When to Clay Bar Your Car – Before or After Washing?
February 10, 2014
Knowing when to clay bar your car can make a huge difference on your car care habit. If you do not know when to use clay, you should do some research on the best technique to do it.
Just like your wash mitten, scrub or brush, a clay bar can help you take out dirt right from its source. But unlike regular cleaning equipment, a clay bar is specially formulated to lift dirt completely off your vehicle instead of leaving behind some residue. You can remove even the most stubborn muck from every inch of your car by using a clay bar. Now you won’t encounter smallish bumps on your vehicle’s surface as you run your hand over it after a wash-and-wax cycle. At the end of the day, you will have a car that looks, smells, and feels clean.
Timing is Key – When to Clay Bar
So you might ask: when should I clay bar my vehicle? Does this come before or after I wash my car?
Claying should always come after a good wash. You want to get as much of the dirt out as possible, by scrubbing and brushing and scrubbing some more. Your choice of cleaning agent will also ensure that your vehicle is ready for the use of a clay bar. Claying your car is meant to be the step just before you apply wax and polish, if you have the time for it. You want to have a smooth, friction-free, and 100% clean canvas that’s free of bumps and grittiness. Unfortunately, regular washing procedures can only do so much to remove the harsh surface contaminants on your car. For heavy-duty clean up, nothing beats the clay bar.
As the name suggests, the clay bar resembles Play-Doh more than soap when you first take it out of the package. What you want is to use it with the proper clay lubricant, before sticking it onto the surface of your car. Most clay bars come pre-packed with its own lube. Working in small areas ensures that your vehicle is cleaned inch by inch; the process takes awhile so it’s advisable to schedule it on a day when you can spend as much time as you like with the car. Don’t let the clay lube dry out as you work your way across your car. You want a slick surface that your clay bar can stick to, instead of a rough and dry one.
Use just a little bit of pressure when you apply the clay bar on your car. The resin compound found within will work to suck out nasty leftover dirt from your regular washing procedure without too much effort on your part. It’s good to reshape the clay every once in a while so you have a fresh, clean piece to work with every time. If you don’t feel comfortable with leaving a film of lube on your car after claying, feel free to wash it one more time and allow it to dry before applying wax and polish.