Simple car cleaning upgrades: the ultimate guide to your next bucket

A simple upgrade that can make all the difference when it comes to car cleaning, we're looking at the best buckets for cleaning your car.

Three buckets full of water

by Ryan Gilmore |

It's fair to assume most people don't care about buckets. If they own one it's often bought without much thought and on the basis that it'll hold water, won't break the day you buy it and doesn't cost too much cash. Very logical we'd all agree.

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However, is it time we stop treating buckets as an afterthought? I mean they're an essential aspect of car cleaning and if you're wanting to spend some extra cash on fancy car shampoo and wash mitts, then maybe it's time to invest in a better bucket (or two). We've looked at the best buckets for car cleaning; looking at price, capacity, quality, whether a grit guard will fit in them, and storage.

The best buckets

Meguiar's RG203 Yellow Large Car Wash Bucket

The best bucket for car cleaning
Meguiar's RG203 Yellow Large Car Wash Bucket
Amazon

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What could be a better option for car washing than a bucket made by a company that sells car cleaning products? This 19-litre option from Meguiar's is designed for cleaning your car and can be optioned with a matching grit guard to ensure you don't scratch up your car during the washing process. It's also incredibly well-made which makes it our top bucket for car washing.

Halfords 10 Litre Bucket

The best bucket on a budget
Halfords 10 Litre Bucket

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Old faithful, the basic £1 plastic bucket is as simple as buckets come. This green model from Halfords is good for the basics, i.e. holding water for washing your car. It's not as robust or voluminous as the Meguiar's option but will hold 10-litres of water and is our budget bucket of choice for car washing.

Addis Eco 100% Recycled Plastic Premium Cleaning Bucket

The best bucket for the environmentally minded
Addis Eco 100% Recycled Plastic Premium Cleaning Bucket
Amazon

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Reducing plastic waste top of your agenda? Considering most buckets are made from plastic nowadays it can feel a little irresponsible to be buying plastic that'll languish on earth for hundreds of years. This bucket however is made from recycled CD cases which makes it the perfect option for someone environmentally minded. It offers 10-litres of water storage and comes with a 10-year guarantee.

Kleeneze KL065438PNKEU Collapsible Cleaning Bucket

The best bucket for easy storage
Kleeneze KL065438PNKEU Collapsible Cleaning Bucket
Amazon

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If you're short on space you can always look at buying a collapsible bucket that'll fold down for easy storage when not in use. This collapsible bucket offers an outstanding 30-litres of storage but can fold away when not in use. We've tried a grey version and found it to be good, but let down by the handles.

What's the double bucket cleaning method?

If you're interested in getting better results from your car cleaning regime then one of the best changes you can make is to introduce a second bucket of water into the cleaning process. This effectively means you'll have one bucket filled with water and shampoo, and the second bucket for rinsing your wash mitt so it is clean when you place it back onto your car. Some detailers even recommend a third bucket for exclusively cleaning the wheels (notoriously the dirtiest part of the cleaning process).

We've tried the double bucket method and anecdotal evidence suggests it'll give your car better cleaning results. Use a single bucket and the suds from the shampoo will mask the deposits and dirt you're adding to the water when cleaning. The second bucket will show just how dirty your mitt gets while washing your car.

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