Airborne contaminants such as sand, salt, brake dust, tar, dirt, insects stick to your vehicle. They damage the clear coat in our cars if we don’t remove them by using clay bar. Tiny metal particles embed into the finish and can show up as very small specs on white cars.

Although washing regularly doesn’t remove all the contaminants, it will decrease them. You will notice that sometimes a thin film of road grime is still left on the car after a touch-less car wash. This will thicken over time and can be cleared using a clay bar. Detailing clay grabs such contaminants and creates a smooth surface. In addition, claying keeps the surface smooth, and makes your wax or sealant last longer. Always consider claying your car before polishing.

Using a clay bar to clean your car exterior

The claying process

You will need to apply a clay lubricant to use a clay bar. If the surface is not lubricated, the clay bar will not glide smoothly. If you clay frequently, use a fine grade clay bar. Opt for a medium grade only if the surface is heavily contaminated. The clay lubricant makes it safer and easier for the clay to collect contaminants.

Cutting

It is extremely important not to forget to thoroughly wash and dry the vehicle like you usually do. A piece of clay bar should be divided into three or four equally sized pieces. If any piece falls on the ground, it needs to be thrown away as it can scratch the paint.

Kneading

To make the clay pliable and workable, you have to knead it for about five minutes Because of the heat and constant motion, the clay will be pliable enough to be manipulated into desired shapes. You might need to use your palms to flatten out the clay pieces. It is advisable to start from the top of the car body before dealing with the door and underlying part of the car.

Lubricating and rubbing

Spray the lubricant and spread it evenly on the surface. Work in small sections and in the shade so that the lubricant does not dry out. Lightly and smoothly, move the clay in back-and-forth movements. Avoid circular motion. Use as little pressure as necessary because using too much pressure will damage the finish.

Finishing

When the clay bar slides easily without any resistance, you know the surface is ready. Now grab clean a dry microfiber towel and gently wipe away the lube. Flip or fold the clay to apply it to another section. The clay should be inspected often for debris.

Storing

You may also remove dirty spots on the exterior windows and wheels using the clay bar. It is better to keep the clay enclosed within the original packaging as we don’t want it to get dirty or dry out.