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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).

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Bill D's Avatar
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    Re: How many mitts needed for a 1 bucket wash? Any better washing methods?

    FWIW I use multiple mitts and no buckets at all. I use a foam gun to constantly spray soapy water on a panel at a time and gently whisk it with a mitt while the soapy water is cascading over the paint. I change mitts per panel and repeat until the whole car is done.

    This technique takes time and a whole bunch of soap and water but it has gotten me swirl free results. My driver will be ten years old and I have never had to polish it. This is good enough for me.
    Treat it like it's the only one in the world.

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  5. #3
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: How many mitts needed for a 1 bucket wash? Any better washing methods?

    Quote Originally Posted by vwite View Post

    Hey guys, I'd like to minimize introducing swirls as much as possible in the washing process.

    Click this link, substitute wash mitts for the towels.


    How to safely wash a ceramic coated car by Mike Phillips - Traditional Hose & Bucket Approach





    Mike Phillips
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
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  7. #4
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    Re: How many mitts needed for a 1 bucket wash? Any better washing methods?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill D View Post
    FWIW I use multiple mitts and no buckets at all. I use a foam gun to constantly spray soapy water on a panel at a time and gently whisk it with a mitt while the soapy water is cascading over the paint. I change mitts per panel and repeat until the whole car is done.

    This technique takes time and a whole bunch of soap and water but it has gotten me swirl free results. My driver will be ten years old and I have never had to polish it. This is good enough for me.
    Thanks for the reply! So how many mitts do you use for one car? Do you spray the mitt with foam cannon as well before putting it on the paint or just spray the panels and put use the mitt completely dry?

  8. #5
    Senior Member Bill D's Avatar
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    Re: How many mitts needed for a 1 bucket wash? Any better washing methods?

    Quote Originally Posted by vwite View Post
    Thanks for the reply! So how many mitts do you use for one car? Do you spray the mitt with foam cannon as well before putting it on the paint or just spray the panels and put use the mitt completely dry?
    Most of the time I use up to six mitts. I have them marked what mitt goes with what section of the car. You could spray the mitt with the foam gun as well. I also fill the mitt with the soapy solution, hold it closed by the cuff, and then gently whisk across the paint as the soap oozes out. The idea is to keep the mitt and panel of the car you are working on well lubricated with soap.
    Treat it like it's the only one in the world.

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  10. #6
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    Re: How many mitts needed for a 1 bucket wash? Any better washing methods?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Phillips View Post
    First of all, thank you for your reply and for all your posts. This is a account because I forgot what was my old one but I've read thousands of your posts in past years about detailing and paint correction and you there was a lot of useful information!

    I did go to the link you posted but while I do get your point of many towels vs one mitt (which is what I've been doing until now), how is it better several towels vs several mitts? Is it because you can inspect the towel easier after washing them?

    As I said my towels from "The Rag Company" (EAGLE EDGELESS 500 ULTRA PLUSH MICROFIBER TOWEL) feel cruddy / crusty so not sure if I should continue using them (maybe it was because I washed them in the same wash cycle with pads with polish/compount/LSP?)

    But the "Dry Me Crazy" towel was also in those same cycles and that one is perfect as day 1, very soft and extremely effective at drying. I feel the Incredimitt would be softer and safer than the towels I'm currently using but maybe that's just my perception.

  11. #7
    Senior Member FUNX650's Avatar
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    Re: How many mitts needed for a 1 bucket wash? Any better washing methods?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill D View Post
    This is good enough for me.
    Except for the foam gun;
    (and not polishing for 10 years)...






    Bob
    "Be wary of the man who urges an action in which he himself incurs no risk."
    ~Joaquin de Setanti

  12. #8
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    Re: How many mitts needed for a 1 bucket wash? Any better washing methods?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill D View Post
    Most of the time I use up to six mitts. I have them marked what mitt goes with what section of the car. You could spray the mitt with the foam gun as well. I also fill the mitt with the soapy solution, hold it closed by the cuff, and then gently whisk across the paint as the soap oozes out. The idea is to keep the mitt and panel of the car you are working on well lubricated with soap.

    What do you mean with "I also fill the mitt with the soapy solution"?

  13. #9
    Senior Member Bill D's Avatar
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    Re: How many mitts needed for a 1 bucket wash? Any better washing methods?

    Turn the foam gun/cannon on, let the foamy soap come out, then aim it into the mitt and let it fill up This is just an addition safeguard of lubrication. It’s certainly not a requirement to do the wash.
    Treat it like it's the only one in the world.

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  15. #10
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    Re: How many mitts needed for a 1 bucket wash? Any better washing methods?

    Oh ok thanks! I might try this, but results wise, I think it would be about the same as getting the mitts already soaked from a bucket full of soapy water, instead of from a bag/storage container wouldn't it? It may same a bit of time.

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