Chamois vs. Microfiber Towel – What Should You Use to Dry Your Vehicle?
Do you know the difference between a chamois towel and microfiber towels? If not, don’t worry! We’ll go over what towels are best for drying your car and why. This post will focus on explaining the differences in towels and how they can be used to dry your car.
Towels can be made from many different materials, but there are two towels types you should know about: chamois towels and microfiber towels. Chamois towels are made from a type of leather called chamois, which is why these towels are often referred to as simply “chamois towels.”
Microfiber towels can be composed of various materials such as polyester micro-weave and nylon. These towels typically have an absorbency factor around 400 times their weight in water! This means that towels can be made from similar materials, but have drastically different qualities depending on the craftsmanship.
What is a Chamois Towel?
For a long time now, the chamois towel has been used for various cleaning tasks because of its soft and quick dry properties. The fact that the original chamois is also a naturally renewable resource made it a popular choice as a towel.
It comes as no surprise then that this wonder cloth became a premium for car care a few years back. But due to the emergence of microfiber towels which are less expensive and great water absorption properties, fewer and fewer people are using chamois.
Add to the fact that there’s a more extensive line of towels to choose from like waffle weave, sponge cloth, huck towels, and even bathroom towels; auto enthusiasts are faced with a confusing choice of which is the best to use for their beloved car.
Not to worry! Below are a few points to consider when choosing the best type of towel for you to use.
So, in this article, we’ll explore:
- Leather Chamois vs. Synthetic Chamois
- Best Chamois Cloth
- Best Microfiber Car Drying Towels
- Chamois Towel Wringer
- How to Use a Chamois to Dry a Car
- How to Clean a Synthetic Chamois
- How to Care for Chamois
Leather Chamois vs. Synthetic Chamois
Chamois towels are made from leather and therefore have a soft texture. These towels can be found with or without pile, which is the short layer of fibers at the top of the towel. For this reason, they are used for applications where strength is not necessary like applying polish or wax. They provide excellent lubrication to avoid scratching the surface of your car.
So, what is the difference between a leather chamois cloth vs. synthetic cloth?
Real chamois cloth is made up of animal leather. This means that the material is breathable. What makes it an excellent accessory for automobiles is that it’s great for absorbing moisture. It is also very soft and smooth making it a great non-abrasive cloth for wiping your car’s paint.
This type of chamois prevents you from accidentally imparting fine scratches on your paintwork. Unfortunately, like everything that’s made naturally, it also wears out after some time. When this happens, it will quickly dry and crumble.
Another disadvantage of getting real leather chamois is that it’s a lot more expensive than the average towel in the market. You would need to allocate a budget to purchase a good quality one. But for the great benefits that it can give, it will be worth every penny.
Synthetic chamois cloths are made up of PVA, or polyvinyl alcohol, wheat starch, and cotton. Although it is called synthetic because of the processes it undertook, the components of this towel are naturally occurring thus making it an environmentally-friendly alternative.
Since PVA has a tighter molecular design than that of real animal leather, this type of chamois can absorb more moisture than real chamois so it’s also a good choice as a car drying accessory.
Plus, synthetic chamois is less expensive and can last longer than real chamois if taken cared for properly.
Chamois vs. Microfiber Towel – Which One Is Better?
With chamois towels you want to look for those that do not contain any pile, as these towels will absorb water more effectively than their counterparts with pile. While chamois towels are typically used to polish the paint on your car, they can also be great for drying if you use it correctly! The soft texture of chamois towels makes them great for drying because they won’t leave behind any scratches or swirls on the surface of your car. One downside to using a chamois towel is that over time it may dry out and become less absorbent. This will likely be an issue if you use this type of towels consistently, but it’s usually not an issue if you only use it to dry your car.
Microfiber towels or in short MF towels called by some detailing enthusiasts are made from materials that have a high absorption factor which helps the towel absorb lots of water in addition to leaving behind no scratches or swirls. These towels come in many different variations depending on how tightly they are woven, but typically microfiber towels are made from polyester micro-weave or nylon.
When towels are made with a high absorption factor, they will typically dry quickly and leave behind zero lint after use! This makes them great for drying your car because you don’t have to worry about any residue left on the surface of your paint.
