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Thread: Clay bar

  1. #1
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    Clay bar

    is this needed step for basic every day drivers or only if there are issues present?
    And what clay bar products work the best - so many brands!

  2. #2
    Senior Member evo77's Avatar
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    Re: Clay bar

    A basic every day driver will receive the most contamination IMO. And if the car is not garaged it may be worse depending on geographical location.

    Claying will make the surface smooth and allow for better bonding of the paint protection. Plus it just feels much better to the touch when wiping down during regular maintenance!

    Doing a SEARCH reveals these informative threads from Mike:

    Detailing 101 - How to clay paint - Tips & Techniques

    How often do I need to clay my car?

  3. #3
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Clay bar

    This is real simple to "know" if you need to clay your car's paint.

    Get a clean sandwich baggie and after FIRST washing and drying the car (so it's clean without dirt or dust on it), feel the paint with the baggie.

    If you feel little bumps on the paint - you need to clay.


    Mike Phillips
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  5. #4
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Clay bar

    Here you go....

    The Baggie Test as seen on Competition Ready TV with AJ and Mike Phillips









    The Baggie Test

    The Baggie Test is a simple test anyone can do at home in their garage to check and inspect if their car has contamination that needs to be removed.

    You should always do the baggie test to a clean, dry car. So wash and dry your car before you do the Baggie Test. And keep in mind that if you discover little bumps on the paint when you feel the paint through the sandwich baggie AND you just washed and dried the car - this means these contaminants have a strong enough bond to the paint that they DIDN'T WASH OFF and this means you need to use detailing clay to remove these contaminants.


    How to use the Baggie Test to inspect your car's paint


    Step 1: Wash and dry car.

    Step 2: Feel the paint first with your clean, dry hand.

    Step 3: Now feel the paint with your hand inside a clean plastic sandwich baggie.


    NOTE: Use a light touch so you don't accidental scratch the paint anytime you're doing the baggie test.




    Results from the Baggie Test?

    If you feel little bumps on the surface this is a sign that your car's paint is contaminated and needs to be clayed.




    Mike Phillips
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  6. #5
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Clay bar

    How to clay your car


    For Kyle Tucker's 1970 Chevelle "The Villain" - we used Mothers California Gold Clay Bar Paint Saving System.



    Step 1: Kneed the Mothers clay bar into a patty about the size of a pancake.

    Step 2: Spray some Mothers Instant Detailer onto a section of paint.

    Step 3: Rub the clay patty back and forth using straight line motions over the section of paint.

    Step 4: After you feel the clay patty begin to glide effortlessly over the paint stop claying and use a clean microfiber towel to wipe off the residue.


    This section is now clayed and you can now move onto a new section of paint. Divide body panels of your car into smaller sections, about 2 feet by 2 feet or smaller and after claying a section and wiping it dry, move onto a new section until you have clayed all the horizontal surfaces. If you feel contaminants on the vertical panels using the baggie test you can clay these surfaces too.

    After claying your car you should apply a fresh coat of wax. The Mothers Clay Bar Kit includes a sample of Mothers Synthetic Wax which contains enough wax to cover an average size passenger car.


    Here's AJ about to inspect the paint using the Baggie Test




    Use a light touch - that's all that's needed to inspect your car's paint for contamination.






    You can also inspect glass and other hard surfaces and if you discover little bumps it's okay to clay these surfaces also.





    Mike explains where contamination comes from, which are any type of air-borne contaminants like,

    • Overspray paint
    • Industrial fallout
    • Traffic pollution
    • Tree Sap Mist






    Mother's clay bars come in a protective plastic wrap to keep them clean until ready to use. Before using the clay bar remove it from the plastic wrapper.





    Next using your thumbs and fingers, knead the clay bar into a patty about the size of a pancake.





    Spray a section of paint using the Mothers Instant Detailer. Use enough product to make the surface wet so the clay patty will glide over the paint.





    Then placing your had flat against the patty of clay, rub the clay patty in a back and forth motion over a section of paint.






    Normally you'll feel the clay patty drag a little as it is removing contamination. As the contaminants are removed the clay will begin to glide effortlessly. This is a sign the contaminants on this section of paint have been successfully removed.






    Next step...

    After claying a section, use the Mothers microfiber towel to remove the residues and then move onto a new section. Repeat this till all the contaminated panels are clean and smooth.



    Mike Phillips
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  8. #6
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    Re: Clay bar

    So I see options - Clay Bars - Clay rags -Clay Mitts - Megquires speed clay.
    Is there a benefit to one or the other?
    Im inclined to try a rag over the bar or even the speed clay but not at the expense of performance.

  9. #7
    Senior Member PaulMys's Avatar
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    Re: Clay bar

    Quote Originally Posted by selkov View Post
    So I see options - Clay Bars - Clay rags -Clay Mitts - Megquires speed clay.
    Is there a benefit to one or the other?
    Im inclined to try a rag over the bar or even the speed clay but not at the expense of performance.
    If you have heavy contamination, I would use a real clay bar. They come in different grades. (Aggressive to mild).

    Once you keep on top of your paint maintenance-wise, then a synthetic clay (towel, disc, or sponge) will save you a lot of time.
    It is no coincidence that man's best friend cannot talk.

  10. #8
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    Re: Clay bar

    Seems the more i ask the more i need to ask. How do i determine what grade of clay bar I am in need of?
    And what if I ere and get on that is too abrasive?

  11. #9
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    Re: Clay bar

    After doing a baggie test if your paint feels like 80-grit sandpaper consider buying a medium grade clay bar product. If you have some but not tons then consider a fine grade for this step.

    If you do use the medium grade you might 'mar' the paint even with a good lubricant. That would require then some polishing to remove (ugh more work).

    The fine grade will be a safe way or substitute a synthetic clay for this purpose too, Mike has some great videos on this selection.

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  13. #10
    Senior Member Eldorado2k's Avatar
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    Clay bar

    80 gritClay bar

    I recommend getting the Med. Grade as well.. I use it for just about every vehicle I need to clay. Itís pretty rare for it to marr OEM paint.

    I donít even own a fine grade claymitt.

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