Autoglym have partnered up with Vileda, a home and cleaning solutions company, to bring us Instadry. It’s fair to say that as soon as this product was released, I was intrigued and keen to get my hands on it. As someone who is hugely passionate about all thing’s car cleaning, I love it when car cleaning manufactures bring out innovative products like Instadry.
In terms of the product, Autoglym Instadry is a PVA-coated microfibre towel intended to be used to dry paintwork and glass. Autoglym mentions that Instadry offers a super-absorbent, streak-free finish, with a unique coating which will assist in releasing dirt from the cloth – all important features of a good drying towel.
The aim of this review is to share my thoughts and opinions on this quirky drying towel!
- Effective drying performance on paintwork (especially large panels)
- Great performance on glass
- Release dirt well upon rinsing/wringing out
- Low maintainence
- Offers good value for money
- Appears to be more robust & durable than a conventional microfibre towel
- Less effective in tighter spots
Instadry sits more or less in the middle of other drying towels and chamois leathers, in terms of price. In my opinion, it’s not a budget item, nor is it a luxury item. This makes Autoglym Instadry very affordable, especially when you consider the longevity you’re getting from this product.
Autoglym Instadry comes neatly folded in a transparent plastic box. On the reverse of the box there is an image of someone using the product on a vehicle. Apart from the image and some care instructions, I couldn’t find much information on how to use the product, but the care instructions were great.
Using Autoglym Instadry
In its dry form, the towel does not feel as soft as when it’s wet. I think it’s important to wet the cloth prior to drying the car in order to transform it into a soft, flexible towel. This is something which I couldn’t find mentioned on the box – but something I chose to do.
I found that the easiest way to prep the towel is to lay it out flat on the car bonnet and pour water over it with a hose. You’ll instantly see the towel absorb the water. Next, wring out any excess water and you’re good to go!
Flat or Fold?
The picture on the reverse of the packaging shows the product flat against the paintwork with someone dragging it across the paintwork from the top two corners. I found this method was most effective on flat horizontal panels like the roof or bonnet but did tend to grab or stick to the paintwork.
It was my preference to fold the towel twice (half and half again). I felt like this gave me more control, the towel didn’t grab onto the paint as much, and performance was generally better. Obviously by folding you do reduce the surface area but it’s what works for you – just know that both methods do work.
Ease of Use?
This towel is not a large towel, and that is a great thing! If this towel was as large as some microfibre towels, then it would make it very cumbersome and tricky to use. I love how Autoglym have chosen a regular sized towel because this gives you so much more control and increases usability massively.
Another aspect which makes this towel so easy to use is its ability to just keep on going! Most microfibre towels get to a point where they’re unusable because they’re so saturated with water. I found that with Instadry, you can just keep wiping and wringing and it will keep on going. This is great if you’re drying several cars per day or want a drying mechanism which can be reused over and over again.
Autoglym advertises a streak-free finish with Instadry and it is possible to achieve this with the correct technique.
Mainly, I found that I needed to frequently wring out the cloth to clear water held in the towel.
This isn’t a large towel, and after a pass on a panel I found that it begins to release water back onto the panel – causing streaking. I’d definitely recommend wringing out frequently – nothing extreme, just quick wring outs to shift excess water.
I also found that I was more successful in achieving a streak-free finish when using the towel folded, rather than flat. Even though this reduces the surface area of towel in contact with the paintwork, the section of towel which was on the paint seemed to connect better when folded.
Use on Glass
From my experience with the towel, Instadry worked great on the glass – as long as I wrung it out beforehand. It just seems to make such good contact with the glass and leaves very little streaking.
Unlike microfibre towels, the risk of linting is essentially non-existent because there’s no lint on the towel.
Using with a QD or SW
When drying a car, I like to have the option of using a quick detailer with a drying towel. It’s a great way to lubricate the paint, and I even find that it helps to speed up the drying process. I wasn’t really sure how the PVA-coated microfibre would work with a QD, but it worked really well. A light mist of QD on the panel helped to disperse water and reduce streaking.
Care & Longevity
Autoglym kindly provide care instructions on the Instadry packaging. It’s a simple hand rinse in cold water, followed by time to air dry. They state that if necessary, you can machine wash with a mild detergent – but you shouldn’t need to if you only using Instadry on clean paintwork and glass.
I found that the cloths ability to release dirt meant that a quick hand rinse was more than enough.
I love how robust this product is, and I think this gives it a huge advantage over microfibre towels. Microfibre towels are great at absorbing dirt particles but they aren’t great at releasing them.
Attempting to pick out specs of dirt or the odd fly from a plush microfibre towel is a frustrating process – but something you I didn’t have to worry about with Instadry.
Use in Tight Spots
Instadry is absolutely great for wiping down glass and the main body panels. However, sometimes you need to dry tighter areas like air ducts or grills. In my opinion, the flat and rubbery nature of Instadry makes it tricky to absorb water in these tighter areas – I resorted to a microfibre towel for these spots.
Autoglym Instadry Verdict
After using this product, I wouldn’t say it out-performs a microfibre drying towel in terms of drying performance – in my opinion. However, it’s fairly well known that a typical microfibre towel will start to degrade after 6 months of weekly usage, and Instadry seems to offer better durability.
I see this product as sitting somewhere between chamois leathers and microfibre towels. In my opinion, chamois leathers are outdated compared to microfibers towels and innovative products like Instadry.
If you’re someone who has used a chamois leather up until now, then Instadry is great upgrade as you get much better performance and durability without the hassle of maintaining a microfibre towel.