Our product testing team combed through hundreds of car drying towels to find the best of the best. Here, we provide information for auto enthusiasts who want to have professional-grade towels for their car care and auto detailing needs.
The best cleaning towels are versatile and ultra-absorbent, meaning they can soak up a lot of water or moisture. Whether you’re a car detailing enthusiast or you simply want a good car cleaning, we’ve found the best streak-free and scratch-free towels that won’t damage your car’s surface.
6 Best Car Drying Towels
- Best Overall: The Rag Company All-Purpose Microfiber Terry
- Best Streak-Free: Carcovers.com Platinum Quick Dry Towel
- Best Size: SoLiD Multipurpose Plush Microfiber Cleaning Cloth
- Best Value: Meguiar’s X2000 Water Magnet
- Best Feel: Chemical Guys MIC1995 Gray Woolly Mammoth
- Also Consider: Carcovers.com Microfiber Car Towels
#1 Best Overall: The Rag Company All-Purpose Microfiber Terry
With over 200,000 fibers per square inch, The Rag Company All-Purpose Microfiber Terry is our product testing team’s choice for the Best Overall car drying towel on the market. This towel has a premium 80/20 blend of 80 percent polyester and 20 percent polyamide. It’s also extremely absorbent, as it weighs 300.0 grams per square meter (GSM).
The 80/20 blend present in this towel is proven to be more durable, more absorbent, and softer than a 90/10 blend according to the manufacturer. Additionally, the manufacturer claims that this towel will get softer over time and can handle hundreds of washings. The towel is lint-free, streak-free, and scratch-free.
|Overall Rating||4.8 out of 5|
After rigorous testing, we found that The Rag Company All-Purpose Microfiber Terry was easy to wield but large enough to effectively dry up a large surface area. It didn’t leave behind any scratches or marks.
- Absorbency: Compared to the other car drying towels we tested, The Rag Company All-Purpose Microfiber Terry had some of the best absorptive abilities. Our team didn’t need to grab an extra towel to finish drying the car, and we didn’t struggle to absorb all of the water on the testing car’s exterior.
- Undetectability: This towel left almost nothing behind after the testing process. We carefully examined the dry car panel and could not find any streak marks or scratches. The only reason this towel didn’t receive a faultless 5 stars in this category was because of two solitary balls of lint on the car.
- Durability: After removing the towel from the washing machine, our team found that it was extremely durable and held up well in the washing process. The color didn’t fade, there were no bits of lint left in the washing machine, and there weren’t any strands unraveling from the towel.
What Customers Are Saying
Amazon Review Score: 4.8 out of 5 based on over 4,400 ratings
The Rag Company All-Purpose Microfiber Terry has an excellent reception from customers. A total of 94 percent of reviewers rate this microfiber car drying towel 4 stars or higher.
Reviews note that the towel is ultra-soft and super absorbent, and some appreciate that it doesn’t leave behind swirl marks on the surface area they’re cleaning. Many reviewers mention that these car drying towels come out of the washing machine still looking brand new.
#2 Best Streak-Free: Carcovers.com Platinum Quick Dry Towel
The Carcovers.com Platinum Quick Dry Towel is a large (36.0-inch by 25.0-inch) car drying towel that is exceptionally gentle on your paint. It’s made with soft, 880.0 GSM (grams per square inch) fabric and features a silk hem to ensure even the most delicate paint jobs are protected.
While this car drying towel is a bit more expensive than some other options (at around $20 per towel), the premium fabric and high-quality stitching ensure this towel will last through many uses. This large absorbent towel can completely dry a vehicle and is easily the equivalent of several smaller towels.
|Overall||4.8 out of 5.0|
The Platinum Quick Dry stood out in all aspects of our testing process. It is soft, delicate, absorbent, and proved to be highly durable.
- Absorbency: The large size of this towel coupled with the blended polyester and polyamide material make this towel excellent at drying a car’s surface. It only took a single pass with this towel to completely dry our test vehicle’s hood.
- Undetectability: The Platinum Quick Dry most stands out when it comes to undetectability. It is virtually lint-free and design features like the silk hem make it gentle on paint. That said, a small minority of reviewers claim that this towel leaves behind lint even after several washes (though this was not our experience).
- Durability: After a wash, the towel emerged like new. No lint was left in the washing machine or dryer and the fabric held up exceptionally well. We aren’t sure how well the hem would hold up after years of use, being made of silk which is a more delicate material.
What Customers Are Saying
Most users feel the towels are worth the high cost because of how gentle and effective they are. While the vast majority of reviewers say Platinum Quick Dry towels are streak-free and fast-drying, a small number of reviewers mention issues with lint buildup.
