How to keep chamois moist

Hello, I am new here. Sorry this might be a bit off topic but I really don’t know where else to ask.

I am a beginner college student just started violin few months ago. The violin never felt comfortable on my shoulder due to my long neck. After reading extensively on the theory of tall chinrest and shouldrestless, I decided to give it a try. I got a shammy from my local auto store and gave it a good wash to neutralize the scent. But now I can’t get it to stay smooth and soft after I dry it. Any idea how to revive the leather?

Replies (21)


June 30, 2011 at 09:16 PM ·

NOTE: This is not from first-hand use, so take this advice with caution.

Chamois is a natural animal skin, so I would suggest two possible options.

  • Wash with saddle soap, which is designed to be used to clean leather
  • Use lanolin (sparingly!) and work it into the chamois. Don’t try and get it perfect right away; use about 1/4 of what you expect to need, work it in, and let it sit overnight. Let the pores absorb the lanolin at their schedule.

The second note is from experience; when trying to oil or treat leather, I find that I need to under-do rather than over-do. A bit of treatment followed by time works mych better.

June 30, 2011 at 09:45 PM ·

Greg go back to the auto store and get another piece of shammy. Do not wash it, but sprinkle it with your dads under arm deodorant. You will smell so nice that you will attract admirers.


July 1, 2011 at 02:44 AM ·

Bicycle racers use it. Used to use real chamois in their shorts.


July 1, 2011 at 07:19 AM ·

I once had a pair of bicycle racer shorts; had to get rid of them. They rode up pretty fast.

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July 1, 2011 at 07:32 AM ·

I hadnwash my chamois in shampoo and then condition with hair conditioner – although it still dries a bit stiff initially, it softens up after the first use (I use mine over the chin rest, so maybe it gets more body heat and moisture there?)

July 1, 2011 at 10:01 AM ·

Racer shorts can also do with ‘dads under arm deodorant’. Come to think of it, so can dad.


July 1, 2011 at 12:26 PM ·

You bought cheap shorts.


July 1, 2011 at 01:12 PM ·

If you use salsa instead of conditioner, you can eat.

July 1, 2011 at 08:08 PM ·


July 1, 2011 at 11:09 PM ·

This _is_ from firsthand experience – hold it by the ends in both hands and drag ti back and forth over something hard and reasonably sharp , like the corner of a square railing or the back of a chair. That will loosen it up again.


July 1, 2011 at 11:54 PM ·

Haha Andre pulled his comment!


July 1, 2011 at 11:57 PM ·

This is from first hand experience. I just toss mine in the washer and dryer with my laundry. Beautifully soft every time,


July 3, 2011 at 07:13 AM ·

Thanks for everyone’s advice. I tried some saddle soap. It works, but only in large amount (I used half of a small can). It does actually softens out after some stretching as well. I guess that explains Marianne’s method.


July 3, 2011 at 07:13 AM ·

Thanks for everyone’s advice. I tried some saddle soap. It works, but only in large amount (I used half of a small can). It does actually softens out after some stretching as well. I guess that explains Marianne’s method.


July 6, 2011 at 02:18 PM ·

On, they recommend Olive oil.


July 6, 2011 at 04:23 PM ·

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July 11, 2011 at 05:07 AM ·

Regarding bicycle shorts and chamois butter: I told my cyclist husband about this one. (Wow–the first time I could discuss a topic with him.) From his reply, I have the following suggestions:

1) Because bicycle shorts no longer use real chamois, the chamois butter is applied to the person. I would be sure it doesn’t have any chemicals that are OK on human skin but not on something that will rest against the violin.

2) There are chamois substitutes on the market. My husband says that if it washes in the washer, then it may be one of these. The two types I’ve seen are a) the ones used on bicycle shorts: soft cloth with a thin layer of foam underneath and b) a cloth that is made to look and feel like real chamois, found in the auto supply store. (Maybe not any more, since microfiber took over.) I would try the latter.


July 11, 2011 at 06:30 AM ·

Just keep it in a plastic bag

July 11, 2011 at 08:45 AM ·

I believe ‘chamois butter’ becomes ‘chamois cheese’ after fifty miles in racing shorts.


July 11, 2011 at 04:15 PM ·


I would recommend using something which can be washed frequently, and doesn’t need any additives to keep it supple, perhaps a synthetic chamois. Treatments which are good for leather and bottoms may be less than ideal for wood and varnish.


July 12, 2011 at 03:14 AM ·

My chamois is genuine hide, meant to be used to clean cars. Before I bought it, I had heard that it would be washable, but I was skeptical, so I cut a small piece and ran it through the washer and dryer, and it came out softer, a little thicker, and a little shrunken, almost like when fabric is fulled or felted. I wouldn’t want to apply any creams or oils to the chamois to keep it soft, partly because I wouldn’t want it to transfer to the violin, and partly because I wouldn’t want it to transfer onto my skin or my clothes. It works for me, but I’m finding it interesting that nobody else in this discussion just does a simple wash. By the way, this works better with my smaller pieces (4″ x 8″) . when I washed the entire skin (maybe about 24″ x 36″), it crumpled in the machines, which resulted in folds set in the skin. Oh well, a piece that size isn’t practical for me anyway. and I could always iron it if I need to.

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This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.

Chamois vs. Microfiber Towel – Which One Is Better?

When it comes to drying your car, truck or vehicle, you have a couple of options. You can use blowers, chamois (shammies) or microfiber towels. For all you car-lovers out there, you’ve probably heard of the chamois vs. microfiber debate. It’s a hot topic for those who want to take care of their vehicles in the best way possible while saving money and resources. Let’s look at the pros and cons of each type of towel and tips for choosing the right one for your vehicle.

