6 Grit Guards Alternatives You Need To See

These are happy times for car detailing, in which you don’t have to settle for just one option. There are many alternatives for products such as grit guards on the market. Are you in the hunt for some grit guard alternatives?

Grit guards can be substituted by different products on the market. Another alternative is to use other washing methods. These are 6 of the best alternatives to grit guards, divided into product and process:

Dirt trapClean microfiber cloths
Dirt lockPre-wash
DIY grit guardSnow foam

Any of these alternatives could perfectly do the job of a grit guard. Having all the insights will help you better decide on one of them. If you are looking for options, you will want to stay around to get all the information about them! 

Great product alternatives for grit guards

Grit guards offer a solution to an important problem, as it is the protection of the paintwork. Many products can substitute grit guards and protect the car. Some of them are the dirt trap, the dirt lock, and the DIY grit guards.

Let’s take a closer look at each one of these alternatives.

Dirt trap

The dirt trap is a modern version of the grit guard that debuted in 2016. The dirt trap works in a similar way to the grit guard. It is a bucket insert with slots that can filter the contaminants and keep them on the bottom of the bucket.

The innovative feature of the dirt trap is its use of small conic holes instead of just open slots, as the grit guard does. These funnels allow the venturi effect to happen, preventing the contaminants from going up again. 

In this case, the venturi effect is the process where the contaminants go down through the wider holes of the funnels. Then, the contaminants are unable to go up again due to the narrowing conic form and the smaller holes on the other side.

 The dirt trap also shares some of the washboard qualities of the washboard. Each circle that forms a funnel has a raised lip to help clean the washing utensil. Scrubbing the mitt or cloth against this textured surface helps remove contaminants.

Regarding its fit to the bucket, the dirt trap has the exact diameter of a washing bucket. There should be no trouble to fit it to the bottom.

Dirt lock

The dirt lock is another bucket insert that could perfectly substitute a grit guard. The dirt lock is very effective at keeping contaminants in the bottom of the bucket and is a user-friendly alternative. 

The dirt lock also uses the venturi effect, just as the dirt trap. With this technology, the dirt lock is capable of keeping contaminants from resurfacing. Instead of funnels, the dirt lock has narrowing slots. 

Regarding its washboard functionality, the dirt lock has large fins that can help remove contaminants from the mitt. These raised fins spread through all the surface of the dirt lock, helping clean the washing utensil.

The dirt lock has foam edges that help it fit inside the bucket. These edges are a great way to keep the bucket insert from moving. At the moment of taking it out of the bucket, you can use the finger holes in it.

DIY grit guards

Nowadays, the DIY movement has taken over many aspects of our life. Grit guards are no exception, and there are many ways to build your own bucket insert at home.

The average price of a grit guard is about 10$. If you happen to find a way to build an effective grit guard for less than that, you might be onto something great. However, most testimonials refer to spending the same 10$ on the necessary materials.

The efficiency and practicality of a DIY grit guard will depend on the quality of the piece you can build and the cost-effort relation in comparison with the manufactured grit guard.

Either way, if you love DIY and you have the time to take on this task, go for it!

Process alternatives for grit guards

When looking for alternatives to grit guards, other products are not the only option. Different process alternatives perfectly serve the ultimate purpose of a grit guard, which is protecting the paintwork. Some of the most efficient processes are clean microfiber cloths, pre-wash, and snow foam.

Let’s check these alternatives in detail.

Clean microfiber cloths

Microfiber is among the most effective materials for a car wash. Microfiber cloths are made of strands that are way thinner than human hair. These strands are tightly woven, creating a super resistant and absorbing cloth.

The microfiber cloth traps all the contaminants in its fibers, preventing them to be spread on the paintwork. In contrast to other materials, microfiber can help protect the paintwork of the vehicle. 

When you use many clean microfiber cloths, you reduce the necessity of constantly rinsing the washing utensil. In this sense, you eliminate the need of using a grit guard, as there is no chance of bringing contaminants back to your paint with a clean microfiber cloth.


The pre-wash process is where you remove most of the dirt from the car without even touching it. This is a non-contact washing method. It is quite useful to avoid any damage for abrasion or scratching.

By using the pre-wash process, you ensure the safety of the paintwork and make the washing process easier. Since you already removed most of the potent contaminants, you will only need to take care of the traffic film with the contact wash.

For a well-done pre-wash, you need to use a high-pressure water source and a quality pre-wash product. You will probably also need a pump sprayer to evenly spread the product over the paintwork.

After applying the pre-wash product, you should wait several minutes in order for it to disintegrate the contaminants. You can check the suggested time requirements on the bottle of the product you choose.

Once the necessary time has passed, you use the high-pressure water to rinse the car from top to bottom. This rinsing strategy makes the process of washing the car more practical.

Snow foam 

Snow foam is similar to the pre-wash process. It consists of applying a product to the car surface and letting it sit for some minutes before rinsing it off. After this process, you can proceed with the contact wash.

To do the snow foam process, you need a high-pressure water source, a snow foam lance, and a quality foam. With these items, you will be able to spread the product all over the surface of the car.

The snow foam lance and the pressure washer work together to spread the foam. After using them together, you separate the lance from the washer and rinse the car. 

The snow foam is simpler to spread since you can actually see the white product covering the car as you go. Try to cover it completely while being conscious of not overusing the product, as it would be a waste.

After the specified time has passed, you can then rinse the car always from top to bottom. Most contaminants will have disintegrated, and the contact wash will be as easy as a pie.

Applying snow foam to your car will eliminate most of the contaminants of the surface that could damage your paintwork. This process can take the place of a grit guard with no problem. The paintwork will be safe, and the contact wash will be efficacious. 

Key takeaways

  • There are great products to substitute the grit guards
  • You can also substitute grit guards by changing the washing strategy
  • A pressure washer is a must for washing your car
  • There are more options for protecting your paintwork than grit guards
Jan-Lucas Ganssauge
Jan-Lucas Ganssauge