How To Dry Your Car the Right Way

Like all tasks, however, it’s possible to get frustrated if you don’t know what you’re doing. When it comes to washing a car, failing to dry it properly can lead to water spots and streaks that make your drive to a car show or post on Instagram less than enjoyable. That’s why The Drive wants to take a couple of minutes to fill you in on how to properly dry your car.

Ed. Note: This post was updated with all-new text and photos on 07/12/2021.

The Basics of Drying Your Car

Estimated Time Needed: 5-10 minutes

How To Dry Your Car the Right Way

Skill Level: Beginner

Vehicle System: Exterior

Why Is Properly Drying Your Car Important?

I can hear you now. “Wait. Are you really going to try and tell me how to dry my car? It’s simple! You just get the water off. Heck, I could let the sun do that for me.” Wrong. As simple as the concept is, there is a right and wrong way to dry a car. Before we dive into the proper method, let’s talk about how not to dry your car.

First, don’t let the sun do the work for you. Sun-drying leaves behind all kinds of marks and spots, which means all of your hard washing work will be in vain. Next, ditch those rags you made from old T-shirts. They’re the fastest ways to leave scratches and swirls in your topcoat.

You’ll also want to avoid the typical microfiber towel for this job. It’s not the worst choice in a pinch, but you’re better off with something made for drying, such as a microfiber waffle-weave towel.