When it comes to cleaning your car or truck, nothing beats the microfiber towel. A relatively recent addition to the car care stable, the microfiber replaces a whole host of other car care fabrics including the chamois for drying, paper towel for glass, and whatever you were using to clean your interior that was probably just old t-shirts. Microfiber towels are made from tiny strands of synthetic materials, woven together in a way that makes them extremely soft. More importantly for vehicle cleaning, they keep dirt trapped well into the fibers so that a spec of dirt in one spot doesn’t drag across and scratch the rest of your vehicle’s glass or paint. The best microfiber towels can handle dozens or hundreds of uses, remaining soft, absorbent, and your best friends for detail work.
If you believe all microfiber towels are the same, think again. Like anything else in this world, there are various grades of quality and if you’re a fan of washing and detailing your own car, you’ll want to invest into having several of these towels in your garage.
For more information on the best microfiber towels, refer to our table of contents.
Table of contents
1. Editor's Pick: Norwex Basic Package
Norwex is known for offering innovative microfiber cloths, and this two-pack comes with some features that are especially important these days. The first has the ability to remove up to 99 percent of bacteria from any surface as long as you follow the directions. The other one lets you clean glass without using harsh cleaners that could damage the inside of your car. Dry, the EnviroCloth removes dust and dry debris from your interior in a gentle way making it great for getting road dust off of your dashboard when it builds up. Wet, it wipes away dirt and other debris using only water.
The Window Cloth is also antibacterial and wipes away water spots, stains, and streaks from glass using just water. It works for mirrors and other shiny surfaces as well, and when you’re done with the car, you can clean the cloth and use it on your household windows, shower doors, and granite countertops.
2. SINLAND Microfiber Car Drying Towel
These microfiber towels from SINLAND are made with a heavy weave of microfiber which makes them thick, heavy, and plush, so they’re ideal for buffing, polishing, and wax removal. These towels weigh 720 GSM, or grams per square meter, making them a much more dense fabric than some cheaper options. The thickness makes them easier to hold, while the different color for each side makes it easier to follow how you’ve been using and rotating the cloths. The thick plush towel also works great to absorb water and leave a spot-free dry finish.
Offering 16 by 16 inch or 16- by 24-inch sizes, you can pick towels best fitted to waxing (the big ones) or interior cleaning (the small ones). Or just pick the size that’s easier for you to handle, as large towels can be more prone to accidentally letting an edge drop on the ground. Some reviews complain of lint, but the manufacturer suggests washing before use to get the lint off.
3. Chemical Guys Workhorse Black Towels
Chemical Guys is known for its tough, professional-grade car care products, and these Workhorse Black Professional Grade towels are one of those. A premium soft microfiber towel, these are made to stay soft and in good condition through dozens of wash and dry cycles. On top of removing water from your car, or wax and polish, these towels are heavy-duty enough to use to clean the dirtiest parts of your vehicle. Wheels, running boards, even valve covers and exhaust parts are no match for these towels. That’s actually why they’re black, to mark that they’re the ones you use on the dirtiest stuff.
Other colors are available and Chemical Guys has a convenient color guide for which towels can be used where to avoid cross-contamination; making sure you don’t use it on the exhaust and then the paint immediately after. That’s important for professional use, though if you just want them for paint, these are still a great choice.
4. Adam's Single Soft Microfiber Towel
Adam’s Soft Microfiber Towels are meant to remove polish and wax from the most delicate surfaces. While many microfiber towels are soft enough for paint and tough enough for cleaning, these ones are recommended for paint only. A premium fabric blend picked for softness and durability, they also come with a silk-banded edge to make sure that even the outer seams are soft on your brightwork. Just look at how soft they appear in the photo. An 800-GSM fiber is the plushest on this list, and while they’re plush, they’re still half the thickness of Adam’s other soft towels to let you feel what’s going on with the surface of whatever you’re polishing.
These towels are designed to stand up to multiple machine wash cycles as well, keeping them like new and polishing your vehicle for a very long time. In addition to being scratch-free, Adam’s says that the towels will not leave swirls or frustrating lint on your car’s finish.
5. AIDEA Microfiber Cleaning Cloths
Sometimes you need a cloth so soft you could use it to polish the Queen’s Rolls-Royce. Other times you’re doing work that’s a bit more intense and a lot more dirty. This pack of towels might not have the highest GSM, and they might not be the softest or thickest, but they make up for that in quantity. Not to say that they’re not a quality product, but when you’re offering 100 towels for this price, you’re not worried about what happens to them.
Part of that affordable price is the smaller 12- by 12-inch size, which means you may need to switch to the next cloth more quickly, but you’ll have plenty to pick from. Five different colors let you use a different color for each job, blue for your interior, green for paint, for example. And if you see a spot that looks extra greasy or dirty and you’re not sure it’ll wash out, then you won’t worry about having to throw out a much more expensive towel. Bargain hunters, this is the towel for you for waxing, polishing, and cleaning all your automotive surfaces.
What is Microfiber?
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Microfiber is one of a group of synthetic fibers where each fiber is finer than 10 micrometers. That’s thinner than a strand of silk, or a fifth the diameter of a human hair. Made from polyesters, polyamides, and blends of these and more, microfiber can be used to make cloths, industrial filters, or, like here, towels that are just what you need for automotive maintenance. Microfiber’s tiny split fibers trap dirt and absorb liquids, making them ideal for cleaning, while the fabric of a traditional cotton rag keeps the dirt on the surface where it can scratch and ruin your finish. A split microfiber—meaning that the thread looks like an asterisk instead of a circle under a microscope—is the best for cleaning. You can tell it’s split thread if it sticks to your hand.
What Should I Look For When Shopping For Microfiber Towels?
When picking a microfiber towel, GSM is one of the most important measures. That’s how many grams of fiber per square meter, and more means better ability to absorb dirt and water as well as likely a stronger product. Most high-quality towels list their GSM, often above 700. If it’s not listed, they’re likely a low GSM and possibly cheaper materials. Color coding is important, because even though the towels are great at trapping dirt, you may not want to use your tire towel on your paint, or your bathroom towel on your steering wheel.
Other Microfiber Perks
Microfiber towels can be reused dozens or thousands of times as they are a synthetic material. Toss them in the washing machine followed by the dryer and they’re good to go once again. You want to avoid using fabric softeners however, as they can reduce the absorption of the towel. We also recommend separating colors, especially for new towels, as many of them will bleed color the first time they’re washed.
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