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Choosing the best car drying towel can mean the difference between a streak-free shine and a scratched car hood covered in small debris. With so many towels on the market, it can be difficult to narrow down quality products for your car care, but we’ve done the testing for you.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll review the five best car drying towels for your next detailing project. We’ll go over each product in detail, focusing on its strengths, weaknesses, price point, and customer satisfaction ratings. To ensure you’re making the best drying towel purchase for your needs, we’ll also discuss how we went about rating each towel and what to prioritize in a car drying product.

 

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Our Review Standards

The car drying towels in this article underwent two rounds of reviews. We started by searching Amazon and other websites for top products, looking at factors such as customer ratings, Amazon superlatives, and price.

Our team then ordered the five car drying towels that best met these standards. A team member tested each product on a car, noting how well the towel did with absorbency, streak-free drying, lint-free drying, and scratch-free drying. We gave each towel a rating out of 5.0 stars based on these criteria.

For rating each car drying towel, our team first tested the initial absorbency of the product. Then, after slightly dampening the towel, we wiped it across the hood of our test car – a 2013 Ford Focus – to see how well it absorbed water and left a streak-, lint-, and scratch-free surface. Microfiber towels are best suited to absorb liquid when they are damp.


#1 Best Overall: CarCovers.com Platinum Quick Dry Towel


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Platinum Quick Dry Towel
  • Cost: $20 per towel
  • Dimensions: 36-by-25 inches
  • 880GSM material
  • 80/20 blended polyester and polyamide material
  • Silk hem
  • Machine washable

Our top choice among the best car drying towels is the CarCovers.com Platinum Quick Dry Towel. Made with an 80/20 polyester and polyamide blend material, the towel is soft and plush as well as absorbent. Towel thickness is measured in grams per square meter, or GSM, and the higher the number, the more absorbent the towel. The Platinum Quick Dry Towel is 880GSM, so you can be confident it will soak up all moisture after a wash. It also features a silk hem for scratch-free use.

The towel was large enough to cover our test car’s hood in three passes. We were impressed by its initial absorbency and drying performance. The car hood easily dried in one pass, with no streaks or lint visible. Our only qualm with this car drying towel is its price point. A pack of two Platinum Quick Dry towels costs $40.

What Customers Are Saying: CarCovers.com groups its product reviews, so we couldn't find customer ratings specific to this car drying towel. However, CarCovers.com is a well-established brand in the auto product industry, and many of its other products are highly rated by customers. The company has a 4.3- out of 5.0-star rating on Trustpilot.


#2 Best Value: Kirkland Signature Premium Microfiber Towel


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  • Cost: $1.11 per towel
  • Dimensions: 16-by-16 inches
  • 80/20 blended polyester and polyamide material
  • Machine washable

For car owners looking for the best deal, we recommend the Kirkland Signature Premium Microfiber Towel. For just under $25, you receive 36 medium-sized car drying towels. Despite the cheaper price, our team liked the product’s plush material. Though the Kirkland Signature Premium Microfiber Towel is thinner than many other detailing towels, it still provided excellent absorbency.

Made with an 80/20 blend, this towel is suited for buffing, polishing, and glass cleaning. However, since it’s only 16-by-16 inches, it is better suited for small detailing projects. It also has a sewn-in tag, which may be cumbersome to some auto enthusiasts.

What Customers Are Saying: With nearly 4,000 customer reviews on Amazon, the Kirkland Signature Premium Microfiber towel boasts an impressive 4.8 out of 5.0 stars. Eighty-seven percent of buyers give this product a full 5.0-star rating. Positive customer reviews mention the towel’s lightweight material, exceptional value, and scratch-free drying. However, some negative reviews say the product may leave lint.


#3 Chemical Guys Professional Grade Premium Microfiber Towel


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  • Cost: 27 cents or $10 per towel (depending on size)
  • Dimensions: 24-by-16 inches or 36-by-25 inches
  • 380GSM
  • 70/30 blended polyester and polyamide material
  • Dual fiber lengths
  • Silk hem
  • Machine washable

If the CarCovers.com towel is out of your price range, a high-quality alternative is the Chemical Guys Professional Grade Premium Microfiber Towel. Made with 380GSM and a 70/30 blend, the towel is an excellent product for buffing and polishing. We especially like the dual sides, which feature short and long fibers and make this towel suitable for multiple types of detailing projects.

During our testing, the towel did leave slight streaking and took two passes to entirely dry the car’s hood. However, its silk hems provided a scratch-free dry, and no lint or debris remained on the vehicle. The product is also available in several sizes, making it easy to pick the right towel for your vehicle or detailing project.

