How many mitts needed for a 1 bucket wash? Any better washing methods?
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  1. #1
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    How many mitts needed for a 1 bucket wash? Any better washing methods?

    Hey guys, I'd like to minimize introducing swirls as much as possible in the washing process.
    I usually don't do the "2 bucket washing method" because I had the idea that a scrub on the grit guard would not get all the dirt off plus I think it would take more time washing this way.
    A while ago I bought around 25 of the "The Rag Company" microfiber towels to use for rinseless washes. I don't do rinseless washes anymore and since I bought a pressure washer my current method is:

    • Foam cannon, rinse to remove biggest dirt, foam cannon again.
    • Soak around 10 TRC microfiber towels in a bucket with soap and water and then use each side of the towel for a small section, then throw it to a "used towels bucket", grab a new towel for another section, and repeat.
    • Use a leaf blower to dry, sometimes I use a little a "Dry Me Crazy" drying towel without dragging too much and with no more pressure that the weight of the towel itself.

    When I bought the TRC towels a couple years ago there was a lot of hype about the korean material and they were supposed to be the best. However, idk if they just were overhyped or I screwed something during the washing process (I usually do warm water, chemical guy mf detergent, no fabric softener and then tumble dry with low heat). But after about 40 washes the towels don't feel soft at all, they feel cruddy / crusty and nothing like other MF towels I've had.
    If the fibers are somehow hardened because of softener residue or burned on the drying machine I wouldn't want to risk the paint. I was thinking on upgrading to using the same method but instead of using several towels, using several of the best wash mitts in the market (I'm leaning towards MF madness incredimitt because of the reviews and since my dry me crazy towel is still soo good)
    I currently use around 10 towels but I was wondering if with the incredimitt I'd need less.
    They are 25 bucks each and somewhat expensive compared to other cheap mitts, but I don't care too much about the price since I invested probably thousands of dollars worth of time doing a full paint correction (claying, compound, polishing, sealant). If a set of good mitts would delay as much as possible doing this process all over again I think is worth it.
    I also use Meguiars ultimate fast finish and Meguiars "hybrid ceramic wax" as sealants around once a month after washing.
    How many wash mitts do you think would be ideal for washing a medium sized car reducing swirls as much as possible? Do you think there are other mitts or other methods that would be better for avoiding swirls?

    Or should I just go with just one incredimitt and grit guard insert and two bucket method and will I get the same results as using multiple mitts since I'm still dragging dirt on the paint (stubborn dirt that sticks on paint after pressure washer) even when the mitt is "100% clean"


    For example I'm not sure if using 5 mitts (10 different sides) without never dunking the mitt again in the bucket with soap/water would make it any safer than just dunking 1 mitt in a bucket every few panels? (and probably dunking more than 5 times depending on how much dirt is in the car).


    In one way I have 10 completely clean sides but with just one mitt I keep dunking in the bucket(s) I could have 20 or more semi-clean sides so sometimes it kinda makes sense using just one mitt (but it probably would be less time efficient)

    For example, even if the mitt is completely clean, it will have a lot of dirt in just one 1 ft swipe on that dirty door or fender so the second swipe or even the second feet of that first swipe would probably already be worse than the semi-clean mitt after dunking in bucket.


    I already have several buckets so another option could be instead of the traditional "2 bucket wash method" (one rinse bucket and second wash bucket with soapy water), I could do something like a regular wash (one mitt and one bucket), but using 2 buckets and 2 mitts, treating each half of the car as a different car so water is not too contaminated by the end of the wash.


    Something like (after foaming, pressure washing loose dirt and re-foaming):



    1. Wash with mitt half roof, half hood
    2. Dunk to release some dirt
    3. Half trunk, half of each bumper
    4. Dunk to release some dirt
    5. Top sections of fender, door, quarter panel
    6. Dunk to release some dirt
    7. Bottom dirtier sections of fender, door and quarter panel (possibly dunking even more often after each couple passes if car is too dirty in these sections)


    I also could quickly blast each side of the mitt with the the pressure washer before dunking the mitt in the bucket if that helps (this wouldn't damage the microfibers, would it?)



    Then repeat the same 7 steps with the other half of the car with a fresh mitt and clean soap and water? Seems like a lot of steps but don't think it would take more than 10-15 minutes doing the 14 steps.

