Improper wash techniques is the #1 biggest cause of scratches and swirls on the paintwork of a car.
Washing your car with dirty sponges, wash mitts and towels scratch your car. The scratches will build up over time and your car will begin to look like a swirly mess.
A good way to prevent your sponges and wash mitts from becoming dirty is to use the two bucket wash method, along with some grit guards.
The best grid guards are designed to trap dirt at the bottom of the wash bucket, preventing your sponge from picking up dirt and dragging it across your car.
Grit guards are considered to be fundamental for washing cars. If you don’t have them, you run the risk of seriously scratching your car.
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The Best Grit Guards (2021)
Because they’re a very simple product. Essentially just a piece of plastic, there isn’t too much difference between each grit guard.
As long as the grit guard is the right size and fit for your wash bucket, it’s the best grit guard for you.
Sure, there are different patterns that are designed to trap more dirt than others, but, does it make that much of a difference?
As long as the grit guard fits securely, traps dirt well, and doesn’t break with a slight amount of pressure, it’s good enough.
If you don’t feel like measuring your current wash buckets and trying to find a grit guard that fits well, do what I did, and buy a bundle.
You can find the best car wash bucket and grit guards bundles later on in this article.
Chemical Guys Cyclone Dirt Trap
Item Dimensions: 11 x 12.7 x 1.8 Inches
The Chemical Guys Cyclone Dirt Trap is my grit guard of choice. It’s fairly cheap, comes in various different colors, and fits in a traditional 12″ bucket.
The cyclone dirt trap is a completely different design from most of the other grit guards that are available.
It includes 297 geometrically positioned dirt “cyclones” that are strategically placed to funnel away and separate dirt from the wash water.
This means you can dip your wash mitt in and out of the soapy wash solution without any chance of picking up dirt.
As long as you have a bucket that fits correctly, be it a chemical guys one, or another 12″ bucket. You’ll have absolutely no issue with this piece of equipment.
It’s very sturdy, and unless you stand on it or purposefully snap it, it will be with you for most, if not all of your detailing career.
Meguiars X3003 Grit Guard
Item Dimensions: 21.65 x 16.14 x 11.02 Inches
The Meguiars x3003 Grit Guard is a fairly standard grit guard.
Meguairs is a leading detailing brand and there are many cheap imitations that follow this design.
The X3003 guard is split into 4 quadrants that are designed to isolate dirt and debris. Helping to prevent your mitt from picking up contamination and damaging your car.
Meguiars also claims that using their grit guard will help you to get more out of your car wash solution. This is true because the water will stay cleaner for longer.
The X3003 Grit Guard comes in at twice the size of the chemical guys’ guard. Fitting most 3.5-5 gallon buckets.
If you’re worried about cost. It’s fairly cheap and similarly priced to the chemical guys’ grit guard. It’s certainly not going to cost you an arm and a leg to buy.
Detail Guardz Dirt Lock Car Wash Bucket
Item Dimensions: 9.45 x 9.06 x 1.13 Inches
The Detail Guards grit guard is one that I like very much. It’d be higher up on this list if it wasn’t for the price.
With 220+ reviews on Amazon and a 4.5* rating, it could very well be worth the price they’re asking.
Just like any other grit guard, the purpose of this is to keep your car wash water clean and reduce contamination to your mitt or sponge.
This guard contains special “Dirt lock venturi filters and valves” which help to move the debris quickly to the bottom of the bucket separating it from the clean water with ease.
The guard also has a freshwater return system that only allows clean water to come back above the screen.
All of this is powered by the pumping motion of your hand in the bucket. You can literally feel the guard sucking the dirt from your mitt whenever you move it around in the bucket.
I have absolutely no doubt that this grit guard is one of the best, if not the best on the market. However, at twice the price of the Chemical Guys & Meguiars options, is it really worth it?
VIKING 919501 Grit Trap
Item Dimensions: 10.24 x 10.24 x 2.76 Inches
If you don’t care about having a grit guard from one of the leading detailing brands, you can save a little bit of money on your purchase.
