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Old 04-19-2012, 06:25 PM   #1
pch6788
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Default Self Service Car Wash- 2 bucket method

How do you guys do the 2 bucket method at the self service car wash bay? I tried it today and filling up the buckets with the power washer was an epic fail... =( I got soap all over me, definitely didn't think ahead. The car bays only have a rinse that would only put out water. What are your little tips and tricks to washing in a SS Bay? (Self Service) And of course filling up the bucket without getting wet.
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Old 04-19-2012, 08:41 PM   #2
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....Im on my phone right now but Google "Gamma Seal lid". You can use standard utility buckets with them. Simply fill your buckets at home, put on the lids and transport to the self service wash. You can also search for a vendor "US Plastics". They have buckets and accessories (ie lids, Grit Guards, etc) at a decent price.

--sent via mobile phone--
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Old 04-19-2012, 09:33 PM   #3
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My trick was to go to home depot and buy two of those orange buckets with the snap on lids. They're super cheap, and you can fill them at home with warm water snap on the lids, put em in your trunk and use them at the bay. This way even works in the winter for me.

I do a rinse down, let it time out. Wash by hand with my mit and soap. Then do another rinse down. Then dry by hand with the waffle weave towels in the bay in the shade. Still ends up cheaper than the automatic bays and better for your paint.
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Old 04-20-2012, 03:41 PM   #4
pch6788
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kean View Post
....Im on my phone right now but Google "Gamma Seal lid". You can use standard utility buckets with them. Simply fill your buckets at home, put on the lids and transport to the self service wash. You can also search for a vendor "US Plastics". They have buckets and accessories (ie lids, Grit Guards, etc) at a decent price.

--sent via mobile phone--
I did a google search and saw that people reported they can buy this at their local home depot. I believe they said they were 6.97. Sounds nice, I'll have to check it out. Now only to found those grit guards locally.

If I used 3.5 gallon buckets it wouldn't make a difference from a 5 gallon right, just capacity?
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Old 04-20-2012, 03:51 PM   #5
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if your filling up the buckets at home why not just wash the car at home ?
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Old 04-20-2012, 04:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boilermaker29 View Post
My trick was to go to home depot and buy two of those orange buckets with the snap on lids. They're super cheap, and you can fill them at home with warm water snap on the lids, put em in your trunk and use them at the bay. This way even works in the winter for me.

I do a rinse down, let it time out. Wash by hand with my mit and soap. Then do another rinse down. Then dry by hand with the waffle weave towels in the bay in the shade. Still ends up cheaper than the automatic bays and better for your paint.
this^

get your buckets and leak proof lids from your local homedepot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by purplewrx View Post
if your filling up the buckets at home why not just wash the car at home ?
because i'm pretty sure if you're doing this you don't have access\or its too cold for a hose. you use the bay at the self-wash to do a pre-rinse before using the 2 bucket method.
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Old 04-20-2012, 04:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pch6788
If I used 3.5 gallon buckets it wouldn't make a difference from a 5 gallon right, just capacity?
Make sure to check fitment of the lids with the buckets if buying locally. Also, note that not all buckets are the same dimensions at the bottom either. ....meaning some may be too narrow for a Grit Guard to fit securely at the bottom (or perhaps too loose). IIRC, a standard 5 gallon bucket is 12" diameter at top and ~10 1/8" in at the bottom. ....the diameter of the Grit Guard.
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Old 04-20-2012, 05:18 PM   #8
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if your filling up the buckets at home why not just wash the car at home ?
I, like some of us Subaru owners, live in an apartment complex where we are not allowed to wash our vehicles in the parking lot.
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Old 04-20-2012, 05:19 PM   #9
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Does anybody know if those gamma lids from home depot are the same as the ones from autogeek.net?

http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1...&storeId=10051

Last edited by pch6788; 04-20-2012 at 08:31 PM.
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Old 04-20-2012, 08:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pch6788

I, like some of us Subaru owners, live in an apartment complex where we are not allowed to wash our vehicles in the parking lot.
Feel your pain brother! I own a Condo with no car wash station. I said F this crap, went and bought a hose and hooked up to the spigot on the side of the building and went to town, lol. Good luck, not everyone in an apartment wants to treat their car like an appliance.
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Old 04-20-2012, 09:56 PM   #11
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Weird, I've never had a problem with the snap on lids that came with the home depot buckets. Am i missing something here? Maybe I have stronger hands and dont need the girly twistie top ones?

x2 with apartment/condo dwellers. or wanting to wash in the shade, or not wanting to make an ice rink out of your driveway in the winter.
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Old 04-20-2012, 10:15 PM   #12
my name is joe
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So do it in the street...
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Old 04-20-2012, 10:25 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pch6788 View Post
Does anybody know if those gamma lids from home depot are the same as the ones from autogeek.net?

http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1...&storeId=10051
....looks like Gamma2 is the same as Gamma Plastics who makes the Gamma Seal lid. In either case they both look the same.
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Old 04-20-2012, 10:28 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by boilermaker29 View Post
Weird, I've never had a problem with the snap on lids that came with the home depot buckets. Am i missing something here? Maybe I have stronger hands and dont need the girly twistie top ones?
....ouch dude.