This complaint appears to be rare, so it may be an issue with quality control. It could also be an effect of using the Platinum Dry towels with certain car cleaning products. During our testing, the Platinum Quick Dry towels proved to be lint-free.
#3 Best Size: SoLiD Multipurpose Plush Microfiber Cleaning Cloth
The SoLiD Multipurpose Plush Microfiber Cleaning Cloth features an 80/20 microfiber blend and is roughly 300.0 GSM. This car drying towel has 360,000 microfiber strands per square inch and is dual-sided.
The towel has one side with a higher pile meant for absorption and wiping away messes, while the other side has a slightly shorter pile intended for polishing and buffing. It should be noted that the manufacturer asserts that this towel can absorb 10 times its weight in water.
|Overall Rating||4.5 out of 5|
Albeit size not being part of our testing criteria, it would be wrong to ignore the perfect size of this car drying towel. While our team used towels of all different sizes, some undersized and some oversized, this towel stood out as it was easy to wipe with but not too large to be a pain.
- Absorbency: Prior to testing, this was the towel that our team believed would be most absorbent due to its material and size. Once testing began, it fell a little short of our expectations, but this towel is undoubtedly very absorbent and picked up water and moisture with ease.
- Undetectability: After thoroughly drying our testing vehicle, we examined the car’s paintwork for any signs that a towel was used in the drying process. There were no signs of lint, scratches on the paint, or swirl marks.
- Durability: This towel emerged from the washing machine relatively unchanged. The bright yellow color didn’t fade, and there weren’t any loose strands of fiber hanging off of the towel. It did leave behind trace amounts of lint.
What Customers Are Saying
Amazon Review Score: 4.7 out of 5 based on over 5,700 ratings
Out of the thousands of reviewers, 94 percent rate this premium microfiber towel 4 or more stars.
Reviews speak to the towel having the ability to not only dry a car, but its ability to be used as a mitt of sorts for buffing wax, sealant, and even applying ceramic coatings. A large number of reviewers highlight this car drying towel’s absorbent properties.
#4 Best Value: Meguiar’s X2000 Water Magnet
For over 115 years, Meguiar’s has been providing high-quality car care products, and the Meguiar’s X2000 Water Magnet is no exception. Our team recognized this product as the Best Value towel in the industry due to the high-quality towel you get for such a low price. This towel is machine-washable and can be used time and time again.
What separates the car drying towel from competitors is its waffle weave texture. Though the towel is lightweight and not very thick, the waffle weave design means there’s actually more fabric than a typical towel, allowing for better absorption. In fact, the manufacturer asserts in the product description that the product can absorb twice the amount of water as a traditional terry towel.
|Overall Rating||4.2 out of 5|
For an incredibly low price, you receive one of the best car drying towels on the market.
- Absorbency: Even though this towel is noticeably thinner than the rest of the towels we tested, it offered some of the best absorbency properties.
- Undetectability: Our team found that the waffle weave texture meant there was no chance of leaving any scratches or lint behind. The only thing preventing this towel from receiving a perfect score is the fact that it left a few swirl marks.
- Durability: This towel endured the cycles of a washing machine relatively well. The color of the towel remained unchanged, but it did leave behind trace amounts of lint. Additionally, the edges of the towel were slightly frayed and some strands of fiber were beginning to unravel.
What Customers Are Saying
Amazon Review Score: 4.6 out of 5 based on over 15,800 ratings
The vast majority of reviewers are pleased with this car drying towel, with 90 percent rating the product 4 stars or higher.
Reviews note this towel is great to follow up behind a blower when trying to dry your car. A self-proclaimed detailing products enthusiast raves over the waffle design of the towel.
Some reviewers forewarn others about washing the towel with fabric softener, as it can strip away the absorbent properties of the towel.
#5 Best Feel: Chemical Guys MIC1995 Gray Woolly Mammoth
Featuring a 70/30 microfiber blend, the Chemical Guys MIC1995 Gray Woolly Mammoth is a great option to consider. This towel name is not a misnomer, as it is 36.0 inches by 25.0 inches in size and exceptionally shaggy. This massive car drying towel also features silk-banded edges to prevent any chance of leaving scratches behind.
The edges of this towel may be silk-banded, but it’s the 1.0-inch thick pile that will make drying off your car a breeze. The manufacturer claims in the product description that this car drying towel can hold over a gallon of water, and it can dry an entire car in just one pass.
|Overall Rating||4.2 out of 5|
The Chemical Guys MIC1995 Gray Woolly Mammoth is a huge car drying towel. The size is its biggest plus, but with a tradeoff. It easily absorbs moisture but makes actually using the towel a bit overwhelming.
