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Top 6 Best Microfiber Towels 2024

best microfiber towels
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Microfiber towels are a gamechanger in the cleaning industry. They are made from microfiber, a high-tech material that is woven from polyester and polyamide fibers thinner than silk. Microfiber material outperforms competing natural materials like cotton and wool in almost all aspects. 

These towels are strong and durable, highly absorbent, lint free, cheap, light weight, they hardly shrink or stretch, attract dirt and are wrinkle-free. They are 100% safe to use on the most delicate car surfaces like paint, glass, plastic,  aluminum, chrome, leather,… Microfiber towels come in all colors and sizes. They are blended and woven in many different variations to best suit various intended uses.

We’ve tested a large variety of microfiber towels and selected only the very best depending on what you want to use them for. 

Check out the microfiber towels we recommend:

What to Consider

Before you buy a microfiber towel, there are 7 important things to consider. These seven factors determine the properties of the microfiber material you’re buying and what it is best used for:

Material Composition

Microfiber towels generally consist of a 70/30 or 80/20 blend of polyester and polyamide. The polyester core adds strength and abrasion power while the polyamide is highly absorbent. Steer clear of any blends below 80/20. Polyamide is much more expensive than polyester that’s why budget towels often contain much less polyamide. Most microfiber towels are made in China, but the premium quality ones come from South Korea.

Density (GSM)

Microfiber density is measured in GSM (Grams per Square Meter). More GSM is always better because denser microfiber holds more water or product and lasts longer. The higher the number, the thicker, plushier and softer the microfiber towel generally is.The higher the density, the higher the price however. A 200-250GSM microfiber towel is suited for general purpose cleaning while 300+ is considered a professional grade and is ideal for delicate surfaces like car paint. 

Pile

Simply put, pile means how thick or high the loops or “hairs” are on a microfiber towel. Pile ranges from low, medium to high. High or medium pile (“plush”) towels are mostly used for drying car surfaces, while short pile microfiber is better for wax and polish applications. 

Edgeless or not

Professional car detailing towels are finished with a non-scratch super-soft silk edge, are edgeless or have ultrasonic cut edges. Low quality microfiber towels on the other hand, have sewn or (heat-) cut rough edges. These sharp edges will scratch your paint. They are perfectly safe for car glass-cleaning purposes though.

Weave

The microfiber weave is the particular style or manner in which the towel is woven. It greatly influences softness, absorption, thickness, fluffiness, density, abrasion…

Loop or Cut

Most microfiber towels are woven in loop weave. Under magnification this is clearly visible: the microfiber surface comprises rows of tiny microfiber loops. Depending on the intended use, they are long (high pile) or short (low pile). For use on delicate surfaces, during the production process they are often cut so each loop becomes two individual strands. This makes the microfiber even more fluffy and soft. Cut microfiber is called “plush” microfiber.

Different types of microfiber towel

Terry 

Terry towel or terry cloth is a commonly used name for any type of microfiber cleaning towel, especially with short-pile loops. The name comes from its predecessor, the cotton loop weave structure that is still used for bath towels.  

Plush

Plush weave microfiber has a medium to high pile open ended wooly texture on both sides of the towel. It is very soft to the touch, and is ideal for cleaning car paint and other delicate surfaces. The cushioning effect of the long, soft fibers minimizes surface pressure and the risk of scratching. Plush weave towels are great for washing and especially drying delicate car surfaces.

A downside is that plush weave microfiber towels can shed lint when caught behind logos, strips, lettering,… They are also not suited for aggressive cleaning purposes or the application of coatings, waxes,…

Two-pile

A two-pile microfiber has a short pile on one side and a long pile on the other. Our verdict: this concept is confusing, especially in the heat of the cleaning process and Murphy’s ultimate choice for sure. Do yourself a favor: buy a short pile or a long pile, or both… but not combined…

Pearly

Pearly weave microfiber towels are closed loop, tightly woven, low pile towels. They are slightly more aggressive than plush towels. These towels excel for compound and polish applications as well as paste wax residue removal and coating leveling. They make great glass towels too.

