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How to guide...car washing the two bucket method
The two bucket method is a safe way of shampooing your vehicle, in one bucket you'll have your soapy water and in the other, clean rinsing water, ideally in each bucket you should use a grit guard. By shampooing this way you are removing the loose particles from both the vehicle and your mitt and keeping them safely away from your paint.
Before starting on the main body of the car, wash your wheels and seals, these are the places that trap lots of dirt and grime so cleaning these first will stop the dirt spreading. Next, using a pressure washer or a hose pipe, give the car a good rinse of clean water to remove the loose dirt and grit. Just a light spray is all you need and if you don’t have a pressure washer or a hose pipe a watering can will do.
For the two bucket method, you'll obviously need two buckets, the 5 gallon buckets are the optimum size to go for, you'll also need a wash mitt and here you can choose from either microfibre or wool. Either way you want a soft mitt that will hold lots of water and wash solution. A thicker plush will trap the dirt and keep it away from the cars surface.
A good shampoo is next on the list, Just looking at our washing and shampoo section might seem a bit bamboozling as there is so much choice, so where do you start? You want one that produces lots of suds as it’s the suds that help lubricate the surface of the car and stop dirt dragging across the paint. A mild shampoo that doesn’t strip wax is important, you don’t want to strip all the protection off your car’s surface. This is why domestic washing up liquids aren’t suitable as they’re designed to cut through grease and so will strip the car’s surface of any waxes and sealants. Dilution ratios vary from shampoo to shampoo so it’s important to check yours prior to diluting it.
Load your wash mitt in the soapy bucket and apply the suds to the surface using a light pressure passing the mitt back and forth in a straight motion. Here. we've used the lamsbwool wash mitt, it's a soft, natural material that holds lots of suddy solution. We've also opted for the fingerless so that you can easily swap the mitt around.
Start at the top of the car and work down and out of direct sunlight which can cause the shampoo to dry. You might come across stubborn areas that the mitt alone won’t shift, resist the temptation to scrub and instead you might want to clay or use a tar remover.
Rinse your mitt often in the rinse bucket before re-loading the mitt with the shampoo.
After washing the car you need to rinse. Again just a gentle water flow or watering can is sufficient and you want to rinse until the water sheets off the car. And again, start from the top and work your way down.
Now on to the drying stage. Chamois leathers have long since been replaced by microfibre or waffle towels as the tool of choice, the fabric proving a safer alternative as there is less chance of dragging particles across the paint. That said, care still needs to be taken in case there is the odd bit of dirt. When the towel becomes too wet change to a dry one as the absorbency won’t be as effective.
Here's the before shot,
And the after...