There once was a time when only a few choices existed to dry your car; a chamois leather, old rags or T-shirts or just leave it to dry naturally. However to avoid those annoying watermarks and potential swirls you need to remove the water as quickly and safely as you can.
Fortunately, there are now a number of other methods and tools that will help you achieve this that we will explore in more detail in this post.
In previous posts, we have suggested “sheeting” water across your car as a final rinse.
Well not only does the sheeting work to remove any last-minute bits of dust that may have landed on your car but also it serves to remove the beads of water that sit on your paintwork.
The benefit of this is twofold.
a. Vastly reduces the amount of water that is sitting on your paintwork, making drying much easier and quicker and allowing your drying cloth to be able to go further without getting saturated.
b. Quickly removes the water beads, preventing them from evaporating and thus reducing those annoying water spots that can be left behind.
To “sheet” the water, remove the nozzle from the end of your hose, hold the hose parallel to your paintwork and allow the water to run out, across and down the body of your motor.
Your next step is to safely remove whatever water is now left. There are various methods and tools for doing this, the pros and con’s of which we will look at for each one below.
1. Leaf Blower
A Leaf Blower is an excellent tool for removing access water for your paintwork, quickly and effectively. Used machines can be obtained for as little as a fiver on eBay.
Unless you are using the same one you also use in your garden it is probably best to modify it slightly by cutting down the nozzle, to make it easier to work with and also reducing the chances of losing control of it and clipping your bodywork with the end of the nozzle. But otherwise a very effective bit of bit and especially for those hard to get into areas.
Although mainly produced for Motorcyce drying there are also products available that are designed specifically to remove the excess water from your motor such as these Motorcycle Dryers some of which can also blow both hot and cold air at over 200mph, blasting any last bit of water from the crevices of your vehicle.
As a cheaper alternative it is also worth looking at some of the Pet Dryers on the market as many are very similar in specification.
2. Hydra Flexi Blade
An excellent tool for quickly removing surface water for your motor and as its name suggests being made of flexible silicone it can follow the subtle contours of your bodywork.
It does have to be used with caution and you need to ensure that you wipe or rinse the blade off at every pass and be sure all the dirt and grit has been removed from your paintwork before using.
If purchasing a Water Blade for the first time, be sure to go for one that can collect or channel the water off with a single or double T shape at the end on the blade.
Do not go for a bargain bucket flat blade version as if a bit of dust or dirt does get trapped there is no-where else for it to go with the flat blade version.
3. Chamois Leather
Until recently the chamois leather was by far the most common tool for removing water and drying our motors, these natural based products have stood the test of time.
Great for absorbing water, gentle on your paintwork and long-lasting (if properly cared for and stored). The downside of chamois leathers is the ringing out and the fact that there is no “nap” or “pile” and if any dirt does get picked up in the drying process it will likely rub between the surface of your paintwork and the chamois, again causing fine swirling.
4. Microfibre Drying Towel
The Microfibre Drying Towel products have become the go-to drying tool amongst most detailers.
Super absorbent, with micro fine non-scratch fibres they are capable of absorbing up to 8 times their own weight in water.
The secret of the microfibre is that each piece of microfibre yarn splits into 8 or more triangular fibres, that not only allow it to pick up vastly more dirt and dust particles than ordinary cloths, but also gives them their the extremely high absorbency properties.
There are various types of microfibre drying towel available, ranging from a few pounds upwards. Some prefer a large soft deep pile towel, others a waffle weave.
It is really down to preference (mine is the deep pile). However avoid the smooth (i.e. no deep pile) microfibre cloths available for your bodywork. These are excellent on glass but without a noticeable pile, are not suited to your bodywork.
5. Take Your Motor For A Spin
Although not the most recommended or reliable way of drying your car after washing, it is nonetheless usually very quick (and enjoyable) if you can give it a good blast up the highway!
I hope this has given you another nugget or two of useful tips for when you next wash your motor.