top of page
  • Writer's pictureDave

All About Automotive Microfiber Towels & Their Uses

There are a huge variety of automotive use microfiber towels on the market. It can often be quite confusing when deciding which type of towel is best suited for your needs.

One thing to remember regarding microfiber towels is that there is no "one type fits all" . Using the wrong type of microfiber (or a towel of poor quality) can scratch your paint! Getting a cheap bundle of towels from a bulk store may work great for general interior or engine bay cleaning but we highly discourage using them on your paint.

There are four main factors to consider when selecting a microfiber towel..

Blend: Microfiber towels are made up of a mixture of polyester and polyamide. The polyester helps with scrubbing. Polyamide is what makes the towel absorb liquid and pick up dirt. Most microfiber towels have a blend (ratio) of either 80/20 or 70/30 When selecting a towel right for your needs a simple way to select the right blend is to remember the following:

The first number = scrubbing power

The second number = level of absorption

For example you want more scrubbing power to clean windows and more absorbency for car drying.

GSM: GSM is short for Grams per Square Meter. This describes the weight of the towel. Usually, a higher GSM towel will be softer and fluffier. You’ll want a mid to high level GSM for

use on your paint, and low GSM for applying coatings or glass cleaning

Size: There is no real right or wrong when it comes to towel size. As a general rule you will want a towel anywhere from 12"X12" up to about 16" X 24" for interior, glass, removal of wax or polish etc. The smaller sizes are easier to hold while you perform the required task. You will want a larger towel for car drying to absorb water from the vehicle surfaces.

Pile/Weave: Different types of microfiber towel material can have different pile lengths:

  • Low

  • Medium

  • High (Plush)

The weave can also other characteristics, like:

  • Pattern/Shape

  • Softness/Roughness

Generally the longer the pile of a towel the softer it will feel. And a towel can have the same weave but but be good for multiple uses. For example waffle weave towels are used for both glass cleaning & car drying.

Towel Uses

Below are examples of various types of microfiber towels and their uses:

Suede Microfiber

Sueded (or ultra low pile) towels are most commonly used to apply coatings or clean navigation screens. When used for coatings they are generally used once then discarded.

Low Pile

Low Pile towels have a tight weave with a low (closed loop) pile. While still soft they are more aggressive than their plush counterparts.


  • compound and polish wiping

  • paste wax residue removal

  • coating leveling

Plush - High Pile

Plush fabric has a high pile on both sides of the material. The softness of these towels make them great for use on delicate surfaces. The long fibers add cushion between the towel and surface and minimize surface area contact. However for some cleaning tasks, the long, soft fibers are not aggressive enough to clean effectively so are rarely used for glass or interior cleaning.


  • Spray Waxes

  • Detail Sprays

  • Rinse-less Washes

  • Waterless Washes

Griot's Garage Plush Edgeless Towels
Griot's Garage Plush Edgeless Towels

Waffle Weave

Waffle-weave towels have no pile, but instead have a cross hatched pattern of high and low spots (like a waffle, hence the name). The waffle pattern reduces the overall surface contact of the material, making it glide over the surface with less friction.


  • Car Drying

  • Glass Cleaning

  • Interior Detailing


Twist Pile Microfibers are very versatile. Twist Pile Microfiber's are characterized by long loops of fiber bundles twisted in a double helix pattern. The twist piles drastically increase the surface area of the yarn that can be exposed to the surface being wiped. The tight bundles of fibers reduce friction making wiping easier. Most twist pile towels are considered to be a medium pile


  • Glass Cleaning

  • Wax Removal

  • Car Drying

  • Interior Cleaning

281 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page