Microfibers have a star shaped structure on each strand which is perfect for cleaning. On the other hand, cotton has an inconsistent tube shape.
It gets better…
Since microfiber towels are ultra soft, non abrasive, they can be used in waterless car washes.
II. Types of Microfiber Towels
There are many types of microfiber towels available today. It is important to use the right towel for the right job, read our microfiber buying tips to gain the best results and save money. You should definitely consider using different towels for different purposes. Keep in mind that the higher the GSM, the higher the cost of the towel.
1. The General Use Towel
This towel is 80/20 220 GSM. It is best used for inner parts of doors, car interiors, wheels, exhausts and windows.
2. The Safe Towel
This towel is 75/25 360 GSM. It is generally safe to use on all surfaces. You can use this towel to apply wax and remove wax, polish and buff.
3. The Delicate Towel
This towel is the 75/25 600 GSM. We call this the delicate towel because it is best for more delicate surfaces. Since it is softer than the Safe Towel, we also recommend this for applying and removing wax, polish and buffing.
4. The Safer Towel
This towel is the 75/25 400 GSM. It is a little softer than the Safe Towel and can be used for a wide variety of surfaces.
5. The Safest Towel
This towel is the 70/30 GSM 600 GSM. It is one of the softest towels on the market and is safe to use on all surfaces.
6. The Glass Towel
This weave towel is the 80/20 GSM 350 GSM. This is called the Glass Towel because it is perfect for drying and cleaning glass due to its superior absorbency.
2. The Absorbent Towel
This towel is the 75/25 GSM 360 GSM. It is called the absorbent because of its unparalleled ability to absorb. If you have a job that requires a lot of water, we recommend this.
III. How to Wash Microfiber Towels
Follow along our guide to learn how to wash and maintain your microfiber towels.
Step 1: Separate Your Towels
If you use different towels for different purposes, like one for windows, one for rims and one for the body of the car then it is ideal that you wash them separately. Washing them separately will prevent cross-contamination. However, this isn’t always practical so if you are going to wash them together, you should pre-soak your towels in a bucket of warm water.
Step 2: Put microfiber towels into washing machine
Place the towels into the machine and add liquid detergent. Otherwise, you can use a microfiber wash solution that is designed specifically to wash microfiber towels.
Some people also suggest to wash the microfiber cloth with regular detergent but add a 1/2 cup of white vinegar. The white vinegar will remove the wax, while the detergent will get rid of the vinegar smell.
You must avoid using fabric softener. A fabric softener coats the fibers of the towel with a substance to soften them, but it results in the towels losing its static charge.
Step 3: Check the wash setting
Use the warm or hot water option. The hot water helps remove the dirt from the towels. Wait for the washing machine to complete its cycle.
IV. How to Dry Microfiber Towels
After you’re done washing your microfiber towels, it is now time to dry them. You can air dry them if you like, but if you have many towels, our step by step guide to drying microfiber towels will give you all the information you need.
Step 1: Put the Microfiber Towels in the Dryer
Do not dry microfiber goods on high heat. Use the lowest heat setting possible. Remove from machine when the cycle is completed and place towels into storage.
You should never iron your microfiber towels. The high heat causes the polyester to melt. This will damage your towel, reduce its effectiveness and could damage your car.
V. Microfiber Towel Storage
It is generally a good idea to fold your towels after you’re done drying them. Then you should place them in a plastic storage container until your next use. This will prevent any contamination in between uses.
PRO TIP: If you microfiber towels falls to the ground, it is better to put it in the wash. The microfiber’s powerful charge attracts dirt and often this dirt can cling to the towel. This can later scratch or damage your car.
VI. Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can I wash microfiber towels with detergent?
Yes, you can use a detergent but do not use fabric softener. Avoid using powdered laundry detergent because they tend to leave a residue. See more here
2. Do microfiber towels scratch plastic?
No, they shouldn’t scratch plastic. Plastic is less prone to scratches than your clear body paint. However, we always recommend that people check their cloth for any pieces of debris or dirt that could scratch.
3. What are the best microfiber towels for auto detailing?
Some of the best and most premium microfiber cloths brands are AutoGeek, Chemical Guys, The Rag Company and Amazon Basics.
4. Should I wash a new microfiber towel before using it for the first time?
We’re split on this. We recommend that if your cloth is going to lint then it is better to pre-wash before using. However, high quality towels don’t require pre-wash.
5. Do microfiber towels scratch cars?
No, if used correctly, then it should not scratch your car. Look out for small foreign particles in your cloth before applying it to your car.
6. How long do microfiber towels last?
If cared for properly then they will last for a long time. Many companies have noted that towels can last up to 500 washes.
7. What are the basic care instructions for microfiber towels?
- No Bleach
- No Powdered Laundry Detergent
- No Fabric Softener
- No Dryer Sheets
- No Hot Dryer
8. Are microfibers bad for the environment?
No, in fact the EPA has conducted a study on microfiber towels. It has noted that they “reduce exposure to chemicals in the ECE environment and reduce pollution from cleaning chemicals.” Furthermore, microfiber is made from “synthetic fibers, usually polyester and nylon, which are not treated with chemicals.”
9. How can I remove car wax from a microfiber towel?
When you wash the microfiber cloth, use your regular detergent but add a 1/2 cup of white vinegar. The white vinegar will remove the wax, while the detergent will get rid of the vinegar smell.
10. Can I wash my microfiber towel by hand?
Yes you can! All you need to do is soak the towel in warm or cold water and use your hands to wring the dirt particles out.
There you have it! Our complete guide to cleaning and maintaining microfiber towels.
If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to comment below.