Shop Towels Reviewed & Rated for Quality

If you’ve ever been in a place with a sink, a bathroom, a shower, really anywhere where running water is considered inevitable, then you have seen a towel. If you don’t know what a towel is, we welcome you to planet Earth and kindly ask that you do not eat us quite yet. Some towels are rough, some are soft, but what towels out there can be used for almost anything? These cloths have been around so long, surely we’ve come up with a jack of all trades by now? Fortunately, we have, in the form of shop towels.

Featured Recommendations

Zwipes Microfiberimg
  • Zwipes Microfiber
  • 4.8 out of 5
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  • Absorbent
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AmazonBasics Microfiber
  • AmazonBasics Microfiber
  • 4.7 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Ultra Soft
  • Price: See Here
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Chemical Guysimg
  • Chemical Guys
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Silk Banded Edges
  • Price: See Here
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Shop towels are, as the name suggests, towels that you typically buy from big name shops. Some are meant for cleaning you after a shower, some for wiping down the kitchen counter, but all of them can be bought with just a quick drive to the supermarket right now. And we’re counting down the top ten best of these towels, here today. So, get ready to wipe up that mess, because we’re counting down the:

 

10 Best Shop Towels

 

1. Zwipes Microfiber

1. Zwipes Microfiber
Kicking off our list, we have the Zwipes Microfiber Cleaning Cloth. Got a lot of messes in your house that you need to clean up in a short amount of time? This set of 48 microfiber cloth towels will definitely help get everything up fast. So what else can they do for you? Let’s find out.
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Lint and streak free

With these sorts of cloth towels, the main things you have to worry about are streaks and lint. A towel may clean up the mess, technically, but a lackluster one will leave some residue behind in the form of either lint (if you’re cleaning up dust) or streaks (if you’re cleaning up stains). But this towel’s non-abrasive design will provide better absorption for stains and better pickup for lint, as well as leave less stuff behind, for that one perfect wipe.

Absorbent

Any stay at home parent will tell you the same, it’s better to use a cloth towel to clean up spills than a paper towel. The cloth towel is usually more absorbent and doesn’t have to constantly need replacing. And these towels are more absorbent, even among their peers, able to absorb up to 8X their weight in water. And on top of that, it dries in about half the time as a normal cloth towel. And you never have to worry about it losing any of these qualities through repeated washing, so you save a ton of money on paper towels.

Cost and Value

The best part about this set of towels is its price. Not to say it’s cheap, but for 48 high-quality microfiber towels, the price of this item is very fair, given that setup.
Pros

Lint and streak free

Absorbent

Affordable

Cons

Will need to be washed separately from other towels, especially those that have lint

2. AmazonBasics Microfiber

2. AmazonBasics Microfiber
Coming in second place is the AmazonBasics Microfiber Cleaning Cloth. Since Amazon wasn’t quite content ruling the world through online shopping, they decided to branch out and take over our home appliances as well. And as products of supreme corporate overlords go, these towels are actually really nice.
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Ultra soft

Being essentially a small blanket that you use to soak things up instead of keeping warm, it makes sense that you’d want your towels to be nice and soft. After all, a soft towel is a towel that’s not like to scratch anything like paints, coats or other surfaces. Which is why these towels are made to be ultra soft to the touch, providing a gentle glide across the surfaces you use them on.

Doesn’t need chemicals

By chemicals, we, of course, mean things like cleaning spray, chemicals that are technically harmless, but still probably aren’t the kind of thing you want within licking distance of, say, a baby. Fortunately, these towels remove the need for chemical cleaners entirely and leave no lint, streaks, or residue of any sort behind.

Cost and Value

The previous entry offered 48 towels, whereas this set is exactly half of that, at 24. However, the price is less than half of what the previous one was asking of you, making it a much better deal by comparison.
Pros

Ultra soft

Doesn’t need chemicals

Cheap

Cons

A bit small for larger cleaning jobs

3. Chemical Guys

3. Chemical Guys
Finishing up our top-three segment, we have the Chemical Guys Premium Microfiber Towels. A smaller pack of 6, compared to the 48 and 24 of the two preceding entries, but despite that, we consider this to be one of the best deals on the entire list, simply because this set goes for quality over quantity.
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Long lasting microfiber

There’s a reason that most hand towels of any sort of quality these days are going for microfiber. It’s one of the most effective types of cloth out there right now, very absorbent, and surprisingly cheap to produce. And if you make it right, as Chemical Guys have with these towels, then it can last way longer than most other cleaning cloths on the market, even after repeated washing and usage.