This Viking Grit trap is a similar size to the chemical guys one and fits most standard 3-5 gallon buckets.
The design is very similar to the meguiars one, however, instead of 4 quadrants there are only 2 halves.
There’s also 5 finger holes for easy insertion and removal. This means you don’t risk breaking or shattering the guard as you take it out the bucket.
When buying the Viking trap you’re only saving a couple of dollar per guard. The 2-pack works out to cost around $7 per guard.
Is it worth saving the extra couple of bucks? Do you think there’s much difference between this and the chemical guys option? You decide.
There’s certainly a huge difference between this and the detail guardz one.
EOPER Grit Guards (2 Pack)
If you want to go even cheaper, you can. This 2 pack of EOPER grid guards will save you up to 50%.
The build quality is ok and it’s the exact same design as the Viking one.
It’s split into 4 quadrants with 5 finger holes to make fitting and removing the guard easier.
I think that grit guards are an area you can afford to save money on.
And as long as they fit well, it doesn’t matter what the design or technology behind them is. They’ll still filter a majority of the dirt.
If you’re working on a budget and still want to buy some grit guards, you should definitely consider these.
One thing is for sure. Having a cheap grit guard is going to be better than not having a grit guard at all.
Best Car Wash Bucket And Grit Guard Bundle
For me, when I started detailing, I couldn’t be bothered with the hassle of getting a grit guard that may or may not fit in my bucket.
Why go to the effort of buying something, having to return it and then find a new one? When you can just buy a wash bucket and grit guard that’s 100% made to go together?
Adams Grit Guard Wash Bucket With Lid
Adam’s Polishes are a great detailing brand. They’re a US company and focus on product quality.
If you’re looking for a professional, heavy duty detailing bucket with a grit guard, look no further.
This 5 Gallon bucket and guard is the key to keeping your car scratch free and clean at the same time.
The grit guard is very similar to the ones listed above. However, it’s built to fit the high-quality adams bucket.
The bucket also comes with a lid, this will allow you to seal your bucket when you’re not using it, keeping it clean for the next time you go to use it.
I think for someone that’s just getting started and wants to get serious about detailing, this is a great place to start. You probably want to buy 2 though, so you can do the 2 bucket wash.
What I love the most about Adams is the fact that they offer a money-back guarantee. It’s very rare that you’ll need to use it, but if you find yourself dissatisfied with the product, they’ll refund you, no questions asked.
Chemical Guys Two Bucket Wash & Dry Kit
Slightly more than just a bucket and a grit guard, but, this bundle is great for those that want everything in one place.
Whether you’re just getting started, looking to upgrade your equipment, or buying a gift for someone that loves to look after their car, you can’t go wrong buying this bundle.
The Chemical Guys Two Bucket Wash & Dry Kit includes 2 Buckets, 2 lids, and 2 Cyclone Grit Guards. It also comes with 2 Shampoos, a drying aid, a wash mitt, and a microfiber drying towel.
Honestly though, if you don’t need the other stuff. You’re probably better off buying the chemical guys buckets and grit guards on their own. It’ll work out cheaper and you’ll only get the stuff you need.
Overall, it’s a great bundle for those that are serious about detailing and doing it right. I definitely recommend it for those starting out.
It is a little pricey though.
Meguiars Bucket & Grit Guard
While it’s not necessarily coming as a bundle. Buying the Meguiars Bucket & Grit Guard together at the same time is an option.
Buying the two of them together works out considerably cheaper than buying the bundles that I’ve mentioned above.
The bucket is only 3.5 Gallons, however, that’s more than enough for your average car.
Meguiars also recommend pairing this bucket with the X3003 grit guard to prevent scratches and swirls from occurring.
If you’re a fan of Meguiars and are looking for a new car bucket and grit guard, I’d say it’s a no brainer.
You can get 2 of these for under fifty.