- Absorbency: The sheer size of this towel makes drying off a car remarkably easy. Additionally, the shagginess meant that no car drying towel that we tested could match the absorbency of this product.
- Undetectability: This towel didn’t leave behind any scratches on the test vehicle’s paint or any streak marks, but it did leave behind a sizable amount of lint and quite a number of microfiber strands.
- Durability: The towel held up better than our team expected when thrown into the washing machine. It emerged looking brand new with no loose strands or loose threads. However, it left behind a sizable amount of lint.
What Customers Are Saying
Amazon Review Score: 4.7 out of 5 based on over 5,800 ratings
Reviews mention that this towel can hold an enormous amount of water, and it needs to be fully saturated before you’ll be able to wring it out. One driver simply appreciates that it doesn’t leave any water spots on their car’s paintwork. Negative reviews note the amount of lint it leaves behind after drying off a surface.
#6 Also Consider: Carcovers.com Microfiber Car Towels
Designed for more than just drying off your car, the Carcovers.com Microfiber Car Towels can be used in multiple different ways. While it performed well in our tests related to drying off a car following a DIY car wash, this microfiber towel can be used for applying wax, detailing your car’s interior, and more.
These car drying towels offer great value for money as you’ll receive 36 towels for a bargain price. It should be noted that this car drying towel is machine washable, meaning you can reuse this towel over and over again.
|Overall Rating||3.7 out of 5|
If it wasn’t already apparent, this towel is far from the largest towel in this review. While it does offer decent absorbency for its size, you’ll need to use several towels to dry off an entire vehicle.
- Absorbency: Absorbency is arguably the most important characteristic of a car drying towel. Our product testing team found that this towel struggled to dry up large water spots.
- Undetectability: The towel didn’t scratch the paint, but it left behind large swirl marks and deposits of lint on our testing vehicle’s paintwork.
- Durability: The towel began to unravel almost immediately after our team members started to use it to dry off the car. Following a cycle in the washing machine, more strands of microfiber began to unravel.
What Customers Are Saying
The Carcovers.com Microfiber Car Towels have several glowing reviews online from happy customers. Reviewers point to the quality of these car drying towels and many also note how quickly they shipped to their home.
Car Drying Towel Buyers Guide
Car drying towels tend to be quite basic by design, as they are simply meant to dry things off and clean up messes. However, that doesn’t mean that all car drying towels are created equal. Generally, you’ll want to consider the following before you buy:
The size of the car drying towel you purchase is a personal choice, but it should line up with your intended use. If you’re looking for a towel that can get into all the nooks and crannies, then you might want a smaller towel. If you want a towel that can dry your car as quickly as possible, then you may opt for a larger towel. However, it should be noted that the larger the towel you buy the more difficult it may become to wield and use.
Towel edges are often the most overlooked part of a towel, but they can cause the most damage. While nearly every square inch of the towel itself may be made from a soft material, the edges of these towels may not. We recommend that you find an edgeless towel or a towel with a rolled edge. The soft edges of these towels will assure that you don’t damage your car’s exterior.
If you prefer to have a towel with edges, we recommend those that are silk-banded, made from satin, or those that are microfiber-stitched, as the soft material won’t leave scratches behind.
Our Review Standards
The car drying towels in this article went through two rounds of reviews. We started by searching Amazon for top products, looking at factors like Prime shipping eligibility, customer ratings, Amazon superlatives, and prices. Our product testing team ordered the car drying towels that best met these standards.
Car Drying Towel Testing Process
A team member tested each product on a car, taking note of how well the car drying towel absorbed water, if it left any scratches, and its durability after being machine-washed. Each car drying towel was given a rating out of 5 stars based on this criteria.
- Absorbency: Arguably the most important characteristic of a car drying towel is its ability to absorb moisture. Our product testing team used each car drying towel to dry a panel of a car after a car wash to test its absorbent properties.
- Undetectability: This testing criterion combines three separate testing categories: whether a car drying towel is lint-free, whether it leaves behind streaks, and if it is scratch-resistant. Our team carefully examined each panel of the car to check for lint, streaks, and scratches left on the car’s exterior after drying.
- Durability: To get the most out of a car drying towel, it should be reusable. Keeping this in mind, a member of our product testing team took home the used car drying towels to machine wash them. Following the towels being washed, we checked each towel to see if it lost any absorbency or unraveled in the washing machine.
Best Car Drying Towel: FAQ
*Data accurate at time of publication.