Shop Our Selection

Полотенца из микрофибры

Microfiber towels are denoted as such because of what they’re made of — microfiber. Microfiber is any fiber that is smaller than the diameter of a silk thread and is usually made of a polyester/nylon blend. Before using a microfiber car drying towel to dry your vehicle (this goes for chamois too), make sure you’ve cleared all the debris and dirt from the surface. Sliding a towel over even a speck of dust or gravel will be a sure way to leave a scratch.

Another critical difference between a microfiber drying towel and a chamois is its density. The denser a microfiber towel, the more moisture it can absorb, and the more expensive it will be. The density of a microfiber cloth is denoted in grams per square meter (GSM). Microfibers are two times thinner than silk, three times thinner than wool, eight times thinner than cotton and 100 times finer than hair!

The pros of using a microfiber towel include:

  • Более низкие затраты: Less expensive than chamois and other kinds of towels designed for your vehicle.
  • Разнообразие: They come in a multitude of shapes and sizes. You can buy a large microfiber towel for drying large vehicles or for cars with a smaller surface area.
  • Универсальность: These towels serve various functions, with some made for interiors or exterior use only.
  • High absorbency: In fact, microfiber towels have become the number one choice for auto detailing due to their absorbency. Quality microfiber towels can absorb up to seven times their weight in moisture.
  • Capable of dry-washing your vehicle: You can use microfiber towels in waterless car washes because of their soft and nonabrasive texture.
  • Safe on paint:You can use these towels to clean dust without scratching your vehicle’s body. The fine fibers are especially gentle on the exterior paint.
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Cons of choosing a microfiber towel over a chamois may include:

  • Streaks left on your car or truck when damp.
  • The cheaper towels of this type may leave behind cotton particles.
  • You may need more than one for drying your vehicle, which can be costly depending on how many you need to get the job done.

If you already have a microfiber towel at home or for your car wash, we suggest following the steps below to ensure their longevity and effectiveness:

  • Refrain from using bleach or fabric softener on your microfiber drying towels.
  • If possible, air-dry your microfiber towels on a cold setting or allow them to dry naturally.
  • Never dry them in high temperatures.


You may have noticed drivers in the Olympics using chamois towels. “Chamois” refers to the weaved material of the towel and comes in a soft, felt-like finish. They are an absorbent synthetic rubber type and are ideal for larger vehicles. Chamois can become stiff when dry.

The pros of using a chamois drying towel include:

  • Efficient at absorbing water and dries quickly with fewer pauses to ring out.
  • Great for large car surfaces or the exterior of a boat.
  • Reliable usage, so you’ll only need one to dry your entire vehicle.
  • Durable enough for wash sessions of multiple vehicles.

On the other hand, you may want to look out for some of the cons of using a chamois drying towel:

  • Dries hard, which can make it inconvenient to store.
  • Can scratch the vehicle if used incorrectly.
  • Requires water to work effectively and is not ideal for waterless, eco-friendly sprays.

To properly take care of a chamois, be sure to:

  • Clean your chamois after every use with clean, soapy water with only soaps explicitly made for automobiles. Avoid using fabric softener or bleach.
  • Use only chemical-free water to clean your chamois.
  • Chamois are best washed by hand and need to be left to dry naturally. Do not dry using high temperatures, tumble dry or dry-clean your chamois.
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What Is the Difference Between a Shammy and Chamois?

As you’re considering whether you want to buy a microfiber towel or a car-drying chamois, you’re bound to come across a third term, “shammy.” Don’t let it throw you for too much of a loop. A car shammy isn’t a totally different kind of fabric that’s been thrown into the mix.

In fact, the word “shammy” is a nickname that actually comes from the word “chamois.” However, that doesn’t mean that a shammy and a chamois cloth are exactly the same thing. A shammy tends to be made from a specific type of chamois leather. The leather is excellent for polishing and shining up everything from the surface of a vehicle to fine jewelry. For this reason, a true shammy can be an excellent addition to your car care kit.

Should You Use a Shammy to Dry Your Vehicle or a Chamois?

Here’s the real question, though — will a shammy dry a vehicle as well as a chamois will? The answer depends upon the brand and type of shammy that you purchase. Because all shammies are manufactured and branded independently, you’ll want to make sure that you choose the one that’s right for the project you have on hand. In other words, read the “best use” guidelines and look at the customer reviews before you buy a shammy.

At the end of the day, you’ll be happy that you did your homework on chamois versus car shammy products, as well as chamois and shammies versus microfiber towels. The more knowledge you have, the better you can decide which type of towel to select.

Should You Choose Microfiber Towels or Chamois?

In the end, we suggest using microfiber cleaning cloths for luxury car surfaces or if you’re first getting started.

Our reasoning is that your high-quality microfiber towels are durable and gentle on the surface of your vehicles, unlike chamois or cheaper towels that can leave scratches. Quality, premium-grade microfiber towels include the kind with a waffle weave texture (for windows or glass), a drying microfiber towel (for anytime you make contact with the paint), a microfiber wash mitt (for applying soap) and a microfiber dash duster (for hard-to-reach places).

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On the other hand, if you’re looking for a towel that soaks up water quickly, chamois towels may be the best choice, as they work like a water magnet. Try using synthetic chamois instead of leather chamois because the synthetic kind tends to absorb more water.

Order Car Cleaning Towels From Towel Super Center

If you are ready to stock your car wash or garage with the best towels for your car, check out our car wash towels or microfiber car cleaning towels. Or, if you have questions or concerns about which towel to choose for your vehicle, contact us or call us toll-free at 1-866-449-3999, and a qualified member of our staff will be happy to talk to you about your towel needs.

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