Best Shop Cloths

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Products Updated January 24, 2023
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The best shop cloths are a handy resource for wiping up oil, grease or water spillages in an array of environments. They’re particularly great in automotive purposes where you require a material that won’t fray or shed, yet can absorb moisture. We compiled a list of the top 6 best shop cloths that are recognized for softness, durability, and hold moisture. No wonder we believe they are some of the best car accessories around.

From our selection of best shop cloths, we rated the Utopia Towels our #1 top pick. These cloths measure 13 x 13 inches, making them ideal for for cleaning up small to medium size spills, wiping down vehicles or just for general household or garage use. You can also fold them in half to collect more moisture in one wipe, and they’re woven with 100 percent cotton yarn to remain durable after multiple uses.

Top 6 Best Shop Cloths Compared

 #1  Utopia Towels Shop Towels – Top Pick/100 Pack

WHY WE LIKE IT: These Uptopia towels are constructed with a zero twist design that removes any short fibers to prevent the towel from fraying and shedding. This is ideal for cleaning in your car, so you won’t have to vacuum fibers after cleaning.

  • Ring spun cotton for softness and durability
  • Pack of 100 for one price (even cheaper for 500 pack)
  • Zero-twist design to prevent fibers falling out
  • A course texture, making it unsuitable to use on human skin
  • Thin material, and not as absorbent as other cloths on this list
  • Not suitable for cleaning mirrors as they leave white lint marks

These towels measure 13 x 13 inches, and use ring spun cotton to improve the towel’s softness and strength. This towel’s strength makes it great for cleaning car wheels and ensure it’s long-lasting. Ring spun cotton also holds the fibers close together to make the towel more durable than regular cotton, so you can perform a vigorous clean without having to constantly renew your cloths.

Related: See also our review of the best shock absorbers.

These Utopia towels are made from natural materials without any harmful chemicals or synthetic materials added. And if you didn’t know, many of the best baby wipes use comparable ingredients; all natural. This material makes these shop cloths safe to use around the entire family, and in the home. Utopia designed this towel to be lightweight, yet strong. The towel’s lightweight feeling ensures it’s easy to move around a surface. Plus your purchase includes a pack of 100 for one low price.

 #2  Nabob Wipers Auto-Mechanic Shop Towels – Honorable Mention/Machine Washable

WHY WE LIKE IT: These Nabob wipe cloths are made from 100 percent cotton to offer incredible strength. This material makes the cloths suitable for automotive tasks, such as refilling fluids, hanging motor oil, and more.

  • Reduces streaks and smears on cars
  • 100 percent cotton makes these cloths highly absorbent
  • Great for soaking up oil, grease and moisture
  • Material can pull easily
  • Can stain clothes if you machine wash
  • Less cloths per pack compared others on the list

The best feature of these shop cloths is that they’re made from 100 percent cotton and highly absorbent. Unlike some cloths on this list, these can soak up oil, grease and moisture, so you can clean a mess without leaving any residue behind. Measuring 12 x 12 inches, these cloths are also ideal for cleaning an entire car quickly, compared to smaller towels. Speaking of quickly, the best tire inflator will help you get the job done fast. Check out our review.

Nabob designed these cloths with a soft material so they’re safe to use on clear coats without leaving any marks or scratches behind on your car. As a result, you’re left with a dry, smear-free canvas, with no dirt or grime present. The cotton also reduces drying time and prevent any streaks from forming. Speaking of good cloth, you might want to read how to get scratches out of glasses.

 #3  Simpli-Magic Shop Towels – Best for Value/50 Pack

WHY WE LIKE IT: These Simpli-Magic towels are woven with cotton blend yarn to add excellent absorption and make these towels soft against your skin. Its excellent value (pack of 50) makes them great for any commercial business.

  • Great bang for buck
  • Great replacement for paper towels
  • Free from harmful chemicals
  • Bleach can damage the material, so you should avoid contact
  • Unsuitable for machine washing
  • Not highly absorbent

These cloths are designed with cotton yarn that is blended with synthetic fibers. As a result, these cloths can stretch, allowing you to use them in vigorous activities, such as for automotive purposes. The cotton material ensures the cloths are soft to prevent any scratches on a range of surfaces. With a combined total of 300 GSM (grams per square meter), these cloths reach the minimum requirement to feature on this list to wipe down drips.

If you’re searching for the best shop cloths to wipe away oil, water or other liquid from any industrial site, this product will come in handy for all occasions. We love that these cloths are free from chemicals, making them safe to use around the entire family and animals.

 #4  WypAll 34015 Shop Cloths – Best for Household/Highly Absorbent

WHY WE LIKE IT: These WypAll cloths feature a HydroKnit fast absorbing technology to wipe away spillages quickly and a high rating of 500 GSM. Plus, the handy box makes it easy to dispense and no need to wash as they aren’t reusable.

  • High rating of 500 GSM, making them highly absorbent
  • Designed with HydroKnit fast absorbing technology
  • Comes in large Brag box to conveniently pull out
  • Not soft, making the cloths unsuitable for some surfaces
  • Not soft, making the cloths unsuitable for some surfaces
  • Not reusable

WypAll cloths are a great alternative to tissues, measuring 500 GSM, which makes them highly absorbent for cleaning up messes. If you have children or pets and are constantly using tissues to wipe up accidents, WypAll provide an excellent alternative with their highly-absorbent cloths.

