Updated: Aug 31, 2020
With immense growth in the car detailing industry it can be hard to keep up with all of the new products, tools and techniques in this ever changing trade. One of the tools that many customers constantly ask about is the "mysterious" clay bar.
I have gotten numerous questions like "What is a clay bar?", "Can a clay bar remove scratches?", "When should I clay my car?" and many other questions. Well today I decided to go ahead and answer a handful of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to clay bars and also explain what exactly a clay bar is!
So What is a Clay Bar?
So first things first, what in the world is this "clay bar" you've been hearing about? A clay bar is a soft and malleable bar of synthetic clay that removes bonded surface contaminates from
your paint that your average car wash cannot. It is one of the most effective tools in the car detailing community because it removes what our soapy microfiber mitt cannot!
A good example of this is Oak Tree Sap. Oak sap can be one of the most difficult contaminates to get off of a vehicles surface during a normal wash, I almost always have to use a little extra pressure with my wash mitt to attempt to remove the sap. The more pressure I use, the higher the chance that I scratch the paint. But with a lubricated and clean clay bar, oak tree sap can come off with little to no problem!
Can a Clay Bar Remove Scratches?
A very popular rumor about the clay bar is that it can actually remove scratches. Well unfortunately that rumor is completely false, a clay bar does NOT remove scratches. The only way to remove scratches from your car is through compounding and polishing the paint, also known as paint correction. But a clay bar has the capability to remove many other contaminates from your paint, including; brake dust, rail dust, metal particles, industrial fallout, minor oxidation, paint over spray and more.
Can a Clay Bar Scratch Paint?
When it comes to clay barring a vehicle, it is always essential to make sure the clay bar you are using is very clean! If your clay bar has numerous left over contaminates in it from prior use, there will be a strong chance that you will scratch the vehicle you are working on. Always make sure you have a clean/fresh clay bar! I recommend disposing a clay bar after a maximum of 3 uses.
It is also crucial to apply a lubricant to the surface of your vehicle's paint while using a clay bar. Examples of these are an instant detail spray or clay bar lube. If a lubricant is not applied to your paint's surface before you start to clay bar, your paint will most definitely be scratched and damaged by the time you are finished.
When Should I Clay Bar My Car?
It may seem daunting deciding if your car needs a clay bar treatment or not. But it's actually very easy to determine! What you want to do is, gently run your finger down a panel of your car after it has been washed. Did your cars paint feel rough or smooth? If your paint felt rough then that means it is time for a clay bar treatment! Also, a good rule of thumb is to clay bar your car every 6 months to keep it in tip top shape!
So does the clay bar seem as mysterious as it was before you read this article? Hopefully not! But those are some of the most frequent questions that I have been asked when it comes to the clay bar. If you have any other questions please feel free to message me on Facebook or Instagram, I'd love to answer any and all of your questions!
Thanks for reading! Please share with your friends!
-Frankie, Eco Edge Auto Detailing
For more information on Clay Bars, check out this article from the very wise Darren Priest, https://www.best-auto-detailing-tips.com/clay-bar.html