Today I washed my car. I used a towel to absorb the water I sprayed on the car, and in the process of doing so, had to wring a towel repeatedly after it gets saturated with water. The towel is not the best quality, it has kind of a rough finish (unlike silk / fine cloths).

After I was done the skin on my hands feels rough, some of the spots actually hurt, because I wrung the towel with force and the friction between the towel and my hand peeled off the outer layer of some of my skin.

Is it possible to wring a wet towel without hurting the soft skin on my hands?

  • 1
    I think growing stronger skin is not what you want. Get calluses and you will not hurt your hands as easily. (Comment and not an answer as it is not what I expect you want to read.)
    – Willeke
    Mar 4 '17 at 17:13
  1. Wear gloves: skin tears more easily when wet


  1. Get a mechanical cloth mangle (wringer). Obviously, this is only worthwhile if you use it very often, e.g. at a commercial car wash.

Gently wring the cloth out once, then fold it in half. Wring it out again, and continue to fold in half and wring out until it can't be easily folded. You never have to twist very hard, because you aren't trying to completely dry it out on any particular "wring."

The cloth won't be bone dry when you're done, but that doesn't matter. I detail cars, and I know from experience that getting the cloth mostly dry and wringing it out a tiny bit more frequently is more efficient and easier than getting it completely dry every time.

Also, a less lifehacky solution is to get a chamois cloth. They are extremely easy to wring out, and absorb water very well. The only catch is that they "stick" to the paint if the paint is already nearly dry.

  1. Don't wring them dry. You don't need to get them totally dry in order to absorb water, little damp will be good enough.

  2. Use a mop bucket with dryer. You can put towel in dryer basket and push it, with your hand or something else. It's both faster and easier than wringing them, in my experience. Will leave towel bit damper than wringing it, but water will flow away from your hands, not over them.


You could drive your car over it every few minutes.

It will also require you to put the wet towel in front of or behind your car tire, dry off your hands, get in you car, turn on the engine, drive 2 feet, turn the car off, get out, and pick up the towel. And to keep your towel clean and prevent it from scratching your car's paint, you'll need to be sure that the ground is clean and free from any gravel. But it will squeeze the water out for sure.

  • 1
    Yes, and as a substitute for a clothes drier; lay your clothes out on the street, put on your work boots, and trample them until they are dry.
    – k-l
    Mar 7 '17 at 1:54

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