Love Your Car with This Proven Process | Rad Dad Rules

Love Your Car with This Proven Process

Amazing Results with Two Items and a Simple Process


Excellent car care does not have to be expensive. We’ll share two inexpensive products that make an amazing difference in keeping your vehicle’s paint looking great.  

You may want to also check out our post on straight lines, as well as our upcoming article on drying your vehicle.

Improper washing and drying technique are the cause for 95%+ of the swirls and scratches you see on vehicle paint. The good news is that you can easily prevent this, extending the life of your paint and glow of your car or truck.

First, we’ll tell you about the two items, and then will tell you how to use them. Your total spend on all of these items will be under $35!

Your Items:

Item 1 – Buckets (3):

You can buy 5 gallon buckets at most hardware stores for $4 or under. We’ll explain the technique in the next section, and yes, you want to buy three. These will likely last your lifetime.

Item 2 – Grit Guards (3):

Grit guards are available at a variety of car specialty shops and online at places like Amazon. Any of them that are sized for 5-gallon buckets are perfect for you. You’ll also need three, and they will last you an incredibly long time.

How to use your items:

Buckets – Use each bucket for a specific purpose when washing. You can fill them about half full. Here’s how to use each one:

Wash Bucket – Have car soap and water, and your grit guard, in this bucket. Soak your wash mitt in here as you get started.

Rinse Bucket – Have clear water and a grit guard in this bucket.

Wheel Bucket – Have some car soap and water in this bucket. You’ll also have your grit guard, and all of your wheel washing tools (detail brushes, wheel worm, etc.). Have a separate wheel mitt in this bucket as well. Do not use any of these tools on your car’s paint.

Grit Guards – At the bottom of each bucket, you’ll place a grit guard. These magically little items do an amazingly simple and useful job. Dirt and particles sink to the bottom of the bucket, underneath the guard. When you rinse or soap up your mitt or detail brush – none of this stuff sticks. This helps keep your wash materials debris-free – and scratch-free!

Here’s Your Process:

  1. Start by washing your wheels and only use your wheel bucket. This is the dirtiest part of your car. Wash  each wheel and rinse before starting on your car’s body. When done, put the wheel bucket aside.
  2. After rinsing your car thoroughly, you’ll wash your car. Your wash mitt starts in the soapy water. Using straight lines (article on this here), wash about 1/8th of the car at a time. Then, put the mitt in the rinse bucket, then the wash bucket, then back on your car. This process will help keep scratches from occurring.
  3. Dry your vehicle carefully. We have a future article coming for this.

As a reminder, never scrub hard – gentle and even pressure is good. Pushing and scrubbing is too much effort, and is an indicator that you need another product (like APC) to help loosen the debris.

If you have two vehicles to wash, you can re-use these buckets as-is. The grit guards will keep the junk away from your mitts and paint. After you are done, empty them out and rinse thoroughly.

That’s it – it’s really that simple to get great results and avoid scratches and swirls.

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About the Author Chris

Chris has worked in tech for 30 years, and healthcare tech for 8 of those. He's on the advisory board of Harvard-Based Think:Kids, and runs Rad Dad Rules. He is the proud Dad of two awesome kids, and lives in the Pacific Northwest.

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