Waffle

Waffle-weave towels have no pile and are easily recognizable by their cross hatched pattern that looks like a waffle. It was one of the first mass-produced microfiber towels and it is still popular for general domestic use but we don’t recommend it for car detailing.

Twist

Twist Pile Microfiber has long loops of fiber bundles twisted in a double helix pattern and looks like a small-scale floor mop. This material does not excel in softness nor absorbency, so we don’t see the point for car detailing purposes. We do not recommend it.

Chenille

Chenille microfiber is a very popular material, especially for car wash mitts and sponges. It looks like a bunch of noodles or caterpillars (“chenille” in French) glued to a thin base layer of fabric. This type of microfiber can hold tons of suds and can safely remove heavy dirt because dirt and grit particles are safely encapsulated between the “noodles” preventing them from scratching the surface. 

Suede

Suede microfiber feels velvet soft and has an extremely low pile. It is highly efficient at wiping off smudges and fingerprints on glass surfaces. Because of its minimum pile and softness, it is often used for the application of ceramic coatings.

Diamond

Diamond weave microfiber is the latest evolution in glass towels. It’s woven in little diamond patterns, hence the name. It has very little drag but cleans glass, metal and chrome very efficiently and does not streak. Highly recommended! 

Mesh

Mesh microfiber material has a web-like pattern that has small holes and openings. These thin openings act like hundreds of mini razor blades that mechanically cut away stubborn dirt and dead bug residue. It also works great for upholstery and leather cleaning. This material can be too harsh to use on soft car paint though.

Size

Different sizes of microfiber towels are available. Choose a size that is best suited for your purpose: while an extra-large fluffy drying towel may work best to dry your hood and roof in a few quick swipes, a smaller size is more appropriate for detailed cleaning or polish removal. A 16”x16” size is the most popular because it can be folded in half and again in half creating 8 clean hand-size surfaces to flip and work with. 

Split or not   

Microfiber material is constructed of extremely thin fibers, hence the word microfiber. There are two kinds of microfiber: split microfiber or non-split.

Split Microfiber

For premium cleaning applications, these fibers are individually split into ultra-fine filaments that are 1/100th the diameter of a human hair or less. During this production process, longitudinal wedge-shaped voids are created in the polyester core. These are filled with polyamide. 

A cross-section of a single fiber under high magnification looks like a “stuffed” asterisk. The asterisk core is polyester material while the “stuffing” that looks like slices of pie is polyamide. The polyester core is the fiber’s structural backbone while the polyamide is highly absorbent. They absorb up to 10 times their own weight in moisture. (see illustration)

microfiber towel cross section

The sharp edges that are formed on the outside of the microfiber strand work like scrapers, or hooks if you will, that can collect massive amounts of dust and dirt particles between the polyester asterisk-shaped core and its polyamide inserts. The polyamide inserts add softness and high absorption to the durable polyester core. This makes split microfiber arguably the best choice available for cleaning purposes.

Non-Split Microfiber

For the clothing industry on the other hand, non-split microfiber material is used (e.g. fleece) because the emphasis is on softness, not on absorbency. Non-split microfiber material also is a lot cheaper to produce and therefore sometimes used in budget microfiber towels. Non-split microfiber has only minimal absorption and dust-collecting properties compared to split microfiber however.

How we did our Review

Since microfiber towels became popular for car detailing almost two decades ago, we’ve tried many different kinds with mixed success, we have to admit.

The last few years however, microfiber towels have matured into the specialized go-to cleaning textile for the car detailing industry. It’s hard to imagine any car detailer, be it a weekend warrior or a professional, detailing a car without microfiber towels.  

Nowadays, microfiber towels are designed with a specific task in mind: interior detailing, exterior drying, coating, glass cleaning, polishing, tough budget towels to do the dirty work… 

We dove in deep and searched the internet for the best microfiber towels for each task. We took in account their popularity, overall rating, availability and price. We spent hours reading their reviews and ordered several winners per category for testing. Out of these tests only one towel per category was awarded the “Best” title. Why settle for second-bests?

