Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Crystal Clear Crystal

(above: if you wanna know how to make something look great, ask a fanatical car buff)

The other day I was perusing various product pages at Amazon.com and I came across the Riedel Large Microfiber Crystal Cloth, made for drying stemware.

Being that I never seem to be able to dry my glasses to a completely smudge-free state (this reminded me of a posting in Dr. Deb’s Good Wine Under $20 blog back in September), this product piqued my interest, especially since 5 customers had raved about it in their reviews.

Unfortunately it was out of stock. The price was rather steep, also - $12.90 but discounted by Amazon to $10.32 (still pricey).

Then I got to thinking.. microfiber. You know who makes good microfiber towels? Meguiar’s, the car care people. I don’t think you can get more finicky than the fanatics who lovingly and painstakingly polish their car’s finishes to a deep liquid shine and are totally intolerant of any scratches or swirls in the paint. And Meguiar’s has a legion of fanatical fans (like in the above picture). If it is that gentle for paint, it should be gentle enough for my Riedel crystal.

I’m also a fan of Meguiar’s although I am surely much lazier than their average customer. I had some of their microfiber towels sitting in a box in the garage. But I didn’t think I had any new ones so off I went to the auto store.

Kragen’s was the first stop. I managed to buy the last one in stock (and probably ever in stock) for only 63 cents! They told me this had been discontinued so it was on sale – normally $3.99 – too bad they only had one left.

I stopped at Pep Boys, another Kragen and AutoZone looking for more with no luck.

Then I came home and discovered I still had a brand new towel in the box so now I had two of them. That should last me for a while.

The last thing to do was to try it out. I guess I should have been more prudent and used a less valuable test glass but instead I got out the big one – the Grand Cru Burgundy stem I bought last week – and washed it. Then I pulled out the Meguiar’s microfiber towel and.. excellent, as Montgomery Burns would say. Super absorbent and left not a streak or a smudge! Since they absorb water so readily they don’t slide over glass as freely as does a cotton towel – there’s a bit of “traction” as you dry the glass.

Perhaps any microfiber towel would yield excellent results but for me, I stick with Meguiar’s. I’ve purchased other brand towels and they are of lesser quality.

While your mileage may vary and you may not find it for 63 cents, it can still be had for under $4.00 and an even better bargain is to get a 3-pack which Amazon or Meguiar’s sells for around $7.00. These are plush, generously-sized towels and they do a great job on crystal – at least as far as I can see. What took me so long to think of that?

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