Can you use a leaf blower for drying a car?

Can you use a leaf blower for drying a car?
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Letting your car air dry after washing can cause all sorts of issues with the paintwork. So drying it thoroughly is important for the overall finish. But can you use a leaf blower for drying a car? 

If you don’t dry your car properly after washing, there are several problems that can crop up.

Soapy suds, residue, and water spots will collect on your car’s paintwork. While that might not seem like a big deal, these deposits can actually cause damage to your car’s paintwork over time. So it’s important to take the time to properly dry your car after a wash.

While it’s possible to go out and purchase a car dryer, or car blower, these can cost hundreds of dollars, So can you use a tool you already have in your garage, a leaf blower, to dry your automobile, and get a great finish every time?

We’ll reveal whether it’s possible to dry your car with a leaf blower, what the benefits are, and what steps you should take to ensure that you don’t damage or scratch that freshly washed paintwork.  

And if you’re looking to buy a leaf blower or replace your old model, you’ll find the best leaf blowers in our buyer’s guide, from gas and electric models to lightweight and budget options.

Can you use a leaf blower for drying a car?

Yes, it’s perfectly possible to use a leaf blower to dry your car. Drying a car with a towel or cloth can take a long time, and using the wrong type of towel can even scratch your car’s paintwork.

A leaf blower can eliminate the worry of scratches left in your paintwork by effortlessly drying your car without touching it. It can also get into all those cracks and crevices where water likes to collect, such as door sills, wing mirrors, and the base of the windshield.

Should you use a leaf blower for drying a car?

What the expert says...

Fiona Jenkins says, “You can use a leaf blower to dry your car. This is advantageous as you won't touch the paint, so this reduces any risks of scratching the paintwork or causing swirls.” 

MyJobQuote expert Fiona Jenkins has six tips for drying a car quickly:

1.Start with the highest surface on the vehicle (usually the roof). 

2. Use a quick detailer or a drying aid to shorten the drying time. 

3. Use a microfibre cloth in long sweeping motions to absorb the water from the car.

4. Wring out the towel between wipes and regularly inspect the towel for bits of debris.

5. Switch to a clean drying towel whenever needed to prevent any scratches to the paintwork. 

6. Work your way down the car until you reach the bottom and until every part of the car is dry. 

As long as you don’t touch the car’s bodywork with the leaf blower, it can be a fast and efficient way to dry your car off after a clean. Jenkins advises using a leaf blower with an air filter when drying an automobile. This stops the leaf blower from blowing dirt and debris onto your car which can cause nasty scratches to the paintwork. “Also, avoid pointing the blower towards the ground, or you'll risk spraying more dirt and debris up onto your freshly washed vehicle,” says Jenkins.

What alternatives can you use to dry a car quickly?

Rubber squeegee or car drying blade

Getting rid of as much water as possible is key. A rubber squeegee is a handheld device that allows you to pull the water away from the car’s surface, leaving the finish streak-free. Some squeegees come with microfiber cloths that you can attach for the final pass.

Using the squeegee you can sweep from the top of your automobile’s roof and down the sides. Make sure you’re quick and gentle with your movement - you don't want to damage your car’s paintwork. You’ll probably need a microfiber towel to get rid of any droplets that are still remaining and buff away any streaks. 

Many motor supply stores also stock car drying blades, which are basically the same tool. However, they may have softer silicone blades that are gentler on your car’s paintwork.

Microfiber towels

A good set of microfiber towels are better than any cloth or towel that you might pick up around the house. Large towels that have extra absorbency and are created especially for automobiles can be picked up in most hardware stores. Some towels have an absorbent side and a plush side for polishing and buffing.

Quick detailer or drying aid spray

These after-wash chemical agents are ideal for spraying on your car before you set to work drying it with towels. They help to disperse water droplets from the surface, giving you less work to do when it comes to manually drying your car. They also help to provide a streak-free shine. 

Ceramic coating

Applying a ceramic coating to your car can help to repel water when you wash it, meaning that you have less water to wipe away without sacrificing a good clean. They can also help to protect your automobile from the weather. 

You can buy ceramic coating kits online or at automobile accessory stores, or you can have it applied professionally at an auto-shop. 

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Joanne Lewsley
Customer Advisor, Vacuums, Cleaning and Air Quality

Joanne Lewsley is a UK-based freelance writer and editor, covering health and lifestyle news and features. She creates evidence-based health and parenting content and has worked with some of the world’s best-known brands and websites, including BabyCentre UK and Medical News Today. 

You can read more of Joanne's work and get in touch via her website:

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