How To: Best Way To Dry A Car


You may be thinking, “Isn’t the best way to dry a car to just leave it out in the sun?” Letting your car just sit there and dry after you’ve washed it leaves the paint and glass vulnerable to streaking and spotting and leaves the metal parts vulnerable to rust.

Not only that, if you wash a car in the hot sun and leave it to dry, you can ruin its finish. Especially after waxing your car.

Please believe me, because this happened to me. Do you not want your car to have that glorious shine that proclaims its utter badness to the world? If you do, it is best that you dry your car after you wash it. Here are the steps:

Related: The Best Car Wash Soap for a Slick Finish

Here are tools you will need for the best way to dry a car:

1. You will need a bunch of microfiber or chamois cloth towels. Microfiber towels are made from fibers that are so tiny they are thinner than a strand of silk, which is 0.03 millimeters in diameter.

They are often made of nylon, polyester or polyamide which are types of plastic and woven in a way that gives them a lot of surface area and makes them very porous. Dirt, grime and even pathogens such as bacteria tend to just grab on to them.

You don’t even have to wet them, but when you are drying your car, ironically, experts recommend that you dampen the cloth a little. Just don’t let it get sopping wet, or you’ll just swirl the dirt around.

2. A chamois cloth is made of leather originally harvested from a type of mountain goat. But don’t worry, it’s now just harvested from regular sheep. Like microfiber cloth, chamois leather grabs onto dirt and takes it away.

Some experts believe it is absolutely perfect or drying your car, while others aren’t so sure. Whether you use microfiber or chamois leather is up to you.

3. A can of pressurized air. This is just air that’s kept under higher than normal pressure. You probably already have a can somewhere to clean those spaces beneath or in between your computer keys. But if you don’t have pressurized air, it’s not a problem.

Related: How To Remove Melted Crayon From Car Seats

Step by Step Instructions

1. Drive around

First, get back in the car and drive it around the block. This will scatter those hidden drops of water in the side view mirrors, your license plates and other places. Thanks to facundowin for the photo.

2. Use the can of air

Use the pressurized air to get rid of the rest of the water. If you don’t have or don’t want to use pressurized air, just use a towel. Thanks Satotakuya for the pix.

Related: 4 Ways: How to Remove Car Window Tint (with Water, Razor, Heat Gun or Hairdryer)

3. Drag the cloth

Gently drag, don’t rub, the microfiber cloth over the larger surfaces of the car. It will sop up the rest of the water without leaving scratches. If there are little puddles of water anywhere, use the cloth to blot them up. Start at the roof and work your way down. Watch this video from Detail Groove.

4. Add some spray wax to the cloth

Spritz some spray wax to the cloth, and gently buff the surfaces of your car. Or, you can spray the wax directly on the surface then buff with the cloth. Watch this video for Detail King for more info.

5. Grab some new microfiber towels for small areas

Use new, clean towels to dry and buff the door jambs, the wheels and other smaller areas. You should even open up the trunk and the hood to wipe down the top of the engine and the weatherstripping on the trunk.

Feel free to use cheaper cloths that you won’t feel bad about throwing away. Car wheels are filthy even after they’re washed. Here’s a YouTube video courtesy of the Forensic Detailing Channel.

Related: How To Wax A Car Properly (By Hand And With A Buffer)


Did you enjoy this tutorial? I certainly learned something that I had no idea about, and I’m sure you did too. Feel free to say what you think in the comments section, and please don’t hesitate to share the article if you liked it and found it useful.

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