What Is the Two Bucket Car Wash Method?

What Is the Two Bucket Car Wash Method?

What is the two bucket wash method and why do you need it? In this article we break down the tools and procedures you need to perform a two bucket car wash process.

It's summertime! That mean's it's time to take your car out of the garage, clean it, and let it shine. Car washing is a lot of fun and there are many different ways to do it. The 2 Bucket Wash Method is one of the best ways to clean your car. It is a system of using two buckets to wash your car and reduce the risk of swirls and scratches.

One Bucket Method - Most Common

When you clean your vehicle, most people are using the one bucket method. The same water is used to wash and rinse the car. This means you are placing the same dirty contaminated water back where it was in the first place, on your car. To sum up this common method, you are scrubbing the dirty water, soap, and grim onto your vehicle’s paint.

Two Bucket Wash Method

The two bucket method is a simple way to wash your car. Begin by filling one bucket with a car soap solution (Try our Ceramic Shampoo Car Soap or Graphene Shampoo Soap) and the other with plain water so you can rinse your wash pad. Wet the wash mitt and pad with the shampoo solution, use it to scrub all over your car, then rinse it off in the bucket of water, and repeat. Tip: if you use 2 different color buckets, you can easily make sure you do not mix them.

Why Bother Using the Two Bucket Method Instead of One Bucket?

When you’re washing any car, you’re working to remove the bonded dirt and contaminants from your car’s surface to reveal the clean glossy finish below. The problem arises when your wash mitt touches the paint. This is where you have the highest potential to impart swirls and scratches into your paintwork. However, rinsing your wash mitt before soaping it again can greatly reduce the chance of swirl marks and scratch marks damaging the paint, allowing you to effectively and safely wash your car.

This type of method reduces the amount of dirt on your wash mitt when you dunk it back into your wash bucket to get more soapy water. Using this method you also get a cleaner vehicle because you are able to keep your material cleaner while washing your car. For example, your washing mitt is cleaned in the second separate rinse bucket that is filled with clean water.

When is it best to use this method?

When a vehicle has a heavy layer of dirt particles and contaminants on the paint surface, you want to use this method to reduce the amount of dirt that may scratch the vehicle's surface. You can use this method to accomplish pro-level results without scratching your paint by putting in both the time and practice. Our car cleaning products make it easy to make your car shine and remove any harmful dirt and grime that accumulates.

What Do You Need for a Two-Bucket Car Wash?

Here is a list of the items you will need to successfully wash your car using this method.

    1. 2 Car Wash Buckets

    2. A Microfiber Car Cloth or Washing Mitts

    3. Your Favorite Car Wash Soap - Want to use something new? Try Ethos Ceramic Car Shampoo or Ethos Car Graphene Shampoo

    4. A Grit Guard
    5. A Car Drying Towel - Waffle Weave Microfiber 
    6.  Water Supply

How to Wash a Car Two Bucket Method

Step 1.) Park in the shade

It is recommended to park in the shade so that the water is less likely to dry on the paint while you are washing.

Step 2.) Get your car wash tools

Gather your buckets, car wash soap, drying towel, microfiber cloths, wash pads and anything else you enjoy using to clean your car.

Step 3.) Clean your wheels first

The first thing you should clean on your vehicle is your wheels, that is because they can contain metals from your brakes. By washing them first, it reduces the amount of metal contaminated that may splash onto your vehicles paint. Make sure to use your Wheels bucket and also try out our Wheel Cleaner.

Step 4.) Rinse your whole vehicle down

Now that your wheels are clean it is time to rinse the whole vehicle down and get it ready for washing. Make sure to rinse any heavily soiled areas before moving onto the next step. If you vehicle is coated with dirt, we recommend using a foam cannon, with a good foam cannon soap and letting the soap loosen the dirt before moving to the next step.

