Microfibre towels play an important role in every single aspect of detailing.
Just take 2 minutes and think about how often you use your microfibre towels; removing polish and wax, quick detailing, glass cleaning, dusting, interior detailing, removing leather creams, buffing exterior trim gels, wheel cleaning, metal polishing, engine bay detailing. Pretty much every single detailing operation uses a microfibre towel at some point so taking care of them not only makes them last longer, but it also keeps them at their best condition so they do not damage your paint.
At Shop ‘n’ Shine we get numerous owners asking for advice on how to remove those nasty holograms you can see in the sunlight, in our eyes it’s not just about removing the damage to the paint, but also removing to risk of the paint being damaged again in the future. One major improvement owners can make is the way in which they look after their microfibre towels, at the end of the day these towels are in contact with the paint more than any other product you use.
Throw out the old
As a general rule of thumb we would suggest you replace your microfibres every 2 years (depending on how often they are used). Over time the fibres of the towel will be broken down by the rubbing action on your vehicles paint, this in turn causes the fibres to lose their soft texture and become sharp and grabby. Once a microfibre towel has reached this stage it will actually begin to cause harm to your paint. You will notice very faint, light scratches (swirls) appear under direct light, this damage is being done by the old microfibre towel.
One of the best ways to ensure the longevity of a microfibre towel is to ensure it is cleaned properly. Do not put your microfibre towels into the washing machine, especially on a heated cycle. Microfibre towels are commonly made of polyesters, this is 1/100th the diameter of a human hair. Polyester is, in a round about way, plastic and what happens when you heat plastic? It becomes hard. So by putting your microfibres into the washing machine on a heated cycle will make the fibres become hard, hard fibres on paint will produce swirling and holograms. Another misconception with washing microfibre towels in washing machines is to use regular detergent used with washing clothes, this detergent can destroy the absorbency of drying towels and clog the fine fibres of them. Also any remaining detergent in the microfibre towel will be in direct contact with your paint, again increasing the risk of causing swirls and holograms in your paint.
There are a few select products on the market designed specifically to maintain and clean your microfibres, one of those being Chemical Guys Micofibre Wash. This product is designed to clean your microfibres without harming the delicate fibres.
One of the best ways to wash your microfibre towels at home is to fill a a bowl of warm water and add a few caps of the Microfibre Wash + listed above, this will ensure the fibres are not damaged and the washing process is controlled so you can minimise the amount of heat the towels are being put in. Once rinsed leave the towels to dry naturally, preferably in the house as leaving them outside can increase their chances of picking up dust, pollen and other contaminants that are naturally in the atmosphere.
Picking the right towel for the job
Our general purpose microfibres can be used for many detailing tasks like buffing polishes, sealants, waxes and quick detailing. Glass cleaning, and much more.
The deep pile weave reduces the risk of causing swirls or scratches to your paintwork by trapping dirt and dust within the towel itself. We would definitely recommend using a deep pile microfibre towel when quick detailing and removing waxes.
Glass cleaning required a specifically designed microfibre towel that will leave a streak free and smear free finish.