How many Microfiber towels per car per detailing session?
With regards to determining your microfiber needs, let’s first mention the importance and functions of microfiber. Microfiber is your friend, and has the final say on whether your car will receive the gift of swirls or not. Clean MF is paramount to minimizing risks of inducing swirls. Clean MF is also paramount to achieving streak-free results. If you are spending time and energy on making your car look the best, do not oversee the importance of having many MF towels ready for use. Especially on wax removal, quick detailing, and glass cleaning, the only trick to getting perfect results is using a very clean towel.
Do not overlook one of your largest tool expenses: Microfiber. All the polishes in the world will not make a difference if you cannot apply and remove it correctly. You will need a lot of towels. If when you purchase a Porter Cable you consider buying extra pads “just in case”, you should do the same with Microfiber. I call it a tool because you will be able to use the same towel over and over again, as long as you care for it correctly and store it correctly. So plan on making a larger purchase up front, and refill as towels become beyond use or degraded.
With this said, let’s look at how many towels you can use for various items around the vehicle, broken up into types of towels, making it easier to figure out the correct mix to order.
Washing your wheels: If you use a MF towel to clean your wheels, up to one All-Purpose Towel per wheel. Using MF to clean wheels is one of the safest methods, but can stain and contaminate them, rendering the towels useless for other purposes. It is best to keep these towels separated at all times from your other prized MF.
Washing your car: 1 or 2 Sheepskin Wash Mitts: one for upper portions of the vehicle, one for lower, dirtiest portions. Always wash from cleanest area to dirtiest. Using one mitt specifically for the dirtiest areas will assure both mitts stay cleaner over time, and will reduce the risk of swirling significantly. When drying your car, you’ll want to invest in 2 or 3 waffle weave drying towels. These are super absorbent and minimize adding swirls and imperfections due to the waffle like texture.
Cleaning your door jambs: Estimate 1 or 2 All Purpose Towels per door opening. If this is the first time you clean the jambs, expect some staining from grease. These towels should not be used for exterior paint anymore. They will be OK to use for other purposes after a proper wash.
Cleaning the Interior Plastic Surfaces: 3 All-Purpose Towels for the interior cleaner, 3 more for the interior protectant. There are products that do both steps in one application, and can slightly reduce your MF requirements.
Quick Detail or final wipe: 2 to 4 reTHICKulous Towels per car. Use a “one wet, one dry” technique for final wiping to achieve a streak free finish.
Wax Removal: 4 reTHICKulous Towels per car. Fold the towel in quarters and use a quarter for a few wipes, then change sides, exposing fresh towel as much as possible for a streak free shine. This picture of DJ Mayo shows proper technique:
Cleaning Glass: 2 Glass Polishing Towels per side, more if you have dirty or large windows. It is always good to have extra glass towels, and a few stored in the vehicle at all times for quick clean ups of smears and fingermarks.
So lets add it all up
All purpose MF Towels: need 10 to 20
Plush 2-Sided Polish Removal Towels: at least 18
reTHICKulous Towels: 6 to 8
Glass Towels: 4 to 8
Waffle Weave Drying Towels: 2 to 3
That should be enough to maximize your results. Remember that this is a big investment, and as such, should be cared for religiously. Give your towels the best treatment possible. Treat them also as a collection. You can add and subtract from the collection, but you should always have a base, enough to work on your car. Microfiber is our largest non-consumable material expense, costing in total more than power tools.
We hope this helps!