Silk banded edges

You would think that having silk banded edges for your cloth towel would be little more than a status symbol, but you’d be wrong. These bands actually keep the edges of the towel from curling up after being washed for longer, as well as help absorption when wiping up stains and other messes.

Cost and Value

For 6 towels, the price may seem a little odd, considering that we just got off of 24 towels for what is generally a much lower price. But these 6 towels are actually much better than those 24, which makes the price and quantity a lot more agreeable.
Pros

Long lasting microfiber

Silk Banded edges

Great deal

Cons

Color tends to fade after a while

4. Meguiar’s X2000

4. Meguiar’s X2000
Coming in at #4, we have Meguiar’s X2000 Water Magnet Microfiber Drying Towel. Generally speaking, if you want the best of the best in cleaning towels for your car, you go with Meguiar’s. And nowhere is that fact more exemplified, than with this excellent drying towel. So, what is it that makes it so great? Let’s find out.
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Reduced drying time

The drying time of a cloth towel is important because it reflects the towel’s water retention (which is very different from its absorbency). Too much water retention, and you’ll be wringing that towel out over and over trying to get all of the moisture out. But this towel requires just a quick wringing, and a minute or so later, it’s back in business. This actually has a lot to do with the towel’s waffle pattern, which redirects moisture it absorbs to the outer edges of the towel.

Absorbs twice its weight in water

The amount of water a towel meant for cleaning cars can absorb is far different from one meant for cleaning your kitchen, so it isn’t that much of a downgrade to have this towel absorb twice as much, as compared to previous entries and their 8x absorbency. And no matter how much it absorbs, it doesn’t leave any streaks or spots behind, so you can’t argue with the results.

Cost and Value

The best part about this entry is the price. Being just a single towel, it's so surprising that this entry doesn’t cost a whole lot. But considering everything it does for you in terms of sheer performance, it’s a lot better deal.
Pros

Reduced drying time

Absorbs twice its weight in water

Cheap

Cons

A bit thin for some people

5. Meguiar’s Supreme

5. Meguiar’s Supreme
For our #5 spot, we chose Meguiar’s Supreme Shine Microfiber Towels. The last Meguiar’s entry for this list, and we couldn’t think of a better entry to leave on than this excellent set of drying towels. Whether you’re cleaning up your car after a good washing, or polishing the leather interior to shine, this towel will see you through either.
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Fast, impressive results

This is the kind of towel you go after when you want your towel to look great and look great fast. This towel removes compounds, polishes, waxes, and spray detailers quick and clean. It won’t take you long after using this towel to forget where half of the blemishes that were on your car even specifically were.

Polishes with professional grace

Ask any pro car detailer what towel they turn to for that perfect polish, and they’ll point you directly to this one right here. Whether it’s paint, plastic, glass or chrome, this towel will polish with sophistication and professional level grace, no matter your actual skill with the polish. And if you want to make your car’s leather seating look great, just slather on some leather balm, and watch the difference play out in front of you.

Cost and Value

This is easily the cheapest entry thus far, so if you’re in the market for a great polishing cloth, then you’ve come to the right place.
Pros

Fast, impressive results

Polishes with professional grace

Very cheap

Cons

Can leave behind lint, especially when working on seating

6. AmazonBasics Thick

6. AmazonBasics Thick
Coming in at #6, we have the AmazonBasics Thick Microfiber Cleaning Cloths. Returning to the regular cleaning cloths meant to be used in your house, we have another entry from AmazonBasics. And like the last one, they get the job done right, fast, and cheap. What more could you want?
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No scratches

Every towel technically starts off nice and soft, but it’s after you’ve owned and used them for a few months where the real test of their quality begins. You want your towels to remain as soft and non-abrasive as possible for as long as possible, and fortunately, that’s precisely what you get with these towels. These towels are guaranteed to remain soft and scratch-free for significantly longer than most other towels out there.

