A fancy bucket (or two as any good detailer will know) may not be top of your list when it comes to assembling a proper car washing kit and it kind of makes sense to prioritise other things like a good pressure washer or some microfibre drying towels.
I mean it's just a bucket, something you can pick up for a quid from the supermarket and keep until it can no longer hold water. My dad even once used the same bucket he mixes cement in to wash the car, much to the horror of anyone who likes a car with paint still on it.
But did you know that the correct bucket can help protect your paint from scratches making it look better once you've cleaned it. Buckets fitted with a grit guard will prevent little contaminants from catching in your wash mitt/brush/sponge that can then be transferred to your paint. We've found the best examples of grit guards online (and the buckets they fit) so you can keep your car as scratch-free as possible.
DetailedOnline Car Detailing Valeting Buckets
Best complete set
Did you know two is better than one? When washing your car it's a good idea to use two buckets, one for your car shampoo and another for rinsing for better results. This twin set of buckets with grit guards is a great way to upgrade your car washing kit. Both buckets can hold 15 litres of water and are made of sturdy plastic.
All you need to properly clean your car
Good quality construction
Expensive for two buckets
Meguiars Professional Yellow 5 US Gallon Bucket & Grit Guard
Meguiar's is a go-to brand for car detailing so this bucket and grit guard set will be perfect for washing your car. The bucket can hold a massive 18.9 litres of water making it ideal for cleaning even the largest of 4x4s with ease. The grit guard will collect small bits of dirt which will not only protect your paint but also keep the water cleaner for longer.
Great quality and bucket size
From a very reputable brand
You'll need two for the best results
Gadlane Grit Guards
A twin-set of grit guards will come in handy if you own several buckets and want to try the double-bucket method of washing your car. These guards are designed to be easy to clean and are made from durable plastic making them a solid choice. Each guard fits a 15-litre bucket.
Convert your existing buckets into proper car cleaning tools
Bring your own buckets
Scratch Shield Bucket Filter System
If you simply want to upgrade your current bucket so you don't mark your paint then this insert from Scratch Shield is a clever option. A supposed universal fit means it should fit most buckets easily. You'll need to assemble it yourself but it will help save your paintwork once assembled.
Not as good as twin-pack options
Bring your own bucket
Chemical Guys Cyclone Dirt Trap Car Wash Bucket Insert
An unusual looking option from Chemical Guys, this dirt-trap makes use of 270 dirt cyclones to capture as much dirt and grit as possible and keep the water cleaner for longer. It's incredibly effective at capturing dirt but is rather expensive. It's designed to fit 12-inch buckets and is available in several colours.
Very effective at removing dirt from water
Expensive for a single guard
Grit Guard Washboard
The best grit guard accessory
Taking grit guards to the next level, this washboard attaches to a grit guard to give you an easy surface to wash your wash mitt against, removing any leftover grit and making sure you don't accidentally mar your car's paint.
Reduces chances of paint scratches even more
You'll need a regular grit guard and a bucket