What’s The Best Way To Dry Your Car?

June 5, 2019

A man cleaning car with microfiber cloth, car detailing (or valeting) concept

Cars are a focal point where many areas in our lives intersect. They provide us with a hobby and take us to new ones, they allow us to express ourselves and to be creative, but most of all, cars give us a chance to embrace new experiences.

Regardless of the make or model, each car is a valuable possession to its owner. I love my car, even when I hate it, and I am sure you do too. 

Because we love our cars, we also have a desire to take care of them as best as we can. One of the easiest ways to take care of your vehicle is to wash your car regularly. This keeps the paint and exterior in the best possible condition, prevents damage to the finish, and will also improve your cars overall aesthetic appeal.

However, with washing also comes drying. Moreover, what many people may unfortunately not know is that the way you dry your car is just as important as the way you wash your car. In fact, most people do not even dry their car after washing it, simply allowing it to dry naturally.

What these people do not realize is that just letting your car dry naturally in the air causes a number of problems like dirt spots, and it does not give them a chance to notice any areas they might have missed while washing. Therefore, to help you best take care of the car you love so much.

What’s the best way to dry your car? There are several easy ways that you can dry your car. You can use microfiber towels, squeegees, and even pressurized air. All have their pros and cons. Use whatever is easiest and best for you.

Lets go into each option in more detail.

The Best Ways To Dry Your Car

Microfiber Towels

Nothing beats the classic, and towels will always remain a great tool for car drying. You won’t want to use just any regular towel for drying your car though. Rather, pick yourself up a microfiber towel. This is because microfiber towels are far more absorbent, and less likely to affect the finish on the exterior of your car than a regular towel.

Simple and effective, the hardest part is choosing the best one. For our money, we think that the best car drying towel is the Meguiar’s X2000 Water Magnet Microfiber Drying Towel. These towels are amazing for their water absorption ability and reusability. Dry off your car, and then when you’re done, throw them in the wash to prepare for their next use. 

When drying your car with a microfiber towel, begin by starting with your roof while moving in circular motions from section to section. This will ensure that each area is thoroughly dry. One of the advantages of using a towel when drying your car is that you’ll have the opportunity to look over each section as you move through. This way, if you spot any dirt or bugs that you missed during the wash, you can go back through and hit them again.

Of course, make sure to clean off your towel as you go especially after drying your tires. You don’t want to spread dirt all around your clean car. You’ll know your done when the towel is no longer picking up water on each pass. 

Rubber Squeegee

A less popular option to dry your car is a rubber squeegee. While not as common as a method, it’s still a great choice. This tool acts like an edge that pushes all of the water off the surface of your car.

Squeegees are similar to towels in that they require you to get up close and personal, but you won’t have to stop to clean a towel or dry it off. This tool is especially great when it comes to the long flat areas of your vehicle. Pushing in long straight lines, the water will slide right off your vehicle.

This option of car drying is definitely preferable to anyone who doesn’t want to manage multiple tools or towels. Additionally, using a squeegee will also help to prevent any streaks that could be left by towel drying. 

When using a rubber squeegee to dry your car, start from the top and push the water down in long straight lines. Follow these lines to the bottom of your car, and work your way around the vehicle. Make sure you push the water all the way off your car not just pooling it up in sections.

Using a squeegee also has the advantage of pushing any excess debris and dirt still in the water off of your car as well. This makes sure that your car isn’t just dry, but also clean. Finally, take extra care with some of the trickier angles around the windows and mirrors of your vehicle. 

Pressurized air

One of the fastest and easiest way to dry your car after a thorough washing is air pressure. This method has a number of advantages. First and foremost, it is the least difficult. Not requiring any large amount of effort on your part, pressurized air does most of the hard work for you. No ringing out towels, no elbow grease, and no awkward angles.

The second advantage is speed. Using an air pressure machine lets you quickly cover the large surface area of your vehicle with minimal fuss. You also will not have to worry about wasting time on towel maintenance. 

In order to dry your car this way, after washing, give the car another quick rinse. This is to make sure that no part of the car has already dried. Next, take your pressurized air and work your way around the car from top to bottom. As you finish each side, move around the car in either direction until you have completed a circuit around the entire vehicle.

Pay special attention to some of the more difficult to reach areas such as the windshield, tires, and mirrors. These spots can be easily missed if you’re not careful. Afterward, give the car a quick look over to make sure you haven’t missed anywhere else. 

General Drying Tips

While not a specific drying option, here are a number of tips and tricks will make your life easier and your car cleaner no matter which method you use.

First, make sure that you wash your car in a shady place if possible. This will prevent the water on your car from evaporating quickly before you can dry it properly. When water evaporates on your car, it can leave dirt and smudges behind. While not the end of the world, you want your car to be as clean as possible, and this will save you effort later. 

For the same reasons, sometimes it can be beneficial to give your whole car a quick shower before you begin drying. This makes certain that the water hasn’t evaporated in the places you washed first. It will also collect all the dirt and grime you are trying to get off while drying. 

Finally, when drying your car make sure that you open your car doors so that you can dry within the cracks and joints of your car. This also applies to the trunk and hood of your vehicle. Anywhere that opens or closes on your car can collect and store water. For extra credit, you could also roll down your windows and dry those too. 

Summing It Up

Car washing is an important step in keeping your car in top shape and is an easy way to do something yourself. An often-overlooked step in car washing is the drying process.

However, there are a number of great methods available. From pressurized air to microfiber towels and rubber squeegees, car drying doesn’t have to be difficult or complicated.

However thorough or precise you want to be, there is a great option available to you.

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About The Author



I've been detailing cars for years. I love cars but more importantly, I love clean cars. I created this blog to share all of my knowledge around keeping cars as clean as possible.