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Ask DI: What is the Best Microfiber Towel for Coating Applications?

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In this series, I am going to take some time to highlight some of the most popular detailing questions I encounter on a daily basis as a customer service representative here at DI. These questions can range from washing, drying, polishing, to almost any other step in the detailing process. With the help of Ask-a-Pro Author James Melfi, check out our answers and some helpful detailing resources covering the topic at hand.

Question:

I need recommendations on the best towel to use when applying a coating. Can I use any towel?

Reece:

When it comes to microfiber towels I always recommend using what you like. Thin or thick, short nap or long, it really does not matter and as long as you are using what you like you should see some great results. With that said, when removing excess coating residue towels can tend to bunch up due to the residue being so tight to the surface. A GSM around 300 is great and I personally recommend something like the Rag Company Pearl Coating Towel or Rag Company Edgeless 300 Microfiber Towel.

James:

I find short nap towels to be the most effective coating removal towels. My go to is The Rag Company Edgeless 300 Towel.

For this specific question James and I both recommended shorter nap towels to combat bunching up during use. A towel with a lower GSM will help the towel glide across the surface easier, while still picking up excess coating in the process. It is imperative to always use a high quality towel as well as we do not want to risk adding any imperfections into the paint, especially after we put all that work into thoroughly cleaning and perfecting the paint beforehand. As mentioned in my answer, this is all really just a guideline and if you personally like the feel of thicker towels, there is no reason to not use what you feel comfortable with.

Proper Use:

When using microfiber to remove excess coating, you want to fold the towel in fourths, this way you can flip to a new clean side often during use. When your microfiber towel sucks up coating, it will become saturated with product. We do not want to use a towel, or side of a towel, that is saturated as this will reintroduce excess coating to the panel. We want to remove all the excess, not reintroduce it and if we are using a saturated towel this can cause ugly streaking. On top of that, if you let this excess sit on the surface and cure, the streaks will be hard to remove and possibly require polishing to fix. Check out this article by Ivan Rajic, which shows how you should fold and use your towel to remove excess protection. Simply put, fold your towels and swap them out often to avoid any issues!

Suggested Microfiber Towels:

Bonus Microfiber & Coating Articles:

Related Detailing Guide Section(s)

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6 comments on Ask DI: What is the Best Microfiber Towel for Coating Applications?

  1. James says:

    The towels used to remove product when applying coating, can they be washed and reused for any other purpose? Will the product dry and harden on the towel like it does to the paint surface? (Sorry if this is a silly question. I am a novice and haven’t applied a coating yet.)

    • Reece @ DI says:

      After using towels for coating applications, I toss them in a bucket of water and microfiber wash shampoo. The key is to not let the coating dry onto the towels as it can ruin the towel. Wash them all at the end of the detail and after washing test them out (I like to use an old CD). If they scratch the surface you can toss them (or use them on tires). If they do not scratch, you are good to use them again.

  2. Ron Ayotte says:

    I’ve been using the Rag Company’s Pearl towels for removing ceramic coatings. I use 2 different colors of the Pearl toweling to differentiate the initial wipe down and final wipe.

  3. George says:

    Which towel do you like better for buffing off excess Gtechniq CSL and Exo, Gtechniq’s MF1ZeroR or TRC’s Pearl (particularly the premium edgeless pearl)?

    • Reece @ DI says:

      George – It really all comes down to personal preference in terms of microfiber towels. I personally like the Rag Company Pearl, but the MF1 is great as well. For coating removal, I like around a 300gsm to reduce bunching, but from there, test out a few and find what you personally like the best!

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