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Old 06-16-2005, 06:28 PM   #1
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Synthetic vs. 100% terry cloth

I picked up a micro-fiber detailing towel from Mcguires. It says on the tag it is a polyester blend and it feels really soft. I was wondering if these types of towels are a good idea for removing polish/wax or if I should just stick to the 100% cotton. What do you guys use? I haven't seen a direct comparison between these two types of towels so I was just curious about everyones input. I've noticed some superficial scratches/swirls. I'm pretty sure micro-scratches are unavoidable if you touch the paint with anything...only thing I think you can do is try to minimize them. Orbital polisher time perhaps?

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Old 06-16-2005, 06:59 PM   #2
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I use microfiber towels. No marring issues. I did use 100% cotton, made in the USA, ultra super duper towels. Worked ok the first time. Then after washing, the towels seemed to get a little rougher and caused some swirls.

All microfiber towels (same as cotton towels) are not created equal though. I'm guessing Walmart's MF probably isn't as nice as one from a detailing store or from Meg's. YMMV.


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Old 06-16-2005, 08:38 PM   #3
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i'm on the other side of the fence. NO MICROFIBER ON PAINT, PERIOD.
I'm somewhat hesistant to use it on glass as well.

Microfiber is fine as long as its 100% clean. Those split fibers that are good at picking up sediments and such, are also stuborn in letting them go.
You have to be really diligent about cleaning them thoruoughly after each use.
MF towels are excellent for cleaning wheels but its overkill for smooth well maintained paints. All towels with 'open' threading will scratch or micro marr your paint depending on the quality of the towel. You want see the micro marring at first but gradually over time it will become apparent. I've noticed those who use MF towels on high end cars also keep the car garaged and out of the elements most of the time. Thus there far less cleaning and there isn't so much of an isssue with the MF towels digging into the clear coat. But daily drivers are a whole other can of worms.

I use Sonus towels that have tufted loop ends(closed) for washing and removing waxes and polishes.
And then I use a different towel to buff, a dedicated Concourse buffing towel.
Both are sold at Autopia.

The ironic bit is that nearly all of the swriling and scratching of a paint surface comes from cleaining and drying with the wrong towels and Buffing with a polising towel.
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Old 06-17-2005, 04:29 AM   #4
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Thanks for the feedback. I looked for high quality terry at places like auto-zone and I mostly found shop towels or they weren't soft enough for my standards..plus they are pretty smalll. The Mcguires MF towel seems like it is of decent quailty and my car is always garaged and only driven a couple times a week so hopefully the MF towels are ok. I wish Zaino bros sold high quality towels so I could just order some when ordering the polish. I may try the new swirl remover stuff I just heard about from them.
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Old 06-17-2005, 05:46 AM   #5
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I'm coming to the conclusion that dirt and grit are the real enemies. I just got a bunch more towels (I've got about 25 now - one 3 pack of expensive MF, the rest cotton and MF from Dollar General). I use correct polishing towels (only) for polishing. But with buffing - the cotton and microfibers seem about the same. I use LOTS of towels 3-4 (or more) to remove the wax from the boxster. Any part of the towel touches the floor - it's goes to the washing machine. ALL towels go in the wash after each cleaning, one use - then wash. All of those dried wax/polish particles that get picked up by the towel can't be good for the finish. I use a separate sponge and old wash cloth for the wheels & lower dirty stuff (do the wheels first).
A clean drying cloth also a must.
Just got the PC, will use to apply polish/wax. Will probably continue to remove with towels, lots of clean towels. Wipe a section, flip it over, wipe a section, toss the towel in the wash box.
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Old 06-17-2005, 08:35 AM   #6
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MF on the left, Terry cloth on the right.
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Old 06-17-2005, 09:40 AM   #7
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mf vs. terry

I use both,but i am very careful when using mf on paint. I prefer terry for drying, but I always blow the water off first with my leaf blower. It makes it so easy to dry the nooks and crannies.
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Old 06-17-2005, 09:50 AM   #8
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I use the Micro Fiber towels....once washed a couple times or Look dirty when thier clean I toss them.

Thier SO CHEAP ($8.00 at Costco for 20 MF Towels) I have seperate ones for rims, interior and the paint.

