Evaluating the Clay Bar for use on car paint

Evaluating the Clay Bar for use on car paint

Hello Beaverton readers!

Many thanks to all of you who have written in or commented, as well as those of you who have asked for certain information.

This month’s article is in response to Rose asking why after washing her can she has very rough paint? Rose does not park in her garage and she has quite a number for trees near where she parks. This allows contaminates to accumulate on the vehicles paint surface. Here is a really easy and good way to bring back that showroom shine. It is called Clay bar! This is very informative.

Evaluating the Clay Bar for use on car paint. How do you know if you need to use one?

That’s easy!

After thoroughly hand washing your car, feel the surface of your car’s paint. Do you feel bumps and rough spots? These bumps are contaminants on the finish of your car.

Removing these surface contaminants (road tar, acid rain spots, bug residue, paint over-spray, brake pad dust, hard water spots, etc.) will improve the look and health of your car’s paint.

By the way, you can magnify your sense of touch by inserting your fingertips into a sandwich bag or a piece of cellophane.

Anyway, no matter how well you hand-wash your car, many of the contaminants that have worked their way into your car’s paint finish will remain.

Don’t believe it?

Have you ever looked at your foam wax applicator pad after applying a coat of wax? What do you think that black stuff is? It’s dirt, and you’re waxing over it, sealing it in.

How To Properly Utilize a Clay Bar

Using a detailing clay bar is easy, but you must properly follow the instructions. Use a clay bar incorrectly and you will create a mess or scuff the surface of your paint.

What’s the trick?

You must thoroughly clean and dry your car to remove any loose dirt.

Direct sunlight should not fall on your car’s surface. It’s also best if the work area is cool to prevent rapid evaporation of the clay bar lubricant.

Fact is most clay bars become soft as they get warm, making them less effective.

To use a clay bar, spray a lubricant on a small area of your car and rub the clay back and forth with light to medium pressure. Spray more if the lubricant begins to dry.

Warning: Detailing clay is sticky and cannot be used dry. If it’s dry, you’ll make a big mess and scuff your paint.

After a few passes, rub your hand over the area you’ve cleaned to check for any misses. You should feel a distinct difference between the areas you have clayed and those you haven’t.

Don’t stop yet…

Keep rubbing until all contamination bumps are gone.

Finally, wipe the clay lubricant residue off with a soft microfiber towel, and buff to a nice luster. Just like waxing, it’s best to work in small areas.

Tip: You’ll want to check the clay bar frequently for hard particles. When found, pick them off.

In fact, make it a habit to knead and reform the bar often. Fresh parts should make contact with your car’s paint as much as possible.

Always Toss Away a Contaminated Clay Bar

If you drop your bar of detailing clay on the ground, it’s history.

Seriously, toss it out.

Don’t take any chances. Discard the clay bar if it becomes impregnated with grit. Read the manufacturers’ directions regarding usage.

I’m not kidding. Do not overuse your detailing clay.

When you’re finished claying your car, you may need to wash it to remove any lubricant film. If you plan to use a pre-wax cleaner polish, it will remove clay residue so there’s no need to wash.

Last but not least

After using clay, seal your freshly cleaned paint with your choice of wax or sealant. This will restore the paint to as good as it gets on a used vehicle.

Thank you all for reading and writing in. We really appreciate it!

Please remember if anyone is in need of a new or used vehicle, or has an extra vehicle to sell, please keep us in mind that is what we do. We can be reached by phone at (503) 930-1493 or by email fergusonautobrokers@gmail.com. By Larry “The Car Guy“ Ferguson