What is the Two Bucket Car Wash Method?

Two Bucket Wash MethodThe Two Bucket Wash Method is a system of using two buckets to safely wash your car, reducing the risk of introducing swirls and scratches to the bodywork.

One Bucket for Washing, One Bucket for Rinsing

The basics of the two bucket method is one bucket with your shampoo wash solution, and one bucket with plain water for rinsing your wash mitt.

Work on the vehicle from top to bottom, working in small sections, rinsing the wash mitt in your rinse bucket out before reloading with shampoo solution from the wash bucket. It makes sense – you’ve pulled your wash mitt across the vehicle to remove grit and grime, you wouldn’t want to add that dirt back into the shampoo you’re using to wash the rest of your vehicle.

Two Bucket Wash Tools

  • Two Buckets
    Extra points for a different colours/stickers to know which bucket to dunk your mitt in to as you work around the vehicle. A plastering bucket can be a good starting point.
  • Grit Guards
    Basic grit guards are fine, the key is to ensure whichever grit guards you buy fit your buckets well
  • Wash Mitt
    Step away from that sponge, and use a wash mitt with a thick pile to pull dirt away from the paintwork
  • Car Shampoo
    A dedicated car shampoo suited to your vehicle’s cleaning needs
  • Water

Safe Contact Wash ProcessThe Two Bucket Wash Process

The two bucket wash method is part of a wider safe-wash process which includes pre-washing with snow foam to remove as much of the surface contaminants as possible before the contact wash stage, with your wash mitt.

Alternative Wash Methods

There are a number of other wash methods, all with the aim of trying to clean your vehicle as safely and efficiently as possible.

Three Bucket Method
An extension of the two bucket method, using a third bucket dedicated to wheels, for example, coated in grime, metal particles from braking etc. A three bucket wash can keep a lot of dirt safely away from your bodywork and you may opt for a stronger cleaning solution.

One Bucket Method
Rather than rinsing your wash mitt in a separate rinse bucket, you switch to a fresh wash mitt, usually on a per panel basis. The benefit being that you remove the opportunity for grit to be added back into your shampoo solution albeit at the expense of acquiring and cleaning 5-7 wash mitts for each wash.

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