We’re amazed by how good these towels perform and we’re sure you’ll be too!

These 6 microfiber towels outperform their competitors:

Best Microfiber Towels

Best Car Exterior XXL Drying Microfiber Towel

Best XXL Drying Towel
Specs:
  • Use: Drying
  • Material: Split microfiber, 70 polyester / 30 polyamide
  • Density: 880GSM
  • Pile height: High
  • Edgeless: No, silk scratch-free edges
  • Weave: Extra plush microfiber
  • Size: 36” x 25”
  • Packaging: 1
Best XXL Drying Towel
Specs:
  • Use: Drying
  • Material: Split microfiber, 70 polyester / 30 polyamide
  • Density: 880GSM
  • Pile height: High
  • Edgeless: No, silk scratch-free edges
  • Weave: Extra plush microfiber
  • Size: 36” x 25”
  • Packaging: 1

The Woolly Mammoth is the plushiest, thickest drying towel out there. It’s made from a premium 70/30 blend. This microfiber towel can hold over a gallon of water! We couldn’t wait to test it…

Just like a woolly mammoth, this towel is gigantic! That became clear the moment we pulled it out of the wrap. It feels fluffy, thick and large. While standard size microfiber towels are 16’’ x 16’’ square, the Woolly Mammoth Microfiber Drying Towel is an enormous 36’’ x 25’’ x 1’’. 

First we machine-washed and tumble-dried our brand new towel as instructed to wash out all loose lint.

Using it was easy: we just threw it over our test car’s freshly washed wet hood and then pulled it towards us, without swiping or applying pressure. The entire area was completely dry in one sweep. It left no streaks whatsoever. Even after repeating this procedure on the roof and trunk lid, the towel didn’t drip or feel over-saturated. Awesome job! This is without a doubt the safest, fastest way to dry your car with the least risk of scratching because this towel is extra plush and has super soft silk edges. 

Next, we dried the sides of our car with smaller drying towels because this towel is too large to comfortably handle on vertical surfaces, especially down low. The risk of accidentally sweeping it across a dirty floor is too high in our opinion. It would pick up dirt and grit and scratch up our car paint. 

The Woolly Mammoth car drying towel is hugely popular among car enthusiasts. Customers say they love this XXL fluffy microfiber giant because they can dry several vehicles at once without having to wring it out. They love that it sheds no lint either and highly recommend it.

This furry mammoth-sized towel really sucks… water. And lots of it!

We’re huge fans!


PROS:

  • 100% scratch-free
  • Awesome water absorption, holds up to 1 gallon of water
  • Streak-free drying action
  • XXL size for effortless action


CONS: 

  • Needs to be washed before first use (lint)
  • Too large for vertical sides and areas close to the ground
  • Not for interior detailing

Best Car Exterior Medium Size Drying Microfiber Towel

Best Drying Towel
Specs:
  • Use: Drying
  • Material: Split microfiber, 70 polyester / 30 polyamide
  • Density: 500GSM
  • Pile height: High
  • Edgeless: Yes
  • Weave: Super Plush
  • Size: 16” x 16 ”
  • Packaging: 4
Best Drying Towel
Specs:
  • Use: Drying
  • Material: Split microfiber, 70 polyester / 30 polyamide
  • Density: 500GSM
  • Pile height: High
  • Edgeless: Yes
  • Weave: Super Plush
  • Size: 16” x 16 ”
  • Packaging: 4

This premium edgeless microfiber towel is tagless and is made from a 70/30 blend. Made from the finest Korean Super Plush AA-Grade Split Microfiber, it is the highest quality available.

Before testing the towels, we machine-washed them first with microfiber wash and machine tumbled-dried them to make ‘em extra fluffy and soft. If you use them straight out of the wrap, they will shed tons of lint, like all new microfiber products.

This 500 GSM towel feels thick, soft and fluffy. It’s the kind of towel we like to use as a drying towel complementary to our XXL Woolly Mammoth. This 16”x16” size is perfect to dry the sides of your car. Folded twice it can easily be manipulated with one hand contrary to the large surface battleship our Woolly Mammoth is. 

