Meguiar’s Drying Towel vs. Water Magnet

When it comes to drying your car after washing, having the right drying towel can make all the difference in getting a spot-free, streak-free finish.

Meguiar's Drying Towel vs. Water Magnet

Two popular options from detailing brand Meguiar’s are their traditional Drying Towel and the Water Magnet Microfiber Drying Towel.

But what exactly sets these two towels apart?

What Are Meguiar’s Drying Towels

The classic Meguiar’s Drying Towel is made from plush terry cotton that is gentle on all vehicle surfaces. Its thirsty fibers soak up water quickly while the soft texture helps prevent swirl marks and scratches.

The Water Magnet Microfiber Drying Towel steps things up a notch with its ultra-absorbent waffle weave microfiber construction. This high-tech fabric can hold over twice as much water as regular terry cotton before needing to be wrung out. Its nimble fibers glide smoothly over paint for fast, frustration-free drying.

Key Differences:

  • Fiber content: Terry cotton vs microfiber
  • Absorbency: Standard vs extra absorbent
  • Size: 16 x 24 inches vs 22 x 30 inches

So if maximum water removal is your top concern, the Meguiar’s Water Magnet clearly has an edge. But how do the two towels stack up in real-world use? Let’s take a closer look.

Drying Performance

The Meguiar’s Drying Towel makes quick work of sopping up water from your freshly washed car. Its thick terry pile acts like a sponge, effortlessly pulling moisture into the towel as you pat surfaces dry. The soft cotton gently buffs away beads and sheets of water without rubbing or scratching delicate paint.

For the majority of vehicles, one pass with the Meguiar’s Drying Towel is sufficient to get surfaces nice and dry. You may need to flip it over and make a second pass on extremely wet areas. Either way, it gets the job done with no steaks or spots left behind.

Now the Water Magnet Microfiber Drying Towel takes high-performance drying to a whole new level. Its waffle patterned microfiber rapidly wicks away 3 times more water per pass compared to cotton towels. So there’s much less need to pause and wring it out as you work around the vehicle.

Just a few wipes with the Water Magnet leaves glass, paint, chrome, and plastics totally dry and spot-free. The ultra-plush microfiber gently glides over surfaces, absorbing every last drop of moisture in its path while pampering delicate finishes. Forget having to go back over problem areas as with less capable towels. The Water Magnet actually does its name justice by almost magnetically lifting and locking water into its maze-like fibers.

When pitted head-to-head, the Meguiar’s Water Magnet Microfiber Drying Towel clearly comes out on top for pure drying performance. Its unrivaled absorbency and smooth touch make drying off an entire vehicle unfathomably easy. No constantly re-wetting areas or making extra buffing passes to pick up excess beads of water. Just effortlessly glide the Water Magnet over wet surfaces and let its waffle texture work its magic!

Key Takeaway: The Water Magnet Microfiber Drying Towel can hold and remove a significantly larger volume of water between wring outs. This translates to faster overall drying times.

Ease of Use

Let’s face it, drying a car can feel like a chore if you don’t have the right towel for the job. Cheap thrift store towels that merely push water around are frustrating to use and result in irritated skin from repeated wringing. Even premium terry cotton drying towels require frequent twisting to remove absorbed liquid. But the Meguiar’s Water Magnet makes the whole process practically enjoyable with how swiftly and smoothly it erases water without constant wring outs.

The Water Magnet can tackle entire panels or windows without saturating, allowing you to dry the whole vehicle before needing to stop and wring. Less time wringing means less stress on your wrists and hands for greater ease of use. Plus the cozy texture of the microfiber keeps your skin nice and comfortable throughout extended drying sessions. No more sore, scratched up hands from low-quality terry towels!

So when rating these two Meguiar’s towels strictly on user-friendliness, the Water Magnet Microfiber Drying Towel wins for providing a faster, more friction-free drying experience. Once you try it, you’ll never want to go back to wrestling with standard cotton towels again!


Cotton terry towels can last for years if properly cared for. The dense twisted yarn stands up well to repeated machine washing. Though with consistent use, the Meguiar’s classic Drying Towels will eventually end up losing their fluffiness and absorbency over time.

Microfiber materials are inherently long-lasting too. In fact, Meguiar’s claims their Water Magnet towel retains its amazing water wicking abilities even after 100 trips through the wash. The durable woven construction resists pilling or fraying while maintaining the towel’s buttery soft touch.