What Customers Are Saying: The Chemical Guys Professional Grade Premium Microfiber Towel has over 11,900 Amazon customer reviews, most of them positive. The towel holds a 4.7- out of 5.0-star rating, with 83 percent of buyers giving a full 5.0 stars. Customers like the different fiber lengths for managing diverse projects, but a few buyers reported issues with leftover lint after buffing.


#4 Zwipes Professional Microfiber Waffle Drying Towel


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  • Cost: $5 per towel
  • Dimensions: 25-by-36 inches
  • Waffle weave material
  • Soft-edge lining
  • Two packs available with either one or two towels
  • Machine washable

For car owners looking for a waffle weave towel, we like the Zwipes Professional Microfiber Waffle Drying Towel. A waffle weave increases the surface area of a material, creating an ultra-absorbent and quick-drying towel. The Zwipes towel is large, making it best suited for trucks and other large vehicles. On our test car, we covered almost the entire hood in one pass.

Though it did leave a few streaks, the towel proved surprisingly absorbent despite its thinner material. If you’re looking for compact storage, the Zwipes is one of the best car drying towels, as it folds down small. We also didn't observe any lint or streaks left behind after the drying process.

What Customers Are Saying: The Zwipes Professional Microfiber Waffle Drying Towel has over 3,600 customer reviews on Amazon, holding a 4.7-star rating. Customers like the towel’s exceptional absorbency, especially for longer projects. Many customers say their overall drying time is far less when using this product. However, some buyers claim it doesn’t hold up well after washing.


#5 Meguiar’s Water Magnet Microfiber Towel


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  • Cost: $12 per towel
  • Dimensions: 22-by-30 inches
  • Waffle weave material
  • Machine washable

Rounding out our best car drying towels list is the Meguiar’s Water Magnet Microfiber Towel. Also made with a waffle weave design, this towel is suitable for cars, trucks, recreational vehicles, boats, and motorcycles. Though the towel is large, which reduces drying time, it took two passes to completely dry our test car with this product. However, we could easily wring the towel out and use it multiple times.

We were impressed with the Meguiar’s towel glide – when pulling it across the car’s hood, the towel did not bunch or stick. It also did not leave behind any lint or debris.

What Customers Are Saying: This plush microfiber drying towel has a 4.7-star rating and over 12,200 customer reviews on Amazon. Buyers appreciate the towel’s absorbency and durability, but some reviewers say it may not be the best choice for dark-colored vehicles because it leaves behind some lint.


Buyer’s Guide To The Best Car Drying Towels

Choosing the best car drying towel for your needs can be difficult with the number of products, materials, and price points on the market. To make your decision easier, we compiled the key factors to consider when choosing a car drying towel.

GSM: As mentioned, the higher the GSM, the denser and more plush the towel. If you want a soft buff, look for a product with a higher GSM – anything rated 600 or higher. If you want a product that is multi-purpose, opt for a lower GSM.

Microfiber versus other materials: For detailing your vehicle, we recommend purchasing a microfiber cleaning cloth. Though cotton is a terrific material for other projects, microfibers are best for ensuring a lint-, scratch-, and streak-free dry.

Material blends: Microfiber materials originate from a blend of synthetics, usually polyester and polyamide. For car detailing towels, your best bet is a 70/30 blend. However, an 80/20 blend can also work.

Weave type: Different weaves perform different jobs. Waffle weaves are super absorbent and best suited for car drying. Long fibers are best for polishing and buffing. A glass weave, as its name implies, weaves tightly to reduce any streaking or lint residue on windshields, mirrors, and other glass.

Hemming: To ensure your car drying towel won’t scratch surfaces, look for a product with a soft or silk hem. The bordering material allows the towel to glide across the vehicle.


FAQ: Best Car Drying Towels

Which car drying towel is the best?

We named the CarCovers.com Platinum Quick Dry Towel the best car drying towel. During our tests, the product absorbed all the water left on the car’s hood without leaving streaks, swirls, or debris.

Are microfiber towels good for drying cars?

Yes, microfiber towels are best suited for cleaning and drying cars. Depending on the material blend, they won’t cause any cosmetic damage to the vehicle during a car wash and dry.

Can you dry a car with a normal towel?

You can dry a car with a normal towel, but we don’t recommend it. Non-microfiber towels can potentially scratch car paint or otherwise damage a car’s surface. Normal towels also leave behind lint and debris. It’s best to use specially made car cleaning towels when washing and drying your car.