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Product Review: Clay Magic Fine Grade Clay Bar

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The clear coat that protects your car is porous and filled with micro-ridges similar to your skin. From a distance your clear coat appears flat but when you look at it through a microscope you see that it has ridges. Contamination can easily become lodged between these areas and reduce the optical clarity of your paint, thus creating a dull shine. Spray a clay lube on the surface and glide the Clay Magic Fine Grade Clay Bar over these areas and you will pull out contaminates. This is similar to the process of exfoliating your skin. Thus you gain back a clean clear coat that is very smooth to the touch and contaminant free. An additional benefit to prepping your paint with a clay bar is that waxes and sealants adhere to smooth and contaminant free paint much better. This means that the wax or sealant will protect and shine for longer. We recommend cutting this extra large bar into 4 to 5 pieces so you get multiple fresh uses from one large 200 gram bar. Store the bar in this container to protect it from contamination in the air in-between details. Use this clay bar to properly prep your paint before using a polish, glaze, sealant, wax, etc.

Throughout my career, both as a detail enthusiast as well as business operator, I’ve tried many clay bar types.  Some were too aggressive for general use, some weren’t aggressive enough to remove everyday contamination and some were simply junk!  The one that always stood out and the one I kept using a good 80-90% of the time is the Clay Magic Fine Grade Clay Bar.  This blue mild clay bar is aggressive enough to remove almost any contamination and it does it fairly quickly.  It decontaminates paint without leaving much or any marring at all, so only a little and sometimes no polishing is required after using it.  From minor overspray, to tar, to paint scuffs on the surface, this clay bar works really well to remove it with very little effort.

While it is a great clay bar, I believe the lube is also important in keeping the surface as marr-free as possible.  I used the Dodo Juice Born Slippy Clay Lube Concentrate as clay lube for a long time, but have recently switched to Nanoskin Glide.  I feel that the Nanoskin lube was just as great as Born Slippy, but didn’t leave any film behind whatsoever, whereas the Born Slippy would many times leave a thin film over the paint.  This film would easily wipe off and wasn’t a big deal as I always follow up decontamination with polishing, but it’s a big plus that I don’t have to think about it with Glide.

Going back to the actual clay bar, I would recommend having the more aggressive Clay Magic Medium Grade Clay Bar on hand as well.  Reason being, the blue/fine bar will work 80-90% of the time to remove all and any contamination with little effort. However there will be times when overspray, tar or other contamination is just about fused with the paint finish, so trying to remove it with a fine clay bar will take a very long time or maybe even be pointless.  This is where having the more aggressive clay bar will speed things up in a big way.  The best part is that not only are you saving time, but the marring you cause with the more aggressive clay bar will be just about equal to the marring caused by using the finer bar for a longer period of time to try and eliminate the same contamination.  In other words, while the Clay Magic Fine Grade Clay Bar is what I find most useful when decontaminating vehicles, it’s not a product that can do everything on its own.  Thus, having the counterpart Clay Magic Medium Grade Clay Bar available for use will just give you that much more versatility.

Lastly, I wanted to mention that clay bar maintenance (yes you need to maintain it!) is extremely important for keeping the clay bar clean for a long time and ensuring it doesn’t scratch up the paint with bad contamination from the previous job.  There is a lot of advice out there on how to clean the clay bar and most of it is good advice.  I find that simply brushing it regularly with a toothbrush or some fine plastic bristle brush will keep it clean for a long time.  I don’t like to use any aggressive cleaners, etc. so I normally either just brush it under a stream of water or in a bucket with soapy water to clean it up a bit better.  I also always store my clay bars in their own DI Accessories Clay Bar Storage Container.  This helps me separate not only the different clay bars, but also the same type of bars that I use for different parts of the car, such as upper painted surfaces vs inside of wheels that get a lot of buildup.

Well that’s about it for this review.  I would highly recommend anyone looking for a clay bar to pick up the  Clay Magic Fine Grade Clay Bar and it will more than likely help with any contamination issues.  Just remember to use it with light pressure and plenty of lube and the finish should be free of any defects induced by the clay bar.

Thanks as always for reading and I encourage everyone to post their own advice and results with this particular clay bar.

Ivan Rajic Lustr Deatil
Ivan Rajic
LUSTR Auto Detail
481 W Wise Road
Schaumburg, IL 60193
LustrDetail.com
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6 comments on Product Review: Clay Magic Fine Grade Clay Bar

  1. bruce devilbiss says:

    I had ordered some fine clay from DI about a year or so ago. That stuff was so hard, you had to work real hard to kneed it. I finely through it away. I even tried heating it with a hair dryer but it never would get soft enough to work with. I like the clay that comes with Meg’s clay kit. It is very easy to work with

  2. Bob B says:

    Hi Ivan;
    I agree with Bruce, this clay is very hard to kneed.
    To store the clay I spray it with the clay lubricant and seal it in a Ziploc bag, then place the bag in the Meguiar’s clay plastic box, the clay stays moist and does not dry. Good review.

    Bob

  3. Ivan Rajic Ivan Rajic says:

    Bruce and Bob, are you talking about the Clay Magic blue bar or the Detailed Image bar? I too have experienced that kneading with the DI bar is a bit hard and the bar itself gets stiff fairly quickly. However, I never noticed that with this Clay Magic blue bar unless it’s very cold or it sits in the cold for a while.

  4. jaken says:

    Nice write-up Ivan. My jet-black 3 series was recently used as target practice for some paintball-wielding vandals. I washed the car several times, but there’s still signs of paintball damage in the paint. It’s difficult to tell whether the residue has damaged the clearcoat, or if the surface is contaminated and simply needs better cleaning. I searched the site, but couldn’t find any articles on how to correctly restore the finish. Other sites say WD40 will remove the residue, but I’m reluctant to try that. Would you recommend starting with Clay Magic first and then WD40, or something else? Do you or any of the other Pro Detailers have any thoughts on this?

  5. Ivan Rajic Ivan Rajic says:

    Sorry to hear that Jaken. I don’t know how safe WD40 is on the paint, so I would try and stick with some detailing supplies. I’d say if a thorough washing doesn’t work, move to some sort of residue remover, such as 3M adhesive remover or goof off. If that doesn’t get it off, I’d try polishing the section or taking to a professional as the paintballs may have either stained or etched the clearcoat or possibly even damaged it by cracking it slightly. Wish you the best with this!

  6. Dan Friberg says:

    I just got a new 2014 Santa Fe sport ,gunbarel gray with fabric seats .Is there a protection system that I can have put on inside and outside to keep it new shape ?What is the best spray to use on the seats ? Thanks Dan.

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