Reusable hundreds of times

For every towel, including this one, there comes the point where the constant rinsing and reusing just wears it down, and it loses its original effectiveness. However, the lifespan of this towel will last you much longer than most other towels out there, and even on this list. You’re guaranteed to be able to reuse this towel hundreds of times before it starts to wear out.

Cost and Value

This is probably the second cheapest entry thus far. Whereas other entries included bundles of at least 6, this is a set of just three, so the price is of course lower. However, that’s all good news for you, because that means you can have these three excellent towels for a very good price.
Pros

No scratches

Reusable hundreds of times

Very cheap

Cons

Leaves behind a bit of lint

7. The Rag Company Eagle

7. The Rag Company Eagle
For the 7th place entry on this list, we have The Rag Company Eagle Edgeless Microfiber Towels. If Meguiar’s had any rival when it comes to high-quality drying and polishing towels, then this entry from The Rag Company would most certainly be it.
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Extremely durable

The reason that towels tend to get worn out after repeated usage and washings are that they’re constantly being beaten around in a washing machine, and all that implies tends to wear down the fibers on a towel after a while. Fortunately, this towel is extremely durable, one of the most durable entries on the list, in fact. This towel is almost impossible to tear with your bare hands and can survive hundreds of washings without losing even a tenth of its effectiveness.

Finest quality

As far as microfiber cloth goes, few can match the material that this one is made out of. This towel is constructed from South Korean Super Plush AA-Grade Split Microfiber. Why is this important? Oh, no reason, just that this material is considered by many to be the highest quality microfiber material on the entire market. So, in short, this towel is some high-quality stuff.

Cost and Value

Due to that high-quality construction we talked about, not to mention its effectiveness at polishing and durability, it’s no wonder that this is one of the pricier entries on the list. However, we consider it to be more than worth every penny.
Pros

Extremely durable

Finest quality

Perfect choice for all detailing sprays

Cons

Pricey

8. Royal Reusable

8. Royal Reusable
Kicking off our final three entries, we have the Royal Reusable Microfiber Cleaning Cloth. These are the kinds of towels you would see in a self serve car wash, and it’s not hard to see why. As we will soon see, they’re the best choice for quick and efficient car washing and drying.
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Large size

The main advantage these towels have over the other car drying towels on this list is their size. Whereas the others were smaller hand towels, these are large towels, that you could feasibly use to dry yourself off when stepping out of the shower. But for washing and drying cars, they cover a lot more surface area than most.

Soft and absorbent

As expected, these towels are incredibly soft, and retain that softness for a very long time, even after dozens of rounds in the washing machine. And on top of that, they can absorb up to 10x their weight in water. And considering their larger size, and thus added weight, that means even more than what you might already think.

Cost and Value

Being much larger than the average towel on this list, and coming in a set of 48, this is, of course, the priciest entry so far. But like before, we consider the price to be more than worth it.
Pros

Large size

Soft and absorbent

Comes in a set of 48

Cons

Pricey

9. Buff Pro Professional

9. Buff Pro Professional
For our second to the final entry, we have the Buff Pro Professional Microfiber Towels. Like the name says, don’t be shocked if you discover these towels in your average auto repair shop, being used to polish cars and paint jobs. These things are built for professional work and thus provide professional quality.
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Can clean everything

We’ve seen cleaning towels for cars, car interiors, and your home appliances. But this towel takes it a step further by being able to clean every one of those and more. From leather to metal to glass, the real question you’ll ask when using this towel is what this towel can’t clean? So, if you’re tired of keeping track of dozens of different towels for different tasks, and just wish you had one towel that could do it all, here you go.

Unique microfiber

Microfiber is a cut above the rest when it comes to other cleaning fabrics, but that doesn’t mean there’s no room for improvement, far from it in fact. This towel, in particular, is made from a modified form of microfiber that’s thicker, softer, and more absorbent than most other types of microfiber out there. It’s definitely superior to a lot of microfiber on this list.

Cost and Value

For a set of 12 super high-quality cleaning towels, the price is actually rather average in most retailers. So, if you want some of the best shop towels out there right now, and you want them for the best possible price, then look no further.

