One of the most crucial parts of the preparation step is using a clay bar. If you’ve noticed, we talk about clay bar in most of our articles, because it helps us make the surface smoother and ready to accept a ceramic protection.

What Is A Clay Bar

Automotive detailing clay, commonly known as “Clay bar” is used to remove dust, dirt, industrial fallout, and other contaminants from your car’s surfaces that are hard to remove with a common wash mitt. Basically, contaminant particles stick to the clay when it is rubbed along the car’s surface and remove them.


Preparation Before Clay Bar

Before you start the “real” process, you must first do some prep work.

  1. Wash your car: Remove the dirt, debris, and other contaminants from the surface as much as you can. This will make the claying process easier. You should wash it with a hose and not use a high-pressure washing machine because they tend to leave soap residue on the surfaces.
  2. Purchase a Clay Bar Kit that includes a lubricant: A clay bar is either great quality or normal. High-quality bars should remove your car’s contaminants pretty easily.
    Although an experienced detailer can work fine with a medium-quality bar, it’s highly suggested to use the best ‘tools’ for this job.
    Now, if the your kit doesn’t include a lubricant, buy one from the same manufacturer you bought the clay bar.
  3. Squeeze the clay in your hand until it forms into a disc-like shape: The heat produced by your hands will soften the clay and help you form it into a disc-like shape.  The outcome must be approx. 1,9 cm thick and the diameter must be 3 to 4 finger wide.

How To Use Clay Bar

After the preparation process is over, you can now proceed with the application.

  1. Spray the lubricant over a 50 cm × 50 cm section of the car: Start by spraying a generous amount of lubricant on your surfaces divided into 50 cm x 50 cm sections. Also, spray a little bit on the clay disc. Start by laying the cleaner areas of your vehicle and proceed to the dirtier parts.
    It’s very important not to “clay” a dry car because you’ll end up with thousands of bits of the clay bar.
  2. Glide the clay back and forth: Place the clay on your surfaces and apply a little bit of force. Rub horizontally or vertically, using enough pressure to keep the clay on your hand.
    Spray the surfaces with the lubricant often, so that they’ll remain ‘slippery’.
  3. Check the clay: After a few passes, check the clay. If its surface is full of contaminants, fold it and squeeze it again into a disc-like shape. Spray lubricant and continue on.
  4. Wipe the lubricant off with a clean microfiber towel: After the claying process is over, grab a clean microfiber towel and wipe the remaining lubricant off. The surfaces must be completely dry when you touch them with your fingers.

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Constantine Stephan

Constantine Stephan is the Founder and Chief Editor of Nanex.

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