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Old 07-14-2011, 07:10 PM   #1
JordanG
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Default Claybar

Hey guys, I was wondering what your clay bar techniques are or what brands you recommend. I personally have never used it before and would like to give the car a full detail.
I've heard it helps revitalize your paint a little, so it's something I'm definitely interested in.

Thanks,
Jordan
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Old 07-14-2011, 07:23 PM   #2
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Meguiar's clay bar kit is a great start. it comes with a lubricant (quick detailer) and 2 clay bars for a great price. you can find it at your local walmart or auto parts store. all it does is takes the contaminant off of your paint. it does not revitalize your paint like a polish. but I highly recommend it if your want perfection.
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Old 07-14-2011, 07:29 PM   #3
JordanG
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dakrat
Meguiar's clay bar kit is a great start. it comes with a lubricant (quick detailer) and 2 clay bars for a great price. you can find it at your local walmart or auto parts store. all it does is takes the contaminant off of your paint. it does not revitalize your paint like a polish. but I highly recommend it if your want perfection.
Oh I know it doesn't do the whole job.
But it does help though. I plan on going the whole 9 yards with this detail
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Old 07-14-2011, 07:33 PM   #4
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+1 for the meguiar's kit--excellent value and comes with everything you need.
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Old 07-14-2011, 08:05 PM   #5
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Great info about this stuff here:

http://www.meguiarsonline.com/forums/forum.php

I just did my car with the meguiars clay bar kit last weekend. The kit comes with everything you need, including a small bottle of polish wax to finish it off, but I used their ultimate polish and then ultimate wax. It came out great. Very easy wipe on/wipe off process.

Just follow the instructions on the products. It's definitely not rocket science. Just make sure to wash the car really good before you start on the clay and if you drop the clay even once, it's ruined - throw it away. They give you two bars and I cut one in half.

Last edited by dmk0210; 07-14-2011 at 08:13 PM.
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Old 07-14-2011, 08:28 PM   #6
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*Let me start by saying that you can find this info on Autogeek.net along with videos of instruction on "how to clay", among other detailing topics.*
Clay bar is a necessity regardless of if you want to do a full detail and a have a show car, or if you want the paint to last for years to come on your daily driver and not lose its clarity from contaminants building up. If you really want to remove the contaminants out the paint then you would want to use a decontamination system like the Finish Kare 3 step system(which doesn't require claying afterwards if done properly(from what I've read), but you can always check again. Or to at least remove the ferrous(iron) materials and their effects, you can use an iron activated treatment/chemical and then clay after that; claying is required if you only do that step (which most people do) and not a whole system like the Finish Kare. But for now you can just detail clay the care unless you actually see rust in your paint, which starts off as very small reddish orange dots or streaks and only get worse with time and exposure to oxygen, moisture, heat, and the sun. There are basically three levels of detailing clay: Fine, Mild, and Aggressive. They all work the same and will remove the same bonded contaminants, just one may do it a little quicker while removing any wax/sealant on the paint. Mild/Aggressive clays are only recommended to be used every 6-12 months, while a Fine clay(Pinnacle Ultra Polly Clay) can be used monthly and may actually leave some paint protection behind. It is still recommended you reapply a wax/sealant regardless of the clay you use since some protection is removed if any contaminants are pulled out/off the paint.
Prepare the car for claying by rinsing thoroughly to remove loose dirt/contaminants. Then start washing the car from the top down, working in sections as not to cross contaminate the paint. I always wash the from the top down to no lower than 2.5-3 feet from the ground, leaving the front bumper, lower sides, and the back lower half of the car for the end. Just work clean to dirtiest. With that said always rinse the wash mitt, either with the hose or in a separate rinse bucket before re-soaking the wash mitt in the clean, soapy wash water. The two(or more) bucket method(with Grit Guards) is recommended for any detailed cleaning/washing evolution. Unless you like having higher chances of leaving swirls/scratches on your paint from washing it. A few buckets are cheaper and a lot easier than having to buy a swirl remover polish/compound and spend half a day removing unnecessary swirls/scratches, IMHO. Always rinse as you go never allowing soapy water to dry. Then dry the vehicle if you are not going to move it out of sun light immediately, or if you know your rinse water will leave mineral deposits if left on the car more than 30 minutes. I say this because a lot of people will skip the drying step if they are claying the car immediately following the wash. If unsure of your rinse water lightly dry the car and begin claying in the shade or a garage.
It is okay to use a detail spray to clay with, however a designated clay lubricant will ensure you are using lubrication that will not deteriorate the detailing clay for some detailing sprays can cause a clay to break down prematurely from added cleaning agents. The right tool for the right job. It is also acceptable to use a solution of rinse-less car wash in a spray bottle to lube the paint/clay. Use what works best for you and is on hand, and paint safe. To check the car to see if any area don't need claying, you can use a sandwich baggy or something similar like a cellophane, latex, or nitrile glove to light rub the painted/glass surfaces of the car. If you feel any roughness/texture to the car that isn't a paint chip/paint defect than that means the paint is contaminated with bonded contaminants and at least those areas need to be clayed.
Sorry will finish after dinner.
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Old 07-14-2011, 09:24 PM   #7
furiouswrx
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I used Meguiar's clay bar kit last weekend and results were great.
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Old 07-14-2011, 10:06 PM   #8
JordanG
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Wow awesome responses guys!!!
I'll be detailing it next Thursday or Friday depending on weather.

