The Proper Way to Wash Your Car: Two Bucket Method
Washing your own car is always a tell-tale sign of a true car guy.
It’s the best way to ensure your car is cleaned without scratching the finish, and more importantly it’s just fun to do.
I honestly look forward to my Sunday washes since it gives me an excuse to use all the car care products, tire shines, soaps, brushes, foam cannons and more!
If you want to learn how to properly hand wash your car, this is the guide for you.
The Two Bucket Method:
TL/DR: use two buckets, one with car soap and the other with just water. After every pass clean out the microfiber mitt in the water bucket to release any dirt/grit.
In this method, there are two buckets.
The first bucket holds your soapy water solution.
Dilute the soap according to the label.
The second bucket will hold your water solution.
The purpose of this bucket is to rinse out the mitt to remove any stuck dirt or grit which could scratch your paint while washing.
It’s highly recommended that you also use a grit-guard in your buckets.
It gives you a surface to agitate the mitt against to dislodge the grit from the mitt.
The grit then sinks to the bottom of the bucket and stays out of your mitt.
- Two Buckets
- Car soap (Never use dish soap because it strips protective wax and coatings)
- Microfiber wash mitt and drying towel
- Drying aid
Step by step breakdown:
- Fill one bucket with your diluted car soap solution, and one bucket with just water.
- Dunk your wash mitt in the soap solution.
- Wash one panel starting from the roof and working down the car.
- Remember to move your wash mitt in straight lines and not in circles.
- After every panel, thoroughly clean off your mitt using the grit guard in the water filled bucket.
- Rinse the vehicle to remove the soap
- Dry the vehicle using a microfiber towel and a drying aid to prevent scratching during the process.
What about those foam guns that spray suds on your car?
There are two types of sud spraying apparatuses, foam cannons and foam guns.
What’s the difference?
Foam cannons require a pressure washer.
Foam guns only require a garden hose.
Do I still need to scrub if I use a foam cannon or foam gun?
Yes, the soapy solution on the paint alone will not fully clean the paint. You will still require a microfiber wash mitt to gently agitate the surface.
This doesn’t require scrubbing with pressure, just a light gentle pass with a microfiber wash mitt is enough.