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The truth about towels

April 22, 2014
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Number one piece of advice for towel maintenance:

My number one piece of advice is to properly wash your towels. It is critical to follow the washing instructions on the tag, especially when it comes to microfiber.  Washing your towels incorrectly can cause them to deteriorate quickly or in the case of microfiber, be ruined. Various towels should also be washed separately.  For example, you never want to wash your microfiber towels with your terry towels. The lint from the terry will cling to the microfiber and it can be very hard to get rid of. 

The biggest mistake people make with towel care:

I think many people still aren’t washing their microfibers the correct way. Microfibers need to be washed in cool or warm water (approximately 105 degrees Fahrenheit or less) and tumble dried on low, air dried, or placed in an extractor. Washing microfiber incorrectly will damage the cloths, and deem them useless. Washing microfiber isn’t difficult, but it’s different than washing traditional cotton towels.

The biggest myth concerning towels:

That all towels are the same…There are so many different quality towels out there. It is important for the car wash manager/owner to find the towel that works best for his/her business. Some towels might have more up front costs, but last longer, saving you money.  When looking at all your carwash costs, towels usually are not one of the highest expenses. 

New towel trends:

Some carwashes have begun towel exchange programs. They purchase microfiber towels with their logo on them, then sell them to their customers for $x each. The customer can keep getting a fresh towel, as long as they return the original towel. It helps to build your brand recognition, while at the same time keeping your customers happy (and not stealing your towels!).

Valerie Sweeney is vice president of ERC Wiping Products, Inc. For more information, visit