by Chasen Gibbel, Prescott Pro Wash and Detail
I’d like to discuss the two-bucket car wash method versus the multi microfiber towel way of washing your vehicle. Both methods offer a much safer alternative to a single-bucket sponge or automatic car washes.
I’ll start by explaining the two-bucket method because it has become the new standard for the home hand-wash.
This process requires two 5-gallon buckets, one containing fresh water and the other with your favorite pH- balanced car wash soap. Each bucket also should have a grit guard on the bottom, which is a plastic grill that reduces dirt and sediment from mixing around during each dunk of your car wash sponge.
After each pass of a panel with your car wash mitt, instead of rinsing it back into the soap bucket, you’ll instead first rinse it out in the fresh water bucket. This allows the dirt collected from your car to be mostly rinsed off before dunking it back into your soap bucket to reload for the next panel of your car.
With this process you significantly reduce the chance of scratching and degrading your car’s clear coat by rinsing off your car wash mitt before its applied back to the vehicle. Most paint jobs swirling scratches are caused by washes where the sponge had stuck-on dirt and was continually wiped around the vehicle, lightly scratching the paint with each pass.
This is why most vehicle experts warn against these drive-thru washes, as the tendrils are often saturated in as much dirt as soap and only accelerate wear of your vehicle’s paint.
The next process is often the preferred method of high-end detailers, the multi micro fiber towel method. The result of this method is the same as the two-bucket, in which we’re minimizing the chance to wipe the vehicle down with a contaminated sponge or mitt.
In this case, we’re eliminating that possibility altogether. Using just one bucket with soap and water mixture, you’ll pre-soak five or more microfiber towels, depending on the size of your vehicle. Instead of dunking a towel that’s just wiped down dirt off your car’s paint back into the soap bucket, you’ll instead place it aside and grab a new soaked towel for the next panel.
This ensures the safest way to wash your vehicle without introducing swirls and scratching into your car’s paint job.