I'll post some pictures when she's all clean
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Old 07-15-2011, 08:03 AM   #9
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Adams clay kit works well too.
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Old 07-15-2011, 05:15 PM   #10
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mother's clay bar kit worked well for me. comes with a buffing cloth(standard microfiber) as well as the two claybars and lubricant
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Old 07-15-2011, 07:07 PM   #11
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Water works just as good as the "lubricant"...
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Old 07-16-2011, 12:29 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guidojuicehead View Post
Water works just as good as the "lubricant"...

Drip in some car wash soap and get the lubrication party started!
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Old 07-16-2011, 12:41 AM   #13
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I just want to make a point and am not trying to start anything. But, would you ever not use car shampoo/ONR in the "wash" water to clean your paint? The soap is not just there to clean the car it is actually there to be a lubricant in the water giving the dirt a medium to float in and slide across the finish in the wash mitt without digging into the paint. Most car shampoos actually don't have a strong cleaning ability that is why on its own it wont clean the dirt off. Most of the cleaning that occurs is from the wash mitt. Before polymer technology in products such as ONR, all we had were the suds of the car shampoo to suspend the dirt particles off the paint. Without a clay lubricant other than just tap water, the clay will grab the paint too aggressively if not enough water is there too make the clay slide/hydroplane over the paint. When this happens trapped particles in the clay, or the particle breaking free of the surface, can be drug across the paint before it has time to imbed into the clay. I actually just test this on my paint in my garage so that I could see for myself since I haven't used just water with clay in quite awhile. The DP Universal Clay Lubricant allows the clay to stay slick even on area that have not been sprayed w/ lubricant yet. The clay lube actually stays on the clay a good bit longer than plain water. It made the clay glide right over particles with barely any notice that is was grabbing anything. Then I tried out plain water and sprayed probably twice as much of it as I did the clay lube. As the clay slide across the paint w/ water under it, at first I thought it was very similar to the clay lube, until I came across rough spots in the paint(touch up paint that hasn't been wet sanded yet) it wanted to grab very aggressively like it wanted to pull the paint of. When I slide the clay close to an area where the water mist was ending/thinning out the clay came to an abrupt stop and took me wiggling it slowly to proceed on a dry spot. The clay itself just doesn't hold the water to it to allow it to safely glide. I sprayed a drop of clay lube onto the area where the water mist ended and was able to glide the clay into a dry area with very little resistance, and if I went back into the wet it would transfer clay lube onto the dryer area allowing me to easily clay that spot. The area I clayed with plain water actually had spots of clay film where the clay was grabbing so aggressively and not gliding.
I just wanted to share this from first hand so that no one would think I was just stating my own opinion. The saying "the right tool for the right job" goes along way in the detailing industry even for the simplest, most mundane steps. At the least use a few drops of car shampoo into a spray bottle of water to make a clay lube. Better yet would be to use ONR or another brand of rinse-less car wash. The polymers really make a slick surface and help encapsulate any loose particles until the clay grabs them or you wipe them away. Also, you have to think about the water you are using. If you wouldn't leave the water from your tap/spigot to dry on your car after you rinsed it, then why would you use it as a lubricant to remove particles/contaminants from your clear coat? Most municipal water has chemicals (chlorine) in it that will dry out your skin/hair, so why would you not expect it to dry out detailing clay? FYI my water in my whole house and one spigot outside is reverse osmosis/filtered water, so I know there is no chlorine or heavy particles in it. That said you may want to filter the water from your tap before mixing it with any of your detailing products. Just a recommendation, as a lot of show car guys only use distilled water on there vehicles.