Even though it’s smaller in size, it also soaks a huge amount of water. We were particularly impressed by its buffing and drying capabilities and can confirm that this towel is 100% scratch-proof. We highly recommend it for waterless spray cleaning too, because it safely encapsulates dirt between its fluffy fibers which prevents scratching or marring your car paint.

No wonder customer reviews award this product with an almost perfect rating. Users say that these towels have enough nap to get the grit caught in deep to protect the paint and that they are very soft. Some say they also use it to wipe off wax with great success. One user said that he was amazed that even on his black car’s delicate paint the result was spotless and that the towel didn’t scratch at all. Most people say that they will likely buy more. 

This microfiber towel is extremely durable and able to withstand hundreds of washings, getting softer with each use. You’ll enjoy this towel for years to come! 


PROS:

  • 100% scratch-free
  • Awesome water absorption
  • Streak-free drying action
  • 16”x16” size is easy to use


CONS: 

  • Need to be washed before first use (lint)
  • Not for interior detailing

Best Car Interior Detailing Microfiber Towel

Best For Interior Detailing
Specs:
  • Use: Interior detailing
  • Material: Split microfiber, 70 polyester / 30 polyamide
  • Density: 300GSM
  • Pile height: Short
  • Edgeless: Yes
  • Weave: Loops
  • Size: 16” x 16”
  • Packaging: 10
Best For Interior Detailing
Specs:
  • Use: Interior detailing
  • Material: Split microfiber, 70 polyester / 30 polyamide
  • Density: 300GSM
  • Pile height: Short
  • Edgeless: Yes
  • Weave: Loops
  • Size: 16” x 16”
  • Packaging: 10

This short-pile loop weave towel is our choice to clean leather seats and delicate interior finish. It is also incredibly versatile, we also use it for drying wheels and tires, removing polishes, waxes, sealants and glaze… No job is too much or too dirty for this champ!  In our interior detailing tests this “rag” was the best of the bunch.

Although most of a car’s interior is much less prone to scratching than its exterior, some coatings or glossy details might be. We like using this professional detailing towel because it is edgeless, super soft and guaranteed scratch-free. At 300 GSM it is thin enough to get in, under and in between every nook and cranny of your car’s interior while still having an amazing soft plushy feel.

We’re definitely not the only ones who love this detailing towel, a whopping 86% of customers give it a maximum rating! 

Customers say that these are some of the softest yet most economical premium microfiber towels they’ve ever used. They confirm that they are great for car interior cleaning but many also use them for wax or ceramic coating removal and buffing. Their experience is that even after washing/drying the towels multiple times, they maintain their shape and don’t fray. They clearly state that although you can find much cheaper towels in dollar stores, these towels are worth their price.

We do believe that beauty is on the inside, and this is the microfiber towel to clean it with…


PROS:

  • 100% scratch-free
  • Ideal for car interior detailing
  • Versatile: also for drying wheels and tires, removing polishes, waxes, sealants and glaze 
  • 16”x16” size is easy to use


CONS: 

  • Very addictive towel

Best Glass Detailing Microfiber Towel

Best For Glass Detailing
Specs:
  • Use: Glass cleaning
  • Material: Split microfiber, 80% Polyester / 20% Polyamide
  • Density: 280GSM
  • Pile height: None
  • Edgeless: No
  • Weave: Diamond
  • Size: 16” x 16” / 16” x 24”
  • Packaging: 5
Best For Glass Detailing
Specs:
  • Use: Glass cleaning
  • Material: Split microfiber, 80% Polyester / 20% Polyamide
  • Density: 280GSM
  • Pile height: None
  • Edgeless: No
  • Weave: Diamond
  • Size: 16” x 16” / 16” x 24”
  • Packaging: 5

This premium glass towel is produced on German Karl Mayer production equipment, arguably the best textile machinery in the world since 1937. It’s the latest and most high-tech window-cleaning weave available on the market. It outperforms other weaves like waffle, pearly and suede when it comes to glass cleaning. You can imagine our expectations were high when we unwrapped our diamond weave towels.

