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What Is a Clay Bar & Do I Need It?

what is clay bar

Did you know that when you rub your hand across your cars surface, it should be as smooth as glass?

clayfinal3Many of our customers often call us out to wash and wax their vehicles. Once we are on-site and inspect their vehicles, we sometimes find that the paint on their vehicle needs to be cleaned and have oxidation and other contaminates removed prior to waxing. In most cases a clay bar treatment will take care of the issue. In this article, we will explain what a clay bar treatment is and why your car's paint may need it.

 

What Is a Clay Bar Treatment?

A clay bar treatment is designed to get rid of embedded surface area contaminants that still remain on your vehicle after a car wash . In some cases the contamination cleaned up and removed isn't always noticeable on the paint to the human eye alone. Immediately after applying a clay bar detailing treatment on your paint, you will be left with a surface that is clean & smooth as glass and appropriately prepared for polishing or the application of protective layers of wax. In addition to claying your cars paint, you can use the clay bar to clean off your glass, wheels, lights & a lot more. A typical misunderstanding concerning using a clay bar is that it has an effect on getting rid of swirls and scratches, but, it does not. In fact, by using a clay bar you can actually add minor defects to your paint so it's usually better to follow up the clay bar treatment with a polish to get rid of any additional micro-marring.

How do I know if I need a Clay Bar Treatment?

Right after cleaning your vehicle, gently run your palm over the hood or surface area, if it seems rough, abrasive and gritty then it’s time for a clay bar treatment. Irrespective of whether your car is brand-new or pre-owned contaminants quickly form on surfaces damaging a perfect shine and causing damage to the surface.

I've never heard of applying a clay bar to the surface of a vehicle, what should I know?

Claying is an powerful penetrating cleansing stage that should be done as frequently as contamination is noticed on a surface area. It's a procedure that decontaminates your vehicles surface. It is also a fantastic surface cleanser for paints, fiberglass, painted plastics rubber, glass and metals.

The surface of your auto should always be smooth prior to application of and wax, polish or sealant.

Most Detailers use a buffer, Is that the same as a Clay Bar Treatment?

No, in many cases buffers, high speed orbital polishers and compounds may be used in cleaning up a surface area however , they are a considerably more aggressive and abrasive treatment. Being that clay bars are non-abrasive they won't scratch or wear off paint or clear coat layers. Buffing or polishing is the activity of sanding down or removing paint or clear coat levels, whereas a clay bar treatment essentially extracts foreign contaminants and pollutants which have embedded themselves in the paint, without removing or harming your paint.

When I am claying the surface of my car, do I need to use a lubricant?

Yes, without a doubt. Clay is designed to function with the help of a lubricant and will certainly always need a good amount of lubrication to assist it in gliding unhampered across the work surface. A properly lubricated surface area minimizes resistance and the likelihood of scratching or damaging the surface of your vehicle.

Without having lubrication the clay bar will grab onto contaminants, pulling them over the surface, and perhaps scratch or damage the vehicles surface.

After a Clay Bar Treatment, Do I need to Wax my vehicle?

Without a doubt. A clay bar will clean up the surface area and eliminate contaminants but, our vehicle's surface area will still need a coating of proper protection from the elements, it is generally ideal to follow up a clay bar treatment with a proper car wax service .

Do I still need to Wax or Polish my car if I've had a Clay Bar Treatment?

Certainly. Clay won't do away with swirl marks, scratches or etching as a result of acid rain or hard water spots. Paint polishing is still recommended for removing these paint issues. If your paint is new or like-new, a clay bar detailing will drastically lessen the amount of polishing needed to maintain your paints condition.

Will a Clay Bar Detailing remove my wax or sealant?

Yes, in most cases claying the surface area of your vehicle will take away some wax and sealants, nevertheless it's usually encouraged to re-wax or re-seal a surface for maximum protection.

Is a Clay Bar Treatment the same as polishing?

Clay Bar Detailing is a bit more intense than polishing by itself, at the same time it is non-abrasive and easy to do. A Clay Bar extracts foreign debris, and contaminants from your vehicles surface, this allows the polish to do its job, of filling in scratches and delivering a great shine.


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The Car Wash Genie blog is designed to educate all customers with information that will promote proper understanding of car detailing procedures & techniques in hopes that they will have a greater awareness of how to maintain and protect their vehicles.

Find more of the authors work on Google+

 

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