    Also, is it true that adding a little of ONR on the bucket would help keeping the dirt at the bottom?

    TL;DR:

    Not sure which method would be the safest:
    1) Using and X amount of "disposable" mitts that I throw away after using and later on throw them in the wash machine (and my question is how many incredimitts would be ideal for a medium sized car)

    2)The "2 bucket wash method"

    3)2 or 3 times a regular "one mitt, one bucket" method, treating each section of the car as a different car so water in the bucket doesn't get too contaminated (and my questions are if blasting the mitt with pressure washer before dunking would help and if it wouldn't damage microfiber and if adding ONR would help in keeping the dirt at the bottom).

  2. #2
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    Re: How many mitts needed for a 1 bucket wash? Any better washing methods?

    anyone?

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    Re: How many mitts needed for a 1 bucket wash? Any better washing methods?

    After reviewing my first post, that got me thinking again on the part of "Even if the mitt is completely clean, it will have a lot of dirt in just one 1 ft swipe on that dirty door or fender so the second swipe or even the second feet of that first swipe would probably already be worse than the semi-clean mitt after dunking in bucket"


    And also read this comment on YouTube by the user Harninder1:


    "My personal method involves no grit guards, soap bucket and a 14L rinse bucket filled to the top. I agigate the dirt with my hands off the dirty mitt in the top 1/3 of the rinse bucket before going back to the soap.I've been contemplating buying grit guards and also thought of getting 6-7 mitts meaning no need to rinse mitta at all and zero contamination.Then I came to the realisation that you work on a car top to bottom if you have any sense, and the mitt gets dirty the second you do your first swipe on the paint.Nail in the coffin is that no matter whether you use 2 bucket method, grit guards or a pile of wash mitts, there is no getting away from the fact that your mitt is at it's dirtiest when it's coming off your paint and heading to your rinse bucket, not the other way around.Your final few passes with the wash mitt before you head to your wash bucket are a far bigger issue than the chosen mitt cleaning method."

    Also, after watching the video they have on their Amazon listing on the grit guard called "DETAIL GUARDZ The Dirt Lock Car Wash Bucket Insert" and also a couple of youtube videos that test the grit guard with transparent buckets and colored "dirt" this grit guard actually seems pretty effective.


    So I think I'm going with this option:


    2 incredimitts - $50
    2 "Detail Guardz" inserts - $40


    I'l buy 2 incredimitts because I'll treat my car as if it was 2 cars, I'll prepare a rinse bucket and a wash buckets both with grit guard inserts and will wash half of the car with one incredimitt rinsing as much as needed depending on how dirty the car is after foam canon and rinse with pressure washer. At the end of first half I'll put away the first incredimitt, throw away dirt water/soap from buckets and rinse them, then refill with water/soap and repeat for the other half of the car but with the 2nd fresh incredimitt. I'll also add a little of ONR to each bucket and some members said it was a good idea.


    Does this seems reasonable? I know probably using 14 mitts would be safer but at this point I might be overthinking too much and for the difference of $350 vs $90 the difference in scratches and swirls may not be noticeable (i.e. installing 95% of the scratches with the 14 mitts vs 100% with the 2 incredimitts and two grit guardz).

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    Re: How many mitts needed for a 1 bucket wash? Any better washing methods?

    Nah never mind, the grit guards won't be worth it considering extra time and effort on every single wash. I found a 15% code so each incredimitt would be $22. I'm gonna go ahead an save the money of the 2 grit guards and buy 8-10 incredimitts.


    I think beyond the debate of “2 bucket” vs “multiple mitt” there are other factors that are more likely to have a bigger influence in avoiding scratches and swirls in your paint finish, such as


    1. Proper technique, straight motions, right amount of pressure, etc.
    2. Knocking off the “biggest" dirt with a foam cannon/pressure washer before touching the paint
    3. After first rinse, foam again the car paint surface to have added lubrication before touching the paint with the mitt
    4. Maybe add a few of drops of ONR to rinse and wash buckets? (I don’t really know about this one, some people swear by it but personally I almost never do it)
    5. Having a properly maintained LSP
    6. Drying methods (air dry if possible with a specialized tool or with leaf blower, plus using damp towels and drying aid for lubrication)

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