So when comparing durability, the Meguiar’s Water Magnet also seems to have a leg up over traditional terry cotton thanks to its resilient microfiber makeup. As long as you launder it gently and allow it to fully air dry, this towel should continue soaking up massive amounts of water just like on day one. Certainly well worth the investment considering the years of use you’ll enjoy.

Cost Comparison

The Meguiar’s classic Drying Towel offers great bang for your buck. For less than $10, you get a full-size terry cotton towel measuring 16 x 24 inches. It delivers reliable drying performance at a very affordable price point.

Meanwhile, the Water Magnet Microfiber Drying Towel costs nearly double at around $17. But keep in mind you’re also getting a larger 22 x 30 inch towel made of premium quality microfiber. Plus it can easily replace multiple standard cotton drying towels with its far superior water removal capacity. So that initial investment pays dividends when factoring in the Water Magnet’s extended usable lifespan and unmatched drying efficiency per pass.

Here’s a breakdown of how the two towels measure up cost-wise:

Drying Towel16×24 in$9
Water Magnet Microfiber22×30 in$17

Considering its impressive performance and longevity, the Meguiar’s Water Magnet Microfiber Drying Towel delivers excellent value for the money. When evaluated on a cost-per-use basis, the more expensive Water Magnet should still wind up being cheaper in the long run.

Use on Other Surfaces

While the Meguiar’s Drying Towel works wonderfully on car exteriors, interior surfaces like leather and plastic may require a softer touch. That’s where the ultra plush Water Magnet really shines. Its smooth microfiber pile keeps sensitive finishes protected by gently lifting water away instead of rubbing it around aggressively. So feel confident using the Water Magnet throughout the entire vehicle without worries of damage. Plus, its large size makes wiping down expansive surfaces like dashboards and rear decks a cinch!

Around the home, both Meguiar’s towels can multi-task on windows, mirrors, countertops, finished floors, and other wet household surfaces. Though for really spill-prone areas like the kitchen, you may think twice before using your pricey detailing towels. Instead keep some basic shop rags on hand so you don’t ruin your premium microfiber drying towels with grease stains and food spills.

While both Meguiar’s drying towels work well beyond just vehicle detailing, the Water Magnet stands out for its exceptional gentleness on all types of delicate surfaces.


How should you clean the Meguiar’s Water Magnet Microfiber Drying Towel?

Gently machine wash the Water Magnet in cold water using a mild laundry detergent without dyes or perfumes, no bleach, fabric softener, or dryer sheets. Reshape the towel by hand and allow to fully air dry. Avoid using excess heat when drying to extend the lifespan of the microfiber fabric.

Can you put the Meguiar’s Water Magnet in the dryer?

It’s best to let the Water Magnet air dry to preserve the integrity of the microfiber material. But if you need to speed up drying time, you can put it in the dryer on a no heat or ultra low heat setting. Just be aware excessive heat exposure over time may cause the fibers to break down faster.

Should you use vinegar when washing microfiber drying towels?

Yes, adding distilled white vinegar to the rinse cycle helps further remove any lingering dirt, wax, sealants, or cleaning chemicals trapped in the microfiber fibers. About 1/2 to 1 cup of vinegar per wash load works well. The vinegar naturally breaks down residues for cleaner, stain-free results.

How often should the Water Magnet Microfiber Drying Towel be replaced?

With proper care, Meguiar’s claims the ultra durable Water Magnet retains its maximum absorbency even after 100 washes. But even gentle machine washing will gradually wear down the fibers over several years’ worth of use. Plan on replacing your Water Magnet roughly every 3-5 years with regular detailing use. Higher mileage towels may still work well for household cleaning jobs even if they seem past their prime for paintwork.


When choosing the right drying towel for your vehicle detailing needs, considering the Meguiar’s Water Magnet Microfiber upgrade is highly recommended.

This technologically advanced towel makes drying faster, easier and more pleasurable compared to basic terry options like Meguiar’s classic Drying Towel.

Yes, the Water Magnet costs more upfront. But its far superior water wicking abilities help recoup that initial investment over years of spot-free, scratch-free detailing enjoyment.

Once you try it, you’ll never be satisfied with low absorbency cotton towels again!

Towels Edition
Towels Edition