As always we first machine-washed our brand-new towels separately with microfiber wash but without softener. We did not tumble-dry these microfiber towels like we normally do because we don’t want them to plush or get wooly like the rest of our towels. We just let them air-dry. Glass towels have to “cut” away anything sticking on the glass. They don’t need to be soft. They live longer that way too.

We can tell you we were not disappointed. These glass towels even exceeded our high expectations! After wiping our car glass clean with our diamond weave glass towel using just a spritz of Invisible Glass, our car windows never looked  crystal-clean with so little effort! 

We bought the blue ones instead of the black because we like to keep an eye on the towel’s cleanliness so black is a no-go. The nice thing about these diamond weave towels is that they glide much smoother over glass surfaces and aren’t so grippy. That makes it much easier to hold on to the towel without having to grip it in any special kind of way. Flat hand on the towel and off you go. No need for excess glass cleaner to make it slide.

Other towels in our test didn’t come near and shed much more fibers. We’re sold, this is our go-to towel for anything glass from now on… We’ll keep the other glass towels in our test to clean chrome, stainless and aluminum parts, which is more forgiving than glass.

Some customers didn’t like the feel, that they are too stiff. That’s maybe because they are used to soft waffle towels, habits are hard to kick. But in our book the texture and feel works great. There were also comments about it not being lint-free. Sorry to burst your bubble, but no glass towel is completely lint-free. We found this one to shed the least fibers of the bunch. The problem is that most people use it brand new without washing it first like instructed. Can’t please all of the people all of the time I guess…

However, most buyers seemed to love the product and 92% say this towel is better than their previous glass towel. A professional detailer wrote that he uses them daily and recommends using these if you have a hard time with streaky windows. Customers say there is a noticeable difference between these diamond weave towels and other glass towels they previously used. They state that The Rag Company’s Diamond Weave Glass wipe cleans without smearing and is absorbent.

Our verdict: Use these brilliant towels and your car glass will shine like a diamond

PROS:

  • Ideal for streakless car glass cleaning
  • They glide much smoother over glass surfaces and aren’t grippy
  • 16”x16” size is easy to use


CONS: 

  • Not for you if you’re looking for soft glass towels

Best Ceramic and Graphene Coating Application Microfiber Towel

Best For Coating Application
Specs:
  • Use: Buffing ceramic / graphene coating, wiping down polymer, wax and sealant
  • Material: Split microfiber, 80% Polyester / 20% Polyamide
  • Density: 320GSM
  • Pile height: Short
  • Edgeless: Yes
  • Weave: Pearl
  • Size: 16” x 16”
  • Packaging: 12
Best For Coating Application
Specs:
  • Use: Buffing ceramic / graphene coating, wiping down polymer, wax and sealant
  • Material: Split microfiber, 80% Polyester / 20% Polyamide
  • Density: 320GSM
  • Pile height: Short
  • Edgeless: Yes
  • Weave: Pearl
  • Size: 16” x 16”
  • Packaging: 12

This edgeless microfiber towel with its pearl weave is specially designed to wipe down any ceramic or graphene protective coating after application. It’s very tightly woven to not leave scratches nor lint. It’s also ideal to wipe down any sealant, polymer, wax or other protective coating.

For our test we used this towel to buff Adam’s Advanced Graphene Ceramic Coating, a premium graphene coating. We first machine-washed the towels with microfiber wash and tumble-dried them to make sure that any loose fibers from the manufacturing process were removed. We always do this before using new microfiber towels.

We are always on edge when we apply any kind of coating because it’s crucial to perfectly level the coating without leaving any streaks or lint. This can be a daunting task! Although we were able to get a decent result using other competing towels, none of them performed like The Edgeless Pearl. The result was stunning! With minimal effort and without scratching we were able to buff this coating to a mirror-like shine. Contrary to the other towels, it did not shed fibers at all.

After use, we immediately machine-washed the towels with microfiber wash and tumble-dried them. They came out as-new, ready for the next coating. They can be used 100s of times.

