Many car enthusiasts will argue over what materials are best for cleaning windows, painted surfaces, polished surfaces, or chrome surfaces on your vehicle. One thing that most unanimously agree upon is that paper products are definitely not the way to go. Paper towels of any kind, which are derived from wood, have a rough texture that may grab and hold liquids well but will place microscopic scratches, known as swirl marks, in otherwise pristine paint. Using paper towels to detail your car over and over again will eventually lead to cloudy looking clear coat that reflects light oddly due to these small scratches. Of course, there is also the consideration of cost over the long term in that paper towels are disposable and thus you have to keep buying more as you run out.
As such, the best tool for polishing and cleaning your car is a microfiber towel. The best microfiber cleaning cloths can be used on any surface on your car, from paint to your dashboard to your windshield. They can also be used over and over, so they rarely have to be replaced. As there are a million microfiber cloths out there to choose from, there are many top performers and the differences between them are relatively minimal. As such, the big differentiator between them is value, meaning high quality for a low price.
The Best Microfiber Cloth
When it’s time to add a microfiber towel to your car detailing arsenal, the best value we have found is the Amazon house brand. While we know it’s not common for an automotive tools review website to directly recommend an Amazon house brand product, in this case we believe the AmazonBasics microfiber towels represent the best value out there. AmazonBasics supplies a 24-pack of the best soft and super absorbent microfiber cleaning cloths around. They do their job admirably and protect your paint in the process. While a 24 pack is likely enough for a lifetime of car detailing projects, they also offer these microfiber towels in a 36-pack, 48-pack, and a 144-pack which make sense if you use microfiber towels elsewhere when not working on your car.
These 12” x 16” cloths can soak up to eight times their weight in fluid, which makes them great for drying your car after a wash as well as using them to scrub your paint while washing (we’d also recommend a microfiber wash mitt for scrubbing). They work pretty well for cleaning up spills for fluids such as coolant as well when doing mechanical work on your car. Another nice feature is that they are machine washable; no need to worry if a simple rinsing in the sink isn’t enough to get them clean. You can simply throw them in the washing machine and wash them with in cold water and microfiber detergent, then air dry so they don’t get mangled in the dryer. It should be noted that microfiber detergent is a special detergent that is different from regular laundry detergent which can tend to clog the pores of the fabric and reduce its ability to absorb fluid.
Each pack comes with towels in colors of blue, yellow, and white, and they are made with imported 90% polyester and 10% polyamide which makes them durable for hundreds of reuses. They are safe to use with most household and auto cleaners as they are chemical resistant, so any automotive soap for washing your car, glass cleaner for cleaning your windshield, leather cleaner for your seats, or car polish for your paint should pose no problem.
As far as available purchasing options, Amazon is the only place to find them since it is their house brand. The bright side is that they are very inexpensive! Overall, these represent the best microfiber towel value as they are durable, inexpensive, and high quality. We use them all the time, and know they will serve you well!
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