What Is The Best Way To Dry A Car?
| Jeff McEachran
If you’re even a moderate enthusiast of car detailing, you’re aware that too much contact with a vehicle—and using the wrong types of tools to clean—can cause scratches and unsightly marring. The same concept can be said of drying a car. What is the best way to dry a car? Should you avoid wiping it down altogether, and what are the alternatives?
Washing cars requires some technique, special knowledge, and expert detailing tools. Especially if you’re hoping for a fresh, scratch-free finish. However, many vehicle owners tend to overlook the fact that it’s the drying of your car, the finishing touches and the detailing that truly transform it from a streaky mess to a motor masterpiece.
In short, if you want your pride and joy to stack up the likes on Instagram, draw eyes on the road, and steal the show at an automotive event, it’s all about your drying method and technique.
If you take the wrong approach to drying your car, you may have wasted time, energy, and cleaning supplies, but worst of all, you may be damaging your ride!
Not to worry. Consider this your ultimate guide to answering what is the best way to dry a car. We’ll be uncovering common drying methods, along with associated pros and cons.
Obstacles To Navigate When Drying Your Car
There are a number of factors to consider after cleaning a vehicle. Even the most detail-savvy car enthusiasts can make the mistake of overlooking the importance of drying your car, and what you’re stacked up against. Learning to properly wash your vehicle also means understanding that there are steps to take to ensure the cleaning process results in a beautiful shine with minimal damage. This will help maintain the value of your vehicle while contributing to its upkeep. Find expert car wash detailing kits here.
What occurs after washing a car that can severely impact the drying process? What is the best way to dry a car to avoid these obstacles?
Washing a car can take a fair while, especially if it’s been around the block a few times and you want to do it right, so, ideally, we don’t want to spend what remains of our day drying it off.
Besides, the longer we spend manually drying a vehicle, the more chance we’re giving defects such as streaking and water spots to dry into our otherwise perfect paintwork.
Scratches, Swirls, and Marring
You may have heard horror stories about people using torn t-shirts or reusing microfiber towels to dry their ride, only to end up with countless scratches in the paintwork. Well, my friend, these aren’t just stories. Scratching during the drying process is a very real threat. Marring is a very light surface imperfection caused by mechanical interaction between a hard or rough surface and the paintwork.
Whether it’s scratches, swirls, or marring, steps should be taken to help prevent these common damages.
Drips and Streaks
We’ve all been there. We finish up washing our car, then head inside for a cup of Joe and some well-earned chill time, but when we head back out to show our freshly-washed baby off around town, it’s completely coated in dried on drip marks and streaks — not cool!
Dust and Residue
The sad truth of the matter is that the second we finish cleaning our ride, it starts getting dirty again. Dust and debris in the air and our drying materials will instantly seek out that shiny surface, threatening to ruin all our hard work.
Tight Spots and Rust
Your car is a sinuous work of art. Those crisp lines, those luscious curves — you wouldn’t change it for the world. However, with the beauty of intricate shaping comes its evil sibling… tight, hard-to-reach spots.
As these tight zones are hard to reach, they often don’t get the TLC they both need and deserve during the drying process, and the residual moisture can fast-track rusting.
What Makes A Drying Process “The Best”
Now that you know what you’re dealing with after each vehicular sponge bath, establishing the best drying method is easy. The ultimate drying method will avoid all of the aforementioned issues, whilst getting the job done in a timely manner.
So, without further ado, let’s put some drying methods under the microscope and see which one comes out on top!
Drying Methods Under The Microscope
As I’m sure you’re aware, air drying is the process of leaving your vehicle to dry naturally without any manual intervention from yours truly. It’s one of the most common ways to dry a car or truck, but is it the best method? What is the best way to dry a car?
The major benefit of this approach is obvious: your job is done as soon as you rinse the suds from your ride. But the price you pay for part-timing this aspect of the cleaning operation is drastic!
Air drying is the slowest drying method, meaning there’s plenty of time for mineral deposits in the water to establish streaks and drip marks. Dust and debris is also afforded an opportunity to settle on your clean surfaces, leaving your car looking grimy.
Drive drying may be the most fun drying method, as it involves taking your beautiful car for a spin, but needless to say, this comes part and parcel with a whole heap of issues.
Cars get dirty in the first place because we drive them, so opening them up on the freeway as a final stage of the cleaning process is counterintuitive. By the time your ride is dry, it’s already dotted with squished bugs, coated in dust, and ready for another wash.
I absolutely love a high-quality microfiber towel, but they’re not all made equal. If you plan on using them to dry your car, don’t choose any old cloth with tiny fibers, use something designed specifically for drying your car, such as the Microfiber Waffle Dryer from Gyeon Quartz.
The idea behind microfiber cloths is simple — with greater fiber density, there are more fibers making contact with the surface of your car, making the towel softer and more absorbent than, say, a dishcloth or a torn t-shirt.
Microfiber towels are the most popular way of drying cars responsibly, but they’re not perfect. They’re not the fastest solution, nor can they reach tight spots, and they need to be constantly washed or replaced to prevent the build-up of harmful mineral deposits and debris.
Using cotton towels is the cardinal sin of drying cars — never, ever do it! Cotton may be a skin-kind fabric, but it’s hell on paintwork. It scratches, leaves swirls, causes marring, leaves lint, and it’s not very absorbent, so even after you’ve butchered your bodywork, you’ll still be dealing with lots of unsightly water spots.
Water blades are effective tools. With flexible silicone tips, they can be used to shift standing water efficiently without damaging paintwork, but seeing as they’re not absorbent, they must be paired with another drying method to get the job done.
Another drawback of these tools is the potential to drag residual dirt across a surface, leaving a nice big scratch in its wake. So, if you plan on using a water blade, make sure you wash and rinse thoroughly beforehand.
Chamois (or shammies if you want to be real casual about it) are usually made out of super absorbent synthetic rubber or leather. They’re quite large, too, so if you're looking to dry your car in a pinch, they’re a good choice.
However, their size makes them difficult to manage, especially when saturated with rinse water. As such, they’re not the best option for reaching tight spots, which means you might be dealing with rust sooner than you’d hope.
BLO Dryer Blower
BLO car blowers are specialized units that expel high horsepower air over a surface, thereby sending water droplets scattering away like little insects, never to be seen again — hooray!
They make zero contact with your vehicle, so you can say goodbye to scratching, marring, and swirls; they deal with rinse water quicker than any other method, eliminating water spots and streaking; the air blasts the moisture from hard-to-reach spots, protecting against rust; and the air prevents dust and debris from settling during the drying process.
What’s more, you can pair your BLO car blower with a high-quality drying aid, such as Gyeon Quartz QuickDetailer, to get the job done in record time!
We offer three different types of dyer blower with varying dimensions and horsepower, so no matter your circumstances or intended uses, you’ll always have the perfect drying solution to hand.
What Is The Best Way To Dry A Car?
Navigating every single car drying obstacle, from scratches and marring, to water spots and rust, BLO car dryer blowers are the best way to dry your car by a country mile!
Now, I know that they’re a little pricier than, say, a microfiber towel. However, towels need to be replaced constantly. They can go missing, they can be dropped and ruined, they can accumulate dangerous debris and scratch your vehicle.
Dryer blowers, on the other hand, are faster, safer, more reliable, easier to use, dry all the nooks and crannies, and once you’ve got one, you’re set for life.