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Clay bar for dummies

 
Old 06-20-18, 09:58 AM
  #16  
jfelbab
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It would be more accurate to say that clay will compromise prior waxes and sealants. If you have applied a coating it will not be removed. Some waxes or sealants will partially survive a claying so to be 100% sure, you will need a light machine polish. Clay is not all that aggressive when it is sliding (actually hydroplaning) across the paint on a film of lube so your previous protection won't be completely removed. If your goal is to remove all of the previous protection you'll need to polish.

Clay works by pulling or sheering bonded contaminants as it glide over the paint. It grabs those things that are high spots.

______/\______/\_____ <-- In this example the clay will catch and pull off, or shear off, the high spots and glide over the smooth paint on a film of lube. In fact, the clay doesn't always contact the paint as it is held off of the paint by the lube.

You cannot assume that your paint is perfectly free of prior protectants after claying. If you are prepping to apply a new sealant or a coating, for example, you need to be 100% sure the paint is bare or you may observe bonding issues later.

But yes, you need to reapply your protectant of choice after claying because the old protection is no longer fully there.

Last edited by jfelbab; 06-20-18 at 10:02 AM.
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Old 06-21-18, 08:40 PM
  #17  
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As a professional car and airplane builder and having produced several nationally award-winning/recognized vehicles in national magazines and events.... I will give you some tips that I use.

First.. I have been using clay bars for decades. Second, I only use Mother's Detailer as a lubricant with the bar. Third, I then go back over the car with... and get this... Mother's Pre-wax cleaner with toilet paper applicator. That's right.. toilet paper. You will find that toilet paper has the right surface to take swirl marks and light scratches completely out! Go in one direction ... then the other! After that.. follow up with any quality wax (I use Mothers) to finish. I will tell you that after all that... you're finish will feel buttery smooth and gloss line no other! Have fun and work those arm muscles!
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Old 06-22-18, 04:56 AM
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maarp
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Toilet paper, eh? Any particular brand? I don't want unsightly willnots left behind....
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Old 06-22-18, 06:08 AM
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Old 06-22-18, 02:18 PM
  #20  
np20412
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Originally Posted by maarp View Post
Toilet paper, eh? Any particular brand? I don't want unsightly willnots left behind....
Charmin Ultra...only the best for your booty hole will suffice for your car!
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Old 06-22-18, 06:38 PM
  #21  
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So what is TP.? Hint,.. It's not just paper.

Charmin Ingredients: Mineral Oil, (Parrifinum Liquidum), Cetearyl Alcohol, Beeswax (Apis Mellifera), Steareth 2, Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis Extract), Tocopherol (Natural Vitamin E), Butyspermum Parlii (Shea Butter)

Really, you want that stuff possibly contaminating your paint or do your want your paint perfectly clean prior to applying a sealant or coating? Paint is not like skin. Paint does not benefit from these emollients. Some of these things could possibly interfere with the cross linking of your sealant or coating and shorten the life of your protection. Same holds true for using dishwashing soap to wash your car. IMO, its better to use products designed for automotive paint care.
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Old 06-30-18, 06:24 AM
  #22  
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Clay is done, wax is on. Glad I was pre-warned that after claying, the finish is going to look a little dull, but smooth to the touch. Definitely true, on both counts. The wax went on so smoothly. We'll see how everything looks when it comes off.
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Old 06-30-18, 08:32 AM
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Old 06-30-18, 08:53 AM
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Nice
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Old 06-30-18, 09:11 AM
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Thanks for all the tips and know-how, Jim. Came out better than I hoped, actually. Was already shiny, but it wasn't slippery like it's supposed to be. Hard to believe that's 16+ year old paint.

EDIT: Bonus points if you can guess what the other car in the driveway is.
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Old 08-17-18, 10:17 AM
  #26  
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I clay bar a little differently and have had great results over about 12 years doing so.

First, I wash the car with dawn liquid detergent. This will remove dirt, wax, and will give a nice surface for the clay to do it's job and keep the clay bar as clean as possible. I use plenty of soap and rinse it well. I will clean the bottom 1/3 of the car with one rag and the top 2/3 with another. Will rinse them well every minute or so. Usually the bottom 1/3 is full of grit that should be removed before getting a clay anywhere close.

Then I'll clean it again paying more attention to underskirts, trim work, etc. The idea is to not miss any spots and pre-clean as much as possible before applying a clean clay bar.

Then rinse, dump the soap bucket and refill again with water/dawn. I'll apply this mixture to a panel as though I'm washing it a third time. When nice and soapy, I clay bar that panel and rinse. Repeat all panels.
Keep the clay bar kneaded to expose a fresh surface. DO NOT DROP IT on the ground. If you do, discard it. I drag the soapy bar across the paint until I feel it slide across the surface easily. The front, lower and rear of the car tends to get dirt embedded. Keep rubbing until it slides like butter on glass!

I'll do the glass, trimwork, and lights as well. I am more gentle with it on plastics such as head and taillights. Then rinse it all well.

Once this is done, I'll dry the car, go for a short drive or use a leaf blower to remove residual water. Once dry, I'll use quick detailing spray to remove water spots.

Then polish and wax. The type of polish depends on the condition. Usually I just go with Speed glaze since the surfaces are not usually in bad condition. And nowadays I'll use a sealer in between polish and wax.

If I'm feeling ambitious I'll clean, clay and wax the wheels last.. Usually I'll clean the wheels, clay and wax when doing tire rotations though since I can get behind the "spokes" more easily. I don't like tire shops using air tools on my cars if I can avoid it, so I will often bring in the wheels when I need new tires.

Once a year is usually the routine, yes it sometimes slips to once every two years. On my wife's car, every 2-3.

Clay bars will not remove scratches, just "dirt" which comes in many forms. As a surface prep before polishing, they are unbeatable.
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