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  #1  
Old 02-02-2010, 04:13 AM
Steviejay Steviejay is offline
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Default How to use a claybar on your truck

Found this on the net and thought it might help some of you, I clay all my cars every 2-3 months, it makes a hell of a difference to the finish of the car If you start detailing it properly from the start.


There are a lot of questions on how to use clay bars and if it is safe. Well, both are pretty simple answers. The basics of clay barring is spraying a lube onto the surface and rubbing the clay across that surface and if done properly, it is very safe.
Why should I clay?
Claying removes contaminants on the surface that regular washing can not take care of. Claying will even remove particles that pre-wax cleaners cannot get. Claying strips things off the surface, making it naked so to speak, and leaves a fresh, clean surface ready for polishing or waxing. Claying before polishing is a good idea because it removes those particles that could potentially get trapped in your pad and cause unwanted surface marring.
What can I clay?
You can pretty much clay any hard, smooth to mostly smooth surface. It is generally meant for use on the painted surface of your vehicles body, but you can use it for the windows, plastic trim, wheels, headlights, taillights, etc… I have been caught claying scuffs off my hardwood floor and dirt particles off of my counter tops.lol
How often should I clay?
For your own daily driven vehicle, twice a year is common. Once at the end of summer and once after winter. However, it wouldn’t hurt to clay your vehicle every time you wax. I know people that clay once a month. There is no maximum for how many times you can clay your car, but you should at least clay it once a year.
If you are detailing for money, it is a good idea to clay before you polish or wax because chances are, the vehicles surface has never seen a clay bar. As mentioned above, claying before you polish is a good because it removes particles off the surface that could potentially get trapped in your pad and cause unwanted surface marring. It will help aid in the wax on/wax off steps and it will also help boost the appearance with little added work.
You can also “spot clay”. If you get some overspray on your paint and the overspray is still somewhat fresh, then claying will take it off easily. If you get a stubborn bird bomb on your roof and a QD and wash will not completely remove it, you can generally clay it off. Anytime you get a stubborn contaminant on your paint, trying to clay it off might be a solution.
Do I have to do anything after I clay?
Yes. No only does it strip contaminants off of the surface, it will also strip waxes/sealants that you have previously put on. People generally clay before applying wax anyway, but even when you spot clay, it is a good idea to wax that area.
Which Clay is best to use?
This is personal preference. People chose clay for different reasons including, price, brand, availability, etc… There really isn’t a clay that is superior to another. I have used 8 different clay bars from different companies and they all have performed the same. From all the research I have done, most all, if not all, automotive clay is made the same way out of the same ingredients. There are different colors and strengths, but that is about where the differences end. Most locally available clay is a mild clay. You typically can only get aggressive clay by ordering it. The three most common over the counter brands are Meguiar’s, Mothers and Clay Magic. All three work perfectly fine.
How many uses can I get out of a clay bar?
You can typically get 3-4 whole car safe uses out of an over the counter bar. A lot depends on where you use it and how dirty your car is. If you keep you car fairly clean and you only use the bar on the body, you could get more uses. If you car is ran like the Dukes of Hazzard Charger, you only wash it once a year and you decide to do your wheels also, you may only get one use before it becomes unsafe.
Always remember, if you drop it on the ground, chunk it and count your loses.
Where in the detailing process do I clay?
The best time to use a clay bar is after a wash. If you do it before a wash, you are going to scratch the surface of your car everywhere and you will fall asleep that night crying. If you do it after you wax or polish, it is to late. There are really only two times you should clay. During the wash or right after the wash/dry. I don’t recommend claying while you wash because of two reasons. There can potentially be particles still suspended in the suds on the body panel and some car soaps break some clay bars down. If you decide to clay while you wash, I recommend that you wash the panel, rinse it, wipe soapy water on it again and then clay. You also need to make sure that the soap and your clay bar are compatible.
How do I use a clay bar?
If you buy an over the counter clay bar, make sure you read the instructions before proceeding.
Thoroughly wash and dry your vehicle.
Remove the clay bar from the packaging. Tear the clay in half. I do this just in case so if I drop the clay, I haven’t lost the whole bar. Take one half and flatten it into a pancake.
When claying the whole car, a good rule of thumb is to clay from top to bottom, front to back. I usually do it in this order: roof, hood, rear deck lid, front bumper, front fenders, front doors, rear doors, rear quarters, rear bumper and I finish up with the side skirts/rocker panels since they generally get hit with the most debris.
Lube. Most over the counter clay bars come in a system that includes a spray lube. Try to stick with that lube. Never just use water. Always use a proper clay lube when using a clay bar.
To start, mist the first panel with the spray lube just like you would if you were using a Quick Detail spray. For larger panels, divide them in half. You don’t need to soak the panel to make the clay work, but you need to make sure there is enough to make the clay glide. Mist the area and try the clay, if it doesn’t move freely, squirt another mist on the area. Once the panel has been lubed, rub the clay bar across the surface. You will hear and feel gritty sound that will scare you the first time. This is completely normal. It is all the contaminants being removed from the surface. Rub the clay across the surface until you stop feeling and hearing this sound. You will also feel the clay beginning to glide more easily. This is when you know that you can move on.
Once you have clayed the panel, wipe the lube dry with a quality Microfiber towel.
After you have completed two small or one large panel, knead the clay. Fold it in half and reflatten it into a pancake before moving to the next panel.
Complete this over the whole vehicle and you are done and ready to polish or wax.
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  #2  
Old 02-02-2010, 07:21 AM
FX4 FX4 is offline
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great write up! on a side note..... because you remove the contaminants out of the paint, not only does the finish look better, but your wax/sealant will bond to the paint better since it's clean. I use it before every polish as well...

Rafal
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  #3  
Old 02-02-2010, 08:17 AM
Steviejay Steviejay is offline
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Yea this is not my write up, I do it very similar though, it's hard to believe how much difference it makes, wax comes off easy and paint feels like glass, and looks wet.
I hate running my hand over paint and feeling hard specks of dirt bonded to the paint.
I'm a little OCD with my cars, I also used to be a valeter so I hate my car being grubby.
I can't even look at my wifes car!! if I get in I want to wear an NBC suit incase I catch some grubby virus!! Her car is a way of getting from point A to point B, but I always think that a clean car is a happy car lol (with fresh oil )
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2006 UK Ranger Wildtrak Double Cab 4x4/2x4 2.5Td, Titanium Grey, tinted windows, Blacked out Rear, rear sjs hard cover, sportz Blue bulbs, LED side lights, BFG KM2 MT - 31/10.5/15's
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Old 02-02-2010, 09:18 AM
FX4 FX4 is offline
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OCD? lol, I'm the same way... I hate orange peel so I fixed it on my subaru:
before:


During:




After:



sorry to fill up your thread here off topic

Rafal
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  #5  
Old 02-02-2010, 09:32 AM
Steviejay Steviejay is offline
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That's ok, nice work!!
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  #6  
Old 02-02-2010, 02:27 PM
FX4 FX4 is offline
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to take it back on topic, here's a little diagram of the claybar process:

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  #7  
Old 02-02-2010, 02:51 PM
Steviejay Steviejay is offline
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Thanks for adding that Rafal

:-)
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Knowledge is often mistaken for intelligence. This is like mistaking a cup of milk for a cow.


2006 UK Ranger Wildtrak Double Cab 4x4/2x4 2.5Td, Titanium Grey, tinted windows, Blacked out Rear, rear sjs hard cover, sportz Blue bulbs, LED side lights, BFG KM2 MT - 31/10.5/15's
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