Our advice when you apply any protective coating: Use the right microfiber towels for the job, it makes a world of difference. If you don’t, you’ll spend a lot of time buffing scratches and removing lint. If you use low-quality towels, you might even have to remove the entire coating and start over. You’ll end up spending much more money than you would have using these premium towels.

The lion’s share of customer reviews confirm that these towels are awesome and state that it is an excellent product at the right price. A customer wrote that he has a lot of different microfiber detailing towels for different tasks and jobs and that he has tried other brands that were a bit cheaper but did not perform as well. He says in his experience you get what you pay for. 

Another one said that these towels feel higher quality, more dense, that they are a nice size and launder without problems. Because they can be reused over and over again he feels this is a real bargain. Another detailer says they leave no visible lint and that they actually work like they are supposed to. To put this into context he claimed that he used to spend 4 hours coating his truck with “ordinary cloths”, while it takes less than half an hour with these. He states they are a joy to work with.

This is the pearlfect towel to buff any coating if you ask us. Try it for yourself, you’ll see!

PROS:

  • Ideal to buff or wipe down any protective coating 
  • Lint-free
  • Scratch-free
  • Can be used 100s of times
  • 16”x16” size is easy to use


CONS: 

  • Need to be washed before first use (lint)

Best Budget Microfiber Towel For Dirty Jobs

Best Budget
Specs:
  • Use: Dirtier cleaning jobs / General Cleaning
  • Material: Split microfiber, 88 polyester / 12 polyamide
  • Density: 190GSM
  • Pile height: Short
  • Edgeless: No
  • Weave: Loop
  • Size: 11.5” x 11.5” x 0.04”
  • Packaging: 25/50/100
Best Budget
Specs:
  • Use: Dirtier cleaning jobs / General Cleaning
  • Material: Split microfiber, 88 polyester / 12 polyamide
  • Density: 190GSM
  • Pile height: Short
  • Edgeless: No
  • Weave: Loop
  • Size: 11.5” x 11.5” x 0.04”
  • Packaging: 25/50/100

This is the “Dirty Harry” of microfiber towels. You can use it for the jobs you don’t want to use your premium fluffy towels for. We don’t recommend them for use on delicate surfaces, however.

We tested these towels to clean and dry our fenders, wheels, tires, engine compartment, car seats, mats, carpets,… basically anything that gets real dirty and doesn’t scratch easily. As a precaution, we removed the labels so they wouldn’t scratch any surfaces.

They worked great, especially for their very attractive price. Agreed, they aren’t as fluffy as more expensive towels, but they can handle any dirt. Their 88/12 blend makes them tougher and more resistant to abuse. They are grippier than 70/30 blends too, which helps to remove stubborn grime. We love their smaller size which fits a normal sized hand perfectly and makes them more agile. 

The uniform light blue color does not bleed dye like the brightly colored counterparts we tried. They are available in white (colorless) too, by the way. We also like the single color choice because they can be washed together. Both the light blue color and the white color can easily be checked for dirt and grime. It’s nice to have a bunch of them so you don’t run out of clean towels. Also, it’s more economical to wait until there’s a whole bunch of dirty towels to machine-wash instead of washing just a couple. 

Researching customer reviews we came across a professional detailer’s review: He had bought a large quantity of these towels for a big detailing job because they were the cheapest he could find and he thought he would dispose of them afterwards anyway. Man, was I wrong, he writes… After the job he tossed them in the washer with some microfiber cleaner, and they came out fluffy and ready to go again. He’s convinced he’s gonna get way more than his money’s worth out of these, he says.

These are the toughest low-price multi-purpose towels we could find. They are not perfect but they are perfect for dirty jobs you don’t wanna do with your premium fluffy ones. Better reserve those for delicate surfaces.

