My 3-Bucket Truck Wash - Uncut.

Discussion in 'Detailing & Truck Care' started by Dylan@Adams, May 8, 2012.

  1. Dylan@Adams

    Dylan@Adams Member 100 Posts

    Last week I setup a camera to film my entire wash process from start to finish, mainly at the request of a customer who had seen how my black Avalanche had looked thru most of its life. He has been struggling to keep his black truck swirl free and wanted to know how I did it. What better way than to just show the process, start to finish? Obviously I've sped this up so you don't have to watch me wash a truck for an hour+, but it is uncut... every part... how I wash my rides every time to minimize swirling.

    Please... any questions feel free to ask. Also, this is an ever evolving process as anyones wash routine should be. When you see an area for improvement GO FOR IT!

    So why 3 buckets?

    I started to notice that in some of my washes the 2nd bucket was still getting a fair amount of grit in the bottom. Wanting to eliminate the chances it made it back to the paint I added a 3rd bucket with another grit guard. My goal is to have ZERO contamination by the time I make it to that last bucket.

    Bucket 1:
    Pure water. this is used to scrub loose the majority of the debris. The wash media is scrubbed against the insert, combed thru with my fingers and given a quick visual inspection.

    Bucket 2:
    Pure water. This bucket gets much the same process as the first, once again scrubbing against the grit guard, pulling out of the water and inspecting for debris.

    Bucket 3:
    Water with soap. When your wash mitt reaches this bucket it should be clean and free of debris minimizing your chances of swirling. Make sure the mixture is heavy and a thick later of soap is created at setup.

    You'll also notice the addition of a foam gun to the process. I'd like to stress this is NOT a requirement, but more a thing of convenience. Using solid technique you can perform a proper swirl free wash without a foam gun... it just makes it faster/easier. Also, before anyone says anything - the gun I'm using is actually from the pre-china gilmour days... I've had it for awhile.

    The process itself is pretty basic.

    • Start with the wheels as always.
    • Rinse really well before introducing soap.
    • Foam the vehicle completely.
    • Merino Wash Mitt for the upper 2/3rds working 1 panel with each side of the mitt.
    • Rinse. Inspect. Rinse. Inspect. Prime and repeat.
    • Switch over to 2nd wash mitt or pad for lower 1/3rd following same process.
    • Optional - Foam the vehicle again anywhere the soap may have started to dry.
    • Power rinse with a strong stream from the hose.
    • Sheet rinse to reduce standing water.
    • Blaster Sidekick to knock loose bulk of remaining water.
    • Great White Drying Towel + Detail Spray to dry
    • Hit again with Blaster Sidekick to get water out of cracks.
    • Touchup with Great White + Detail Spray
    • Waterless Wash + Waterless Wash Towel for door jambs, engine bay, and wheels.

    Total time start to finish for this wash was 1h 17m
    1 person likes this.
  2. Enkeiavalanche

    Enkeiavalanche Loving the Outdoors Staff Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 5000 Posts

    And what about the inner part of the rims? I use a thin plastic Toilet brush that I got from the supermarket NO Wire brushes... Also some brushes have a metel retainer DO NOT use on Nice rims...

    Next time can you get these Girls to make your video? You WILL sell more....:lol:

    Good job...:great:
  3. Dylan@Adams

    Dylan@Adams Member 100 Posts

    This was more of a maintenance wash than full cleaning, but when I need to clean the inner barrel of my wheels I use the Turbo Stick
  4. donyms

    donyms Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    That was a good video but I must say, you are obviously not in an area were the bugs are bad. I spend that much time just getting the bugs off my front end, Mirrors and windshield. Then about the same amount of time doing the rest of the truck, about 3 hours total by the time it's dry. I do this every week so of course I have to do an old fashioned hand wax about every other month so the damn bugs don't stick so bad. I would like to see you do a video on a truck down here in the dirty south were we have major bugs and see what your solution would be or if it would just take you a long time as it does me. :lol:Really enjoyed the video and the music choice was pretty cool too. :glasses:
  5. Dylan@Adams

    Dylan@Adams Member 100 Posts

    My bug treatment process doesn't really add all that much time, but there is some added steps:

    a 1:1 mixture of All Purpose Cleaner via a foaming sprayer after the initial rinse. Allow it to dwell while I do the rest of the wash, then use a separate wash mitt to wipe them away. The APC softens them so they come fairly easily with just a few passes of the wash pad. Anything beyond that is easily addressed with clay or spot treatments of isopropyl alcohol.
  6. Jeremy09LTZCrew

    Jeremy09LTZCrew Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    This really makes me want to get back to my truck so I can wash it and refine my process. I think I'll need to stockpile some Adam's products so it's ready when I get there.

    LOVINTHESTORM Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    I agree with Jeremy makes me want to wash my truck. You technique looks pretty good. Makes me want to come wash my truck with you. I will be refining my process and I too think I nedd some Adam's products. Thanks for the display it was very cool.:great::great:
  8. Als09Sierra

    Als09Sierra Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    Dylan: Great video. I wish I could work that fast. :lol: I will be looking for some brushes for the wheels and wheel wells. That will save me some time and pain, and will also keep my sponges clean. I like the 3 bucket approach. Currently I have a 5 gal Homer bucket with a paint liner. Time to upgrade that as well. Can't justify the cost of a foam gun though.
  9. AMac

    AMac Rockstar 3 Years GMTC Chick 500 Posts ROTM Winner

    Nice post on your process and now you have me thinking about cleaning up my own process. This weekend I'll likely take a trip to the hardware store to get some more buckets. I do need to get a wash mitt too however I'm not sure if me standing on wet tires to reach the hood and having to stand on my seats to reach the roof are a good idea. Is using a brush completely taboo or is there one you could recommend for me? This weekend I did start labeling bags to put specific towels in for specific uses. Why do you start with the wheels first?
  10. dsfloyd

    dsfloyd Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    Very nice video. I wish (and know I should) I was that detailed in my washes. Patience in that category is not one of my strong suits.

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