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Drying A Car With A Leaf Blower (Is It Safe?)

Image Credit: romankosolapov via Envato Elements

Image Credit: romankosolapov via Envato Elements

Drying A Car With A Leaf Blower (Is It Safe?)

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Obviously the staple task in car detailing is washing your car. Experienced detailers know the importance of the drying process and making sure your vehicle doesn’t air dry in the sun.

If water evaporates on your car’s paintwork it will often leave water spots that are extremely difficult to remove. Even when protected with a ceramic coating.

A good quality microfiber towel is the most common method of drying your vehicle. But can you safely dry a car with a leaf blower?

Drying A Car With A Leaf Blower – Is It Safe?

Yes, it’s safe and very effective to use a leaf blower to dry your car.

In fact, it’s much more efficient than using a microfiber towel and is much safer as well since you won’t be physically touching the paint on your car or truck which could cause light scratches or swirl marks.

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Advantages Of Using A Leaf Blower To Dry A Car

Touchless Method

The #1 advantage of using a leaf blower to dry your car is that you will not have to physically touch your car or truck. Not physically touching your paint makes it very difficult to cause light scratches or swirl marks in the clear coat.

Micro scratches on your clear coat build up over time and dull that new car shine. Any time you physically touch your car paint you run the risk of causing these fine micro scratches on your finish. A leaf blower allows you to get your car safely dry with almost no chance of causing any damage to your car’s surface.

Nooks & Crannies

A leaf blower can get in to all the nooks and crannies. Inaccessible spots like door handles, wing mirrors, door jambs, and other places a microfiber towel can’t easily reach. This is important because a car or truck that is driven with water hidden in these difficult to reach areas will end up running down the sides of vehicle and potentially leaving water spots.

Save Time

If you choose a powerful leaf blower to dry your car you can significantly cut down on the amount of time it takes to dry your car when compared to using a microfiber towel.

It’s especially easy to dry your entire car effortlessly and quickly with a leaf blower. The large amount of air flow produced by leaf blowers makes short work of the car drying process.

Makes Drying Your Vehicle Effortless

Drying a car with a microfiber towel isn’t the easiest job in the world. It’s not what I would call difficult, but after all of the other car detailing tasks involved with washing your car, saving some work and effort is certainly a welcome benefit.

Drying your car with a leaf blower will make the job significantly easier than reaching and bending over to reach everywhere that needs to be dried off.

Cheaper Than A Car Dryer

A leaf blower will typically be much less expensive than a dryer designed for drying your vehicle.

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Disadvantages Of Using A Leaf Blower To Dry A Car

Can Kick Up Debris From The Ground

A good leaf blower puts out a large volume of air at a wind speed greater than 100 miles per hour. If you’re not careful about where you aim the outlet of your leaf blower you can easily kick up rocks and dirt that can cause light scratches in your finish.

When you’re trying to get your car dry with a leaf blower, avoid pointing it at the dry ground around your car or truck. If you’re not careful you can easily blow debris up toward your newly cleaned vehicle.

Very Loud

It won’t matter if you choose a gas-powered, electric, or battery-powered leaf blower. They’re all quite loud. Electric leaf blowers are much quieter obviously. But they are still a lot noisier than a towel.

Ear protection is always a smart move when using any loud power tool. Even when exposed to loud noises for a short period of time, you can do damage to your hearing.

When you get older you’ll miss being able to clearly hear conversations in loud environments. Trust me on this one. I unfortunately know this truth firsthand.

Large And Unwieldy

A leaf blower isn’t designed to be easily maneuverable in tight spaces like a carport or garage. They’re usually meant for use in open spaces.

Even if you have some extra room to move around, you may find yourself accidentally bumping your car or truck with the nozzle of the leaf blower. This can cause the very scratches that using a leaf blower is meant to prevent.

Best When Paired With Hydrophobic Coatings

If you don’t have any paint protection on your finish, water will not have much surface tension allowing it to more easily roll off of your car’s paint.

If you have a ceramic coating, paint sealant, or good layer of wax on the surface of your paintwork it will dramatically improve the effectiveness of the leaf blower.

