The traditional wash process does a great job of removing dirt and grime from the exterior surface of your vehicle. There can however be times when washing doesn’t remove all of the contaminants on the surface and what you are left with is contamination that is actually embedded into the paint. This is due to the vehicle’s surface always being exposed to different contamination on a daily basis and this grime can bury itself in the pores of your paint. When this happens you need a tool like a clay bar to help you safely pull and lift these contaminants away. The claying process is a crucial step in every detailer’s decontamination process as it will help ensure a complete and thorough cleaning.
Make sure you take the time to check out our detailing guide for an in-depth step by step tutorial on various detailing steps, including how to use a clay bar on your vehicle. Below are also some great articles from our Ask-a-Pro Blog. These articles will not only help highlight the importance of the clay bar process directly from the minds of professional detailers, but walk you through how to choose the correct clay bar grade, or even know when you should be using a clay bar on your paint. I hope that these articles help you through the clay bar process and if you have any questions along the way please feel free to leave them in the comments section!
Great Clay Bar Articles
In this video, we discuss proper clay bar procedures and techniques. Clay bar is a key component of the decontamination stages of any detail. It aids in lifting bonded contamination off the paint surface, ensuring a smooth, clean finish. Why would you need to clay your vehicle? How often should you consider claying? All these questions are answered as we work on this Tesla Model 3. I hope you enjoy it and thanks for watching!
– James Melfi
To many, claying is a magical and mysterious process that only professional detailers use. They have heard that using a clay bar will remove contaminants and provide a very smooth finish, but they are reluctant to try it.
While there are a few important safety tips to be aware of before trying it, claying your vehicle is actually quite easy, and doing it a couple of times per year will help maintain a smooth, clean finish.
Let’s take a look at a few key areas about laying.
– Todd Cooperider
There are MANY clay bars on the market from many different manufacturers, so my goal here won’t be to go into them specifically, rather as a general guide. . .
– Ivan Rajic
The great thing about detailing is that there are many right ways to get to the end goal and you need to find what works best for you and your setup. . . With me being more of a weekend warrior, I tend to lean towards ease of use so I normally reach for a clay alternative. The Nanoskin Sponge is easy to hold, comes at a great value, and best yet, rinse and reuse.
– Reece @ DI
Many people often ask how often they should clay their car. Regardless of what type of “clay” you use the answer is the same.
You clay when your vehicle needs it. There is no set time as it is not a product that has a time frame. When the paint has contamination embedded in it, you clay. An easy way to tell is either use a Ziploc baggie or a nitrile glove and glide your palm flat against the paint. This will allow you to feel the embedded contamination that you may not feel with your bare hand.
– Ian Martinez
Recommended Clay Bars and Clay Bar Alternatives
- Clay Magic Fine Grade Clay Bar
- NanoSkin Glide
- NanoSkin AutoScrub Towel Fine Grade
- SM Arnold Speedy Surface Prep Pad
- NanoSkin AutoScrub Sponge
- DI Accessories Medium Grade Clay Bar
- Koch Chemie Mild Clay Bar Rkb
- NanoSkin AutoScrub Fine Wash Mitt
To Check out other great clay bar related products, click here!
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