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  1. #1
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    4 primary benefits of using detailing clay to clay paint

    The 4 primary benefits of using detailing clay to clay paint


    Using detailing clay to clay your car's paint, or your customer's car's paint will,

    1: Claying safely removes Above Surface Bonded Contaminants

    2: Claying paint enable your choice of wax or paint sealant to better bond or adhere to the paint.

    3: Claying paint restores a silky, smooth, clean surface.

    4: Claying paint makes polishing easier, more effective and safer.


    Lets take a little deeper look at these benefits...



    1: Claying safely removes Above Surface Bonded Contaminants
    Over time, if your car is parked outside for any length of time during each day then any dirt or air-borne contaminants that land on the paint will tend to bond to the paint if they are not removed in a timely manner. Once they bond to the paint some of them won't come off just from normal washing. This is where detailing clay comes into the picture.

    Detailing clay uses special abrasives that have the ability to basically sand-off any contaminants sitting on top of the surface without installing scratches into your car's paint at the same time. I

    n the old days, people would use coarse rubbing compounds to remove above surface bonded contaminants and while these types of products would work they would also,

    • Instill scratches into the paint

    • Remove perfectly good paint



    That's two negative things you don't want to do your car's precious clear layer of paint.




    2: Claying paint enable your choice of wax or paint sealant to better bond or adhere to the paint.

    Claying paint restores a clean surface so a coating of wax or paint sealant can maximize the bond between the paint and the protection ingredients. This helps to insure the wax or paint sealant coating will last a long time and thus protect a long time, and this is something all people want out of their choice of car wax or paint sealant.

    The number one question I hear people ask on the topic detailing usually goes like this,

    "How long will brand X Car Wax last?"

    And the technically correct answer is,

    "It depends upon how well the surface is prepared to accept the wax"

    You see, a good chemist will create a car wax or paint sealant formulation to bond or adhere to car paint, not a layer of dirt. When contaminants build-up over the surface they create a layer or film of gunk, a mixture of whatever is floating around in the air where you live and park your car. The protection ingredients cannot get to the paint until this layer of contaminants is first removed.

    If above surface, air-borne contaminants are present on the paint when a wax or paint sealant is applied, the wax or paint sealant will not last very long because it won't be able to bond very well to the top coating of the actual paint itself.


    3: Claying paint restores a silky, smooth, clean surface
    I think we can all agree that a great looking paint job is a glossy looking paint job and gloss comes from a smooth surface.

    When air-borne contaminants build-up on your car's finish they create an irregular surface or texture that feels rough or bumpy to the touch. This un-even, bumpy surface due to above surface bonded contaminants reduces gloss. Claying your car's paint will remove the contaminants, this restores a smooth surface and this in return restores a high gloss finish

    If you're a detailer, claying restores smoothness and this shows up to your customer's eyes as gloss and makes for happy customers.



    4: Claying paint makes polishing easier, more effective and safer
    In the context of this section, when we say polishing, we mean abrading the paint to remove below surface defects and/or refine the existing finish to a higher level.


    • By removing any above surface bonded contaminants first, you enable your polish and pad to immediately go to work on the paint with nothing on the surface in the way.

    • You make the polishing action smoother as your polish and pad will move over the surface easier with less potential for hopping or grabbing.

    • You reduce the potential for accidental marring of the paint during the buffing process since there are not contaminants that can come loose and become trapped between the pad and the paint.




    The good news...
    Using detailing clay to clay paint is fast and easy and for your time-investment it provides the best bang for the buck when doing production detailing. Your average customer bringing you a daily driver wants you to do the dirty work for them so they don't have to do it. They see value in paying you for your time and energy to clean and maintain their vehicle so their time is freed up for what they perceive to be a more valuable use of their time. This could be working at their job, spending time with their family or fill-in-the-blank.

    As a professional detailer, you want to do top-notch work while maximizing your profits and using detailing clay to clay your customer's car creates dramatic end-results that your customer will notice and this will help you to retain their business while getting valuable referrals.

    Claying gives your customer what they want even if they don't know what they want and the big picture visual results are a clean, shiny car that resembles the car when they first bought it and this makes for a happy car owner and by extension... a happy customer.

    The above three physical results are the primary benefits or values created by claying paint to remove above surface bonded contaminants.


