Best Car Drying Towel That Won't Scratch Your Paint

Drying a Tesla Model 3 with Microfiber Drying Towels

You want to ensure you follow proper car washing techniques when washing your car. But just as important as it is to wash your car correctly, it’s equally important that you have the correct tools. The care you exhibit and the tools you use during the drying process are super important because if you use the wrong towels, you risk damaging (scratching) your paint. You don’t want to use anything other than a quality microfiber car drying towel to get the job done correctly.

Why Microfiber Drying Towels Are Best For Drying Your Vehicle

What you want in a microfiber towel during the drying process is for it to be super absorbent and soft. The central concept is to get up as much water as possible with only a few wipes and without scratching your paint. The amount of water these towels can hold is insane. 

Things you want in your drying towel are:

  • Durability. That may seem like an obvious thing to want in any car detailing product, but so many people tend to cheapen out when it comes to buying microfiber towels. Yes, you can pick up some inexpensive towels from a big-box store, but my argument is how well they will hold up over time. Specifically, drying towels. I want mine to have a long lifecycle.
  • Absorbency. The two towels I use when drying are the high pile drying aid towel and the low pile drying aid towel. They both do a terrific job absorbing water and leaving the surface of my car scratch/streak-free. The high pile (gray) towel is the bulkier one of the two. It’s a double-sown, premium Korean 70/30 blended fiber microfiber towel that sucks water well. The low pile (orange) towel was designed by The Rag Company to be used for window cleaning, but I found that it works better in the drying process. It has a twist loop and weave material that makes it perfect for soaking up water - this is the follow-up towel I use to get any remaining drying aid off the car.  
  • Soft material. Easily one of the main features you want in your drying towel. Why? The obvious reason is no scratches or swirl marks. I beg you not to be one of those people who uses a cotton towel or a shammy. You’re asking for trouble.

If you’re new to the car detailing world, you probably didn’t realize the importance of having these essentials in your microfiber towels. Or, even if you have been detailing your car for a while and are experiencing scratches on your paint, you may want to look at your current drying towels and see what kind of condition they’re in. It may be time to replace or upgrade them.

Don't Dry Your Car This Way

Many of us have dried our cars in very creative ways and not necessarily the correct way. Whether out of pure laziness or ignorance, getting the darn water off the paint is the objective. With all the technological advances in car detailing products, we now have tools that can safely do all the heavy lifting. Don’t sacrifice your car’s paint with poor car drying methods when we have processes and equipment designed to prevent it. 

Ways to NOT dry your car:

  • Air drying. This drying technique is probably the #1 way many people dry off their cars when they are either in a rush or just don’t feel like grabbing the proper towels to do the job right. Just hop in the car and zoom down the road. Don’t do this! You’re begging for water spots. If you know anything about water spots, they’re a pain. Leaving your car to air-dry in the sun will inevitably cause lasting damage to the paint’s finish. 
  • Using bath or cotton towels. If you want to go to scratch-city, use regular cotton towels. These kinds of towels leave lint and don’t absorb water well. You’ll also see hairline scratches and streaks. No type of towel will protect your paint from defects like a microfiber towel. 

Do Dry Your Car This Way

There is a right way to dry your car to limit the possibility of scratching the paint. This entails having the right tools and ensuring you don’t have any debris sitting on the paint before drying. You don’t want to drag anything across the surface. I’ve washed my cars for years, and in several videos, I’ve demonstrated how to dry your car correctly. It’s honestly a super simple process. You do it a few times, and it becomes second nature. The only things I’ve adjusted are a few product changes and improvements to my drying process. 

Ways TO dry your car:

  • Blow dry. I’ve always liked blow-drying my car off before making contact with it using a microfiber towel. The main reason is to get the bulk of the water off the surface. For years, I’ve used the EGO leaf blower, specifically the 580 model. I like this one because it’s light and doesn’t have a shrill sound. Some of the other EGO blowers have a high-pitch sound that hurts my ears.
  • Microfiber towels. I can’t say this enough, the best and only way to dry the surface of your vehicle is to use the proper towels, and that’s microfiber towels. These towels are denser than your regular towels because they have microscopic fibers that are softer, more absorbent, and resistant to wrinkling. 

The Rag Company Microfiber Drying Towel

You’ve spent an hour or two washing your car; the last thing you want to do is get lazy towards the end and do the drying process incorrectly. It may not seem like that big of a deal, but I’m telling you that using the correct tools and following proper procedures to dry your car can limit scratching your paint. The process I’ve used for years entails having a leaf blower (EGO 580) and drying towels that I sell in the store, sourced from The Rag Company.