Just a word on the technique of actually moving the clay across the paint. Like any detailing step by hand, to help mitigate scratches and identify if they were induced from a step you did, alway move clay(and applicators) across the paint in a straight line motion, preferably in the direction air flows over the car when you drive. This way if by some chance a large particle trapped in the clay scratches the clear coat you can more easily remove a hair line scratch rather than a hair line swirl. It is less fatiguing, as well, to move your arm in a straight line continuously than in a circle. And remember, always work in small areas when working by hand, and check the clay often to make sure no large particles are trapped in the clay, and if the clay needs to be kneaded. Claying can revitalize paint that is so contaminated that it has lost clarity. Once done claying the paint will be smoother and clearer to the eye. After claying and a final wipe down the paint is ready for wax if you are not going to polish it. Polishing without claying contaminated paint runs a very high risk of scratching the paint from particles that break loose under the polishing pad, and will contaminate the polishing pad for the rest of its use until cleaned properly. Just letting you know what's right and the benefits doing the simple steps properly.
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Old 07-16-2011, 03:08 PM   #14
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although i'm sure we all really appreciate your help but please separate you huge walls of text. they are very difficult to read.
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Old 07-17-2011, 01:21 AM   #15
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Be warned, any subaru I've claybarred ends up with marred paint. It's not easy to see unless you put it under halogens but I would not consider claybarring one without doing paint correction afterwards. The paint it just too soft.
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Old 07-18-2011, 06:04 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scooby24 View Post
Be warned, any subaru I've claybarred ends up with marred paint. It's not easy to see unless you put it under halogens but I would not consider claybarring one without doing paint correction afterwards. The paint it just too soft.
Do you have any example pics of marred paint? Im curious to see what that looks like.
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Old 07-18-2011, 06:24 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by D-rock240 View Post
Do you have any example pics of marred paint? Im curious to see what that looks like.
This car was already pretty bad, but those fluffly looking speckles show up after a claybar.

Not on this car, but another subaru I had polished one panel and then noticed a piece of tar I missed (black car, hard to find), it was perfectly smooth after polish, clay bar marred it with the lightest pressure. Clay another car like a chevy or audi (hard paint) and it won't phase it.

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Old 07-18-2011, 06:45 PM   #18
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you guys do realize that auto magic has patented the clay bar and any other brand (meguiar's, mother's etc) are all lesser quality clay bars sold to them by auto magic right? go with the original and best

as for technique, lubricate well and flick your wrist back and forth, if you try to do it all with full arm motion you will be exhausted when you get done. keep folding the clay over as more and more crap gets caught in it

one clay bar will do about 70 cars
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Old 07-20-2011, 04:29 PM   #19
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+1 for the meguiar's kit used it this past weekend and worked well. Definitely not going to make the paint look new but it is an improvement over what you get with just a wash. I am going towards polishing next. As to the smudges, I did get something like that during the process but was able to get it off just using some extra lubracant. Haven't put it under halogens but I think if it was the case that this happened with every Subaru it would be a little more known on this forum that claying is a no no.
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Old 07-23-2011, 07:13 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scooby24 View Post
Be warned, any subaru I've claybarred ends up with marred paint. It's not easy to see unless you put it under halogens but I would not consider claybarring one without doing paint correction afterwards. The paint it just too soft.