Step 5.) Wash the vehicle using both buckets

The fun part! Now is the time to use the final two buckets to wash the car. One bucket should have water and soap and the second bucket should have clean water. Soak your wash pad or microfiber car towel into the soapy water and begin to wash your vehicle. After you have completed and area and your mitt is dirty, then use the clean bucket to clean your mitt or wash cloth. Then proceed to cleaning other areas of the vehicle.

Step 6.) Final rinse-down

This is a simple step, rinse the vehicle down to remove all of the soapy water from the surface.

Step 7.) Dry

It is important to dry the vehicle as soon as you are done rising it off so that you do not leave any water spots. We recommend using microfiber towels because they can soak up a lot of water and they are gentle on the surface of the vehicle.

Step 8.) Use a Graphene Spray Protectant (optional)

Our RESIST - Graphene Spray Coating with Insta-Bond™ is our proprietary coating technology that instantly produces gloss, slickness, water beading, and durability upon contact. You can see this effect at work with each spray of our product. Upon contact with the surface the product immediately disperses and cures. It cures so quickly that even excess product residue beads up and begins to reject itself!

Three Bucket Car Wash Method

The 3 Bucket Method is a car wash technique where you use 3 different buckets. One bucket to Wash, one bucket to Rinse, and one bucket to wash ONLY the Wheels. The third bucket is dedicated to the wheels because they may be coated in grime and metal particles from braking etc. If you care about your vehicle's surface, you will not want to mix the wheel bucket with the wash bucket.

When is it best to use this method?

If the wheels are excessively dirty, then this method is highly recommended so that you do not contaminate the wash bucket and damage the paint on the car.

What are the benefits of this method?

The reason we separate the wheel bucket is that you should always wash your wheels first. It’s the dirtiest part of your car and you don’t want some of the wheel cleaning solutions to end up on your car paint. But if you use our Ethos Wheel Cleaner Spray it works fast on stubborn contamination while being gentle on your wheels, paint, and glass. You can watch it clean your wheels and paint because the formula changes from green to purple. Once the activated gel has changed color completely you know it's done working, ready for a quick agitation and rinse, leaving no guesswork and no wasted formula!

FAQ

The two bucket method is the best way to achieve a scratch free car wash. Because dirt and grit from your vehicle can scratch your finish, its important to seperate out a rinse bucket from your clean wash bucket as to not re-introduce contaminants to your car finish.

1: Park in the shade

2: Get your car wash tools

3: Clean your wheels first

4: Rinse your whole vehicle down

5: Wash the vehicle using both buckets

6: Final rinse-down

7: Dry

8: Use a Graphene Spray Protectant (optional)

A two bucket wash method is the safest way to ensure a scratch free car wash process. This ensure that you are not re-introducing contamintants that can scratch your finish back onto the surface you are cleaning.

It is best to wash your car from the top surfaces down. In addition, using seperate buckets to clean your wheels will ensure a scratch free car wash process.

1 comment

Troy Carls

Troy Carls

Response to two bucket method…

I realize this is the method that most detailers say that we should use. Fine, but I think there is a better method. And that is one bucket filled with about 6 – 8 (or whatever you think is needed) wash mitts. Wash one section at a time then set aside that mitt. Grab another and wash another section. And continue on until the car has been fully washed.
But before that, I rinse, then foam cannon. Let sit for a few minutes and rinse again. This will remove much of the surface dirt. Use foam cannon again. At this point wash with the mitts as I explain above. Then rinse again and dry.

Response to two bucket method…

I realize this is the method that most detailers say that we should use. Fine, but I think there is a better method. And that is one bucket filled with about 6 – 8 (or whatever you think is needed) wash mitts. Wash one section at a time then set aside that mitt. Grab another and wash another section. And continue on until the car has been fully washed.
But before that, I rinse, then foam cannon. Let sit for a few minutes and rinse again. This will remove much of the surface dirt. Use foam cannon again. At this point wash with the mitts as I explain above. Then rinse again and dry.

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