In the world of car detailing, microfiber towels are the unsung heroes, quietly and effectively making our cars look impeccable. But, like any hero, they need a little care to keep performing at their best. In this article we’ll explore how to wash and care for your microfiber detailing towels, ensuring they continue to clean your car to perfection.
How do you wash microfiber towels for detailing?
Washing microfiber towels is all about gentleness and precision. First, separate your towels by their use case—those used for wheels and engine bays should not mingle with the ones used for paint surfaces. Separating your towels is a big deal and can help prevent cross-contaminating your towels. The towels you use on your paint should be washed alone as should your drying towels, wash mitts, and glass towels. Your utility towels that you use on wheels, engines, exhaust tips, and other less delicate surfaces can go in the same bin. We also separate our interior towels because your interior has very delicate surfaces like leather and nav screens and we do not want to potentially harm those.
Use a mild, liquid detergent free of fragrances, dyes, and fabric softeners, as these can clog the fibers. Opt for a cold or warm wash cycle, and remember you're giving your towels a spa day, not a rollercoaster ride.
Should you wash and reuse car detailing microfiber towels?
Absolutely! Reusing microfiber towels is not just good for your wallet; it's better for the environment. However, it's crucial to assess the condition of each towel post-wash. If a towel has been part of a particularly gritty job or starts to lose its softness and absorbency, it might be time to retire it to less critical tasks, like becoming the go-to towel for engine work or your personal sweat towel.
The only time we don’t wash towels is if we have used a true ceramic coating or a really strong ceramic sealant and the fibers on the towels start to crystalize. When that happens it is best to discard the towel and prevent using it on paint or anything that could get scratched to oblivion. Ceramic coatings get really hard and they can make your towels turn into a brick so it is best to toss them or downgrade them to a shop rag.
What is the best detergent for washing microfiber towels?
Choosing the right detergent for your microfiber towels is like selecting the right wine for dinner—it needs to complement, not overpower. Look for a detergent that's clear and simple. Avoid anything with added fabric softeners or scents. Your towels don't need to smell like a spring meadow; they just need to be clean. A small amount of a clear, liquid detergent will do the trick, keeping the fibers intact and ready for action. There are many dedicated microfiber towel detergents and they work really well but they are not not completely necessary. If you use something like Tide Free & Clear you should be all set. For some added punch you can add a cup or two of white vinegar if you have really soiled or clogged towels.
Should you dry microfiber towels?
Yes, but you don’t want to be drying them on the highest heat setting on your dryer. Tumble dry on low or no heat, or better yet, let them air dry. High heat can make the fibers stiff, turning your soft, absorbent towel into the equivalent of using yesterday's newspaper to dry your car. You can also hang dry them and use a drying rack if you really want to be cautious.
Why should you clean your microfiber towels?
Dirty microfiber towels can do more harm than good on the vehicle you are trying to clean and protect. Dirt and debris trapped in the fibers can scratch and damage car surfaces, leaving you with a finish that's dull rather than dazzling. Regular cleaning ensures your towels are always at their best, ready to tackle any detailing task without leaving behind any unwanted souvenirs on your car's surface. Many detailing products have polymers and other materials that can build up on your towels and will greatly reduce the performance of your towels if you do not wash them regularly or properly.
When should you wash microfiber towels?
The best time to wash your microfiber towels is shortly after use. This prevents any dirt or chemicals from setting in and becoming harder to remove. Think of it as doing the dishes right after dinner; it's just easier. Plus, it ensures your towels are always ready for the next detailing session, because nothing ruins the mood quite like reaching for a towel and finding it's as gritty as sandpaper.
We also recommend that you immediately wash new microfiber towels. While they are brand new and clean they usually have random fibers that should be washed away. Doing this will cut back on having fuzzy lint on your windows, paint, and other surfaces.
Another tip is to pre-soak your towels in a 5 gallon bucket of warm water with your favorite detergent and let them soak for 24 hours or as long as you want. This can help break up stubborn dirt, grime, and sealants that might be lodged into the towels. Presoaking can really help restore your towels and make your microfibers last longer and clean up much faster.
In the grand scheme of car detailing, taking care of your microfiber towels might seem like a small, unimportant task. But, as any true enthusiast knows, perfection is in the details. By washing and caring for your towels properly, you're not just cleaning a tool; you're preserving an essential part of your detailing arsenal. So, treat your microfiber towels with the care they deserve, and they'll continue to return the favor, one shiny surface at a time.