Originally Posted by BigD
Why does everyone use microfiber towels? They don't absorb jack, just streak water around. I just use ordinary cotton towels.
This excerpt is from: http://www.properautocare.com/micwhatbigde.html
. I think it covers your questions quite well.
To summarize, low-quality microfibre towels use strands of fibre that actually do not retain water at all and are similar to the products used in water-resistant clothing. High-quality towels, on the other hand, retain water much better.
Cotton towels - like the ones you use - are not intended for proper auto maintenance and they mar the surface of your paint. Since washing and detailing is intended to beautify your vehicle, cotton towels are counter-productive.
Microfiber - What is it?
by Proper Auto Care
Microfiber is a revolutionary man made fiber that can be processed, woven and finished in a variety of different ways to achieve a specific result. Unprocessed (fibers not split) Microfiber, woven in a flat weave, has very poor water absorption characteristics. In fact, it is used to manufacture water resistant clothing. The same Microfiber thread, processed by splitting the individual threads and weaving in a loop or waffle pattern, is now super absorbent. It will absorb over seven times its weight in fluids!
Microfiber is a man-made product that combines two basic fibers, Polyester and Polyamide (a nylon by-product). These fibers are usually �split� and formed into a woven fabric of 80% Polyester (the scrubbing and cleaning fiber), and 20% Polyamide (the absorbing and quick drying fiber).
These threads are very small in diameter making them super soft. Rated in denier, the unit for measuring fineness of fabric, a strand of cotton has a rating of 200. A human hair has a denier of 20 and a strand of silk has a denier of 8. Microfiber has a denier of 0.01 to 0.02! At minimum, 100 times finer than a human hair. Softer than silk, yet bull-dog tough, split Microfiber cloth attracts dust, grime, oily films and salt residues like a magnet.
The unique surface structure of split Microfiber cloth contain hundreds of thousands of micro fiber �hooks� per square inch! These micro-hooks grab, lift, and hold dust and grime without the need for cleaning solutions. Microfiber cloth can be used damp or dry. Used dry, Microfiber cloth works like a chamois. The super absorbent weaves holds up to seven times its weight in fluid and will not scratch paint, glass, acrylics or plastic window tint films.
What's the difference between a $2.00 Microfiber towel and a $15 or $20 Microfiber towel?
With demand for Microfiber products increasing monthly, factories in Korea and China are now flooding the American market with very cheap "Microfiber" products. There is a huge difference between inexpensive and quality Microfiber:
1. The strands are not split. 70 to 75% of inexpensive Microfiber now coming out of Korea and China is unprocessed, non-split Microfiber. Unless you want a water-resistant material, unprocessed, non-split Microfiber is worthless! Many of you have seen packages showing a drawing of a snowflake-looking fiber with wedges around the perimeter scooping up dust particles. While this looks great it is a picture of non-split, unprocessed Microfiber! Processed, split Microfiber looks like a tangle of spaghetti ends. The reason for the abundance of this fabric is simple. Machines that produce the raw Microfiber thread can be purchased for under $100.000. The machines that do the splitting and processing of the thread into the Microfiber "hooks" cost over $1,000,000. Only the largest fabric producers in Korea can afford these machines and according to industry insiders, few of these machines exist in China.
2. The Microfiber threads are larger. The industry standard for Microfiber is a denier of 0.02 or smaller. We have found some "Microfiber" cloths coming out of China with a denier of 0.5. This is fine but 50 times larger than the best Microfiber thread. Chinese and inexpensive Korean Microfiber products have very poor absorption and scrubbing qualities.