Microfiber Towel Storage and Organization
Microfiber will probably be the largest purchase you make aside from power tools or very high end waxes, so it is important to take steps to properly care for them. We have already learned how to care for your microfiber, so whats next? After properly washing the towels, you should spend some time to fold them, and organize them, preparing them for their next job, whenever it may be. Proper storage will keep your towels clean and dry, extending their use. Organization helps you keep a tighter inventory, and makes it quicker and easier to grab whet you need when you need it. Spending time up front organizing lets you save time during your detailing routine.
The most effective way to organize clean MF towels is by their function or use. For example, the towels used for removing polish should be separate from the towels used to clean the interior and leather, and these separated from the ones used to clean the wheels.
Typically you will have 4 types of towels:
Depending on how many you have and how much space you can dedicate to the towels, get an appropriate sized plastic bin with a tight fitting lid. Transparent bins are good, as you do not have to open them to see what is inside. Also, an easily closing top is paramount, or you will end up leaving the top off as you work on your car permitting air-born particles to come to rest and contaminate your towels! The top does not need to be airtight, but use your judgment if you have an extra dusty garage or live on a dirt road or close to a volcano (ash) or a beach.
We use various bins for mobile detailing. But for the shop and back up inventory we use these, found at WalMart for about $49 each:
They work great; smooth sliding, strong construction, stackable. So good, we bough 2 more to store things like brushes, tape, etc. The good thing about non-transparent bins is that they hide any messy drawers. So we will only open the MF ones Here we had just gotten back from a photoshoot, and were not finished getting supplies out of our car. The used plush towel will go into the hamper, plush towel compartment. After washing with only similar towels, they will go into the “clean plush MF drawer” for storage and usage.
For a more mobile system, use something smaller, like these:
Towels should be folded as soon as you pull them out of the dryer or off the drying rack. Make it a quick fold. Folding adds much value. As you fold do the following:
Inspect for debris – look over the towels for things stuck in the fibers. Pull the debris out if possible, or toss the towel into the lower echelons of microfiber society.
Inspect the edges – Look at the edges for runs and loose threads. Towels that are not tidy get tossed into the lower echelons of microfiber society.
Identification – if you go to grab a towel and there are 2, one folded, the crumpled up towel has been used already.
Identification – If you have 2 types of towels the same (or close enough) color, fold them in different ways. This helps identify them quicker. Once you find a good fold strategy, try to always use the same folding method.
For towels with two naps, fold onto the longest nap. For towels with special marking or edges, fold to reveal the details. Basically, think of ways to use folding as part of your organization. Sometimes you will have to use various folds to fill up the form of the drawer they are stored in.
Do not store other materials with Microfiber. Applicator pads, polishing pads, brushes are not meant to live in the microfiber palace. Keep them out of contact. Any dirty towel needs to be tossed into a dedicated hamper, never back into the microfiber palace. When tossing into hamper, keep them separated. This makes it easier to divide into wash bundles. We will talk about washing in another article.
Here are our drawers. Even the lowest-level MF towels get folded. The folding is not as perfect as the nicer towels, but folded nonetheless:
One of the drawers that hold MF drying towels:
and another with plush towels:
and some new towels that will get washed in the next “new towel” batch (which is why they are together with clean (new) sprayer bottles. At least the bottles will not cause lint of get the towels dirty):
The same applies for the smaller drawers:
Drawers also work great for smaller items like special brushes and products:
Here is a inexpensive collapsible hamper that is easy to carry around and carries about 2 cars worth of dirty towels. Drying towels are separate from general purpose towels which are separated by plush and polish removal towels.
Caring for your microfiber should be a major part of your detailing regimen. Organizing them makes you more efficient while detailing, and reduces mix-ups. Using the correct towel, and making sure it is clean, makes your detailing safer for your finish. Organized bins or drawers also look good. And everything about detailing should look good!