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Microfibre Cloths! What's all the fuss about?

What is a Microfibre cloth? Do you need them when cleaning your car?

A combination of two, synthetic materials: Polyester and Polyamide. The proportion of these two materials are referred to as the blend and expressed as percentages, with the first percentage being the content of Polyester.

Polyester forms the main structure of the cloth, so is always going to have the highest content.

Polyamide provides the softness, plushness, and the ability to absorb liquids.

When it comes to car valeting with Microfibre Cloths, there are two main blends of these materials. They are:

  • 80% Polyester and 20% Polyamide (80/20). These cloths are generally used for cleaning.

  • 70% Polyester and 30% Polyamide (70/30). These cloths are higher quality and can perform tasks such as drying, polishing, and the removal of coatings.

The other measurement (other than the size of the cloth) is the weight, which is measured in Grams per Square Metre (GSM). This does not refer to the thickness of the cloth but the density of the fibres on the face of the cloth. GSM on Car Valeting Microfibre Cloths range from 245 - 600 with the optimum GSM being 365.

Another thing that defines a Microfibre Cloth is the Weave! The Weave is the way the Microfibres are laid out on the cloth and also how they are formed. The most common weaves for car valeting Microfibre Clothes are:

  • Terry

  • Waffle

  • Twisted Loop

  • Hybrid

  • Circular Knit

  • Pearl

The edges of a Microfibre Cloth have to be finished off to stop them from shedding their fibres! This can either be done with a traditional seem, or they can be heat sealed. If the cloth is finished off with a sewed seam then the material needs to be as soft or softer than the cloth to avoid it marking the car's paint.


The Rag Company

The Rag Company is an American company that has been in the industry of making Microfibre Cloths since 1999! Their cloths are produced in China and South Korea.

They produce in excess of 150 different styles and sizes of Microfibre Cloth. Each one is meticulously checked prior to leaving their US HQ.

You can purchase the majority of their products in the UK from Clean + Shiny

Their cloths come in a multitude of colours, making it easy to colour coordinate your work system! I use Red for external Paintwork, Blue for Interior and Black for wheels and chemicals such as Tar & Glue Remover. The cloths in this picture are all The Rag Company Eagle Edgeless 16" x 16", 245 (GSM), 80/20 (Blend) All Purpose Microfibre. This cloth is made in China, and has a Terry weave which is very hard-wearing making it a general purpose all round cloth. You can also buy this cloth in a 300 GSM which is ideal for removing waxes. I have these in yellow to make them stand out.

Traditionally, getting a good finish when cleaning windows can be tricky! I use the two cloths to the right. They are:

Blue - The Rag Company Standard Microfibre Waffle Weave Towel. I use this towel to spread the cleaning product and clean the window. The beauty of Waffle Weave towels is that due to their design, the surface area of the cloth is larger than its size due to the pockets.

Green - Glass & Window Microfibre Towel. I use this for polishing and removing any smears. This towel has a herringbone weave and can sometimes grab hold and ruck up, this can be avoided by using it slightly damp.

The Rag Company Eagle Edgeless 500 is a 70/30 blend with a Circular Knit Weave! It is one of the plushest cloths TRC produce, and is suited to the removal of spray waxes and coatings, polishing, and rinse-less washes. I use these cloths for interior detailing and the drying off of surfaces after cleaning.

Microfibre Drying Towels come in many sizes! I have pictured four here. They all employ Twisted Loop Fibres, which have excellent water absorbency properties!

The large towels are ideal for the main panels of your car and the smaller ones let you dry wheels, door shuts, and the bottom sections of the car without the worry of it dragging in the dirt.

Microfibre Wash Mitts & Pads. The thousands of tiny soft fibres grab hold of the dirt particles. This, coupled with the soft materials, will ensure your car's paint is not marked, making them a perfect wash media.

The Mitts have a sponge in the middle which will soak up the water from your bucket. Simply squeeze it as you are washing the car and this will give you a steady supply of soapy water.


Caring for your Microfibre Cloths.

  • Microfibre is a synthetic fibre with a melting point of 60 degrees. Never wash in hot water or tumble dry on a high heat.

  • Microfibre cloths should be washed prior to use.

  • Always wash dark and light coloured cloths separately as the colour is likely to run.

  • Do not use fabric conditioner as this will cause the fibres to matt together.

  • Use Microfibre washing detergent where possible! I use P&S Rags to Riches which is recommended by The Rag Company.


So, do you need Microfibre Cloths to Clean your car?

Not necessarily. They are expensive compared to general cloths that you can buy in supermarkets.

However, if you want to achieve the best possible results when cleaning your car, the answer is YES!

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