Microfiber towels can be found in towels that are almost like a cloth, to towels that have the texture of chamois towels. Microfiber towels can also be made with pile, just like chamois towels! This means you need to take extra precautions when using these types of microfiber towels on your paint because they might leave behind swirls and scratches if used improperly.
Chamois towels are usually preferred for drying cars because they have a soft texture which makes them easy to dry without leaving any scratches or swirls on the paint of your car. Microfiber towels are great too, but you need to be careful when using them because these towels can leave behind lint residue and possible scratches if used incorrectly.
However, microfiber towels works magnificently with quick detailers and waterless car washes so you can have a clean and shiny vehicle in a matter of minutes.
There are no right or wrong towels to use for drying your car, it just comes down to personal preference and what type of towels you’re most comfortable using.
Best Chamois Cloth
Whether you’re looking for leather chamois cloth or a synthetic one when it comes to removing water spots and swirl marks you only want the best. Here are a few suggestions you can look into to find your best chamois cloth:
- Clean Tools The Absorber Synthetic Chamois
- ABSORBENT Spend less time drying and more...
- SOFT & SAFE Easy on your hands and easy on...
- RESISTANT Resistant to stale, damp...
- MACHINE WASHABLE Wash and reuse the Absorber...
When it comes to chamois, The Absorber is a favorite among enthusiasts so you know you won’t go wrong with buying this product. It’s made up of PVA like most synthetic varieties and is definitely a better option than using a terrycloth.
Also, The Absorber is wonderfully lint-free and is resistant to chemicals, mold, and mildew if you practice proper care. That’s such a great investment as one cloth can last you for years!
Like most chamois towels, this one is also soft and very safe to use on any auto finish as it is non-abrasive so you don’t have to worry about scratches.
Plus, it’s innovatively machine washable. After a hard day’s work of cleaning your car, you don’t need to think about manually washing your towels after.
Since it’s so easy to use, you can try cleaning different things with it. It’s highly ideal for boats and other vehicles as well. But you can also use it around the house, like kitchen counters or table spills.
If you have a pet, it’ll be a trouble-free drying experience after every bath. You can even use it for yourself after a heavy workout or a swim in the pool!
For less than $10 with all the benefits, it’s basically a steal! It even comes in six different colors so you don’t have to be stuck with the boring natural yellow that all chamois cloths have.
- The Man Sham Chamois Cloth
- Designed to suck up water like a vac -...
- Let the sheep keep their skins, get a Man...
- Don’t want to wash all those old towels?...
- The Man Sham will make a special gift for men...
When it comes to impressive packaging and talking a big game, this product’s marketing team is fantastic. But it’s easy to see that they didn’t have a hard time hyping this product up because it’s equally as awesome as they say.
The Man Sham is created from PVA (making it a synthetic variety) which allows it to absorb more water. Think of it as a high performing sponge but in towel form. You don’t even need to worry about the little fibers clinging to your paint because it’s lint-free.
It can also save you a lot of effort because it can easily do the work of 5 cotton towels. With its ability to absorb lots of water and can easily be wrung out, drying your auto will be a fast task to finish.
Plus, you’ll be letting the sheep keep their skin for a while longer since this product doesn’t use animal leather. You don’t need to prepare it before using like real chamois since it’s ready to go as soon as you pick it up!
It’s also resistant to mold and mildew so you don’t have to worry that much about rotting. With its storage tube, you can even take it with you wherever you go.
The Man Sham Chamois Cloth is not even solely for auto care. You can use it for other stuff, like cleaning your kitchen and bathroom, drying your pets, and even bringing it to the beach!
- Natural Chamois
- 100% Genuine New Zealand Sheep Skin Leather...
- Ever New Automotive 100% Satisfaction...
- New Zealand Chaois Difference! Because of the...
- Why Sheepskin Leather for Chamois! Sheep skin...
If you want the best leather chamois you can buy on Amazon; the Natural Chamois is it. It’s 100% real sheepskin leather from New Zealand which makes it the highest quality you can want.
New Zealand has been known for a long time for their amazing sheep farming practices and with the support of stable weather conditions, they continue to give only top-notch products so you can be assured of a first-rate tech performance from this towel.
Sheepskin leather is a great alternative to try out since it has a natural fiber structure that can absorb moisture easily. Aside from its naturally hydrophilic qualities, marine oil is then added to the tanned leather to increase its absorption properties even further.