Instead of constantly throwing away tissues and wipes, save your money and invest in cleaning towels you can reuse. They’re great for storing around the house, such as in the children’s room or the kitchen, when you need to wipe up spilled drinks. They also absorb moisture faster than rags, as they’re designed with a HydroKnit fast absorbing technology to remain durable over a long time.

 #5  Zeppoli Auto Shop & Car Wash Towels – Best for Automotive/Largest Size

WHY WE LIKE IT: These Zeppoli towels are made from 100 percent natural cotton to eliminate stiffness and prevent scratching any surfaces and measure 14 x 17 inches, making them the largest cloths on this list. This makes these cloths great for washing and drying cars.

  • Made from 100 percent cotton for softness
  • The largest cloths on this list
  • Safe to machine wash
  • Difficult to remove stains from the cloths
  • Cloths hold lint easily
  • Material feels rough on your hands

These cloths by Zeppoli are lightweight and extremely absorbent to dry quicker than most conventional towels. Not only are they made from 100 percent natural cotton, but measure 14 x 17 inches, so they dry quickly, ready for the next use. As a result, they reduce the chances of bacteria and mildew from forming on the cloths to make them long-lasting.

When you’ve finished cleaning and drying your car, place the cloths in a washing machine to remove any dirt and stains. The cloths aren’t treated with chemicals since they don’t contain wax or soap, which makes them safe to use on car paints.

 #6  Pro-Clean Basics A21825 Reusable Shop Towels – Best Budget/Pack of 100

WHY WE LIKE IT: These Pro-Clean Basics shop towels measure 12” x 14” and are made of 100 percent cotton for great softness and absorption. Your purchase includes 36 towels which is excellent value for money, and the large size makes these towels great for commercial use where spillage is common.

  • Easy to wash in the washing machine
  • Rugged design and stretching material
  • Purchase includes 100 towels
  • Can leave left fuzz behind
  • Color sheds in the washing machine
  • Not thick enough to be highly absorbent

These towels are ranked for industrial grade, making them an ideal purchase to use in the garage. Measuring 12” x 14”, they’re great for covering large surface areas and not just for cleaning spillages around the home and in commercial areas. They’re also designed with a stretching material, which allows for give so you can use the cloths for vigorous cleaning.

Store a few spare towels in your car for emergency use, such as wiping a dipstick when you’re performing your car’s maintenance. Some customers even commented that you receive multiple sizes of these cloths, which is great for wiping small and large surface areas in a timely manner.

How we Decided

To help you discover the best shop cloths, we eliminated any products that didn’t meet the below specs, ensuring that none of our top picks fell below a certain standard.

That being said, the cloths should have a GSM of 300 plus to ensure they’re ultra-absorbent to dry yourself or surfaces quickly. This higher rating means the cloths will be thicker and take longer to dry, compared to thin, lightweight materials, though are more effective at drying surfaces.

We also decided on the above cloths according to softness. When you’re placing a cloth against your face or body, you want it to feel ultra soft and gentle against your skin. Therefore, we opted for materials such as rayon – a common material used in cloths that’s made from bamboo, and Egyptian and Pima cotton. These materials also don’t scratch surfaces if you use the cloth to clean your car or delicate surfaces. To keep your family safe, we also chose organic materials that are free from chemicals.

Buyer’s Guide

The Most Important Features to Look For and Understand

  1. Size
    Consider what you’ll be using the cloth for. If it’s cleaning cleans, opt for a size that’s just bigger than your hands, so you can easily hold the cloth. Alternatively, bath cloths should cover the size of your body, so consider if you need to purchase a packet with a variety of sizes to accommodate everyone in the household.
  2. Combed or Ringspun Design
    Clothes made with combed cotton mean the fibers are combed to prevent short threads and debris from being loose. As a result, this leaves the cloth stronger and long-lasting, making it suitable for vigorous use such as cleaning a car. Alternatively, ringspun cloths are designed with both long and short fibers that are twisted and woven together with extra yarn. This results in reduced fraying, making the cloths last longer and feel more luxurious.
  3. Cotton Choice
    Finally, carefully choose your cotton based on budget and use. For a soft feel, 100 percent natural cotton is a great choice, since it offers long fibers for optimum luxury. This material also absorbs a lot of moisture, making it suitable for mopping up spillages such as oil and grease, while remaining gentle on the skin. Egyptian cotton is considered the highest quality for cloths since it offers superior durability, softness, and strength. Typically, cloths made from Egyptian cotton weigh around 650GSM, making them extra thick and super absorbent, though this is only essential for drying off after a shower, not for commercial or automotive spillages. This is most people’s preferred material to use as a bath towel as it feels soft against your skin.

Shop Cloths FAQs

How Can You Clean a Shop Cloth?

To remove stubborn stains and grease from your shop cloth, rinse them with clean, warm water into a sink or bucket. Then, fill a bowl with ¾ water and ¼ tri sodium phosphate. This formula is the most effective way to remove old stains and marks. Never place in a washing machine with clothes, and the stains could transfer to your clothing.

Are Reusable or Disposable Cloths Best?

Disposable cloths tend to come with cleaning solutions applied to them, making the cloths suitable for disinfecting areas as well as mopping up surfaces. Alternatively, reusable cloths are kinder on the environment and your pocket since you can throw in the washing machine or wash by hand to get excellent value for money.
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