The best car drying towels

You've already washed your car like a pro, why let the results down by not drying it properly?

Someone drying their car

by Ryan Gilmore |

The drying process of a good car wash is easily overlooked. So much time and energy go into using the various cleaning tools and methods (clay bars, snow foam, even special brushes) that by the time the last product has been washed off, you've kind of had enough and can be tempted just to leave it to air dry.

But in doing that you open yourself up to the appearance of unsightly watermarks all over your freshly cleaned bodywork. And while you can use a chamois towel (Don't, it wrecks your paint!) investing in some proper drying towels will leave your car looking excellent.

The best drying towels

Autoglym HTMDT Hi-Tech Microfibre Drying Towel

Best quality drying towels
Autoglym HTMDT Hi-Tech Microfibre Drying Towel
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Our top choice for drying towels is this excellent model from Autoglym. The microfibre towel is specifically designed with absorbency in mind and reviewers claim that a single towel is capable of drying a full car before it becomes saturated. It also leaves fantastic results with no watermarks visible. Dimensions: 60 x 60cm Weight: N/A

Meguiaru2019s X1802 Supreme Microfibre Car Cleaning Drying Towel XL

Best larger drying towel
Meguiaru2019s X1802 Supreme Microfibre Car Cleaning Drying Towel XL
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While not as advanced as the Autoglym option, the Meguair's XL drying towel is still a fantastic option if you're wanting the best results. Made of ultra-thick and absorbent microfibre, this drying towel should be able to easily clean a car before becoming saturated. It is also the largest towel on our list with a size of 55cm x 85cm. The soft black edges also help prevent the risk of scratches making this a very safe option for delicate paintwork. Dimensions: 55 x 85cm Weight: 1050gsm

Meguiar's X2000EU Water Magnet Microfibre Drying Towel

Clear water quicker
Meguiar's X2000EU Water Magnet Microfibre Drying Towel

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Excess water on a freshly cleaned car appears to take a month to dry and will leave the worst watermarks on your car. This 'Water Magnet' towel from Meguair's claims to absorb up to twice the amount of water compared to regular towels. It's machine washable and super soft and at 55 x 76cm it's big enough to dry even the largest of cars. Dimensions: 55 x 76cm Weight: N/A

Auto Finesse Aqua Deluxe Car Drying Towel

Ultra soft drying
Auto Finesse Aqua Deluxe Car Drying Towel

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An incredibly fluffy option from Auto Finesse, the absorbency offered would be excellent for even the most delicate of paintwork. The edges are ultra-soft to protect the paint too and it features chenille fibres to ensure that all water is absorbed as quickly as possible. Dimensions: 50 x 70cm Weight: 1200GSM

Amazon Basics Large Thick Drying Towel

Best budget option
Amazon Basics Large Thick Drying Towel
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Simple drying towels like this option from Amazon Basics may not be the best in terms of quickness of drying, but they shouldn't be discounted immediately. Dimensions: 63.5 x 76.2cm Weight: N/A

What you need to know about car drying towels:

What features are important?

Like toothpaste and its ability to clean teeth, the primary aspect in a drying towel is how effectively it can dry your paintwork. The two main factors to this are the towel's density in grams per square metre (gsm) and the overall size. A larger towel will cover more bodywork and take longer to become saturated but generally is more expensive to buy.

The density of a towel (gsm) is also worth considering. A higher gsm usually correlates to better absorbency and quicker drying. The obvious downside being the long drying times these need once they're saturated.

Other features to look for in a good drying towel are how the edges are constructed. Wrapped edges in particular are good to look for as these limit the chance of leaving swirl marks on the paintwork.

How to properly dry a car:

You may think that drying a car is as simple as running your drying towel over the body and waiting for the car to dry but there are far more effective ways to clean your car. We have a few top tips to help you dry your car more effectively:

Working your way down is the best way to avoid streaks. If you dry the sills before the windows, you'll soon notice water droplets making their way down onto your paintwork.

Don't scrunch your towel up. Make use of the full surface area and drape the towel over the bodywork. This will make drying quicker and more effective.

Remember to turn your towel frequently. This will prevent it becoming sodden.

For the best results, open your doors, boot and bonnet when the car is nearly dry so you can catch any water that has accumulated in the sills.

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