The Truth About Drying Your Car

  • 3 min read

Seeing scratches and imperfections in the paintwork almost brings a tear to the eye.

Most of the time, these scratches and imperfections are caused during the drying phase.

Here's where a high grade Microfiber Drying Towel comes in.


Above: The Royal Plush drying towel from GT Shine

In car care, the most commonly overlooked practise is the drying phase. It’s when the surface is most vulnerable to scratches, swirl marks, marring and water spots.

Unlike the washing phase, during the drying phase you have no soap to lubricate and protect the surface from scratches.

Using the incorrect towel or drying method will result in swirl marks, micro marring and permanent 
hard water spots on the surface.

Do I even have to dry my car?
Yes! Even on a freshly rinsed car, the tap water you use contains calcium and magnesium, together with several other minerals and trace-elements.

When this hard water begins to evaporate, these minerals and elements are left behind. When you’re washing your car on a hot summers day, the sunlight can have a magnifying glass effect within the water droplets.

This can add to the process where the minerals etch into the paintwork. Making them hard to remove and damaging your paint.


Above: Permanent spots often caused by hard water being left to dry, allowing minerals to etch into the surface

Synthetic and leather chamois shammies:
Most car owners grew up using a leather chamois, otherwise known as the ‘shammy’.

The material of a shammy does not absorb fine dirt particles from the surface, instead it traps dirt particles between the paintwork and shammy, dragging them across surface which results in scratches and swirl marks.

Shammies also dry hard. So even if just a small part of the towel is not dampened and soft before you start drying, the abrasion of the hard shammy will create marring. 

They also require constant squeezing to remove water and they often leave behind streak marks.


Above: Swirl marks, often caused by a shammie dragging dirt particles in a circular pattern during the drying phase

Regular drying towels:
There is a huge difference between regular drying towels that you can buy at your local supermarket and specialised detailing grade drying towels.

These regular, cheaper towels tend to be made of lower quality materials. These materials are less absorbent and more abrasive, requiring the user to pass over the same body panel multiple times in order to properly dry it.

Every time a towel is wiped over the surface, it causes abrasion (just like rubbing sandpaper). The more times that you wipe over the surface, the more abrasion occurs.

Drying towels made of low quality materials tend to have a higher level of abrasion. This abrasion causes marring. Similar to swirl marks, marring are light lines of surface imperfections that run in the same direction.


Above: Surface marring often caused by the use of an abrasive towel during the drying phase

What are the options?
Using a high grade, detailing grade microfiber drying towel is an effective way to safely dry the water from your car.

The high quality material will have little to no marring effect, even on delicate surfaces and paintwork.

The specialised micro fibers also allow the towel to absorb fine dirt particles way from the surface which prevents the risk of deep swirl marks occurring during the drying phase.

Conclusion:
While high grade drying towels are more expensive up front, they last longer and  their protection against swirl marks, marring and water spots save you money in the long term.



At GT Shine, we're so confident in our drying towels that we offer a full money back guarantee.

That's right, if you're not happy with the results, you get your money back.

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