Best way to dry a car after washing

Best way to dry a car after washing [with PRO TIPS]

If you want to keep your car is good condition, have it look great and help maintain its resale value you are doing to want to wash and dry it the right way. I messed up the paintwork on my first car just because I did not know what I was doing when I was washing and drying it.

If you want to know the right way to wash your car, read my article about that here: best way to wash your car without scratching.

So you have washed your car (the right way), now on the the drying part. There are three main products you can use for drying clean car.


Traditionally a chamois is the most common way of properly drying your car.

A real chamois is made of sheep (or traditionally mountain goat) leather. A chamois is soft, non-abrasive and very absorbent. Get a good one here on Amazon. The problem with a chamois is that they only work when they are wet. If you try to use a dry chamois on a car you risk scratching your car. Also, when they dry there is the possibility that they will crack and breakdown.


Using a chamois to dry your car

The trick to using a chamois to dry your car is to make sure that it is already damp. If you use a hard dry chamois it can scratch it. Also, when a chamois gets too dry it starts to deteriorate so it should always be kept moist in its container. See below for the proper drying technique.

Microfiber dryer towel

There are microfiber dryer towels are made specifically for drying your car. If you don’t want to use a leather chamois then this could be an option for you. Microfiber is designed so that it will not scratch or leave swirl marks on your car. They are also designed to lot have any lint and be super adsorbent.  The ones made by Chemical Guys are a good option, you can see it here on amazon. They have one side with short and the other long microfibers that can be used for not just drying your car but buffing and polishing.

A great thing about the microfiber options are that they are machine washable (unlike a real leather chamios which should be hand washed).

How to dry a car with a microfiber towel

With a microfiber towel you just need to make sure that it is clean before you start drying your car. As mentioned above, you can machine wash them. see below for the drying technique.


Car air blower dryer

A blower dryer is a bit like a leaf blower. There are models designed for drying your car or even your pet that come with all different kinds of nozzle attachments. However, that can be a bit pricey.

A blower dryer is by far the best option but it is more costly. I recommend the EGO Power+ blow dryer, you can see it here on Amazon. It is battery powered but more than powerful enough and has a good price for what you get compared to some other models.

The EGO Power+ blow dryer

The EGO Power+ blow dryer

There are some other blower dryer options that are available such as:

The JetSpeed VX6 Professional Surface Air Dryer and Blower, check it out here on Amazon. The JetSpeed VX6 is a smaller model and not really very powerful. It is more suited to small cars or motorcycles, but even on a normal size car it is great to get into the cracks and crevices and blow the water out (e.g. the wheels, grill, trim, mirrors etc).

The JetSpeed VX6 Professional Surface Air Dryer and Blower

The JetSpeed VX6 Professional Surface Air Dryer and Blower

The Metro Vacuum SK-1 Air Force Blaster Sidekick Compact and Portable Car, Truck, SUV & Motorcycle Dryer, check it out here on Amazon or the bigger more powerful model designed for car detailing pros here. This is similar to the other models above however with a big difference, it has a heating element in the bottom where the air is sucked in that heats the air that is being blown onto the car. I don’t think that you really need heated air unless you are drying your car in a very cold environment.

The Metro Vacuum SK-1 Air Force Blaster Sidekick Compact and Portable Car, Truck, SUV & Motorcycle Dryer

The Metro Vacuum SK-1 Air Force Blaster Sidekick Compact and Portable Car, Truck, SUV & Motorcycle Dryer


Using a car air blower dryer

The blower pushes the water off your car and the water does not dry on the paint and make droplet spots. You will probably need to finish off a small amount of water that is still on your car after blowing but it will make the whole job quicker and easier.

Check out how to use the EGO Power+ blow dryer in the video:



Car drying technique

OK, now you have your weapon (car drying tool) of choice, now to the important bit, using it properly:

  1. Keep your car is a shady place (out of direct sunlight).
  2. Rinse off all of the wash wash soap (a pressure washer should be good for that – see about car pressure washers here).
  3. Make sure that any cloth that you are using (chamois or microfiber) are clean and slightly moist.
  4. Start at the top of the car (the roof) and dry that first. This is so that you don’t get water dripping down over parts you have already dried.
  5. Water can sit in cracks and crevices. Pay attention to these as you go or water can drip out later on.
  6. Dry the car in sections, complete one section before moving to the next.
  7. If a section drys before you get to it re-wet that section and start drying so that you don’t get water spots.


Waffle weave vs microfiber for drying

The performance of a waffle weave vs microfiber for drying your car is a hot debate. The difference between the two for many is a personal preference. A waffle weave can usually hold more water than a microfiber towel. This is because the waffle weave pattern, the waffel shapped squares can puff up, holding a lot of water. So if you have a big car or truck and only want to use one towel to dry it then a waffle weave may be what you want. I prefer and recommend using a normal microfiber drying towel.

What is the best microfiber car drying towel?

Though that are many on the market, in my opinion the best microfiber car drying towel is the Chemical Guys MIC_507_06 Professional Grade Premium Microfiber Towel. You can see it on Amazon here.

What is the best microfiber waffle weave drying towel?

There are a few few good waffle weave drying towels available. In my opinion the Chemical Guys make the best microfiber waffle weave drying towel available now. You can pick one up from amazon here.

Do microfiber cloths scratch your car?

No, but only if they are clean and in good condition. The dirt in a dirty cloth can scratch the paint on your car so be sure to use and clean cloth on a clean car.

Can microfiber cloth scratch plastic or glass?

No, a microfiber cloth will not scratch plastic or glass. However, you need to be using a clean microfiber cloth.

Can a leaf blower be used as a car dryer?

Yes, a leaf blower can be used as a car dryer. Be sure to use the correct technique. You may need to remove the last small drops of water with a cloth.

What else can be used to dry a car?

Some people use various types of cloths including Baby diapers. You could use these to dry your car but i do not recommend them. Whatever you do, be sure that what you are using is soft and clean.

What is the best electric leaf blower for drying car?

I recommend the EGO Power+ blow dryer. It is battery powered and has more than enough power to blow dry your car. It is also a available on Amazon for a reasonable price. You can check the current price here.

Best way to wash a car

Read about how to wash your car the right way

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Comments 1

  1. I use the leaf blower sometimes when I’m too tired or in hurry, it gets a job done faster. But, still, for a better result, microfiber towels are the best. You can even get some polishing effect.

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