How to pick the right Microfiber for the job by Budman3


Staff member
Different stages in the detailing process require different microfiber towels to get the job done. As you may know, microfiber towels are just like any other detailing products- they are all different and everyone has their favorite towels. However, using the right towel for the job will yield the best results.

We’ll start off by cleaning the interior. Do not use your quality microfiber towels on interior pieces, save those for your paint work. Some people like to use a thin napped towel to wipe off excess dressings on interior vinyl and plastic pieces. Other’s like to use a separate thin napped microfiber towel to remove excess leather conditioner from seats as well. The only thing that’s left on the interior is glass. A quality woven glass towel will not only clean glass well, but will leave you with no streaks. Thicker towels on glass seem to streak a lot more than thin napped towels.

Most people begin their exterior detailing process by cleaning the wheels and tires. When your microfiber towels get old and grungy, it’s a good idea to ‘demote’ these to wheel and door jamb duties. The nap of the towel isn’t too big of a deal. Be sure the wheels are thoroughly cleaned and then you may use a microfiber towel to dry or apply some type of wheel sealant or wax. The next step in the process is the wash. One type of wash median is a microfiber wash mitt. Thicker is better for these mitts. Using a thin mitt won’t give dirt anywhere to go which will increase the chance of marring. After the vehicle is washed, it is now time to dry it. The preferred method of drying would be to use one or two medium (20”-30” +) sized waffle weaved (WW) microfiber towels. The waffle shape of these towels absorb the maximum amount of water possible, up to 10x its weight!!

Now that the car is fully cleaned, it is now time to clay. Some people like to clay during washing so you won’t need an extra towel for this part. However, if you clay after washing, a thick microfiber towel to absorb the lube and contaminants is a good idea. Next up is polishing. If you are using a polish that is very difficult to remove, it is NOT a good idea to use a thick napped towel. This may actually induce marring into the paint. It is best to use a medium napped towel in this case. Remember to turn and flip the towel often as polish will build up and could mar the finish. If you are using a user friendly polish, virtually any microfiber would work. After the car is polished, it is now time to apply some type of LSP. In most cases it is best to use a thick towel, especially for wax removal. Be sure to flip the towel often to ensure the towel is clean. Then do a final buff with a smooth fine napped towel to give high gloss and remove any nap marks.

Quick detailing and waterless washing would require a thick towel, again, giving a place for dirt and other foreign materials to go away from the paint. Some towels are thick on one side and thin on another. I find these towels to be best when using a QD. You can do the initial wipe with the thick side and then flip to the short side to ‘buff’ the paint to high gloss. The same process can be used on lightly dirty door jambs as well, but remember it may be a good idea to use an older towel in this area.