Now, you may be having doubts since it does make use of animal skin but it’s also made from a renewable resource. Some synthetic counterparts aren’t since some are made out of petroleum so genuine leather chamois is still an environment-friendly alternative.
So don’t worry about that and try it out on your vehicles. It doesn’t just work wonders with cars but can also improve the quality and physical appearance of your boats, RVs, motorcycles and many more.
Best Microfiber Car Drying Towels
Aside from their inexpensive price tag and wide availability in stores, there’s a good reason why many automobile detailers like using a microfiber cloth for removing dirt and wax from a car’s paint.
If you’re curious about the microfiber madness happening in the auto world and are thinking of joining the bandwagon, here are a few of the best microfiber car drying towels to check out:
- Chemical Guys Professional Grade Premium Microfiber Towel
- 70 30 ultra premium elite banded microfiber...
- Best suited for drying wet surfaces or for...
- Microscopic fibers in supra towels allow them...
- 360,000 strands in every square inch of...
Nowadays, the industry standard for great car drying towels is made up of microfibers. This is because they are very soft and equally as absorbent.
The Chemical Guys microfiber towel is amazing at removing polishes, waxes, and dirt from your paint’s surface without leaving unwanted scratches and ugly swirl marks.
With this product on hand, you don’t need to worry about washing your car for a long while. It works magnificently with quick detailers and waterless car washes so you can have a clean and shiny vehicle in a matter of minutes.
Now, you may be wondering how it can compete with the high absorption qualities of a chamois cloth?
This little towel is created with about 360,000 microscopic strands of microfiber strengthened in a loop weave that allows them to absorb almost 10 times their weight. So yes, it can compete nicely.
Like chamois, this towel is also lint-free so you don’t need to worry about leaving pesky fibers on your surface.
Plus, it’s machine washable so it’s easy cleanup for you when you’re done washing your car. It also boasts of silk edges which makes it glide smoothly on your surface without leaving a scratch.
- VibraWipe Microfiber Cleaning Cloths
- Great for Dusting or Wiping Any Surfaces –...
- Multiple Color Options – Come in attractive...
- Super Absorbent – Microfiber is well-known...
- Easy to Use and Wash – No need chemical...
This product may not be a specific towel for auto detailing, but it does a great job for it as well. This all-around household cleaning tool is a great accessory to have if you want to save up on having to buy different tools for different purposes.
The VibraWipe Microfiber can absorb about 5 times its weight in liquid which makes it a handy material around your kitchen, your bathroom, and even your garage.
It’s soft material and lint-free and streak-free properties make it a safe and excellent alternative for drying and removing auto detailing products from your car.
Plus, it’s machine washable so it’s easy to clean. With all the many uses you can get from this product, and for the price, this is one pack you definitely need to get.
- Meguiar’s X2020 Supreme Shine
- FAST RESULTS: The easiest and fastest way to...
- SHOW CAR RESULTS: The ultimate polishing...
- NO MORE SWIRLS: Incredibly plush microfiber...
- ABSORBS TWICE AS MUCH: Thick, deep dual-sided...
When you see the name Meguiar’s written on the packaging, you know you’re getting your money’s worth. It’s safe to say that this brand is a cult classic because most of its products give you high-quality tech performance. The X2020 is just the same!
If you want your ride to shine like an award-winning show car, then this product will give you perfect results.
You can use it on all types of finish, be it paint, glass, plastic, or chrome. Its microfibers also help in creating an amazing swirl-free surface with a deep reflective shine.
Plus, it has a dual-sided pile that can absorb about two times more water than traditional terrycloth so you can dry your ride faster with less effort.
And what a price! For less than $5, you already have 3 pieces of these amazing products. Not to mention that it’s quite large as well so you have more reach, lessening your drying time considerably!
Chamois Towel Wringer
- Calliger Hand Crank Clothes Wringer
- HAND WASH YOUR CLOTHES EASILY & EFFICIENTLY:...
- NEW PATENTED DESIGN makes this wringer washer...
- INCREASED LIFESPAN: Not only is this wringer...
- SUPERIOR TO ANY PORTABLE WASHING MACHINE:...
Let’s face it. Even if it’s convenient to use chamois to dry your car, the constant wringing you need to do is quite off-putting. Think about it. You already put in the effort to wash your car so if there’s a way to lessen the work, you’ll definitely want to give it a go.
