Washing your car can seem like a simple task but with the large selection of products and many different ways you can wash your car. Generally, there are three different methods of washing: the traditional 2-bucket method, the rinse less method, and the waterless method. This blog will outline the traditional 2-bucket method, which is still regarded by most people as the safest way to clean a vehicle, as it has been proven to minimize the chance of adding swirl marks and scratches to your paint’s finish.
What is 2-bucket method and its advantages
There are many reasons why the 2-bucket method is preferred over the other two methods. One of its main advantages is that it allows you to pre-rinse the vehicle and remove as much dirt and grime as possible before physically touching the paint with a wash mitt.
2-bucket method, as the name suggests, relies on the use of two buckets to complete a wash. The first bucket is referred to as the wash bucket because car wash shampoo is added to it. The second bucket is your rinse bucket, which contains only water. The water in the second bucket will get noticeably dirtier by the end of the wash because in this bucket you are rinsing the mitt after every section you wash. Using two buckets allows you to minimize cross contamination by releasing dirt into the rinse bucket and keeping both your wash mitt and wash bucket as clean as possible.
Prior to Washing: Park your car in the shaded area. However, washing your car outside is also perfectly fine as long as you are not out in the open sun. By working in a cool, shaded area you will minimize the risk of shampoo and water drying on the surface, thus reducing water spotting and streaks.
Step 1: Pre-Wash Process and Rinse
Rinsing the paint is the first part of the wash process. If your vehicle is heavily soiled, use Car wash Shampoo to provide extra cleaning power. If you have heavily embedded dirt in certain sections, use All Purpose Cleaner (APC) to those sections. Allow the APC to work for several minutes before rinsing.
If you have bird droppings anywhere on the car, you should wash those areas properly. If your vehicle is not overly dirty, you can skip the use of APC and go straight to rinsing with a pressure washer or garden hose. Experts do not recommend using a pressure washer stronger than 2000 PSI as a more powerful machine, in the wrong hands, when used improperly will cause serious paint damage.
Step 2: Setting Up Soap and Rinse Buckets
First, Experts recommends installing Grit Guards on the bottom of each bucket to keep your wash mitts as clean and debris-free as possible. You can use standard 5-gallon buckets with about 4 gallons of water. First, you have to add the recommended amount of car wash shampoo to the bottom of the wash bucket then spray a pressurized stream of water to produce suds. Once the soap bucket is filled and suds are created, toss your wash mitt into the bucket so it can soak up the soap.
You can use The Chemical Guys 4-In-1 Waterproof Microfiber Car Wash Mitt because they clean every car part quickly and safely.
Step 3: Washing the Car
Always wash your car in the top to bottom and use horizontal or vertical motions. Start with cleaning the top half of the vehicle and working your way down. first wash the roof, glass, mirrors, top of the trunk then rinsing the car wash shampoo off to avoid any streaks or product drying on the surface. Try to apply just enough pressure with the wash mitt to clean the area; using too much pressure can result in a swirl or scratch marks, while not enough pressure may not clean the paint all the way.
If you have tar buildup, iron specs on the paint, DO NOT try to scrub them off with a Mitt because this almost always adds unnecessary swirls and marring; wait until after the wash to tackle these areas with the appropriate chemicals and products.
Don’t forget to rinse your wash mitt inside the rinse bucket after washing each section and getting it as clean as possible before placing it back into the wash bucket to get more soap. Also, try to make it a habit to inspect the Mitt during the wash process to make sure no large dirt particles get trapped in the mitt.
Step 4: Drying
After the car is washed, it should be thoroughly rinsed off before starting the drying process. Drying should be done from top to bottom with vertical or horizontal motions. Dry your car with microfiber cleaning cloth. If the paint has no wax/sealant/coating, using forced air to dry is not the best option, as water will not easily bead off the paint.
Step 5: Applying Sealant or Detail Spray
To create a superior finish apply car Sealant after the car is dried.
The 2-bucket method allows you to utilize tools such as the Pressure Washer with Garden Hose with Foam Gun, car wash mitt, All purpose cleaner and Car wash Shampoo to clean your paint in a way no other methods can.
These car detailing products can be used to break down dirt and contamination, making it easier to wash off. The less you have to scrub your paint, the less chance there is of creating paint damage like swirls and scratches. When doing the 2-bucket method, remember to wash and dry top to bottom, rinse often to keep the paint wet at all times, avoid heavy scrubbing, and regularly inspect your wash mitt.