I prefer high quality name brand 100% Supima Cotton Towels Large White Bath Size for washing, drying and polishing. I don't like sponges natural or synthetic or any wash mitts, since they all can scratch.
Another great tip is to use a Toro 210mph Electric leaf blower. Dries your car in about 5 minutes.... without even touching the paint surface....
I prefer high quality name brand 100% Supima Cotton Towels to dry the car. Chamois or the Absorber and especially the Water Blade are flat and could trap a piece of dirt and scratch the paint finish. Towels have nap and are much safer and forgiving. Even if it were to pickup a piece of dirt, the nap would cushion it.
Again Towels must be name brand high quality 100% Supima Cotton.
You must use only white. Not colored towels..... colored towels are not to be used because the dye leaves a chemical residue on the paint finish. Always wash your towels first before using. Use Liquid detergent and rinse twice.
When washing your towels. Only use Liquid detergent such as All or Tide, etc. Do not use Bleach, Powdered Detergents or any kind of fabric softener. They will leave a chemical residue on the towels which will transfer to your paint finish. Make sure to run rinse cycle twice to remove all detergent.
You should cut the selvages (borders) off the perimeter of the towels. This selvage contains nylon and polyester stitching that could possibly scratch your paint finish. The towels will fray a little once this is done. But it's better to play it safe.
Drying the towels on high heat will make them hold a static charge. I use the regular heat setting and remove them a little damp and let them air dry. You can fluff the towel real good when it's dry to make it softer.
As the towels get older they will lose there nap and absorbency and will have to be replaced.
Where to buy towels........
Some name brands make a lower quality version of their towels for K-Mart, Walmart and other big discount chains. These towels say 100% Cotton but that is not, totally true. The nap is 100% cotton but the backing material has polyester blend in it. So if you press a little to hard on the towel you can get some fine scratches or swirls. The point I'm trying to make is a lower quality towel is selling in a discount store for $6.00 or less (approximately) it is not the good stuff. I buy all my high quality towels at stores like Linens and Things and Bed, Bath and Beyond.
I buy all my towels in the Bath & Linen shops in the bigger stores in the mall. I pay anywhere from $10 to $20 per towel. You can also try Linens and Things or Bed, Bath and Beyond...
These are the real deal. I buy about 3 or 4 towels and they usually last me about a year.