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If you’re looking into detailing for any reason, you’ve likely read a lot about choosing the right microfiber towels. And while having the right towels is important, it’s also important to take care of them. There is a right way to wash your microfiber towels. That means, of course, there’s a wrong way. So let’s dive into the details so you know how to take care of your microfiber car wash towels.

How do you wash microfiber car towels?

Wash your microfiber towels the right way to achieve high-shine like this person detailing a black Bentley
Detailing the outside of a car | Getty Images

It’s important to be gentle when washing your microfiber car wash towels. The first step is to ensure you use the cold water setting on your washing machine. Hot water can cause the fibers to stretch and separate, shortening the lifespan of each towel and increasing the risk of scratching your car at your next wash.

Can you put microfiber towels in the dryer?

In addition, you should also use care when drying your microfiber towels. The polyester and polyamide blend of a quality microfiber towel will melt under high heat. This will cause the fibers to tighten and harden, and the towel will lose its ability to lift and trap dirt away from your car’s surface. In short, it’s a recipe for scratches that you’ll want to avoid. Instead, hang dry your towels, if possible. And if that takes up too much space, at least use the lowest dryer setting for your microfibers.

What is the best detergent to wash microfiber towels?

This is less essential, but in my detailing business, I found that a microfiber-specific detergent gave me the best results and made my towels last longer. Washing my microfiber car wash towels with P&S Rags to Riches microfiber detergent would capably remove waxes, coatings, and contamination while keeping the fibers soft and pliable.

Don’t use fabric softener on your microfiber car towels

It may seem counterintuitive, but you should never use fabric softener on your microfiber towels. The fabric softener will clog the fibers and your towels won’t be able to absorb water and soap like they should. That’s because fabric softener coats your fabric in chemcal compounds that interfere with your towels’ natural ability to absorb, lift, and contain.

Don’t wash your car wash towels with your regular laundry

Paint swirl from a contaminated car wash microfiber towel
Swirling on car paint | Marc Wiley, MotorBiscuit

A good microfiber car wash towel relies on a specific blend of polyester and polyamide for softness and absorption. Including your car towels with your normal laundry will install cotton, wool, and other lints from your regular clothes into the microfiber weave. That is a recipe for swirls, marring, and scratches the next time you wash your car, even if you do everything else right.

Don’t store your towels in an open area

When it’s time to put your microfiber towels away, make sure you have a safe, enclosed container for them. These towels love to attract dirt and dust, and leaving them sitting on a shelf will introduce all sorts of contamination. If you’ve ever scratched a car with a brand-new microfiber towel, this may be part of why. Instead, use drawers, totes, or bags to keep your towels clean when not in use.

The right and wrong way to wash microfiber car wash towels makes a big difference

When detailing a car, avoiding scratches is the number one goal, even above getting things clean. Now that you know the right and wrong way to wash your microfiber car wash towels, you can tackle your next car care project with even greater confidence.