Can I Use a Bath Towel to Dry My Car

So, can I use a bath towel to dry my car?

The short answer is no. You can physically do it, but it’s definitely a bad idea.

Can I Use a Bath Towel to Dry My Car

One of the most important aspects of car maintenance is a regular car wash because your car comes into constant contact with a lot of different substances, like:

  • Dirt
  • Debris
  • Bird droppings
  • Bugs
  • Grime
  • Salt 

All these, when left untreated can damage the paint and finish of your car. They can also damage the metal beneath the car.

A regular run through the car wash can help eliminate all of these deposits. Your ultimate rule of thumb should always be: When you see dirt, it's probably time for a car wash!

Drying Your Car

Regular car cleaning is critical, and the often overlooked step of drying is one of the most important parts - even though it’s not always done correctly.

Most people neglect and overlook this step because they assume that once the car is clean, all they have to do is eliminate the drops of water, but doing it right will make a significant difference in how your car looks (short- and long-term).

There are a few reasons why you should always dry your car right, such as:

  • Protecting the overall finish and paint
  • Avoiding scratches
  • Improving the appearance of the car

Should you towel dry your car after washing? It’s not the best method, and some types of towels cause damage. Once you learn the proper way to dry your car, you'll never look back.

Can You Dry A Car With a Bath Towel?

Can I use a bath towel to dry my car? It’s hard to believe that the bath towel, which seems like the most perfect car drying solution is actually a big NO, NO. It is a cheap option, and well, it's right there! But the truth is that a bath towel will do more harm than good.

Unfortunately, almost all car owners are guilty of this grievous sin at one time or another!

So, let us tell you why this is never right, and why you must never dry your car using a bath towel.

Bath Towels Are Too Harsh

Can I use a normal towel to dry my car? Again, nope. The main reason to not use a bath towel is that it is too harsh. The fibers are too coarse and harsh for your car’s paintwork. 

These harsh materials are actually the reason why you find ugly scratches and swirls on your car’s clear coat. The paint on your car consists of a few layers, and two of the most important ones are the base coat and the clear coat.

The base coat is what gives the car its beautiful color, and the clear coat is found on the top and helps protect your car from corrosion, dirt, and UV damage. This helps your car not fade with time.

Now, the clear coat is not as tough as you may think, and in fact, it is actually quite delicate. Any friction on the car causes the coat to scratch, and these are not the kind of scratches you will see easily with normal lighting, but rather you can see them under direct sunlight.

They make your car look flat and dull.

The only way to get rid of the scratches would be to remove or cut off a layer of the paint, in order to reveal the smooth flat surface that reflects light evenly, and nobody wants to do that! 

When you remove a layer of the coat, you expose your car to even more damage. 

It Drags Dust On The Paint

You will slowly realize that what you need to do is protect the paint of your car for as long as possible, in order to keep it looking great for longer.

Now, whether you dry your car a few seconds after rinsing or you wait a little later, you will inevitably cause dust to settle on its surface.

Even if you find an enclosed car wash to clean your car, dust will settle on it either on a lesser or higher level.

Now, the issue with bath towels is that when wiping across the panel, they will drag this dust on the paint and cause your car’s paint to get scratched and look ugly.

Can you dry a car with a bath towel

Which is The Safest Method To Dry Your Car

There are many other safer methods of drying your car other than using a bath towel. Here are a few of them:

Best Towel To Dry Car Without Scratching

A microfiber towel is one of the safest and most popular methods of drying your car. It is also the best towel to dry car without scratching. A microfiber towel can be purchased at almost any store and it is reasonably priced as well, simple to use, and washable.

It’s much better than a bath towel, but the downside is that it’s still a towel, so it can scratch your car.

The best part about it is the fact that it is designed for use on almost any car paint. Typically it’s made of a polyester/nylon blend that’s denser than the regular towels as a result of its microscopic fibers.

This allows the towel to have more fibers present in any given area on the towel and it also makes it soft, less prone to wrinkling, and more absorbent compared to shirts and regular towels.

Using A Blow Dryer To Dry Your Car

A blow dryer provides moving air. Using moving air to dry your car is arguably the safest method for drying your car - much better than using a towel

It’s perfect because you will not make any physical contact with the paint surface, and the concept is what you would find at automated car washes, but with a small blow dryer, comes compressed air, which works great as well. 

Some people suggest using a leaf blower to dry your car, but this isn’t a good idea, as it’s likely to kick up some unwanted materials from the ground. There are some dedicated vehicle driers you can use, but drying your car really should be a roof-down approach in order to keep the water moving towards the ground.

But, What Exactly Is A Car Dryer?

You’re probably picturing a powerful hair dryer that’s specifically for dry surfaces, but that’s not exactly it.

A car dryer is designed to blast water from your car without scratching it. Because your car is an extremely expensive investment, you should try to retain its value as best you can. 

But Is It A Worthy Investment?


This is a great investment, as you will find most car washes do not have a blow-drying machine for your car. 

The value you accrue from maintaining your car scratch-free is more than the cost of the blow dryer. This is because it ensures you keep the car looking great for longer, and this maintains its resell value if you ever want to sell it.

Can I use a normal towel to dry my car

Should You Towel Dry Your Car After Washing

So, can I use a bath towel to dry my car? Only if you want to damage your exterior.

A dedicated dryer, such as BLO Car Dryers, provides you with the best and safest method to dry your car without scratching it. Our car dryers offer a warm-filled and safe way to ensure the paint remains intact at all times.

The no-contact drying will ensure you do not get any abrasions, swirls, or scratches as you would with a towel, no matter how soft the towel may be.

So remember, never ever dry your car using a bath towel, no matter how enticing it may look. The bath towel will cause more harm than good.

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