PROS:

  • Ideal to handle heavy contamination
  • Tough 88/12 blend
  • Light color does not shed dye
  • Easy to spot dirt on light colored towels
  • Multi-purpose, they can also be used around the house
  • 11.5”x11.5” size is nimble and agile


CONS: 

  • Not for delicate surfaces
  • Label needs to be removed to prevent scratching

Comparison Table Of The Best Microfiber Towels 

Brand Name
Best XXL Drying Towel Chemical Guys Woolly Mammoth Microfiber Dryer Towel
Best Drying Towel The Rag Company Eagle Edgeless 500
Best For Interior Detailing The Rag Company Edgeless 300
Best For Glass Detailing The Rag Company Diamond Weave Glass & Window Detailing Towel
Best For Coating Application The Rag Company The Edgeless Pearl
Best Budget S&T Microfiber Cleaning Cloths

Final Thoughts

There’s lots of microfiber stuff out there, but most come up short when it comes to quality, performance and durability. It’s no coincidence that 5 out of 6 of the microfiber towels we recommend are professional quality. Not the cheap stuff that’s for sale in abundance. 

Paying a few bucks less struggling to do the job with low quality microfiber towels is not a good idea.They lose lint all the time while being harsh on your car’s paint and scratching it with their sharp edges… It’s a pain having to chase your tail trying to buff scratches while making new ones. 

The few dollars you save by buying crap towels just ain’t worth it. Financially as well as from a time efficiency point of view it just makes no sense…

For microfiber towels the saying goes: buy nice or buff twice (or more)…

Here’s a quick recap of the microfiber towels we recommend depending on what you want to use them for:

Let’s start with the workhorse, Dirty Harry: S&T Microfiber Cleaning Cloths. You can use this tough cloth for anything that is too dirty to use your premium towels for: your car’s  wheels, tires, door jambs, the underside of your car’s skirts,… Don’t worry, this towel can handle it. In our tests, between all of the budget towels we tried, this reusable towel gave the most bang for our buck.

If you wanna go big and fast, Chemical Guys Woolly Mammoth Microfiber Dryer Towel is your best choice. For large horizontal areas like your car’s hood, windscreens, roof and boot lid, there’s no towel that dries the top side of your car faster or more conveniently! It holds over a gallon of water, enough to wipe down several cars before you have to wring it.

Because the Woolly Mammoth is too large to comfortably wipe down the vertical sides of your car, you’ll need a medium size to do that. In our tests  The Rag Company’s Eagle Edgeless 500 won with flying colors. It’s extremely absorbent and fluffy and with its 16”x16” size it is manageable to easily fit between door handles and other gaps.

It’s a well-known fact that highly absorbent fluffy towels are best to dry your car but they can leave some streaks across your car glass. Wipe those awful streaks off with the best in our test, The Rag Company’s Diamond Weave Glass & Window Detailing Towel and a spritz of Invisible Glass.

If you want to buff any kind of protective coating after you’ve washed and dried your car, try The Rag Company’s The Edgeless Pearl is the one we highly recommend. It leaves no lint, doesn’t streak and it came out best at leveling any protective coating. It saves time, money, product and a lot of aggravation.

For all dry or wet car interior cleaning purposes, The Rag Company’s Edgeless 300 towel came out on top. It’s 100% scratch-free, doesn’t leave lint and is thin and nimble enough to fit narrow gaps, vents or any kind of hard-to-reach spot. It’s equally awesome  to apply any interior cleaning or nourishing product.

Well, we’ve covered the subject from all angles, guess it’s time for us to throw in the towel…. And time for you to start enjoying those awesome microfiber towels!

Happy detailing!

FAQ

How Do You Know Microfiber Is Split Or Not?

A widespread misunderstanding is that you can “feel” if a microfiber towel is made from split microfiber or not by stroking it with your hand. This is false!

The theory is that if it feels like the towel “hooks” onto tiny imperfections on dry  unmoisturized hands, this is because the fibers are split and they microscopically grab your skin. Although this is partially true, you cannot feel split microfiber “hook” onto your skin. These microscopic hooks are way too small to feel, but do generate a general surface resistance called “grab”. Yet, this is not the “individual” hooking sensation you feel when you touch most microfiber towels. It’s the tiny loops in loop-woven microfiber that are large enough to actually feel grabbing imperfections on your hands (minute skin scales). 

