2 Bucket Method – The Magical Way to Clean Your Car

Every car owner prefers cleaning their car without leaving scratches and swirls in the paint. How would you feel if you are told that this can be achieved without taking your vehicle to an expert or without the need to spend too much money? This is indeed true and something that can be done from the convenience of your home. We are referring to the 2 Bucket Method technique that has been hugely successful and widely used in the past few years.

What is the 2 Bucket Cleaning method?

It is a cleaning method where two separate buckets are used (instead of one) at the time of washing your car. One of these buckets contains a shampoo solution, while the other is filled with clean water that is essentially used as a rinse bucket. 

Why do the experts recommend the 2 Bucket Cleaning technique?

Since long, people have been using only one bucket when it comes to cleaning a car. The mitt (or the cleaning cloth) is dunked into the bucket containing soap/shampoo and water. The cloth is then wiped over the vehicle to remove all the dust and dirt. As you continue to wash, the mitt picks up more and more contaminants from the surface of the car. The water in the same bucket gets used repeatedly to wash and apply the soapy solution on the mitt. This eventually brings back most of those contaminants back on the car surface, causing swirls and scratches on the paint. The reason why the 2 Bucket method makes sense is that:

  • It helps in reducing the transfer of small dirt particles back on the car paint. 
  • It helps in separating the dirt that has been wiped off. 

The bucket containing clean water allows you to rinse off the dirt collected on the mitt after every stroke of cleaning. After that, the mitt can be dipped into the second bucket containing the soapy solution and making the mitt ready for another round of cleaning.

Tools You Should Have

The 2 Bucket Cleaning Method is a straightforward process and can be carried out even from your home. Though to make the cleaning effect, you need to have:

  1. Two Buckets – As explained above, one bucket will only have clean water and the washing solution inside the other. Minimum advisable capacity is 20 liters as it provides enough depth needed for better cleaning, and it also allows grit guards to be installed inside the buckets.
  2. Good quality Washing Mitts – preferably Microfiber cloths. They help in trapping and lifting dust particles from the car surface. Simultaneously, they can be easily cleaned to get rid of the trapped contaminants. 
  3. Preferred Shampoo or Cleaning Solution – Select a shampoo that is gentle, has foaming and gloss enhancing abilities, the right pH balance, and a high level of lubricity. Using a generic car wash shampoo that does not contain these attributes can damage the car wax or paint sealant.
  4. Grit guards for both the buckets – These are round plastic grills that can be easily placed at the bottom of the buckets. They are suspended from the bottom by four-sided fins. They help in settling the dust particles from the Washing Mitts at the bottom of the bucket. Grit guards ensure that contaminants remain at the bottom of the bucket and don’t get stuck to the mitts every time they are dipped into the clean water or the bucket containing the shampoo. Once you have finished washing, lift the grit guards to see how effective they are in collecting dirt particles. Experts recommend grit guards to be installed in both the buckets for maximum protection against swirl marks.
  5. Drying Towels – They are essential to wipe off the water or moisture that gets left behind once the washing is complete. Again it is recommended that you use Microfiber drying cloths because they are safe and effective on the car paint.

Light scratches and swirl marks are the most common form of damage you would see on your car’s paintwork after a standard cleaning process. Two Bucket Washing immensely reduces the chances of such damage when done using the tools mentioned above.

For Effective Cleaning…

It is recommended that you use the top-to-bottom cleaning approach. This is because you would never want dirt from one portion of the car to be carried to another portion. Most of the contaminants get accumulated on the lowest portions of the car or the rocker panels. Starting from the top of the car and proceeding towards the rocker panels will always be the most effective way of washing your car. This way, you will prevent picking up any dirt and taking it onto the rest of the car. Tires and the whole wheel portion are the dirtiest for obvious reasons. So it is advisable to wash this area at the very last using a separate and dedicated brush.

In short, begin washing from the roof and move down gradually to the windows followed by hood and trunk, and eventually the wheels. To get the best cleaning, rinse the mitt in the rinse bucket after each section. Thereafter, soak it in the bucket containing the soapy solution so that the mitt gets filled with more soap and suds. Make use of the grit guards to thump out as much dirt out as possible from the mitt. It is also important to rinse the car after each section is washed. This is to avoid the soap from getting dried on the surface. In the end, rinse the whole car using a strong blast of water from the hose.

Final Word

Do you now understand why you see so many scratches and swirl marks on your car even after giving it a great wash? Blame it on the single bucket wash because you never imagined the adverse impact of such a wash.
It is not unusual that the dirt remains floating around in the bucket after cleaning a few portions of your car and rinsing the mitt in the same water. This dirt easily gets transferred from wash mitt to paintwork, causing the paint to look dull.
The two-bucket car wash method, on the other hand, greatly improves the efficiency of the wash.

It helps in reducing the possible damages that a single bucket wash does. No surprise that detailing experts recommend using the two-bucket wash method every time. If you are looking for more such popular detailing tips do get in touch with us. 

2 Bucket Method – The Magical Way to Clean Your Car
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