CLAY BAR explained.
A Japanese scientist was looking for a way to remove contaminants from bodywork without using harsh chemicals or polishing compounds and invented a detailing clay which was introduced to America in the early 1990's. This was taken up by an Auto Wax consultant and promoted by an Auto Wax company who held the patent until 2014.
Over time the bodywork can become contaminated with every day pollution, brake pad friction that produces metallic particles into the air and finding there way onto you car's paintwork. The air on our busy roads is polluted from our industrial environment, every day activities and diesel exhaust from other traffic. Virtually all new vehicles are contaminated when they leave the factory.
Clay bars are made from synthetic clay, different from natural organic clay and are available in a number of grades requiring experience to establish the correct grade.
Working like a razor it shaves off paint contamination that accumulates on the body work surface. The bar picks up the contamination as it is rubbed over the bodywork.
Clay bar is sticky and used in conjunction with a lubricant, originally developed to remove paint over-spray. The clay will remove contaminants that cannot be removed by washing or chemical cleaning.
As the clay is used it will become dirty and contaminated and should be used with care as it can cause more problems than it solves. The bar is regularly turned and moulded to offer a clean surface to the car's bodywork.
Using a clay lubrication, a specially formulated liquid that helps the clay glide over the paintwork's surface, reduces the risk of marring or paint damage. Without a lubricant the clay bar will not slide across the paintwork and produce marring. Using soap as a lubricant is an absolute no, the clay bar lubricant are specifically designed not to impact upon the cleaning integrity of the clay bar. When finished the lubrication can be removed.
Even after a maintenance wash there will still be contaminants; invariably not visible to the naked eye. After you have used a Clay Bar the surface will be glass smooth, ready for a polish/wax application. Glass , wheels and lights can also be improved with a clay bar application.
We use Bilt Hamber's Auto Clay Bar, preferably just prior to a wax, glaze, polish or paint sealant as it is less abrasive than buffing or polishing. The process of clay barring is less abrasive than polishing or surface buffing. It will pull out any contaminants or foreign particles that have become embedded in your paintwork. A Clay Bar application may not remove scratches or swirls, for this you may require a full paint correction prior to a polish application.
How To Clay Bar.
Snow foam, wash and dry the bodywork
Take a small piece of clay and shape it into a flat surface
Working in small 45 cm square sections, mist the clay bar lubricant over your working area, so that every square inch is covered.
Glide the clay bar over your working area gently using overlapping passes going left to right or up and down. Note: You will not need a lot of pressure to clean the paint. Allow the clay to absorb the contamination. Stubborn contamination can require additional applications of clay lube and passes to remove.
You will know when all the contamination has been removed as the bar will move easily across the paintwork and will not feel any contaminant picked up by the bar.
Use a micro-fibre towel to remove excess lubricant.
Continue steps 3 - 6 until the entire car has been completed.