Try it for yourself: gently stroke a loop-weave microfiber towel of any kind, split or not. If your hands are dry and unmoisturized, you will feel the typical “hooking” sensation most people hate. It’s simply the loops that catch around the scales on your skin like mini lassos. Take a picture of the microfiber material with your smartphone, zoom in and you can clearly see the loops.

Now try stroking a cut microfiber towel which is not loop-woven, split or not, and it will not give that awful hooking sensation. If you take a picture of this material, you will see a furry surface without those loops. Because there are no loops, it won’t “hook”.

Now you know the truth: it’s the loops that latch onto your skin when you touch a microfiber towel, regardless if the towel is split microfiber or not. Tightly woven microfiber towels without pile (e.g. glass towels) can also have the “hooking” effect, caused by the way their fibers are woven, but less pronounced than loop weave towels.

Another misunderstanding is that a towel that is made of non-split microfiber will “push away” water and is non-absorbent. This also is not true!

Although a non-split microfiber fiber is not absorbent, water is still caught in between the fibers. You can do the test: submerge a 100% polyester fleece garment (check the label), which is always non-split fiber, in a bucket of water and take it out after about 10 sec. Wring it out over an empty bucket and you’ll see that it holds quite a bit of water, meaning it is absorbent.

So, another myth is busted: non-split microfiber can’t be determined simply by testing if it holds water. You can however test how much water it holds. Compare it to a similar dry-weight towel that is known to be split 70/30 microfiber: Submerge both in a bucket of water. If they hold about the same amount of water, they are both split microfiber. If the 70/30 towel holds more than twice as much water, the test towel is more than likely non-split material.   

Are there different grades of microfiber towels?

Yes, there are many different grades of microfiber towels. Quality, composition and price vary widely between manufacturers. Fiber density and length-mix also influence the microfiber’s properties.

Premium grade microfiber is generally composed of 70% polyester and 30% polyamide (70/30 blend) and is often manufactured in South Korea. This country is known for producing the world’s finest microfiber. Premium grade microfiber outperforms budget grade microfiber in softness, absorption and durability. That’s because most Chinese low grade microfiber hardly contains any polyamide, which is the most expensive component, or is even 100% non-split polyester.

What does GSM mean for microfiber towels?

Microfiber density is measured in GSM (Grams per Square Meter). More GSM is always better because denser microfiber holds more water or product and lasts longer. The higher the number, the thicker, plushier and softer the microfiber towel generally is.The higher the density, the higher the price however. A 200-250GSM microfiber towel is suited for general purpose cleaning while 300+ is considered a professional grade and is ideal for delicate surfaces like car paint. 

How does microfiber work?

Microfiber material works in two ways:

First of all microfiber is a real dust magnet. Small dust particles have a negative charge. They are attracted by microfiber because it has a positive charge.

Secondly, microfiber is highly absorbent. To capture water and dirt in the most efficient way, the ultra thin microfiber’s polyester core is individually split into ultra-fine filaments that are 1/100th the diameter of a human hair or less. During this production process, longitudinal wedge-shaped voids are created in the polyester core. These are filled with polyamide. Premium microfiber cleaning towels generally consist of 70% polyester and 30% polyamide, called a “70/30 blend”, while most cheap microfiber towels are low grade none-split microfiber or only. A 70/30 mix is the perfect combo: the polyester core provides structural strength for the polyamide inserts that are highly absorbent. A premium microfiber towel holds up to 10 times their own weight in moisture.

That’s why microfiber towels are much better at collecting dust, water and grime than conventional towels. They are more durable too. 

A cross-section of a single fiber under high magnification looks like a “stuffed” asterisk. The asterisk core is polyester material while the “stuffing” that looks like slices of pie is polyamide. (see drawing)

microfiber towel cross section

How Do I Wash A Microfiber Towel?

Microfiber material can be hand-washed or machine-washed below 140°F / 60°C with Microfiber Wash. Do not use fabric softener. 

It can be hung to dry or tumbled dry, again below 140°F / 60°C, for the softest results.

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