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Blow-drying your car

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There are multiple ways of drying your car. The most common one is drying with Microfiber towels. However, you can also use a device that blows air for blow-drying off the water. This can especially be handy when you have to deal with small spaces, crevices or trims that can hide water.

The danger of blow-drying you car

Drying your car with a microfiber towel gives the risk of creating swirls and light surface imperfections. Air drying your car also has certain risks involved. You can blow dust over the surface, creating marks for example. This list will give you a hint an things to take into account.

  • The material an air-blowing device is made off is often plastic and metals. If you touch the paintwork with these, you can cause scratches or deep marks
  • You can create light surface imperfection when you blow dusty air over the surface
  • Water can evaporate to quickly, leaving water spots
  • Some of these devices use up a lot of electricity
  • An electrical device can be hazardous to use around a wet area that just recently used a lot of water
  • You can not just blow water away, but also blow it in crevice you don’t want it to go

Things to look out for

There are certain things that are recommended to look out for when you use one of these devices on any surface.

  • Does the machine have an air filter
  • How heavy is it
  • How much electricity does it use
  • How much noise does it make
  • Can it only blow air out, or also suck air in
  • Does it have the option to heat the air
  • How long is the lead
  • How long is the hose
  • How much air does it blow on max setting
  • Can you adjust how hard it blows/sucks

The types of devices on the market

A few types of devices that can be used for this job. However, some are not recommended because they don’t have air filters, speed settings or are very heavy.

  • Air blasters
  • Pet dryers
  • Hair dryers
  • Air compressor
  • Leaf blowers
  • Inflation pump
  • Air-in-a-can
  • Vacuum cleaner with blow function

The pro’s and cons

In general, blow drying your car is safer then drying with a microfiber towel. But it does have it’s downsides, and to know if the purchase of such a device is worth it, you can use the list below to see how the pro’s and cons compare to each other.

General pro’s and cons

Pro’s Cons
It can be quicker then drying with a towel It uses up electricity, costing more money
You have less wet towels that need washing It will still need a wipe to prevent waterspots and mineral deposits
You can blow water out of places where the towel can’t reach You could bump into the vehicle with the hose or the device
Several devices have a heater setting, giving you hot air to work with You could blow water into crevices you don’t want it to go
Such a device could be used for several tasks You could splash water at an already dried area
It can help in the winter to blow off snow (be careful with any heated air!) The noise it makes can be a nuisance in certain situations
Some devices also have a suction function It doesn’t wipe off any superficial contaminants that might be left behind after rinsing

Air-blaster pro’s and cons

Pro’s Cons
They are often designed and tested for detailing purposes These devices are generally not very cheap
They can be very compact and lightweight Some require frequent maintenance
Easy to use Parts can be expensive or difficult to find

Pet dryer pro’s and cons

Pro’s Cons
Fairly cheap option Build quality might not always be the best
Many have an air filter Parts can be difficult to find
Often supplied with a long hose Some make a lot of noise

Hair dryer pro’s and cons

Pro’s Cons
Small, compact and easy to carry with you Not all will give you the airflow needed
Fairly multi-functional Most don’t have a proper air filter
Reasonably cheap and easy to get Not build for this purpose, and might not hold up to its (ab)use

Air compressor pro’s and cons

Pro’s Cons
You are likely to have one as a detailer anyway Very noisy
Adjustable to control airflow and pressure A good one can be expensive
Fairly easy to source When broken they are often replaced instead of repaired

Leaf blower pro’s and cons

Pro’s Cons
Big and powerful Doesn’t have an air filter, you might blow dusty air over the surface
Very common item to find in a DIY- or gardenstore Often very loud and heavy
Works well with blowing large volumes Often doesn’t have any control over airflow or pressure

Inflation pump pro’s and cons

Pro’s Cons
Light and easy to carry with you Requires extensive manual effort
Simple device with not much that can break down The amount of airflow and pressure is very limited
Easy to find, repair and to carry with you With a short hose, it’ll be difficult reaching certain areas

Air-in-a-can pro’s and cons

Pro’s Cons
Small and lightweight, also often very eco-friendly Not very cost effective
No manual labour, electricity or other form of energy needed Often only a viable option when bought in large volume
Some cans can be refilled, making it more economical Focuses on a small area, not suitable for large areas

Vacuum cleaner (with blow function) pro’s and cons

Pro’s Cons
Multi functional as a vacuum cleaner and a blower Can be very noisy
Might come with certain attachments that can prove to be useful If your vacuum breaks, you also don’t have a blower anymore
Generally fitted with an air-intake filter Might be heavy and to big to reach high places

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