Pros

Can clean everything

Unique microfiber

Great price

Cons

Not lint free

10. Cartman Microfiber

10. Cartman Microfiber
For the last entry on this list, we’re looking at the Cartman Microfiber Cleaning Cloth. Even among the best, there must always be a standard. A baseline of what is acceptable to even be considered for this list. This is the purpose of the #10 spot. Which is why we chose this above average set of the shop towels.
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Ultra soft, gentle clean

The basic thing we expect from a towel for this list is for it to be soft, long lasting, and a thorough clean. And that’s precisely what this towel provides, giving you an ultra-soft feel that gently glides across whatever surface you’re cleaning. And when you clean with this towel, you don’t have to worry about any kind of residue or streaking, and definitely, no lint left behind. You don’t even need any chemical cleaners if you don’t want to use them, so you can just wipe down your entire kitchen with no worries.

Absorbent

But of course, there’s a lot more that can befall your nice tile floor than a bit of dirt. Like, for instance, your kid’s juice box falling and subsequently bursting on the floor. Luckily, this towel can absorb up to 8 times its own weight in moisture, so the whole thing will be handled quickly and thoroughly.

Cost and Value

While not the cheapest thing on the list, the price for these shop towels isn’t something to get worked up about. So, if you want a nice, affordable set of towels that won’t let you down, these are the ones for you.
Pros

Ultra soft, gentle clean

Absorbent

Affordable

Cons

Very thin

Whether they’re made from microfiber, cotton, or what have you, or whether they’re meant for your car, your house, or you, everyone is going to need a shop towel at some point in their lives. There are a million different types of towels to choose from because we have a million different needs from a towel at any given moment. We use them to dry our bodies after a long rinse, to clean up our home after the company comes over and does what company generally does, and we use them to keep our car looking nice and polished. And if that’s all that you’re looking for in a shop towel, then you’ve definitely come to the right list. Every single one of these shop towels does exactly what you are looking for, no matter what you’re looking for. We feel safe in saying that there’s a towel on this list for any purpose you may need a towel for. So, if you’re in the market for a new shop towel or 48, then one of these towels will suit your needs. Pick out one that suits you and watch your home shine.

Criteria Used in Choosing the Best Shop Towels

For this segment, we’ll be looking at the criteria we used to determine candidates for this list. This was an interesting one for us. Because, you see, we, like pretty much everyone else on this mud covered rock we call home, know everything there is to know about towels. Because there really isn’t much to know. They’re about as self-explanatory as it gets. So, we instead treated ourselves like we were alien learning about the idea of using cotton and cloth fiber to dry the water off of your body for the first time. And before you knew it, we had criteria. So, with that said, here are the most vital criteria we used to determine who got onto the list, and where.

Softness

The softness of a towel is paramount, and for a better reason than you think. As you can see, a lot of these towels on this list are intended to wipe down cars, whether it be for polishing or cleaning. The problem with polishing is that, once the polishing is finished, you have to treat your car delicately. And that includes when you’re wiping it down with a towel because even the slightest abrasion can undo hours of hard work. So, a soft towel, that can retain that softness after repeated uses are of utmost importance.

Thorough cleaning

When you wipe over a stain with a brand new, fresh out of the store cleaning towel, you are in your right to expect that the towel does not leave a whole lot behind. Certainly not something that wasn’t already there before, like lint. Streaks and lint are the most surefire sign that you’ve got yourself a cheap towel, especially if it doesn’t take very long for that stuff to get left behind. A streak is just the stuff that you’re wiping up, now being, well, streaked across the surface you’re ironically trying to get it off of. A good shop towel won’t have this problem, picking up all stains, spills, and other messes without a hint of residue left behind.

Absorbency

Of course, this is one of the most important things to look for in any good cleaning towel. Ask any stay at home parent, and they will tell you that it’s better and saves more money to use a towel to clean up spilled liquids than a paper towel, and the cloth towel will probably get up more of it anyway. Absorbency is key for a good towel because otherwise, all you’re going to have is a more spread out spilled mess and a damp rag, and what’s even the point then? A really good shop towel should always absorb at least twice its body weight in liquid, if not more. The average amount for a microfiber shop towel is about 8x its weight, which is good enough for most spills. Always look for the most absorbent shop towel you can find, as that’s the towel that’s going to take you the farthest when it comes to cleaning.

