This is my second thread, the first one is a review of x-static microfiber towels
. I am an enthusiast detailer and my detailing journey started when I bought my New Honda Amaze in Sept, 2014. I was intrigued about how to maintain it to showroom shine, especially in a tough city like Delhi with bumper to bumper traffic and scratches galore. I don't have a covered parking, so that added to the problem. I have been able to keep it maintained till now, but with the soft Honda paint have introduced some small swirl marks due to various cleaning experiments I have conducted on the car and a part of the problem is unclean microfiber towels.
My journey in microfiber world started with Jopasu microfiber, it came with my Jopasu duster and it is no good on soft clear coat of Honda, it is explained as good absorbent and safe on car coat, but it achieves neither. It is neither as good as an absorbent as a waffle weave towel nor is it safe for using as a normal microfiber on the paint surface as it is hard and will cause swirls, especially on a soft paint like honda. I have kept it just to use for areas requiring tougher grime removal application.
My next towel was eurow, which I got as a package with my Collinite 845 from bringingbest.in. Its a lot softer than Jopasu and does not cause any swirls. After this I wanted more towels so I bought the 9 pack of x-static from ebay. The towels are good and similar to eurow and I have done a full review in my earlier thread.
The problem I face was with maintaining the towels, they absorbed lots of chemicals, waxes etc. and had become a little stiff even after regular washing. I tried washing them with hand with cloth detergent like surf excel as well as liquid detergent but still they were not as soft as when they first came. Infact, even the eurow one had become a little hard. Due to information on web that we should not wash them hot I did not use the washing machine. The problem is also increased due to hard water we get in our taps.
It got to a point where cleaning the towels was more problematic than car cleaning. They were also causing swirls as I am using rinse-less waterless wash system, a part of the problem was the product I was using and that the towels were hard, was the other part, especially if I used them for dry buffing.
Recently, I was watching a video from Auto Fetish Detail (https://www.youtube.com/user/autofetishdetail
) and he talked about using common sense in cleaning the towels. This guy is great common sense detailer, he talks too much in the videos but his tips etc. are great info.
From the video I got an idea and decided to use a wash system based on my research, experience etc. and the microfiber towels came out really clean, soft and fluffy. Here are the steps on how I cleaned my towels:
Step 1: Put them in washing machine on synthetics.
I found out in my machine that they have a setting for synthetic material which used medium heat i.e. 30-40 C. This is not going to do any harm to the microfiber towels as when we work on cars they are also sometime in the same temperature range.
I used liquid detergent, the same one used to clean woolen clothes because all detergent powders have some strong cleaners as well as soda etc. which may harm the fiber of these towels.
Step 2: Extra rinse with white vinegar
Once, the washing rinsing etc. was complete, I used any extra rinsing cycle with white vinegar added to after washing additive tray. I added 3-4 capful of vinegar but you can alter this according to you water quality, how dirty your towels were etc. This I read on a forum, as well as I have used vinegar on various occasions to get rid of grime in my house, so I know its qualities. This rinsing took out the embedded chemicals as well as hard water effect from the towels and make them very soft, not exactly as a new one, but very near (I have one towel which I have not used which I used to compare). However, this is the first time I have used this wash system and with every wash the softness should improve.
However, while using vinegar, you should be cautious also as its an acid, even though very weak acid, so don't leave it in your detergent tray for very long, only put it when you want to start the cycle and after using it clean your detergent tray. Also, don't over use it as strong concentration of it can also harm the fibers.
Another option is to use a small bucked filled with water (preferably RO waste water or RO fresh water) and put a couple cap-full of vinegar in it and manually rinse the towels after soaking for 3-4 minutes. This will also take away all the residue chemicals and hard water residue. Rinse them with normal water after rinsing with vinegar water mix.
I have used these towels and the scratching, swirl marks are now not increasing (I have changed my product also, infact made my own DIY) so it helped improve the quality of towels which I noticed when I touched them.
So this is how I made my microfiber towels, soft and fluffy again, hope it helps you in taking care of your towels.