Ok, Let me make sure I have set the stage correctly, my goal is not to sell you my towels with that post. In my travels, through the world of Microfiber there is a ton of confusing information, and I try to help educate so you can make the right choice for you.
I did not see anything on detailing, and it is my thing, so I am jumping in to help.
I will add a number of posts on detailing and answer questions as they come up
In this post I will answer the specific questions.
With that said, skatetheglobe
- the sponge is what is more than likely causing your swirls. Sponges are very hard on paint, especially synthetic sponges. Take your sponge, wet it down and rub it on a CD and you will see what I mean.
Always use a car wash it has the right balance of chemicals in it, to not cause damage down the road. I will explain in another post about washing your HHR.
Towels, if colored or contain designs, more than likely are also adding to the swirls. Colored/designed towels generally have a nylon content thread in them and that thread will scratch the paint, again they will be very tiny fine scratches, but that is what you are seeing.
- Pure Nylon is not a good thing, it may be Polyamide, which in simple terms is a mutated form of nylon. Where did you purchase it?
The best thing to do is the CD test, if it scratches then you will know.
The CD Test should be performed on all your washing material, just to make sure.
I will put up a post on the Care and Feeding of Your Washing Equipment.
- The key in picking the right towels/washing equipment is budget and what you want to do.
In another words, if your goal is to wash and dry the car, a good Mitt and a Waffle Weave towels will work just fine. The Waffle Weave absorbs a bit more water than a majority of towels, BUT the lack of nap makes it unusable on a dusty car.
If you want to also do Detailing Spray, or Polish removal, then a towel with a thicker nap is better choice as it will be multi-purpose. It may not absorb as much water as the Waffle Weave, but it can be used with a detail spray on a dusty car.
Made in the USA 100% Cotton Towels are also an excellent choice, but they are becoming extremely difficult to find, now that Cannon has gone out of business.
Cotton Towels in order to avoid scratches must be made in the USA. The content is governed and if it states 100% cotton, then the entire towel is just that, edging, backing and nap. Many foreign made towels are claiming to be 100% cotton, but the edging is nylon, and that will cause swirls.
Whooo, I am out of breath.... I'll guess you did not realize there was so much involved in such a simple subject