This hand crank clothes wringer is the perfect solution for your drying material. You can put in your chamois here after every use and just easily crank it dry.
With this innovative technology, you’re keeping your hands and wrists safe from the possible dangers of overexertion like tendonitis or something worse.
Plus, you can also use it for so much more than auto accessories. This wringer is heavy duty enough to dry clothes, even thicker ones like jeans.
If you’re looking to lessen drying time considerably, having this product at your service is a great option to try out.
- DynaJet Chamois & Towel Wringer
- Wring out 90% of accumulated water in your...
- Does towel-drying your vehicle take forever...
- No matter how absorbent your towels are,...
- Unless you have a huge stack of towels on...
Likewise, this product is a fantastic product to try out as well as it can wring out as much as 90% of the accumulated water that your towels can hold. This is awesome because no matter what you do, manually wringing out your towel wouldn’t get it as dry as this.
Car washing and detailing will be a breeze if you can cut your drying time considerably with this product by your side. Think about all the extra detail you can do with the time you now have plenty of.
Plus, it works well with sponges and mitts as well so cleaning your auto accessories will be an easier task to do.
What Is the Difference Between Shammy and Chamois?
A shammy isn’t actually related to chamois cloths at all; rather, their name derives from “shammy leather”–which comes from sheepskin with no fur left on it after sheering. While this has nothing to do with how well each material works (or doesn’t work), understanding that there IS a difference will help you better understand why chamois or shammois can be used interchangeably in some cases but not others.
However, not all chamois are made from leather! Some are synthetic versions that have been improved over time to better compete with natural chamois. Essentially, what the difference comes down to is that a shammy and chamois are two different types of cloths designed for cleaning. A shammy is made with absorbent materials to dry cars, while a chamois is traditionally used for polishing furniture and automobiles. When choosing which one you want to use, it all depends on what you are looking to clean.
The Pros and Cons of Chamois Towel and Microfiber Towel
Drying your car is one of the most important parts of taking care of it. You want to make sure you get all the water off, but not use too much towel and risk scratching the paint job. There are many different ways to dry out a car, but chamois towels offer some advantages over other methods.
Chamois towels are made from leather with no lint or fuzz on them so they don’t scratch anything when drying your car. They also absorb 10 times more moisture than cotton cloths which means they can do more in less time while using less effort! The downside is that they’re relatively expensive compared to cotton cloths and require more maintenance than just throwing them in the washer like you would with traditional cloth.
Microfiber towel is good to use for drying cars because it is very absorbent. It can dry up to five times faster than cotton towels, and they are less likely to scratch the paint job of your car. In addition, microfiber towels are lint-free and can be washed without crumbling or ripping. The disadvantage of microfiber towel are that it can leave streaks on your car and is more expensive than ordinary towels.
How to Use a Chamois to Dry a Car
Now that you know what a chamois is and some of the good products you can buy out there, it’s time to learn how to use a shammy. Shammy is the colloquial term for chamois.
When buying real chamois leather, you will notice that they are usually coated with oil. This is to help retain their absorption properties and to keep them from drying out. The very first thing you need to do before using it as a drying towel is to rinse off the excess oil.
First, you need to wash your cloth in warm, soapy water. Remember to use mild soap for this step to help maintain the oil. Refrain from using dishwashing varieties and even laundry detergents as they can strip off the oil and make your cloth dry and too brittle for use.
Next, you need to turn over the chamois a few times to spread the soap. After doing that, you need to dump it into clean rinsing water to remove the soapiness and excess oil.
It’s important that you rinse it thoroughly and wring the cloth out to ensure that it’s super clean. Once you’re finished doing that, you can now use the soft chamois to do your drying.
So here’s how a chamois works: you spread it out on your wet car and drag it towards yourself to dry the car. While a chamois does absorb some water, it essentially acts as a squeegee and pushes the water off the surface.
When chamois cloth come in contact with water on the surface of the wet car, it creates a sort of suction. So you will feel a bit of dragging when trying to pull the towel toward you. But after a few tries, you will get used to it.
It’s important you wash your car thoroughly before start drying your vehicle with a chamois towel.
