Do scratch free microfiber towels work on car paint?

In this article, you will learn:



  • What can cause scratches in the clear coat when you wash your car

  • Why it’s important to use high quality microfiber towels and car wash soap

  • How to care for your microfiber cleaning cloths to help you get a sparkling, scratch-free finish

If you’re taking the time and effort to do your own car washes, the last thing you want to do is cause harm to the finish. After all, you’re trying to do the opposite – to take care of your car! But it’s true – if you make a mistake, you can scratch your car’s clear coat while washing and drying it. That’s why taking the right precautions and using the right tools and products are essential.

What’s to blame for paint scratches?

Just to clear one thing up, high-quality microfiber towels will never scratch clear coat. That’s because those towels are super soft, far softer than the paint finish, but, even if you use the world’s gentlest types of microfiber incorrectly, you may scratch the paint.

Right now, you’re probably wondering how both could be true. Scratch free microfiber towels never scratch paint, but using them incorrectly can scratch paint? How is that even possible?

Because the scratches aren’t caused by the microfiber cloth itself. They’re caused by what’s trapped between the towel and your clear coat. Dirt. Road salts. Brake dust. That sort of thing. If you wash and dry your car incorrectly, these particles act like scouring agents, and the wiping action of the towel causes them to dig into the clear coat. This is important to understand, so you can take the right precautions to avoid this problem.

Select the right microfiber towels and car wash soap

Most microfiber wash mitts and towels today are soft enough to provide scratch-free washing and drying performance, but it’s still a good idea to doublecheck the weight of the material, just to be sure. Microfiber towels should be at least 200 grams per square meter (gsm,) with the best-quality, professional grade towels weighing in around 400 gsm.

Selecting the right car wash soap is also critical to helping you avoid scratches while cleaning your car. Avoid dish liquids altogether. Instead, choose a high-performance car wash soap with plenty of lubricating agents and foaming action. The foam will help surround any loose soil particles, forming a protective barrier between the dirt and your paint, and the lubricating agents will help you wipe and rinse away that dirt with minimal scratching. Our M.A.X. Power Car Wash Soap is a great example of a safe and effective cleaner.

Tips for scratch-free washing and drying

  • Always start washing your car by rising your car with a strong stream of water. Start with the roof and work your way down and around the car. If possible, use the stream to break up any caked-on soils. The more dirt you remove without scrubbing, the better.
  • Use Bug & Tar Remover on any insects, tar, tree sap or bird droppings. Again, the less scrubbing, the better. Let the cleaning product do the work for you.
  • Be sure to rinse your wash mitt or wash sponge frequently in the car wash solution. Rinse and squeeze soils into the bucket and absorb more soapy solution at least once for every 2’ x 2’ section of your car.
  • Dry with a high-quality microfiber towel or, even better, use a touch-free drying method, like a leaf blower. Blowing your car dry can be fast, easy and safer for your finish.
  • Always maintain a protective wax barrier. This will help prevent scratches while you wash and shed rinse water from your car, so you won’t need to wipe it dry as much.

Caring for your microfiber towels

There are a few, easy ways to care for your microfiber towels that will help you wash and dry your cars for a streak free, sparkling finish. First before using a microfiber towel, it if has a tag, rip it off. If you leave the tag attached, it could inadvertently scratch your car.

Once the tag is off, wash the towel to remove any residues left on it from the manufacturing process. We recommend hand washing them with a solution of water and car wash soap. Other types of detergents may leave oily residues. Hang to dry. When washing your microfiber towels, wash them separately from other materials. Other materials, like cotton, can leave lint on the microfiber.

And never allow your microfibers to come into contact with fabric softeners. Even residual fabric softeners in your dryer can contaminate a microfiber towel. Fabric softeners reduce the absorbency of microfiber towels and can cause streaks and smears on your clean finish.

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