Micro fiber detail cloths are at the top of the list of the most critical and industry changing "tools" according to most detail professionals!
But despite these textiles wonders, I am amazed at how many driveway detailers and enthusiasts are still using old school terry cloth rags, bath towels. and even baby diapers for the many steps of the detailing process.
I could write a book on micro fiber, how it was developed, the endless varieties, etc. until you were bored out of your mind. With that said, there are a few critical points that any car enthusiast should now about micro fiber detailing cloths.
What Is Micro Fiber: Officially, it is any fiber with a diameter of less than ten microns (a stand of silk is approximately ten microns in diameter, a human hair is approximately 50 microns in diameter). Most micro fiber is made of polyester and polyamide.
Split Fiber Micro Fiber: The really magic comes with split fiber cloths. The picture above is a cross section of a split fiber micro fiber cloth. This is the kind of fiber used to make virtually all micro fiber detailing cloths. The beauty of the split fiber is its ability to pick up dirt within the gaps created in the split fiber versus a s more solid, single strand of fiber as in the case of cotton cloths and towels.
The illustration just above illustrates how effective split micro fiber cloths are at removing dirt and dust far more safely and effectively from any surface.
So whether you are choosing to use a micro fiber to apply a quick detail, remove polishes and waxes, or clean the upholstery of your car, the micro fiber cloth will be far safer and more effective than any other type of cloth you could reach for.
Electrostatic Charge: Due to the millions of fibers rubbing together, an electrostatic charge is created that actually attracts dirt and dust. Once the micro fiber is washed, this electrostatic charge is broken and the dirt is released and then the dry micro fiber cloth can begin the process all over again.
No Lint: Unlike natural cloths (think of your bath towel and baby diapers) that leave loads of lint, micro fiber cloths are lint free. This is a dream come true for any detailer! (micro fibers will eventually break down through normal use or improper cleaning/drying. This can show up as tiny fibers that are left behind as you are working)
Incredibly Absorbent: While many versions exist, not all micro fiber is created equal. You have micro fiber that can be made using different raw materials to be soft, but actually repel liquids. Then you have micro fiber that is made to be soft, pick up dust and dirt safely and effectively, and to be highly absorbent. To achieve all the benefits of the micro fiber detailing cloths, the micro fiber needs to be made using not only the combination of polyester (cleaning abilities) and polyamide (absorbent abilities), but needs to be split fiber. It is with all three of these factors that we have the amazing capabilities of today's micro fiber detailing cloths.
When it comes to selecting from among the top rated micro fiber towels and cloths, it is not a one-towel-fits-all moment. Since micro fiber detail cloths can be made in endless versions, I will recommend the micro fiber cloths so you can match up the right cloth for the job!
Like virtually every other topic of detailing and cosmetic car care, micro-fiber cloths is a subject filled with way too much hype and bad information.
Many "wanna-be" detailers on the countless social media platforms will have you believe you need to spend a small fortune on micro fiber detail cloths. Just like the endless hyped-up detailing products, these wanna-be detailers parade their collection of different micro fiber cloths like bragging rights.
But the reality is that about 80% of you car care or detailing requirements do not need to be over-thought when t comes to micro fiber detail cloths.
Darren's Tips: I have used the Kirkland brand of micro fiber detail cloths for as long as I can remember. There are plenty of "wanna-be" professional detailers that claim these are inferior micro fiber cloths and that no true professional would ever use them.
But this simply is not true. As I say: "I could use the most expensive, top rated micro fiber cloth and still figure out a way to use it to scratch car paint if I tried". And the same holds true with these micro fiber cloths; I can use them appropriately and have great success with them.
Since these cloths are so inexpensive, I almost consider them as disposable micro fiber detail cloths. I use the cloths new for the most delicate jobs of detailing (applying wax, removing was, removing polish).
As I use a cloth more and more, and as they become stained and worn, I simply downgrade them to jobs that do not require a pristine, micro fiber cloth. After many uses and many washings, they become so stained-up and worn out that I don't even want them going through my wash machine. At this point they are used as disposable rags that I use and then throw away.
Rotating these and downgrading them allows me to get maximum use out of my detail cloths.
As I said at the beginning, micro fiber comes in countless varieties. From different weaves, different colors, and different "tools".
Micro fiber cloth is such an amazing textile, the industry uses this amazing fiber technology that has replaced all traditional cloths at every level of detailing and cosmetic car care.
If you are still using your outdated wash mitt to wash your car you need to step into the age of fiber technology with one of these amazing chenille wash mitts.
I have never used a wash mitt I consider safer than these wash mitts made using micro fiber technology.
Darren's Tips: Like every other place in life, everything is going to present itself with trade-off's. Often products are tools are not necessarily better than that of a competitors, and the difference will simply be in the nuances of a product.
What you prefer as a person my not be the best for another person simply based on the subtleties of a product or tool.
Micro fiber detail cloths come in so many varieties it would be hard for any one person to test all of them. I make my recommendations based on my own personal experience, as well as the feedback I get from endless sources.
When it comes to a top rated micro fiber drying cloth you won't know what is best for you until you are actually suing it. What I can promise you is the following:
Like every other area of detailing and car care, products and tools constantly evolve. When micro fiber detailing cloths first came onto the scene, they virtually all came with edge trim of some kind.
Now they make what are called edgeless. Micro fibers made with no piping edge or finished edge in a traditional sense.
many professional detailers prefer the edge versions of detail micro fiber cloths as they feel these are even safer due to having zero edge that they feel has the potential to scratch paint ( I personally don't over-think this and think it is more of a preferential call on the part of the user)
Only you can decide ultimately with the biggest factor in my opinion is more about the user experience rather than the safety factor.
Extra thick micro fiber detail cloths are perfect for waterless washing, wax removal, quick detailers, or any time you want extra plush and extra soft detail cloths.
Keep in mind that we as people always lean into the "more is better" mentality. But sometimes more is not always better, it might just mean "more"
When it comes to a top rated micro fiber detail cloth, if you get too much "more", you may find the detail cloths so thick, they prove cumbersome and difficult to manage.
The extra thick micro fiber detailing cloths are definitely recommended, but only you can decide what the winning balance is for you and your world.
Like just about every other area of detailing, micro fiber detail cloths is a topic that appears simple and straightforward; until it's not!
The good news is that you have so many choices and you can truly choose the perfect micro fiber cloth for the job you need to perform. The bad news is that you are overwhelmed by too many choices and too many opinions.
My goal has been to bring this convoluted topic into a more manageable understanding with limited choices that you can move forward with, rather than being stuck with an inability to take action!