There are several ways of drying your car. Drying the car with a microfiber towel is one of them. It is a very common one for detailers, because microfiber towels are easy to maintain and re-use, and they minimize the risk of swirls.
When drying a car, you can do this indirect or direct. Indirect means that you dry the surface without actually touching it (like using an air blowing device). Direct means that you dry the surface by touching it (like wiping it with a microfiber towel).
By drying the surface with a microfiber towel, you minimize the risk of swirls and marring, and you remove the water safely. Water isn’t just made out of water alone. Tapwater especially contains calcium and magnesium, together with several other minerals and trace-elements. When the water starts to evaporate, these minerals and trace-elements stay behind. When you are working on a hot summers day, the sunlight can actually have a little magnifying glass effect within the waterdrop. This can add to the process that etches the minerals into the paint. Making them very hard to remove, and literally damaging your paint on a very small level.
There can be several minor differences, but in essence, there are 2 ways of drying your car with a microfiber towel.
This technique is the most common one. The microfiber towel is either pulled over the surface or swiped. This is an effective way to dry the car fairly quick, but there is a very small risk that by dragging the towel over the surface, you create miniature swirls. There is a long lasting discussion between the supporters of this technique and the other technique.
This technique is not as common, but has a strong group of supporters. The microfiber towel is gently laid down on the surface, allowing it to soak up the water simply by laying on top of it. When the water is absorbed, the towel is simply picked up and laid down on another surface. The advantage is that you don’t move the towel which minimizes the risk of swirls or marring. But it could take more time and perhaps even more different towels.
Both techniques have there pros and cons. The situation might be the answer to what technique is most fitting.
There aren’t many steps. There are 2 main techniques described above that pretty much sum it all up.
However, there are a few things you need to remember when using a microfiber towel: