What is the '2-Bucket Wash Method'?

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What is the '2-Bucket Wash Method'?

What is the 2-Bucket Wash Method and what are the benefits?

A simple car wash is the easiest and most effective way to maintain your vehicle’s appearance. However, some of you might be washing your car wrong!

Check out the 5 important steps below for the best way to wash your car.

Rule 1 – The Two-Bucket Wash Method

It is absolutely essential that you utilise two buckets when washing your car. Let’s think for a second on how you’re currently washing. I’ll bet you’re grabbing a single bucket, filling it with soap & water, grabbing your rag, spraying the car down, then going to town; constantly dunking your dirty rag into the same wash bucket. All the while, you’re mixing your clean wash water with the dirt and grime you just removed from the car’s surface. Your wash rag/mitt becomes impregnated with dirt, in turn transferring that dirt BACK to the vehicle’s surface, and slowly but surely scratching, marring, and dulling the painted surface.

Thankfully there’s an easy and effective fix to this issue. Instead of a single bucket, we recommend using two. One bucket for your soapy wash water (wash bucket), the other should contain only water (rinse bucket). 5 gallon buckets are the best for these tasks as they allow for ample amount of water to help remove trapped dirt particles from your wash mitt.

Rule 2 – Grit Guards

Grit Guards and Washboards are relatively recent additions to the car washing tool box. A Grit Guard is an insert that is placed into the bottom of your wash and rinse buckets that aids in extracting dirt particles from your wash mitt. They allow the dirt to sink to the bottom of the bucket and provide a clean, scratch-free wash mitt every time you go back to the bucket for water.

A Washboard works in conjunction with the Grit Guard and provides a vertical surface to agitate your wash mitt against (note that a Grit Guard is needed in order to utilise the Washboard).

Rule 3 – The Wash Soap

Choosing the correct car wash soap to wash your car with is another critical choice that will dictate the amount of work washing your car takes. Whatever car wash soap you choose, make sure to never use dish soap for washing your car! Dish soap contains powerful detergents that will not only strip the dirt, oil and grime from your vehicle’s paint but also any wax protection you may have applied previously.

Instead, choose a high-quality, PH-balanced soap that is designed specifically for cleaning painted surfaces. Jay Leno's Garage Vehicle Wash is PH-nuetral, and is formulated for maximum lubricity to prevent scratching or marring.

Rule 4 – The Wash Mitt

It is imperative to invest in a quality wash mitt. While there are hundreds of types of wash mitts available on the market today, one of the most recent advancements in this area is microfibre chenille mitts. These are extra-soft mitts that contain absorbent strands to help lift and trap dirt away from the paint’s sensitive surface. They’re the only wash mitts we use at the garage!

Rule 5 – The Drying Towel

Do not overlook the drying step. Most folks will simply grab an old, cotton bathroom towel to do the job. But fabrics like cotton are typically too aggressive to use on your car’s paint and can also leave behind dreaded swirls and scratches.

Instead, we recommend using a microfiber drying towel when drying your car. These provide an extra-soft, super absorbent solution to aid in drying your vehicle. And the best part is, they won’t harm your car’s painted surfaces.


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