A good detail job always begins with a thorough wash. Meguiar’s recommends using two wash buckets, one filled with soap and water and one with plain water, every time you wash the car. Dip your wash mitt in the soapy water, scrub the car, then drop and wring out the mitt in the water-only bucket to rinse the dirt off. The company also recommends using a stand of some sort in the soap bucket, like this yellow plastic grate referred to as Grit Guard by Meguiar’s. Any residual scratchy particulates that didn’t come off in the rinse bucket will settle underneath the grate and away from your wash mitt. The whole process sounds a bit obsessive-compulsive, but any precautions you can take to avoid putting scratches in your paint will prevent having to buff the finish out as often, ultimately saving you time.