Let’s say there are a few particles of dirt left on the surface of your car. So, when you are trying to drag the chamois across your vehicle, you’ll be pulling that dirt all across the surface of your paint, causing fine scratches. So, be careful.
If the chamois isn’t being used, make sure to hang it in a place where it can retain its original rectangular shape. Since it can repel water very efficiently, the cloth can harden once completely dry. But not to worry since softening it up is as easy as just wetting it again.
Here’s a more in-depth step by step guide to preparing your shammy.
How to Clean a Synthetic Chamois
Cleaning chamois cloth is very much like how you prepare it for the first time it’s used. So you better familiarize yourself with the steps because you’ll be doing it a lot.
If you feel that the steps above aren’t helping get out the dirty water from your towel even with all the wringing you’re doing, a great way to learn how to clean a synthetic shammy or leather one is to join online forums.
There are so many auto care forums like Autogeek Online on the internet and you’re sure to find one that’s solely for washing chamois cloth. Absorb new stuff from there, make friends with people, and try out their suggestions.
How to Care for Chamois and Microfiber Towels
Although chamois do provide a lot of advantages, they are useless if they dry out and become brittle. As a result, it’s a good idea to keep them cleaned on a regular basis.
To clean the chamois towel, you simply need to submerge it in a bucket filled with warm water and laundry detergent. Do not wash in the washing machine to avoid spoiling the cloth. You can then gently scrub the towel back and forth against itself until all dirt is gone, then rinse thoroughly with clean warm water! Lay the chamois out on a flat surface like your driveway or concrete floor to air dry before use again.
As for microfiber towel, you can simply put the towel in a washing machine with warm water and laundry detergent, then wash as usual. However, make sure to use gentle cycle so that microfiber doesn’t tear or fray on your clothes during laundering!
You can watch this Youtube video on how to care for and maintain genuine chamois. Here are a few other tips you might find helpful:
- Leave a little bit of soap substance when cleaning your towel. That tiny amount of soap will not damage it.
- Never store your towel balled up. Doing so will ruin its shape and might even be the reason it’ll tear faster.
- Don’t mix fabric softener in the water. Your towel doesn’t need it. A properly cleaned chamois will naturally soften on its own by just wetting it.
As for microfiber towel, you can simply put the towel in a washing machine with warm water and laundry detergent, then wash as usual. However, make sure to use gentle cycle so that microfiber doesn’t tear or fray on your clothes during laundering!
Is a microfiber towel better than a chamois?
Comparing microfiber towel to chamois is like comparing apples to oranges. These two materials are made for different purposes, so it is difficult to say which one is better than the other because they’re just not comparable in nature!
One of the biggest differences between microfiber and chamois is that a microfiber towel absorbs water more effectively than chamois does. Microfibers are made from polyamide fibers, which means they can soak up moisture like sponges! That’s why when you use them for drying your car, it will dry it much faster than a chamois.
In addition to being more absorbent, microfiber cloths are also better at cleaning surfaces because of their texture and construction. Microfibers have thousands of fibers that take in dirt particles from the surface you’re wiping down. Chamois can soak up water very well but it doesn’t actually clean any dirt particles from the surface – it just takes them along with it as you wipe.
Finally, microfiber cloths are easier to clean and maintain than chamois because they don’t have a textured skin like a chamois does! Microfibers can be washed in your washing machine by themselves or even thrown into the dryer to be dried, but chamois should never go into a washing machine because it can get damaged.
In conclusion, microfiber towels are better than chamois for cleaning your car and drying off both wet surfaces as well as dusty ones!
Can I use a bath towel to dry my car?
Cheaper towels such as bath towels should never be used to dry your car. It will leave lint and towels can damage the finish on your car. The drying towel is made of cotton while drying cloths are made of absorbent polyester fiber. If you’re drying a car with a drying towel it could result in scratches or scuffs that would create unsightly blemishes on the paint. It is not advisable to use bath towel to dry car because it can scratch the paint due to its course texture.
It’s better to use a drying towel such as microfiber or chamois which is different from a bath towel.
A drying towel has been treated with chemical agents that facilitate drying and do not leave residues on the car’s surface. In addition, these towels are much more absorbent than ordinary ones so they dry up water quickly and do not leave streaks and spots on the paint.
