When you’re handwashing your car or using a scrub to clean your house or floor, you’ll be getting the dirt back on. It’s because all the dirt gradually accumulates in the bucket. And once you put your microfiber towel or scrub in the bucket, you won’t lose much of the dirt but you pull up a mud-soaked cleaner.
Grit Guard keeps the sediments separated from the portion of the water you’ll be cleaning your scrub or towel in. The best grit guard comes with advanced engineered booby traps to keep the sediments on the other side of the grit guard so that the cleaner won’t get contaminated easily.
Top Performers for Best Grit Guard
We have gathered some of the top grit guard inserts in the market with their detailed specification. Check the buying guide first before going to the next section.
1. Chemical Guys Cyclone Dirt Trap
Chemical Guys have come up with a dirt trap to keep that debris at the bottom of your bucket. The Cyclone Dirt Trap would sit under the bucket even if you are handling wash waters nonstop flow. With their high-quality filtering technology, they keep all sorts of dirt & debris underneath itself to reduce swirls, scratches and paint damage while you are washing.
297 geometrically positioned funnels are named dirt traps. These dirt trap cyclones are designed in such a manner that you will get maximum water under it. Their diameter & placement are in a uniform shape so you will have an all-round performance at the bottom of your bucket.
Here these tiny holes or dirt traps use centripetal force to separate the dirt & push them through a tiny hole into the wash screen. These holes act as a one-way valve & don’t let the dirt out in the water again. Whether it’s any chenille, microfiber, or natural lamb’s wool car wash mitt, works perfectly with this one. They also fit any 12-inch bucket with 3, 4, or 5-gallon capacity.
- Has a softer plastic material
- When pressure is applied it bows down in the middle
- Some 5-gallon bucket users complained about the fitment
2. Chemical Guys IAI503 Grit Guard Insert
Here is another great grit guard from Chemical Guys. With over 95% of swirls and scratches coming from improper washing & rubbing the same dirt back to the paintwork of the body causes scratches. Most 12-inch diameter buckets fit the guard.
Even with the two-bucket method used by us, there is a chance of the abrasive debris to get to the soap bucket. So here is where Chemical Guys IAI503 comes to play in the rinse bucket to reduce swirls & scratches drastically.
You will not require any sort of maintenance at all with this grit guard. You need to place the grit guard at the bottom of the bucket of the rinse bucket & the rest of the job is for gravity to do.
While the gravitational force allows the dirt to be pulled below & then settles between the plastic grate. Stacking multiple guards allows you to work with foam and microfiber buffing pads inside a bucket.
Its reliable chemical-resistant plastic construction makes the grit guard ideal for cleaning different vehicle parts. The IAI503’s bottom fins cross at 90°, so it has to be used as a grid when laying on floor tiles. Raised Radial Surface will fit in the bottom of any 3-5 gallon bucket.
- Many common 5 gallon buckets didn’t fit the guard.
3. Grit Guard Insert with Washboard
This is a great combo consisting of a grit guard & a washboard that can give you the best result to keep all sorts of debris away. The unit has a blue grit guard insert with a black grit guard washboard. The grid guard fits every 12-inch diameter buckets to keep all the filth off your sponge or mitt.
The radial surface of the grit would work fine with a bucket capacity of 3 to 5 gallons. When you insert the wash mitt or sponge into the bucket, the dirt goes down the bucket due to the gravitational force & settles at the bottom of the bucket.
Moreover, with the black grit guard washboard, you can separate all the grit off your mitt or sponge easily. Every time you wash the mitt on the washboard, the mitt is free of all sorts of contaminated particles. Running the mitt in a downward direction across the washboard is enough for you. Both the grit guard & washboard is a lethal combination for washing.
- The two parts of the guard & washboard snap apart easily.
- Some 5-gallon buckets fit halfway down.
4. Meguiar’s X3003 Grit Guard
Meguiar X3003 is an excellent accessory to have under your bucket to reduce swirls & scratches to your paint job. The radial orientation of the grid is made of hard plastic & engineered to fit most 3.5 – 5-gallon buckets. It has a total of four quadrants to see easily understand which you have been using often.
As we are here seeing grit guards, we are all aware of the two bucket method used widely to reduce the chances of swirls or scratches. Well, the two bucket method is a significant process, but without a grid guard, ultimately all the debris stays on the mitt or sponge.
On the other hand, if you rub the mitt on the grit guard, this will collect all the filth at the bottom of the wash bucket. You can use your mitt again with significantly less dirt or debris every time.
The X3003 has a dimension of 2.5 inches by 10.125 inches which is ideal for most buckets. It has a sturdy construction, so you don’t need to have any worries about breaking it. With zero maintenance, protecting the paint from swirls couldn’t have been easier.
- It allows some space for dirt to rise with the suction of the mitt or sponge.
5. The Detail Guardz DIRTLOCK
We have now come to our last stop, with DETAIL GUARDZ The Dirt Lock insert. With this guard under your bucket, You don’t need to worry about that swirl or scratches that ruin your paintwork. While most grit guards are made of hard plastic, this one is made of rubber locking tabs so that you can have a snug fit to your bucket.
