You will need:
1. 5-Gallon Wash Bucket
Any generic 5-Gallon wash bucket here would suffice. However, we recommend that you get one that can fit a 12 inch grit guard at the bottom. Any hardware store will have a bucket for about $5.00 or less that can be put to use.
Buy it from Home Depot: Leaktite 5 gal. Bucket
Optional: Leaktite 5-gal Screw Top Lid
2. Grit Guard:
Grit guards are an essential to this wash method. They ensure that all the loose particles sink to the bottom of the bucket and stay there even when the detergent solution is agitated. They can price at $10 each and can be found on detailing websites and even on Amazon. Sadly, no local stores seem to have this in-store at the time of this write up.
Buy it from Amazon: The Grit Guard Insert (Black)
3. The Big Red Sponge:
This is an Optimum Polymer exclusive and after trying it for countless hours, we have come to love this. It has several cubical cuts which increase the surface area of the sponge and its dirt encapsulation and absorption capacity significantly. It also works in synergy with Optimum No Rinse(mentioned below). Due to its quick extraction, wringing and reloading properties, this sponge really expedites the washing process to half the time it takes to normally wash the car.
Buy it from Optimum Car Care: Big Red Sponge
4. Waffle Weave Drying Towel:
We've tried some good drying towels and deduced that we love the waffle weaves since they are knit in such a way that they don't leave streaks, are highly absorbent and lint-free. Feel free to experiment with these. Buying one is great but we recommend getting two of these (Trust us, the more the better!) Since we have been using Optimum Products, we will stick with Optimum waffle weave towels only. We also recommend that you wash and dry the towels at low heat settings and not with other surface towels(eg. wheels, interior, glass) to maintain the lifespan of the microfibers. The prices on these can vary from $8-$25 depending on what brand or quality you go with.
Buy it from Optimum Car Care: Extra Large Waffle Weave Microfiber Drying Towel (24" x 36")
5. Optimum No Rinses Wash & Shine :
This is hands down one of the best rinseless wash solution ever! Detailers swear by it and everyone who has tried it is in love with it. It's a superb wash deteregent that encapsulates dirt and causes it to drop at the bottom of the bucket. It ends up cleaning the wash water as you clean the vehicle! It acts as a water softener, can be used as a clay lubricant and even as a quick detailer! Environmentally safe and versatile, this is a must-have for anyone who is an automotive enthusiast. The Wash & Shine has polymers in it while Wash & Wax has some amount of carnauba wax added for the warm and wet look. Following are the dilutions:
1 ounce per 2 gallons of water for Washing
2 ounces per gallon of water for Clay Lubricant
8 ounces per gallon of water for Quick Detailer
Buy it from Amazon: Optimum No Rinse Wash & Shine (32 oz)
Buy it from Amazon: Optimum No Rinse Wash & Wax (32 oz)
Now that we have it all set, let's get washing:
1. Pour 3-4 Gallons of Water Into the Wash Bucket:
We strongly recommend using deionized or distilled water here to reduce the chances of water spotting on the surface. There are several water deionizing systems available online which you can buy and will suit your needs. They can go from a few hundreds to a couple of thousands. We at least recommend to wash the car in the shade which will allow you to dry the car quicker. If you are working with hard water, we recommend adding an additional 0.5-1 ounce of ONR to help soften the water.
2. Insert Grit Guard:
Using a grit guard is critical to reducing the chances of marring on the paint. All loose particles will sink down to the bottom of the bucket and stay there.
3. Pour 1-2 Ounces of ONR Into The Bucket
For every 2 gallons of water, pour 1 ounce of ONR into the bucket. For 3 gallons, use 1.5 ounces and for 4 gallons, use 2 ounces.
4. Soak The Sponge & Agitate
If the sponge is new, we recommend agitating and soaking the sponge for 2-3 minutes prior to use on the surface.
5. Glide Sponge Across The Panels Starting from Top Horizontal Surfaces
Start from the top horizontal surface. If the sponge feels grippy, squeeze it slowly as you glide across the surface so that it has enough lubrication to have a smooth motion. Place the sponge back into the bucket and wring it so that all embedded dirt in the sponge vacates the sponge.
6. Immediately Wipe Dry Panel
Quad-fold the towel and gently glide across the wet panel in a swiping motion to pick up the wash water. If your towel starts leaving streaks, use a clean and dry towel to continue where you left of.
7. Rinse (or No-Rinse in this Case?) & Repeat
This process is continued till the entire car is covered. We recommend doing the wheels the last and maybe even using a separate wash sponge and towel for this purpose.
And... you're done! This process can take 15-20 minutes depending on your skill and condition of the car. Feel free to modify the method as necessary and let us know what changes you have done or can be done to improve this process.
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