While knowing how to wash, polish and wax a car are all important parts of detailing, knowing how to dry a car after washing is an underrated skill that’s just as important. Take it from us, using the wrong technique can result in water stains, streaking and even scratches.

To avoid you having to start the detailing process all over again, we’ve put together a list of DOs and DON’Ts to help you find the best way to dry car paintwork for a clear and scratch-free finish.

Method 1: Using a Towel to Dry Car Paintwork

 Microfibre Towel For Drying Your Car

While there’s nothing wrong with using a towel to dry car paintwork, it’s important to use a towel that’s clean and soft.

DON’T Use Any Old Towel to Dry Car Paintwork

A worn and coarse old towel can scratch your car’s paintwork. Similarly, dragging a dirty towel across your paint, with grains and residue still on it, could do considerable damage too.

DO Use a Soft Microfibre Towel

A microfibre towel is designed to be more durable and effective than its cotton towel counterpart, making it the best towel to dry car paintwork with.

The best part? It can be washed several times without losing its softness or effectiveness, and is widely known for its absorbency, soaking up larger spills with ease.

DO Use More Than One Microfibre Towel

While microfibre towels are known for their durability, you should still use a fresh one every couple of panels.

By using the same towel the whole way through, you risk picking up tiny particles of dirt from one area and dragging them across your vehicle. Also, if they become oversaturated, at some point you’re going to be adding back the water you’ve just removed.


Method 2: Air Drying

The lazier of the options when it comes to drying your car, this method relies heavily on the support of Mother Nature.

Car drying in the sun

DON’T Rely on The Sun

 It can be tempting to allow the sun to do all the hard work for you. While this strategy will leave you with a dry car, it won’t leave you with an attractive one.

When water evaporates, it leaves behind water stains and streaks on your car’s paintwork that can give it a blotchy, uneven appearance. For a smoother aesthetic, it’s best to soak up the water with a microfibre towel.

DO Allow Your Car to Drip Dry First

While we don’t encourage you to let your car dry completely on its own, it’s always worth letting it drip dry first for a few minutes before using the microfibre towel. This allows the bulk of the water to run off first and will save you a lot of effort.

A car’s surface area can be overwhelming, so the less drying you need to do, the less likely you are to skip some of the smaller cracks and crevices.

How to Dry a Car More Efficiently

There are other simple things you can do to make drying your car a faster and easier experience. Here are a few:

Apply a Quick Detailer Spray Before Drying

Applying quick detailer spray, like our Aphrodite Speed Shine Detailer, before drying your car can help to prevent water spotting and streaks.

To apply, simply spray Aphrodite on one panel at a time, from top to bottom, rubbing it in with a clean microfibre cloth until the solution disappears.

Always Start from The Top

When drying with a microfibre towel, we advise standing on a stool and starting on the roof.

As any water that’s pushed off the roof will cascade onto the sides of your car, it’s better to do the roof first and get it out of the way. Gradually work your way from the top of the car to the bottom.

Apply Ceramic Coating Every Time You Touch-up Your Car

Whenever you’re giving your paint a touch-up, make sure you always apply a ceramic coating.

A ceramic coating, like our Kratos Hybrid Wax Spray, is hydrophobic, meaning that it repels water and makes the car drying process much easier.