There are Dirt Lock venturi filters and valves pump to separate the debris from the water to the underneath. There is even a tumbler system that makes sure no particle escapes even if they get off the openings. The whole filtering technology is based on the pumping motion of your hand.
Once you pulse your hand inside the bucket, you will feel that there is the suction of the dirt from the mitt or sponge. Hundreds of tapered Venturi funnels make sure the dirt stays trapped underneath the bucket. The manufacturers say that it is a perfect fit for 3 to 8 gallons round wash buckets & the diameter of the grit trap is 265mm.
- The rubber pads at the side may result in a tight space with some buckets.
Top Specs for Best Grit Guard
There are a lot of factors to consider before you go off to look for a top-notch grit guard. These points will help to enhance your judgment to assume the potential performance of the grit guards.
Grit guards are placed at the bottom of your bucket. No matter the capacity of 3, 4, or 5 gallons, every bucket’s diameter gradually recedes towards the bottom. Buckets chosen for car wash are about 12 inches, give or take. Note that the diameter of the grit guard and that of your bucket diameter underneath must match.
What If It Doesn’t Fit?
To ensure that the guard has fitted well, put it in a prefilled bucket, and give a swirl to the water. If the grit guard rotates too then it lacks in dimension and wouldn’t be enough to prevent the buoyant dirt from rising up. Attaching a clip at the edges helps in this situation.
Usually, quality plastic materials are used by manufacturers all around. This allows the extra force you may apply to absorb and still retain decent scraping edges. Some use soft plastic material for the flexibility preference of the grit guard. But if your grit guard fits perfectly flexibility is not needed here.
Shape and Style
At least 3 layouts are found as the grit guards’ design is concerned. Though radial ones are rather traditional others are gaining popularity in modern times.
These types of grit guards have a radial concentric circle design from the middle to the edges. An ‘X’ shaped sturdier portion runs through the circles to provide robustness and eliminate wobbling whatsoever.
But the problem with this type of design is that there is a lot of space for the dirt & debris to come back up due to the suction pressure from the mitt. So, these are rather cheap designs to choose from.
Hole Type Design
Some grit guard uses a lot of holes all around the surface of the guard uniformly distributed. These small holes help to get all the dirt underneath the grit guard, but after the dirt is underneath, it hardly comes up. The little space of the holes ultimately holds back the dirt & grime.
But if there are large particles, it can get hard for them to go inside these holes, so you need to soak the mitt a number of times to make sure all the dirt goes in.
Venturi Effect Design
This type of design is similar to the radial one, but the difference is there are funnels all over the grit guard. It has different shapes so that it can dismiss the wave of the water when the mitt is inserted into the bucket.
As the suction wave is negated, the dirt remains underneath the guard. But when buoyancy pushes those up, no wave persists to help them swim up.
Sitting on the radial grit guards, the washer adds itself to the whole apparatus to keep the mitts a dimension cleaner. These additional arrangements bear stands to keep attached and resulting in a sloppy surface.
If you cruise through the mud a lot, washers save your mitt and time equally. Buy washer and insert combo whose washer consists of no horizontal flat surface. A down stroking pattern is the best in the business.
Ease of Use
Grit guards have the least level of maintenance required to operate. You just need to put them at the bottom of the bucket. But sometimes these guards get stuck underneath & getting them out may even damage them.
An effective grit guard comes with pads at the sides to ensure less pressure from the bucket surface. Some guards have a finger hole to pull them out too.
Q: Is grit guard an essential tool to have?
Ans: When you are clearing your car’s body, every filth gets tagged with the mitt or sponge. Even if you clean the sponge in water. You are ultimately mixing the filth with the mitt again. This causes scratching to the surface. To prevent these sorts of swirls & scratches, you need a grit guard to filter the filth & dirt from the water.
Q: What is the two bucket method?
Ans: The main logic behind the two bucket method is to separate the dust in one bucket, to clean the filth off your mitt & then dunk it in the soapy wash water. Two buckets are being used here, one has clean water to rinse off the dirt & one has the solution to rinse the dirt off the body. That’s why it’s called the two bucket method.
Q: Are two grit guards needed for better protection?
Ans: The answer is no. Though some may suggest so, unless your grit guard is too flimsy, it would be enough to keep all the dirt & filth at the bottom of the bucket away from the mitt. Using two pieces would mean you are wasting your bucket space & your money. At best you may go for the one with a washer-insert combo.
Who wouldn’t want to keep their beautiful vehicle neat & clean? But in the process of keeping your vehicle clean, you have to make sure that the expensive paint job or surface is not scratched just because of some filth you already got rid of. Grit guard makes sure that no dirt or debris can get mixed with the mitt or sponge again.
If we were in your shoes, Detail Guardz DIRTLOCK would deliver the best performance with its venturi filters keeping all the filth away. It’s also very user-friendly too. Chemical Guys Cyclone Dirt is also not far behind but sometimes it gets stuck at the bottom.
Ultimately it comes down to one factor, whether or not it’s keeping all the filth at the bottom of the bucket. Seeing how the shape of the grit guard is engineered will ensure you get the best grit guard in the market.