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Whether you’re new to detailing or not, you’re sure to be overwhelmed by the seemingly endless options for drying towels.
You have Chamois, Synthetic Chamois, Microfiber, Waffle Weave Microfiber, Foam Core Microfiber, Cotton Terry, and on and on…
Fortunately for you, I’ve tried all of those over the years and I still find myself coming back to the Waffle Weave Microfiber Towel as the best drying towel.
More specifically, I always come back to the Dry Me A River! Jr. 20 x 40 Waffle Weave Drying Towel from The Rag Company and I’ll explain why in a moment.
Top Car Drying Towels:
Why Should You Buy a Quality Drying Towel?
A quality drying towel will help you speed up drying time, avoid streaks, and most importantly avoid scratching and marring your paint.
Unlike the run of the mill terry towels many grew up smearing across their paint, properly constructed microfiber towels are less abrasive and more absorbent.
The most common forms of microfiber drying towel are the plush towel and the waffle weave. Plush towels have a loose nap whereas waffle wave has its’ fibers woven into a pique finish that literally resembles a waffle.
The cups created by the waffle weave pattern promote water absorption unmatched by that of the standard loose nap plush microfiber towel. The texture of the towel also helps reduce the friction between the towel and your paint, reducing the chance of marring your finish.
What about Chamois?
When properly cared for and used, a high quality synthetic Chamois can do extremely well for drying. The chamois is a lot less forgiving, however, if you don’t take meticulous care of it.
Given the lower cost, better versatility, and more forgiving nature of the microfiber waffle weave, I no longer use nor recommend the Chamois and pretty solidly recommend the Waffle Weave Drying Towels.
What Makes a Good Waffle Weave Drying Towel?
Just as there are many different options for drying towels in general, there are many options for Waffle Weave Drying Towels as well.
Fortunately, there are a few key indicators of a good towel that quickly pare down the options without getting too technical.
A good waffle weave towel will be soft, pliable, and have deep texture.
The ratio of polyester to polyamide in the towel should be around 80/20 to 70/30. The higher the polyamide (the second number in the ratio) the softer and plushier the towel will be.
I prefer a density around 350-400 grams per square meter (GSM). The higher the number the more micro fibers are in the towel and the better it absorbs, generally.
You want the edges of the towel to be rolled and sewn using a soft thread that won’t mar the finish.
I also prefer a towel that is large enough to dry a vehicle without needing to stop to wring it out.
Provided your car is sealed/waxed and you sheet the water off during the final rinse a towel around 2’x4’ will be sufficient.
That being said, what do I recommend based on the above criteria and real world usage?
My Favorite – Dry Me A River! Jr.
- ☑️ PREMIUM 70/30 Blend (390gsm) Professional Microfiber...
- ☑️ PERFECT CHOICE For Drying Your Vehicle Quickly and...
- ☑️ FINEST QUALITY 100% South Korean Super Plush AA-Grade...
- ☑️ EXTREMELY DURABLE: Ability to Withstand Hundreds of...
- ☑️ AMERICA'S PREMIER MICROFIBER Products Manufacturer /...
Border: Satin Edge
Material: 100% Korean Split
Origin: South Korea
These towels are top notch. Consider the price and they are flat out amazing.
They absorb extremely well and are very non-abrasive.
After an initial pre-wash (recommended for any new microfiber towel) they are lint free and very pliable.
I have also found them to be very durable. To date I have not had a single one tear or unravel.
At the price point of these towels I would recommend to buy two, one for the body and one for the windows. However, you can easily dry and entire car with one 20”x40” provided the car is waxed and the rinse water beaded off properly.
Supreme Guzzler By Cobra
- Microfiber cleans, it scrubs, it polishes, it dries - it's...
Border: Rolled Microfiber
Material: Korean Microfiber
Origin: Assembled in China
Not much can be said about this towel that can’t be said about the Dry Me a River! Jr from The Rag Company.
The Guzzler series of towels are tried and true: sufficiently absorbent, non-abrasive, and durable.
I prefer the regular Guzzlers over the Guzzler HD. The extra foam in the HD just makes the towel unwieldy. Provided you properly sheet rinse your car before blotting with the towel you won’t benefit from the extra absorbency of the HD.
If you can catch the Supreme Guzzler on a BOGO sale it would be money well spent.
Local Availability – Meguiars X2000 Water Magnet
- REDUCED DRYING TIME: This means less wring-outs and better...
- BEST IN CLASS: Absorbs up to two times the water of...
- NO STREAKS: Leaves a spot-free finish without streaking
- REUSABLE: High-quality means you can use again and again...
- LARGE SIZE: 22” X 30” waffle weave texture microfiber...
Size: 22” x 30”
Given the lack of information provided by Meguiars on this towel I would normally shy away from it. However, I have used these towels before when I needed something I could pick up that day at the local big box store.
These towels actually work pretty well in a pinch. They are definitely thinner than the Cobra or TRG towels, have a shallower texture, and don’t have as nice of an edge, but they do absorb well and are safe to use for blotting your car dry.
If you lack the time to wait for a Dry Me a River or Guzzler in the mail then these are an acceptable alternative. At the very least, they make great window drying towels.