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What Is The Two Bucket Wash Method, And Why Do We Use It?

What Is The Two Bucket Wash Method, And Why Do We Use It?

The Two Bucket Wash Method is considered the safest way of contact washing your vehicle while minimising the potential risk of scratching any of the vehicle's surfaces. So why, and how does the Two Bucket Wash Method work?

The Two Bucket Wash Method works by drastically reducing or eliminating dirt and grime that's picked up by your wash mitt and spread around the vehicle, meaning far fewer unsightly and unwanted swirl marks and scratches. The Two Wash Bucket Method avoids this by having both a 'wash' and a 'rinse' bucket. Once the wash mitt has contacted the vehicle and has cleaned an individual panel or area of a larger panel, it is dunked into your rinse bucket containing the clean water and grit guard. The wash mitt needs to be agitated by hand in the rinse bucket to dislodge or remove any loose or embedded grime from the wash mitt's fibres. Once any dirt has been removed, you can place the wash mitt back into the dedicated 'wash bucket' and continue the wash process, repeating this method as you go.

Wash and Rinse Bucket
Bucket and Grit Guard

To help improve the effectiveness of the Two Bucket Wash Method, we place a grit guard in each bucket to trap any dirt that is picked up during the wash process, keeping it at the bottom of the bucket away from your wash mitt so that each time your dunk your wash mitt into either bucket you are not picking up any dirt that you have removed on a previous rinse. If we didn't have the grit guards in the bottom, then any grime would be freely floating around or suspended in the clean water, which in turn would be picked up again by the wash mitt each time you place the mitt into the bucket.

Starting at the top of the vehicle with the roof area, we begin by using the wash mitt from your wash bucket and wash the surface working in straight lines. The level of dirt on each panel determines how often we should be returning the wash mitt to the rinse bucket to rinse and remove any grime picked up. The dirtier the panel, the more times you will need to rinse.

Once the wash mitt has been rinsed, wring out the mitt before returning it to your wash bucket to collect clean water and shampoo solution, and then continue with the wash process. Now it's simply a case of rinse and repeat until the whole vehicle has been completed.

A high-quality shampoo is an essential product to aid you in the Two Bucket Wash Method, with our chosen shampoo being Bahama Blue - High Concentrated Shampoo. A good quality shampoo helps with a few things, mainly good lubrication and slip. This means the wash media will glide over the panel, minimising any pressure contact with the vehicle's paintwork. Efficiency, a high concentration shampoo means we can use less product per wash, saving money.

After the wash is complete, you will see the wash bucket water is still clean and the rinse water is dirty, showing you that your Two Bucket Wash Method is successful.

The perfect wash method

 Once your wash process is complete, it's always good to dry the vehicle, even if you aren't planning to add any other products. This will help to reduce any water spots, especially if you live in a hard water area. We use a Duel Triple Twisted Loop Drying Towel for this. Specially designed fibres in the towel make for a scratch-free, super absorbent towel, which makes the drying process light work.

If we look at a process in which we only use one bucket, it will further highlight the importance of the Two Bucket Wash Method. Each time you wash a panel and then load your wash mitt with more suds from the wash bucket you are putting any grime back into the wash bucket, which is increasingly becoming dirtier and dirtier each time until eventually you’re washing your car with filthy water, which you then end up scrubbing back into the surface of your vehicle.

Another step that is also vitally important to the success of the Two Bucket Wash Method is the 'pre wash'. The pre-wash process can be considered more important than the two bucket wash process.