Getting your car detailed is often a nice experience. Your car gets transformed from an eyesore that’s either covered in dust or grime into one that’s looking brand new. An important part of the exterior car detailing process is ‘claying’, which is the use of an automotive clay bar to extract contaminants like dirt and dust. The contaminating particles stick onto the clay when it is rubbed on the surface.
It is very important that the claying is done properly. There’s always a risk of your paint job suffering scratches due to poor technique. That’s why we’ve compiled the following tips – to help you use a clay bar the right way.
Wash Your Car First
A good way to make the process of claying easier is by washing and drying your car first. This should help you get rid of some of the more loosely clinging dirt and grime.
We advise you to not use an automatic car wash as they aren’t as effective at getting rid of contaminants as washing by hand.
Use Only A ‘Fine-Grade Clay Bar’
Usually you have the option of choosing from either fine or medium-grade clay bar. The latter is less effective at removing contaminants and hence will require more forceful application. This in turn can lead to scratches on your paint job. Hence, we always recommend that you buy fine-grade clay bars.
If you must use medium-grade clay bar, we recommend that you consult a professional detailer. They could either give your some reliable advice or tell you ‘you can get your detailing done here’.
Flatten the Clay Bar Before You Use It
It’s recommended that you mould the bar into a flat disc with your hands. This makes for much easier application. First, warm up your hands and begin by softening the clay into a ball. Afterwards, you can flatten it until it is less than 2cm thick.
Clean One Section at A Time
Cleaning equally sized sections of your car at a time will make things much easier to manage. Adhere to the following instructions and you’ll be done in no time:
- Select a section that measures 2 feet by 2 feet. The hood is a good place to start with.
- Spray this area well with lubricant clay. You should also spray the clay disc lightly as well.
- Start claying – slide the disc side to side over the lubricated section. Keep your fingers flat over it and make sure that you don’t press too hard.
- After a while, check the underside of the clay disc. If it looks too dirty, fold and flatten it again so that you have a clean side to work with again.
- Spray the lubricant clay on the clay disc and resume cleaning the section again.
- Once you’re satisfied, take a clean microfiber cloth and remove the lubricant clay.
- After you’re done with the first section, repeat the same procedure for the rest. Make sure to fold and flatten the clay disc so that you’re always working with a clean underside.
- Finish the job by applying sealant all over the clayed surface.
And that’s all there is to using a clay bar on your car. It is essential that you adhere to the best practices described in this article so that you don’t end up damaging your car’s paint job.