There are a few quick and easy things you can do to your car before you wash that will make sure your vehicle is completely clean. The first thing is to remove your license plate as it traps a good bit of dirt and dust behind it. If you’re like me, you lose bolts the second they come off the car. In order to maintain your sanity just thread the bolts back into the license plate bracket and stash the plate inside the car.
Remove plate. Thread bolts. Stash plate. Hooray beer.
Some other areas that can benefit from extra attention are the wiper arms and fuel filler door. Simply propping up the wipers allows you to better clean the entire windshield, rather than leaving a line of dirt at the blade’s resting position. Your fuel filler area is another often overlooked place which gets fuel spilled on it and can trap dirt and dust. These quick and easy steps will help take your car from being simply washed, to being truly detailed.
The wiper arms themselves shouldn’t be overlooked when washing, as they can accumulate some bugs as well. Don’t forget about the fuel door!
Once your car is ready to be washed, you should prepare your tools for the task. Take your two clean buckets and fill each of them with water, but only one with a few ounces of soap (add the soap once the bucket is nearly full to minimize suds). Your water bucket is your rinse bucket where you will clean out your wash mitt, and your soap bucket is your wash bucket to load up the mitt with suds.
Fill your wash bucket mostly with water and add the soap at the end, this makes sure that the bucket isn’t just filled with suds.
Once the buckets are full, drop your mitt into the wash bucket and let it soak for a few moments. It should go without saying (but I’m going to say it anyways) that using two buckets is the foundation of the Two-Bucket Method. Simple.
Get your mitt completely saturated so that it transfers the most wash solution onto your vehicle.
If you intend to use a foam gun, now is the time to fill it. Similar to filling your wash bucket, fill it first with water and then add your soap to keep the suds down. Running out of soap in your foam gun reservoir mid-wash is a real pain, so minimizing suds and maximizing the soap solution is important.
Water first, soap second.