How To Use A Leaf Blower To Dry Your Car

You should know a few important tips about how to use this great tool to make sure you don’t damage your finish and get the most out of its abilities:

  • Avoid bumping the exterior of your car or truck with the air outlet of the leaf blower. Keep a good distance between your vehicle and the leaf blower to reduce the chances of accidental contact.
  • Avoid pointing the leaf blower at the dry ground to prevent kicking up small rocks, dirt, and dust onto your freshly washed vehicle.
  • Start at the top of your car or truck and blow water downward. This will prevent you from fighting gravity as you dry your car.
  • Try to thoroughly blow out door handles, door jambs, wing mirrors, body seams, and any other place water can hide easily. One of the great benefits of drying your car with a leaf blower is the ability to blow out water from all of these little hiding places.
  • If using a gas-powered leaf blower to dry your car or truck, don’t use it in a confined space.
  • If using a corded blower, make sure the cord doesn’t bump your finish and cause marring or scratches.
  • Keep air filters clear of debris to ensure clean and smooth air flow.
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Leaf Blower Vs Car Dryer

Purpose-designed car dryers are very similar to leaf blowers in many ways, but there are some key differences. Air blowers specifically designed for drying cars will be more car-friendly.

  • The air outlet of quality car dryers is usually made from a soft rubber that will be much more gentle if it accidentally bumps into your finish.
  • A leaf blower generally only has large nozzles compared to the smaller nozzles that dryers have to to make getting into crevices more effective.
  • Dryers are usually quite compact and much easier to use in confined spaces.
  • Many dryers use heated air to help with dry the finish.
  • Smaller dryers are designed to more for getting water out of crevices than for drying an entire car.
  • Dyers designed to dry cars tend to be very expensive.
  • Dryers always have an air filter while blowers for leaves rarely have them.

What To Look For When Buying A Leaf Blower For Drying Your Car

Here are some key features that you’ll want to consider when purchasing a leaf blower to dry you car or truck:

  • The speed of air coming out of the blower should be 100 mph or more.
  • A variety of nozzles, especially smaller ones that will make blowing out crevices easier.
  • If you can find one with an air filter that will make it much less likely that you’ll suck in dust and debris that you would then blow onto your finish.

The following are some specifics around the various methods used to power blowers:

Gas Powered Blowers

Pros

    • An extremely powerful blower

Cons

    • Harmful emissions mean it shouldn’t be used in confined spaces
    • Far too loud to use in a garage
    • You should wear ear protection

Electric Leaf Blowers

Pros

    • Corded leaf blowers tend to be more powerful than a typical cordless blower although not as much as a gas-powered model.
    • Lighter than gas or battery-powered models

Cons

    • Extension cord is a nuisance that can damage your paint job
    • Still wise to wear ear protection

Battery-Powered Cordless Leaf Blowers

Pros

    • Usually powerful enough to do a great job
    • No cord or fumes
    • While heavier than corded blowers, still quite light

Cons

    • Least power
    • Still wise to use ear protection

Best Leaf Blower For Drying A Car

WORX WG545.1 20V Power Share AIR Cordless Leaf Blower

Our pick for the best leaf blower to dry your car with is the WORX WG545.1. It’s a cordless leaf blower that comes with enough power and attachments to get the job done properly. It even has attachments specifically designed for drying cars after washing.

There are cheaper and more powerful blowers on the market, but if you’re looking specifically for a leaf blower that can dry your car and handle actually blowing leaves, this is an excellent pick.

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Best Car Drying Blowers

Metro Vac Air Force Master Blaster

The best-of-the-best when it comes to drying your car is the Master Blaster. It’s not cheap. Not at all. But it is extremely powerful and blows heated filtered air to rapidly dry your car in 15 minutes.

It has an extra long hose with a rubber outlet connected to two 4 horsepower electric motors.

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Helpful Links

Conclusion: Drying Car With Leaf Blower

Car detailing is, all about the details. Most leaf blowers are less than ideal at drying your car’s paintwork. But some, like the WORX WG545.1 are actually quite good and reasonably priced for what you get.

While it can’t hold a candle to the Metro Vac Master Blaster, it compares will with smaller car dryers on the market such as the Chemical Guys ProBlow or the Metro Vac Sidekick.

Using a leaf blower may seem like an odd choice to those that don’t know, but it is actually quite the smart choice in car care.

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