CNET logo Why You Can Trust CNET

Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement

Best Car Drying Towel for 2022

Check out our top picks for the best car drying towels to achieve that great squeaky-clean look.

Sean Szymkowski
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.
Sean Szymkowski
4 min read

Don't ruin your freshly washed car by letting it air dry, creating water spots and streaks. You don't want let your hard work go to waste and ruin that glossy shine. To prevent those, you should dry your car's paint and glass using a proper drying towel which will ensure that it stays spotless after it dries. Below, we've rounded up some top picks for the best car drying towel on the market right now, no matter what your budget is. Plus, some other general car care care tips to help keep your vehicle in tip-top shape. Time to leave those bath towels and cleaning rags behind.


Not into chamois? That's not a problem because we also love Meguiar's X2000 Water Magnet towel. It's a traditional microfiber towel but it works like magic to leave your car's surface super dry after washing. What's also great about standard car drying towels is that you can just machine-wash them in liquid detergent to rid them of dirt and debris every so often. As long as they don't get trashed, this is a microfiber towel you can use to dry your car for a long time -- and it works darn well.


It's basic, and that's OK. This two-pack of chamois from the Amazon Basics brand works very well as a glass and paint dryer for the price. The towels aren't as usable as our other chamois picks, in our experience, but if you need a cheap chamois, look no further.


Not everyone has a ton of cash to spend on a car drying towel, and that's totally fine. We said there was something for everyone. There is: Mothers Waffle Weave Microfiber Car Drying Towel is a great choice as a cheap pick for a car drying towel. It does exactly what it's supposed to do after a car wash, and we can't fault it for anything at this price point. Yes, one of our picks is actually cheaper, but the value of having two waffle weave towels at this price to dry paint and glass made us want to place this product here.

Comparison of the best car drying towel for 2022

Best car drying towel BrandNamePrice
Best car drying towel overall CleanToolThe Absorber$16
Best car drying towel overall (runner-up) Meguiar'sX2000 Water Magnet$7
Best car drying towel chamois Mighty CleanerShammy Towel$14
Best car drying towel bundle SHSCLYMicrofiber Drying Towels$27
Best car drying towel for big cars Relentless DriveLarge Car Drying Towel$40
Best car drying towel for big cars (runner-up) Chemical GuysWoolly Mammoth$29
Best car drying towel on a budget MothersWaffle Weave Microfiber Car Drying Towel$17
Best car drying towel on a budget (runner-up) Amazon BasicsDrying Chamois$16

General car care and drying tips

  • Where should you dry your car?: If possible, dry your car in the shade. Washing and drying a car in direct sunlight can make the process tougher, especially if the heat and sun create water spots.
  • How do you dry your car after a car wash?: If you want to be sure you actually dry your car, wring the towel or chamois out often as you go along. If you don't, you'll simply be spreading water, not soaking it up.
  • How do you dry your car's nooks and crannies?: To dry the tight and tough-to-reach places after a car wash, the plan of attack is to blow out those crevices. If you have an air cannon, shop vac or even a leaf blower, you can blast areas with air to make sure water exits the crevices to prevent streaks.
  • How can you make drying your car even easier?: After you've finished drying your car, follow up with your favorite car wax. A coat of quality wax will help your car's paint bead, and water will roll off with ease.

Get your car dry with the best products

All of these picks will ensure you're left with a bone-dry car -- you can't go wrong. So choose your preference and keep those cars clean!