It could be that those imperfections were there before, but hidden from wax or whatever else was applied on there. Once you clay bar it, it might've taken out that layer of wax hiding the imperfection. If you lube the clay and the car, there should be no reason the paint should get damaged like in the picture, unless you used a really aggressive claybar.
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Old 07-23-2011, 07:41 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by vinxH View Post
It could be that those imperfections were there before, but hidden from wax or whatever else was applied on there. Once you clay bar it, it might've taken out that layer of wax hiding the imperfection. If you lube the clay and the car, there should be no reason the paint should get damaged like in the picture, unless you used a really aggressive claybar.
The imperfections showed up right after a polish. Car had already been free of existing contaminants, clayed and then polished. I clayed again after finding a minor piece of tar that was missed the first time around and the clay marred the defect free paint.

Was using a claymagic fine claybar with FK 425 for lube, which is very, very slick.

Claybar your car and put it under the unforgiving halogens and you'll see the reason for my warning. To 99% of the public, it'll look fine.
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Old 07-24-2011, 03:50 AM   #22
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You can't rub a spot with visible contaminants, with one spot on the clay or you will mar the paint, because the contaminants aren't able to be moved away from the paint if that one spot is constantly picking up debris. If you polished then clayed again, you could easily mar the paint if not careful because the polishing exposes even softer clear coat. If anyone ever goes with the thought that polishing without claying is safer, you will end up break contaminants loose under the polishing pad and mar the paint even worse(or cause pigtails) than if you had clayed it before hand. IMO, the best way to prevent contaminants from marring the paint is to remove them using a decontamination product/procedure like Finish Kare's(FK) 3 step system. Most marring during claying occurs due to rubbing to hard on visibly bonded contaminants/particles, and/or using dirty clay. I can't see being able to use an 8oz. clay bar on 70 cars unless they are the 70 cleanest cars in the world. You should stop using clay on surfaces you don't want scratches/marring on when it starts showing signs of degradation, you can't knead the clay to achieve a clean spot, you have dropped it on a dirty surface, and/or the clay is uniformly a darker shade than what is started as. Not using a proper lubricant for claying will lead to marring and cause the clay to degrade sooner. With all this stated, it is a very good reason to clean your vehicle on a regular basis with the proper products/techniques, don't allow visible contaminants to stay on your vehicle more than a day(or less), wax your paint every 1-3 months/paint sealant every 3-12 months, and eat your vegetables.lol
Happy detailing!
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Old 07-24-2011, 01:22 PM   #23
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I tried to clay my wifes car this weekend and was having an issue with the clay actually sticking to the paint. It actually looked like the picture above a little, but if you run your finger over it you can feel a super light layer of clay on the paint. I was using meguiar's professional blue clay and a mix of ONR and water to lubricate. Is there a trick to not having it stick? I went over it with meguiar's 205 after and it took it all out, but didn't want to have to do that extra step as all i wanted to do was clay and wax.
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Old 07-24-2011, 01:44 PM   #24
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Chances are you had too high a ratio of water:ONR. ONR recommends 2oz. to 1 gallon. However, if you have especially hard water or a high chlorine content, you should use a higher concentration of ONR: 1 ounce of ONR to 32 ounces of water. Maybe even using filtered water would help. How old is the clay you were using? Clay should not be used as long as some people think/suggest. Was the car clean immediately before claying? What were your techniques for using the clay? If you press too hard you are not allowing the clay to do the work/work properly. At any point were you tearing through the clay with your fingers? To remove the film left by the clay you can/should just spray some more lubricant onto the area and wipe with a clean microfiber. When you knead the megs clay to get a clean spot does it start to get crumbly? If so I would stop using it.
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Old 07-24-2011, 02:26 PM   #25
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an easier way to do this is to clay it while washing your car. the soapy water works as a pretty good lubricant..
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