Do you use a bath towel to dry your car?

I remember when I had my first car, my friend and I would always wash our cars in his driveway on the weekends.

Amongst other improper methods that he was doing, he would always go inside to get a bath towel to dry off his car. At first, this seems like a perfectly fine solution to dry your car. 

Causes Of Using A Bath Towel 

You’d figure there’s no difference between drying yourself off after a shower and drying off your car after it gets washed. Although the towel does soak up some of the water from the car, it’s also scratching your paint

After so many times that your car is dried with a bath towel, your paint will end up like this: 

black car swirls and scratches in paint
Completely swirled and scratched car from years of neglect

These results are very common to see in cars. Because it’s not just the drying part that causes the scratches and swirls (although that’s what we’re focusing on in this article.) It also has a lot to do with how you wash the car and how you handle it when you’re out-and-about, i.e. do you let people lean on the car? Do you use your car as a table? etc.. 

Will Taking It To A Car Wash Help?

Even if you took your car to a car wash, you’d unfortunately still get the sam results as you did by using the bath towel. Reason being is because although the car wash place may use a car specific drying towel, the quality of that towel is probably low and it’s probably been used a lot that day.

To take it a step further, if you don’t plan on removing the swirls and scratches from your car’s paint, then changing your washing and/or drying methods isn’t going to make a difference whatsoever on your cars paint. 

What Do I Need To Dry My Paint Properly?

I’m sure you’re seen the drying towels at your local autoparts store, those are the ones you want to stay away from. There’s a bunch of great drying towels in online stores such as and 

They’re made of microfiber (as oppose to low quality towels that are made of cheap leather or nylon) and have different types of microfiber patterns to them. 


So after all said is done, are you using a bath towel to dry your car? If so, it’s not a bad thing to do, just know that the quality of your paint is diminishing as the swirls and scratches are going to cause your paint to look dull and faded. 

Even if you buy a high quality drying towel but don’t remove the swirls and scratches, not much is going to change on the appearance of your car. 

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