Hand Washing 4Runner – The Two Bucket Wash
Hand Washing your 4Runner with Adam’s Polishes: The “2 Bucket Method” & Setup: Quick & Easy Hand Washing your Truck Using Adam’s Polishes
It was about a year ago that I decided to transition away from the auto-drive-thru-carwash and towards hand washing my 4Runner.
I was spending about $17 per visit for a “Triple Foam” carwash with a popular rain-proof additive, wheel shine, and “undercarriage blast.”
I was driving about 15 mins one way to visit the best most reputable auto-carwash.
More times than not, after waiting 5-15 mins in line, 20-30% of my tires weren’t “shined,” the undercarriage was barely wet/clean from the “undercarriage blast,” and the rain proofing additive would maybe last 3-4 weeks.
After accessorizing my 4Runner with a full-size roof rack, LED light bar, A-pillar lights, chase lights, and awning, I was even less inclined to put the 4Runner through the auto-carwash. I know that if I’m going to break some gear or get pinstripes on my vehicle, I’d rather do that on the trail than by going through the local automatic carwash.
Everyone’s math is gonna end up a little different, but for me, I figured that I could actually fully wash my car in about the same amount of time as it took me to do a round trip to-and-from the car wash (about 45 mins for me).
Financially speaking, for me the annual savings if you presume one carwash per month at the local place, about $200 ($17×12)
Last but not least, as a kid I used to love washing my dad’s and grandpa’s truck with them and I was looking at hand washing my 4Runner as another fresh opportunity to make some great memories with my own kids!
All that to say, I decided to commit to hand washing my 4Runner and haven’t looked back since.
THE 2 BUCKET HAND WASH METHOD & SETUP
Simply put, the 2 Bucket Method basically refers to using 2 buckets of water for your washing…
One bucket is clean/soapy water and the other bucket collects dirt and debris from rinsing your sponge.
You don’t absolutely have to have 2 buckets, but after dirty and muddy trips to the Ozarks, I do find that having a clean and dirty water bucket does make a difference!
Another alternative to the two bucket method is using a foam cannon over a foam gun pictured here. A foam cannon (used with a pressure washer) is going to loosen dirt and grime easier than a foam gun, so you have less cleaning (theoretically). We have the complete guide to using foam cannons on the website, check that out if you want more information on foam cannons and cleaning attachments with a pressure washer.
For this setup, we’re going to take a look at what is needed and then we’ll look at the simple step-by-step process for washing the 4Runner by hand!
Find Products by Adam’s Polishes on Amazon:
2 BUCKET SET UP ON-A-BUDGET
Adam’s Polishes products
- 5 Gallon Bucket w/ Grit Guards x2 – Check Price
- Ultra Foam Car Shampoo – Check Price
- 32oz Foam Gun – Check Price
- Synthetic Wash Pad – Check Price
- 24”x36” MicroFiber Drying Towel x1 – Check Price
2 BUCKET SET UP OVER-THE-TOP + ACCESSORIES
- Adam’s Polishes Full Kit: Check Price
- Hose Slides x4 – Check Price
- Micro Fiber Wash Mitt – Check Price
- Ultra Plush Micro Fiber Drying Towel x2 – Check Price
- H2O Guard & Gloss – Check Price
- Borderless Gray Towels x2 – Check Price
Okay. Let’s wash the truck…
STEP 1: RINSE YOUR TRUCK & FILL YOUR BUCKETS
Rinse down your truck to remove any loose dirt and debris. Fill both your buckets with clean water. One bucket will become dirty water for rinsing your wash pad or mitt, in the other bucket add in 1oz of Car Shampoo.
The second bucket will be your clean/soapy water for your wash pad/mitt.
PRO TIP: Get yourself a set of Hose Slides and they will save you a lot of frustration and stuck hoses! Hose slides let hoses slide around your rubber tires instead of getting stuck between tires and pavement!
STEP 2: LOAD YOUR FOAM GUN AND SHOOT!
Fill your foam gun with clean water first, then about 1-2oz of Shampoo. Reassemble and connect it up to your hose sprayer.
STEP 3: FOAM YOUR TRUCK
I like to foam the entire truck at the same time. Even if the soap dries, it won’t leave stains or marks because of Adams’s pH formulas with their shampoos.
If one section feels a little too dry once its time to scrub, I will apply a bit more foam and then start scrubbing.
STEP 4: WASH & RINSE
Using your microfiber mitt or washing pad, scrub down your truck in sections.
Rinse out your mitt/pad as needed. Rinsing it often will prevent collected dirt or debris for scratching your paint’s finish…especially important after dirty/muddy off roading trips.
Once done washing, rinse down thoroughly with blasts of water removing all soap and leftover dirt/debris.
STEP 5 (OPTIONAL): BEFORE YOU DRY…RAINPROOF YOUR FINISH
Before drying my truck, I like to use Adam’s Polishes new H2O Guard & Gloss with Hybrid Technology to rainproof and seal my paint’s finish.
After an application of H2O Guard & Gloss, your truck will have a slight sheen and water will bead up and roll right off when the rains come!
I wrote a detailed review and tutorial on this process: DIY Rainproofing Your 4Runner, Adam’s Polishes H2O Guard & Gloss
STEP 6: DRY YOUR TRUCK
You’ve come this far…you’ve made the investment into the soaps and tools, and now you’ve put in the time and effort to hand wash your truck…
The last thing you want to do is waste all your hard work by letting your truck air dry and subsequently leaving water spots all over your paint’s finish.
Water spots come from the hard water pumped through our houses and hoses. Leaving your truck wet will result in lots of water spots that won’t go away until heavy rain or your next wash.
So…once down washing, rinsing and sealing your truck’s finish, take the extra 5-10 minutes to dry your truck by hand.
Drying your truck well will prevent water spots and leave your truck with a great clean look!
Final Thoughts & Conclusion
I’ve used Adam’s Polishes products for about a year now and have never been disappointed.
They are always improving their formulas and coming out with new and improved products. I highly recommend their Foam Guns and H2O Guard & Gloss!
As far as hand washing versus the auto-carwash…I’m not really sure I had much of a choice in the matter without risking damage to the various accessories over time by driving through the auto-carwash, but even before I accessorized, I had decided I wanted to go this direction to keep the truck clean.
Financially speaking, I have admittedly purchased more Adam’s Polishes products than I probably need, so I don’t think I actually saved much money switching over to the handwashing method.
However, I’m keeping my car clean and enjoying the process! My kids join me from time to time and we have a blast together!
Questions or Comments? Leave them below!
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