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Old 06-17-2005, 10:42 AM   #9
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I would caution MF towels that are made in China. They use cheap threading machines and cheap synthethic fibers that are coarse.
MF was initially produced by Korea for janitorial purposes and the Koreans spent allot of time producing expensive thread splitting machines. The Chinese came along and made inferior machines which actually aren't really MF at all.
And they flooded the market with MF fabric. you've got to search pretty high and low to find MF that isn't made in China.
They even make MF socks from China. Which is most likely the same fabric sold to Turtel wax and other's who sell auto store towels. Just has a different label on it.

The fact that a towel is MF doesn't mean its safe for paint. It only means that its good at lifting sticky dirt and debris. Using MF on paint to me is like brusing your teeth with a hair brush. You'll do more bad than good in the long run.

as far as price, You get what you pay for, even at Wal Mart.
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Old 06-17-2005, 11:23 AM   #10
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PerfectLap,
Quotes:
i'm on the other side of the fence. NO MICROFIBER ON PAINT, PERIOD.
Photo: MF on the left, Terry cloth on the right.

The photo showed the MF (left) with few scratches and terry (right) with many scratches. I follow what you're saying about MF but are the in the photos reversed? Also, what are the Sonus towels used for removing polish/wax made of?
Appreciate your inputs - you've got a lot more experience than most of us.
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Old 06-17-2005, 08:04 PM   #11
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No the pic is not reversed. Terry cloth scratched the hell out of that paint. MF barely any. Here's the whole article: http://www.guidetodetailing.com/articles.php?articleId=44

I just went and tested a cotton towel vs a MF on a CD. I'm too lazy to post a pic but it looks just like the pic from above.

Like I said, you may get different results but MF does not scratch my paint like terry cotton does.

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Old 06-18-2005, 10:43 AM   #12
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Now I've got swirls

HELP! Just had my car in the noonday sun - swirls! Very light, fine swirls, but they're there. Couldn't see them in the garage with flourescent lights. Here's the kicker - they're not from MF or terry! They can only be from last week's application of Meguiars Clear Coat Liquid Car Wax using the brand new supplied sponge applicator in accordance with the directions! The swirls don't match my washing, drying or buffing movements. The Meguiars Liquid is my first use of the product - contents and applicator were new.
I have just purchased the CP and Edge sponge applicators, but now I'm almost afraid to use them. Where do I go from here?
Things I have on hand - Meg's paint cleaner and carnuba wax, and the Liquid car wax. I have clay but the surface is clean & smooth: just swirls.
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Old 06-18-2005, 09:07 PM   #13
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Limoncello: I feel for you! Same situation here.... I am scared to wax my car again. I used Maguire's Cleaner, polisher, and NXT wax, I have more swirls then previous..... on man.... can't sleep, do I have to dish out $200-$300 for a pro job??

Don't get me wrong... the car looked amazing after the precess.... just wash my car today, all swirls showed up.... I thought my car was swirl free since.... it was all an illusion.....
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Old 06-19-2005, 12:25 PM   #14
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if you only used the sponge and it produced swirls, I have to ask:
Did you clay before applying the wax?

There are often tiny microscopic sediments,silicas,metal dust,etc. that become embeded into the clear coat surface and will only uhook themselves unless you rub on the paint. If this done while the surface is dry (like when waxing) you will swril the paint. Light rubbing with a wash mit or sponge won't remove these sediments.

I'm a paranoid detailer. Under no circumstances do I apply waxes and polishes
without first doing a quick clay AND wash. I think its very important to cleanse the paint of all the sediment that may have been left behind after claying and buffing.

A big rookie detailing mistake is to wax the car frequently after washing. One applicating of an acrylic wax will last weeks if not months. If additional shine is desired a quick spray detailer like Sonus acrylic spritz should be used since there is no firm rubbing of the paint surface.
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Old 06-19-2005, 12:29 PM   #15
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limon and Tech,

Maybe you guys just didn't notice the swirls before? Regardless, they are now there and there's only one way to get rid of them. And that is to polish them out.

I believe the Meg's paint cleaner is a cutter. You need to follow up with a true polish before waxing. And you might have to go over the same area a few times. All Waxing does is provide a protection layer.

Lastly, maybe your cars didn't need the aggressiveness of the Meg's paint cleaner and you simply used the wrong product (which would explain seeing new swirls...but not if they don't match your buffing/removal motions).

It will be next to impossible to remove swirls by hand. A rotary (dangerous to use for a novice) or a PC (fairly safe for a novice) will be needed. You can either get a PC and try your hand at it or take it to a professional.

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Old 06-19-2005, 12:37 PM   #16
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I use micro fiber towls but I don't rewash them. I just buy new ones every time I use them.

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