Pimp my bucket: the best bucket accessories for car care

Making car cleaning that little bit easier.

A bucket next to a car wheel

by Ryan Gilmore |

You've upgraded to a proper detailing bucket. The £1 supermarket special has been consigned to the shed, so, guess you're done now? Think again, like cars themselves detailing buckets can be upgraded with a selection of accessories all designed to make car cleaning easier and more effective.

Related: Kleeneze Collapsible Bucket review: the miraculous shrinking bucket

Be the envy of the street with your tricked out bucket by following our ultimate bucket accessories guide. Don't forget either that you should be using two buckets for car cleaning (at the very least), so you may need to buy two of any accessories you purchase.

What bucket do I need to unlock these upgrades?

If you haven't had a chance to upgrade to a proper detailing bucket there are a couple of things you can double-check to make sure you're buying the correct bucket:

A 20-litre capacity (some companies will be five US gallons)
Made from robust plastic
Strong metal handle for easier carrying
A rigged top capable of accepting a gamma-seal lid

Meguiar's Yellow Large Car Wash Bucket 5US Gallon

A good detailing bucket
Meguiar's RG203 Yellow Large Car Wash Bucket 5US Gallon
Amazon

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The default option for car cleaning, Meguiar's wash bucket offers five US gallons of capacity and can be fitted out with everything from a lid to an official Meguiar's dirt trap.

The best bucket accessories

Autoglym Grit Guard

The best bucket grit guard
Autoglym Grit Guard
Amazon

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The perfect beginner's accessory is the humble girt guard. Designed to provide a barrier between your wash mitt and any debris that may get caught up in the water, a girt guard is an excellent scratch prevention tool and essential for anyone who takes car care and cleaning seriously. Be warned though, that some grit guards offer extra bits that will only fit certain models, so check around before committing.

Meguiar's Bucket Lid

The best bucket bucket lid
Meguiar's Bucket Lid

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A lid for your detailing bucket will give it a second use in life: storage. Safely and securely keep cleaning products, microfibres and other tools containment-free and safe when the bucket isn't full of water. For even more peace of mind, Gamma seal bucket lids are safe enough to store food safely, and more than perfect for a couple of brushes.

Carbon Collective Detailing Bucket Organiser

The best bucket storage attachment
Carbon Collective Detailing Bucket Organiser

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Add some small storage to a bucket with one of these bucket organisers that clips onto the side of a bucket. Designed primarily to hold detailing brushes, it's a clever way of not losing them beneath a particularly sudsy car shampoo. Carbon Collective even claim it can be used to store bottles, cloths and even a snow foam lance. Those brush holders on either end will come in handy when it comes to drying time too. It even features small drainage holes to prevent any water from accumulating and turning stagnant.

Grit Guard Washboard

The best bucket grit guard attachment
Grit Guard Washboard
Amazon

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Taking the grit guard a little further is this washboard attachment that's designed to make scrubbing your wash mitt a bit easier in the hope that you'll remove any trace of debris that may lead to scratched paintwork.

Detail Guardz Scrub Wall

The best bucket attachments for limiting scratches
Detail Guardz Scrub Wall
Amazon

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The ultimate in scratch prevention, the Scrub Wall climbs up half a bucket to allow you to scrub the mitt against it dislodging any debris that may have accumulated in the mitt. This kit also includes a Dirt Lock grit guard too, important as the Scrub Wall won't connect to any other type of grit guard.

Detail Guardz Dirt Lock Scrub And Pump

The best bucket wash mitt cleaner
Detail Guardz Dirt Lock Scrub And Pump
Amazon

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Taking the humble grit guard to the next level, The Detail Guardz offer a pump-operated deep-cleaning system for your wash mitt. Press it down in the bucket with a mitt and it pushes water deep into the mitt in an attempt to remove any debris that may be caught. Just be warned, however, it only fits The Detail Guardz Dirt Lock Car Wash Bucket Insert.

Original Bucket Dolly

The best bucket dolly
Original Bucket Dolly
Amazon

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A bucket filled with 20-litres of water will weigh 20kg when you try and lift it, not ideal if you've got a bad back. The solution? A bucket dolly. It features five rubber wheels and three thumbscrews for ensuring that your bucket isn't going anywhere. It may be rather expensive, but it will help make car cleaning easier.

Grit Guard Universal Polishing Pad Washer

The best bucket polishing pad cleaner
Grit Guard Universal Polishing Pad Washer
Amazon

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Less of an accessory and more of a bucket convertor, this polishing pad washer will safely clean grimy polishing pads without you even needing to take them off the machine. Simply turn on the polisher with the pad resting on this device and it'll clean away debris quickly and easily. It's probably too expensive for domestic use but if you're always using a machine polisher and need a quick way to clean them, it is an interesting and novel choice.

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