I dunno. The Gamma lids work really well for me and I like the twist on feature. Always seemed extra secure to me in the event the bucket tips over but that's not to say snap on lids wouldn't work just as well preventing spills. Either one isn't that expensive (IMO) so I would choose what you like.
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Old 04-22-2012, 09:44 PM   #15
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Alright I think this is settled, I'll buy some gamma lids, and some buckets at home depot. Then fill them in my tub. Does anybody wanna donate me some grit guards? hahaha
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Old 04-22-2012, 11:31 PM   #16
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i just grab 2-3gallon jugs of water with me and do it there lol.
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Old 04-23-2012, 02:21 PM   #17
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Curiouse... why 2 buckets? all you need it for is to wash it by hand insted of using the brush, then use the power spray to rinse the car off..

so power spray, hand wash (1 bucket), power spray again.. no?
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Old 04-23-2012, 02:46 PM   #18
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Curiouse... why 2 buckets? all you need it for is to wash it by hand insted of using the brush, then use the power spray to rinse the car off..

so power spray, hand wash (1 bucket), power spray again.. no?
The point of the 2 bucket method is to keep the sponge or washing mitt clean of contaminents and dirt that could scratch the paint. You use the soap bucket and wash away, then when the mitt needs more soap rinse it off in the 2nd bucket of water and then dip in the 1st bucket of soap.

We dont do it at my dealership and it flusters the bajesus out of me because I know im scratching the paint of brand new cars I just took the plastic off of.
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Old 04-23-2012, 03:47 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by DerrickForeal101 View Post
The point of the 2 bucket method is to keep the sponge or washing mitt clean of contaminents and dirt that could scratch the paint. You use the soap bucket and wash away, then when the mitt needs more soap rinse it off in the 2nd bucket of water and then dip in the 1st bucket of soap.

We dont do it at my dealership and it flusters the bajesus out of me because I know im scratching the paint of brand new cars I just took the plastic off of.
Ah, i get it now! Good thing I dont have the car yet, I will deff start doing this, and i like the idea of transporting the buckets of water as I will not have means to wash the car at my apartment complex.

Dont the people get mad when you take up a bay and your not using the brush or sprayer tho??
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Old 04-23-2012, 04:21 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jmhm17

Ah, i get it now! Good thing I dont have the car yet, I will deff start doing this, and i like the idea of transporting the buckets of water as I will not have means to wash the car at my apartment complex.

Dont the people get mad when you take up a bay and your not using the brush or sprayer tho??
....some will (especially if its busy). IMO/IME (when I used them in the past), you'll like have less chance of being hassled if you go when its not busy (ie in the early morning, etc.). It also doesn't hurt to ask and/or get to know the folks running the facility if you see them on site. I was friendly with the one near my house at the time and he let me get away with things he might otherwise have given me grief about.

Also, just keep in mind that the "two bucket" method is simply one part of the big picture. There are a variety of of other factors (ie tools, products and techniques) to consider when choosing what works best for you while helping mitigate the risk of marring. None of these things in themselves are likely to make a big difference in avoiding self-induced blemishes. .....but as part of a whole, well planned regimen, it can help make a difference.
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Old 04-23-2012, 06:07 PM   #21
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^^^Agreed...don't do it when they are busy. I used to go when it was late in the afternoon and there were plenty of extra stalls available so no one bothered me.


In regards to filling up your bucket...I never had a problem doing it with the high pressure shooter. Take bucket...put in soap...put mitt, sponge, etc. in bucket...put sprayer nozzle on sponge...shoot water directly into sponge...water disperses and mixes with soap. Done.
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Old 04-23-2012, 11:14 PM   #22
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Thanks for the tips
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Old 04-23-2012, 11:15 PM   #23
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^^^Agreed...don't do it when they are busy. I used to go when it was late in the afternoon and there were plenty of extra stalls available so no one bothered me.

In regards to filling up your bucket...I never had a problem doing it with the high pressure shooter. Take bucket...put in soap...put mitt, sponge, etc. in bucket...put sprayer nozzle on sponge...shoot water directly into sponge...water disperses and mixes with soap. Done.
Alright sounds good. The other day when I eased my car it was empty at my bay too. The only time it's busy IMO in my area is when it's after the big snow storm. Everyone's trying to spray off the salt. Maybe it just isn't busy in my area because the person that owns the bays has a couple more spread out across the city. I will definitely have to try that sponge trick!
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Old 04-25-2012, 04:10 AM   #24
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i just put a sponge into the bucket and spray directly into the sponge. if you fill it up next to the switch, you can turn the switch to off before you pull it out so as not to splash everywhere. No need to bring water.
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Old 04-25-2012, 10:19 AM   #25
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To the guys filling the buckets there,

Most quicky spray bays recycle the gray water used for rinsing. It can carry hepatitis, tetanus, etc etc. DO NOT do that. After you clean out the filtration systems for the gray water recycling you never want that water near you again.
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