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When to use Cheap Microfiber Towels vs. Quality Micorfiber Towels


You won’t hear it all the time, but there really is a time and place to use a microfiber towel of lower quality.  Generally, anytime the surface is painted I will reach for a higher quality towel like the Zero Edge Towel.  However, when doing areas such as door jambs and rails where there are a lot of debris, rust, chipped paint, etc., I will reach for a cheap microfiber towel that will be thrown away after use.  Why? Because I don’t see a point in wasting a $5 towel on areas that are going to really soil the towel, rip the towel from getting caught on an edge, or using it on wheels that are caked on with brake dust!  I’d rather save those towels for polish and wax removal, wash them and reuse them a couple of times before throwing them out.

Here is a Prime example of an area where I would use a cheaper microfiber towel – rusty trim/jams area of a 1964 VW bug


Areas where I always use a cheaper microfiber towels (non scratch-able areas):

  • Vinyl
  • Leather
  • Carpets
  • Door jambs
  • Windows
  • Tires
  • Rubber trim

Do yourself and your wallet a favor, stock up on some cheaper throw away microfiber towels for those nasty clean up areas.  But by all means, pick up the higher quality towels for sensitive areas like paint, chrome and anywhere else you don’t want scratching to occur.  I really like the Zero Edge Towel and the Black and Yellow towel if you are looking for recommendations!

Eric Schuster Envious Detailing
Eric Schuster
Envious Detailing
Orange County, CA

5 comments on When to use Cheap Microfiber Towels vs. Quality Micorfiber Towels

  1. jonathan vincent says:

    Nice to see someone bringing attention to -what may seem- an afterthought that can easily become forethought. There’s no denying good microfiber. No there isn’t…ok…One thing is for sure…after reading through an interesting article on what brake dust really is comprised of….. I made a conscious effort to never bring that nasty anywhere near the paint….This microfiber schism is what created my “wheel towels” bin.

    If anyone else out there has accidentally etched a polished aluminum clearcoated wheel….. A quick remedy that worked for me was 3M Hand Glaze mixed with some P21S Multi Surface Finish Restorer on a 100% cotton applicator. Taken to the rim gently and worked in by hand, then buffed out.
    Nice one Eric.


  2. geo says:

    Thanks for this useful info. May I ask how we should clean those quality expensive and cheap micro-fiber towels?

  3. Nick says:

    Cleaning the cheaper towels would depend on what & how much contamination(s) is encountered. I have some really down and dirty ones that are presoaked w/Dawn dishwashing soap or even Super Clean. Washed w/old golf balls (recycled from a nearby course) to do two in one. After cycle, rise washer after removal of towels. Dyer if needing to soften the towels.

  4. I would clean the towels the same…washing machine all grouped accordingly. Quality towels together, cheapies together. I typically use ALL free and clear detergent, but the microfiber restore is a really good one as well that will go further than the ALL detergent will.

    I put them through the washer on hot and extra rinse cycle to ensure they are thoroughly cleaned, and then in the dryer on low for an hour as I dont want to burn them up by using high heat. Some people will say to hang dry them. While that is a good way not to burn them up, there is a good chance of dirt flying around to attach to the towel, and also…doing 100-200 towels at a time like I do, its well worth throwing them in the dryer to save the time!

  5. Sam says:

    What is the difference and which one would you recommend between Meguiar’s and Chemical Guys Microfiber cutting, finishing and buffing pads? I have a Flex 3401 VRG machine. Would I use the 5.5 or the 6.5?

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