The hardest (and most irritating) part of car washing has long been the drying process. From the dark ages of chamois that left swirl marks galore on paintwork came the improved microfibre drying towels that work far better but were susceptible to leaving water spots and need to be washed after each clean.
As water spots are a visual blemish on otherwise clean paintwork, it makes sense to try and avoid them at all costs. Full-size specialist car dryers will use warm, filtered air but are rather specialist tools and probably best left to professional detailers as they also cost a decent wedge of cash. Instead, we’ve found some genuinely useful gadgets that can double as car dryers to save you drying time while washing your car.
The best car dryers
MetroVac Air Force Blaster Sidekick
The best car dryer for small areas
MetroVac is an American company that specialises in both car dryers and beefy vacuum cleaners. The Blaster Sidekick is a small, purpose-built car dryer designed for drying grilles, door seams and other smaller, awkward locations. Being American itu2019s made of steel, has a name more suited to a jet fighter and boasts a 1.3 hp motor capable of blowing 14,460 litres of warm, filtered air per minute.
The two nozzles are made from rubber so there’s no chance of scratching the paintwork while the three and a half metre power cord will ensure that it reaches all corners of a car. Most importantly for a US product, it’s designed to fit a UK power socket. It’s a real time saver and perfect for those areas a traditional drying towel struggles to fit but isn’t big enough for drying an entire car.
Draper 90107 230V 1250W 15L Wet and Dry Vacuum Cleaner
The best multipurpose car dryer
A good wet and dry vacuum cleaner is essential for properly cleaning a garage, and finding one with a built-in blower function will mean you can use it for drying your car. This makes a vacuum like this Draper such a clever idea for car care, the interior will obviously benefit from the vacuuming function while the exterior can be blown dry with the same compact device.
This entry-level wet and dry vacuum cleaner from Draper features more than just a blower function, making it the perfect choice for keeping your car clean. For a start, it comes with a power 1250 Watt motor which makes the suction really impressive. It also comes with a 15-litre storage area and a raft of attachments including a crevice tool, floor tool and round brush.
Einhell Compressor TC-AC 200/30/8
The best car dryer for home mechanics
More serious home mechanics will probably have a fairly beefy air compressor taking up a good chunk of room that powers air tools, can clean blocked lines and inflate flat tyres. What it can also be used for (with a blow attachment) is drying a car.
Compressed air will simply push around standing water which means it’s not the best choice for large body panels. What it will be good for is the smaller, water trap areas like door seals, preventing standing water potentially causing corrosion, something anyone who owns an original Ford Puma will know too well.
This air compressor from Einhell is compact and fairly portable thanks to a pair of wheels in the rear. It'd not the most powerful option with a maximum of 8 BAR, but the motor doesn't require oiling and is the perfect beginners air compressor.
WORX 20V Cordless Turbine Blower WG547E
The best car dryer for gardeners
A bit like the Draper vacuum cleaner, albeit without the vacuum cleaner bit, a leaf blower can also be used to blow dry a car's bodywork and avoid those dreaded water spots. All you need to be mindful of is not to point the end at the floor as this will blowdebris over the wet paintwork.
We're championing the Worx Cordless Turbine Blower because of two very good reasons. The first is that Worx is renowned for producing good quality tools, the second is that this leaf blower is cordless. Not only will this make de-leafing the bottom of the garden easier, it also means there will be no wires to trip over while drying a car.