A drying towel makes this job much easier because it has a textured side that is responsible for picking up water from surfaces, as well as a smooth surface to wipe them dry quickly without leaving any dampness or smears.
This way you won’t have to rub hard to dry your car but also will make drying your car faster and also leave your vehicle perfectly clean without any smears or streaks after drying.
So if you want to do the drying job the correct way, which means using products manufactured specifically for this purpose and made to dry without leaving any stains or smudges on your vehicle’s paint, then you should definitely get yourself a drying towel.
How To Dry Your Car the Right Way
Drying your car is one of the most important steps in caring for it. It’s also a step that many people don’t do correctly, with water spots and streaks often left behind. Fortunately, it doesn’t take much time or effort to get this process right.
The first thing you need to know about drying your car is that not all materials are created equal when it comes to water absorption and retention (i.e., some fabrics hold more water than others). The best choice when choosing a towel for drying off your vehicle is microfiber cloth because these towels absorb five their weight in moisture without leaving any lint behind like standard cotton towels.
Microfiber cloths are also great for removing dust and dirt from the paint, while microfiber mitts can be used to prevent water spots on painted surfaces like chrome bumpers and side view mirrors. These rags should not be washed with fabric softener because this additive coats fibers in a chemical that repels moisture, making them less effective.
To dry your car in the right way, first, you need to remove as much water from the body of your car with a chamois or waffle weave towel made of microfiber cloth. You can use standard towels, but these are more likely to leave behind lint and hard-to-remove streaks on painted surfaces.
Next, spray a drying aid on surface water and wipe it away with a microfiber cloth. These products reduce drying time by as much as 50% while resulting in no streaks or water spots on the surface of your car’s paint.
After that wring out/switch to clean towel for the body of your car. You may have to go through several towels for this part, since the drying aid will cause water to bead up on horizontal surfaces like doors and roofs.
Finally, use a microfiber cloth or chamois mitts to wipe away any remaining moisture without leaving behind residue or streaks that could stain paintwork over time. If you choose to use only one towel for all parts of your vehicle’s exterior (e.g., roof, trunk/hood), be sure it’s clean at every step in order not leave lint or streaking behind before moving on to another surface area of your car.
Use a separate towel to remove any remaining moisture from body panels like doors and fenders where water tends to pool before evaporating naturally. Avoid using paper towels because they can leave behind small pieces of debris that can scratch painted surfaces when rubbed across them over and over again (such as brake dust).
Of course, you don’t need special chemicals or equipment for this process; just take your time wiping down each section of the vehicle until all visible pools of water have been removed. If possible, do not let your car air dry so that water spots can be prevented, but if you must let your vehicle air dry, do it in the shade to prevent any part of the car from being exposed to UV rays or heat.
When done correctly with microfiber cloths and drying aids, this process only takes a few minutes per car – without causing damage to paint surfaces. Not bad for better-looking results!
Can I Use a Leaf Blower to Dry My Car?
When using a leaf blower or handheld, avoid blasting debris and dirt onto your automobile by keeping the end of the nozzle clean of ground. This will help to prevent scratches and swirls from occurring.
Take some time to read through the manufacturer’s instructions for your leaf blower. This will help you know what kind of care it needs and how best to use it around your car
Leaf blowers work well for drying off flat surfaces such as roofs, hoods, trunks and hard-to-reach areas due to their wide coverage area but should never be used on windows or windshield glass. If they do make contact with glass it could lead to damage including scratches and possible cracking if pressure is applied too firmly by using excess force while trying to remove stubborn droplets.
When done carefully, yes, leaf blowers can definitely aid in drying out wet automobiles once they’ve been washed properly beforehand. The key is knowing which type of unit works best for this specific task.
The general rule of thumb is that it’s always best to use a microfiber towel or chamois when drying your car after washing it.
It can be difficult to decide between chamois and microfiber towels for drying your car. The decision will come down to what you’re looking for in a towel, but there are some clear advantages that each type of towel has over the other. Microfiber towels dry faster than cotton cloths which means they’ll save time while also doing less damage to paint jobs; however, these types of towels may leave streaks on your vehicle’s surface because it is more absorbent than ordinary fabric. Chamois (or shammois) offer protection against scratches caused by improper use–but they require maintenance like washing them often or else the leather might start deteriorating quickly. With so many pros and cons, both options seem equally viable! Which do you prefer?