1641 W Prince Rd, Tucson, AZ, 85705
Mon - Fri: Open 8:00AM - 6:00PM
5 min read

The Two Bucket System

Published on
April 10, 2024
two buckets for hand washing and rinsing your car
Subscribe to our newsletter
Read about our privacy policy
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Handing washing a car is the best way to maintain its cleanliness and appearance without risking damage from automated car washes.

Here is a step-by-step guide for the 2-bucket system:

1. Gather Supplies:

Two 5- gallon buckets with grit guards (Cool Auto uses the ones from Chemical Guys), exterior car pH balanced shampoo (we recommend IGL Ecoclean WASH orange fluid), exterior wash shampoo or IGL ecoclean BLIZZARD high foam exterior shampoo for foam a cannon, quality microfiber wash mitt and towels IGL (no tags or perforated sewn edges), hose with a spray nozzle, spray cannon for foam spray, or a pressure washer, brushes (wheel woolies) for cleaning wheels, IGL Ecoclean IRON Low Odor Neutral Rust Remover, IGL window cleaner IGL ecoclean GLASS streak-free glass cleaner, quick detailer to help as a drying agent, IGL Ecoshine ENHANCER Hybrid Quick Detailer.

2. Choose an Appropriate Location:

The location needs to be in the shade or covered. This is so that the paint remains cool and covered during the entire process. Before beginning make sure that the paint is cool to the touch to avoid water spots, prevent soap drying too quickly, and to help to prevent streaks. No direct sunlight.

3. Prepare the 2 Buckets with Soap Solution:

Fill up one of the 5- gallon buckets with the recommended amount of car wash shampoo. Follow the directions on the bottle for the dilution ratio. One bucket is for exterior shampoo, one bucket is for rinse water. Make sure that both buckets have grit guards placed in the very bottom of the buckets. This will ensure that the dirt and or dirt particles that are removed from the car and get on the wash mitt will remain in the bottom of the bucket and not get back into the wash mitt. Make sure to rinse wash mitt thoroughly with each pass through or section. This is to prevent scratching or marring the paint.

4. Vehicle Preparation:

If you have access to a blow gun, blowing off any excess dirt prior to rinsing off the car for the first rinse off is ideal. Rinsing thoroughly with water is important to remove and loosen dirt and debris. This process assists to prevent scratching the paint during the actual washing with soap process.

5. Beginning Washing:

Wash top to bottom. Always remember that you do not want to have any jewelry, belt buckets, keys, etc. to prevent scratching the car as you are washing or drying it. Wash and then rinse in sections of the car.

For cleaning the wheels: start by using an air gun if available, following that by rinse the wheel with water and spraying IGL IRON use the wheel woolies or other wash mitt to wipe evenly. Let sit for about 5 minutes, DO NOT let dry. Product will turn purple; this is it doing its job by lifting the contaminant from the wheel. Danger can be corrosive to some metals. Rinse with water and dry. Wheel woolies do the job for both the wheels and barrels. NOTE* Do not clean the wheels with the same wash mitt that is used for the paint. Huge NO-NO! You can spray them with an iron remover monthly to assist in removing the built-up break dust. Make sure to spray with water first.

6. If You Have Air Available:

Now is the time you would want to use it to blow off any excess water, working from the top of the vehicle down. The less you can touch the paint the better.

7. After Final Rinse:

Spray the car with the quick detailer a section at a time and with a fluffy microfiber drying towel dry each area keeping the towel laying flat on the surface. Keeping it flat on the surface to prevent wash marks or scratching. This will make sure the surface will be shiny and streak free.

8. Fill Up the Tank:

Go fill up the tank and enjoy the great job you did. Remember a clean car always goes faster!

9. To Purchase Product Mention:

These products are also available for sale at our location at

1641 West Prince Rd. Tucson, AZ 85705
Please feel free to call for questions at 520-292-9560 or
visit our website at