Longevity

Just because these towels are cheap, doesn’t mean that you want them to wear out on you quickly, because constantly having to buy and replace shop towels over and over will build up that price into a problem rather quickly. You want your cleaning towel to typically last a year or two before having to get a new one, and that includes having to wash it in between that time. If you’re using a shop towel to clean up your house, then throwing it in the washing machine is inevitable. The problem is that all that water, getting tossed and stretched around and so forth, will inevitably wear out the towel. What matters is how long that takes. This is one reason that so many towel companies are going with microfibers for their towels. They’re a good, sturdy material that does what you want a towel to do, and lasts a long time, even after repeated washings. Ultimately, if you keep having to replace your towel every couple of weeks, then you need to start taking a hard look at what you’re actually looking for in a towel because it’s clearly affecting your buying choices for the worst.

Price

The last criteria we looked over for this list was the price of each entry and how that price reflected on the quality of the shop towels, and vice versa. Now, of course, the price of a towel is nothing to actually get worried about, even the most expensive entry on this list wasn’t all that expensive all things considered. Which made it a lot easier for us to judge the prices of these entries by our usual method. We looked at what the entry was offering us, and how much we had to pay to get it, and we weighed them in our heads to see if it was a fair deal. After all, if you have to pay a bit extra for something that gives you everything you wanted and more, you’re less likely to feel all that bitter about your purchase.

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

For the last segment of this article, we’ll be taking a look at some frequently asked questions surrounding shop towels. It seems a bit silly to have unanswered questions about a towel, but you would be surprised about what stumps people. And after all, every purchase is made more confident and intellectually when you have all the information you need. So with that said, the following are the most frequently asked questions about shop towels, and the answers thereof.

Q: What is a microfiber towel made of, and what separates it from a normal towel?

A: Considering that pretty much every entry on this list of the best shop towels currently on the market was made from microfibers, we suppose this is a fair enough question. Your average microfiber towel is made of polyester, polyamide, or a combination of the two. Sometimes you’ll find a manufacturer that adds in a dose of polypropylene for that recyclability. The reason they use polyester is that it’s a material known for its strength and durability, which is good when you want to retain a towel’s effectiveness and shape after repeated washings. A polyester towel is less likely to shrink, cause abrasions, wrinkle or stretch. And the fibers on a microfiber towel are resistant to forming of mildew, making it extra healthy for your home environment.

Polyamides, meanwhile, are a distant cousin of nylon, and it shows. This fabric is also exceptionally strong, but also highly resistant to chemicals and oils. This makes a cloth made from polyamides ideal for cleaning off grease and grime from your car or stove top. On top of that, it’s elastic, which makes it perfect for getting into those tight nooks and crannies to reach those stains nothing else can get to.

Q: What makes a microfiber towel so good for cleaning?

A: it’s right there in the name. Those millions of tiny, tiny fibers really do make all the difference in the world. And it all has to do with the way in which the fibers have been split during their manufacture. These splits result in the formation of numerous fibers within a sole, larger fiber strand. Think of a conventional fiber as a cylinder, while microfiber is an asterisk. And since there are small but notable spaces in between these smaller fibers, dust, particles, and tons of other microscopic materials can get lodged in these spaces and are a lot harder to get out without some heavy duty cleaning. This makes a microfiber towel perfect for wiping down a counter or wet surface, because it will not only pick up everything it wipes over, but it will keep it from getting away. And if you’re using a microfiber towel made with polyamides, all the better, as their hydrogen bonds make their grip even more powerful.

Q: Can I put a microfiber towel in the washing machine?

A: Actually, due to their polyester and polyamide structure, you can in fact machine wash them multiple times over without them losing their effectiveness. On top of that, they dry very easily too, which allows them to be used multiple times a day without them slowing down or losing any of their effectiveness. However, it’s important to know that you should be careful when putting a microfiber towel in the washer, as there are certain chemicals that, when exposed to it, can actually harm the structure of the towel. Make sure to read the washing instructions that come with the towel, so that you can clean it effectively and properly.

Sources

  1. Wikipedia, Microfiber
  2. Car Bibles, The Best Microfiber Towels
  3. Best Brand Reviews, Top 10 Best Microfiber Towels
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