Newbie car owners are constantly looking for ways to preserve their car’s just-new, mirror-like finish. It’s no secret that proper maintenance, including regular appointments with an auto detailing specialist, can really stretch your car’s functionality and good looks to the fullest. There is simply no way you can cut corners on proper car care—your vehicle is always exposed to the elements, so you have to be vigilant about keeping it clean and working well all the time.
Recently, clay bars have attracted the attention of car owners who want to perform do-it-yourself (DIY) car tricks on their own. Not everyone has the time or the money to spend for frequent professional detailing, so a little DIY maintenance can go a long way.
But the question is: which clay bar should you use and why?
What is a Clay Bar?
A clay bar for your car is just like sticky toy that your kids play with, only tougher and more elastic. The stickiness helps grab all the industrial fallout, acid rain deposits, brake dust, and rail dust that adhere to your vehicle. These contaminants may remain even after an all-out soap-and-water bath. What’s worse is that you don’t always see them with the naked eye, so they remain undetected on your car, eating away the clear coat to damage the paint job and encourage oxidation.
There are currently two different types of bar that you can use to clay your car with. One is a medium grade clay bar that can be used once or twice a year, stripping your vehicle of both dirt and wax remnants that may be still be clinging to the surface. The other, more recent addition is a fine grade clay that is more gentle and can be used more often. It’s a personal preference when selecting the brand of clay bar, but we use Mothers and Meguiars’ Clay Bar Kit for consistently great results.
A typical clay bar is usually 2 to 8 ounces in size, but don’t be fooled by the relatively small package. A two-ounce pinch is enough to clean three or four cars.
Should I clay bar my car?
The answer is yes. Claying your car lifts off all the pollutants that can harm your vehicle in the long run, and it also preps the surface for a good polish. This extra step in between washing and waxing can help preserve your car’s beauty inside and out. Paint sealants and waxes adhere better to a cleaner surface, so claying your car before a polish can really help make the paintwork pop and give your car a classy shine like no other. And while the clay bar will not fill in minor scratches and dents on the paint job, it’s still one step closer to reclaiming your car’s beauty.
Be sure to use a recommended clay lubricant with your preferred clay bar brand to help it stick to your car’s surface and take out the dirt. Store the leftover clay bar in a sealed plastic bag, and occasionally spray it with clay lubricant to keep the clay moist enough for future use. Or call 1-877-317-9737 for help claying your car.