Grit Guarded Car Cleaning

Anyone who’s had the summertime pleasure of washing their car by hand knows about grit in your wash bucket. All that gunk you just worked hard to wipe off eddies right back onto your cleaning sponge to leave streaks and scratches on your finish.

car washing with bucket and grit guard

Scratches on your finish are unacceptable! After all, if you don’t care about scratches why are you washing your car by hand in the first place? Might as well just pay a big drive-through machine 5 bucks to scrub your car down for you.

Forever Prevent Scratches and Streaks

The Grit Guard is a submersible bucket accessory that fills up the bottom few inches of a standard 5 gallon pail with a grid of plastic. When you’re cleaning your car, truck or restaurant floor, all the bits of “nature” such as pebbles, sand, twigs and hardened bird shit get trapped inside the grit guard’s screen layer. It keeps your wash water cleaner so you don’t have to change it nearly as often just to deal with a few specks of sand.


The easiest way to use the grit guard is to scrape your rag, sponge or mitt right along the bottom of your pail where your grit guard lurks. The crap will flick off at downward and get trapped underneath grit guard where it cannot escape back into the wash water.

Know your Bucket Diameter

I’ve heard from Grit Guard users who are unhappy that their “standard 5 gallon bucket” won’t fit the grit guard. The inconvenient truth about buckets is that there is really no “standard size” just like there is no “standard” breed of dog. Every model is a little different.

The grit guard linked below is 10.5 inches wide and is promised to “fit a 12 inch diameter bucket.” So measure the bucket you intend to use to make sure it’ll fit snugly in there.

Using with the Two Bucket Method

To further prevent grime, autophiles prefer to use the “2 bucket” method to wash their vehicles. One bucket holds wash water and the other holds rinse. Grit Guard should still be used in the wash bucket since that’s where all the dirt ends up. If you get one for each bucket make sure to get two different colors so you don’t mix them up!

Making your own Grit Guard

If you’re one of the lucky few with a 3D plastic printer, you could print yourself a grit guard right now!


Those of us without a futuristic desktop plastics factory can fabricate a DIY Grit Guard based on the material you find in fluorescent light fixtures – called “egg carton diffuser.

grit-guard-in-bucketYou’ll find the full writeup for this version on the Megumar’s Online forum.

Where to Buy the Grit Guard

If you’re not keen on MacGyvering your own, Amazon has the best prices on the real McCoy. Just be sure to cross reference your bucket size against the indicated size on the listings before ordering.grit-guard-small

And if you insist on buying them somewhere in the real world, you’ll find them at some gas stations and hardware stores but call ahead of time to make sure.

Cover photo credit: Bromford Group

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