    Resources
    The benefits of a light paint cleaner, cleansing lotion or pre-wax cleaner

    The Benefits of using a Car Wax or Paint Sealant

    The Baggie Test - How to inspect for above surface bonded contaminants

    Tips and Tricks for using detailing clay

    How often do I need to clay my car?

    Wolfgang Elastic Poly Clay Bar - Review and How-to

    Do I need to wash my car after I use detailing clay to clay the paint?

    How to clay, clean and wax paint by hand with Pinnacle Paintwork Cleansing Lotion and Pinnacle Signature Series II Carnauba Paste Wax



    Show Car Garage Videos
    How detailing clay works and how to use detailing clay to remove above surface bonded contaminants


    Mike Phillips
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
    IDA Board Member - Certified Detailer - Skills Validated Detailer - IDA Recognized Trainer
    Mike Phillips Facebook Page
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  2. #2
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    Re: The 2 primary benefits of using detailing clay to clay paint

    One more thing claying does, it seems to make polishing much easier. Polishing pads just seem to glide over well clayed paint where as pad seems to hop around and "pull" to one side or the other on non-well clayed paint. I guess since non-clayed paint is not as smooth, the pad "catches" on the bonded materials on the paint.

  3. #3
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: The 2 primary benefits of using detailing clay to clay paint

    Quote Originally Posted by Bert31 View Post
    One more thing claying does, it seems to make polishing much easier. Polishing pads just seem to glide over well clayed paint where as pad seems to hop around and "pull" to one side or the other on non-well clayed paint. I guess since non-clayed paint is not as smooth, the pad "catches" on the bonded materials on the paint.
    Good point and dead on accurate...

    Of course if a person is using a rotary buffer with a wool pad and an aggressive compound everything's coming off without too much fight.. but any other tool and foam pads and you're right.

    Mike Phillips
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
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  4. #4
    Member Allen Anderson's Avatar
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    Re: The 2 primary benefits of using detailing clay to clay paint

    How long will a 4oz bar of clay last?

  5. #5
    Senior Member rohnramirez's Avatar
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    Re: The 2 primary benefits of using detailing clay to clay paint

    It depends on how much clay you use, the size of the vehicle, and the amount of contaminants you pull (too much dirt will saturate the clay, there is a limit in the amount of times you get fresh clay out of continuous kneading). But it should last about 7-9 cars.

    Stop whining and crying like a baby! Life sucks...deal with it!

  6. #6
    Senior Member CEE DOG's Avatar
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    Re: The 2 primary benefits of using detailing clay to clay paint

    Thanks for a great article Mike!
    :dancebanana:

    Sky's the Limit Car Care

  7. #7
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    Re: The 2 primary benefits of using detailing clay to clay paint

    Quote Originally Posted by rohnramirez View Post
    It depends on how much clay you use, the size of the vehicle, and the amount of contaminants you pull (too much dirt will saturate the clay, there is a limit in the amount of times you get fresh clay out of continuous kneading). But it should last about 7-9 cars.
    You speak the truth in the bolded. I have gone through two bars on one car alone that was in really bad shape. Car probably could have used paint decontamination to make the job easier. On the other hand, I had a bar last what seemed like forever. Used on well kept cars, clay will last and last. Generally in those cases I throw out the clay because I dropped it rather than due to contaminants.

  8. #8
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: The 2 primary benefits of using detailing clay to clay paint

    How long a piece of clay will last is completely determined but the amount of contaminants on the car.

    If a person lets their car go without proper care and it gets a heavy accumulation of Above Surface Bonded Contaminants, or they buy a car that was neglected and is filthy with ASBC's, then no one should be surprised the clay fills up quickly and thus doesn't last very long. It's not the clay's fault the car became contaminated.

    The benefit is... it works... and after claying you can go to the next step.

    Remember...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Phillips
    "Gloss comes from smoothness"

    Claying restores smoothness and the beauty characteristic we enjoy from this is a glossy looking paint job.


    Conversely, my Dad's fully restored 1965 Ford Thunderbird is garage kept all the time and regularly maintained. Clay lasts a long time for Dad and his Thunderbird... because it never becomes contaminated unless Mom is painting something with a rattle can...

    I have an article on MOL called,

    How often do I need to clay my car's finish?






    And the pictures and accompanying text completely tell the story...


    LOL
    Mike Phillips
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
    IDA Board Member - Certified Detailer - Skills Validated Detailer - IDA Recognized Trainer
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  9. #9
    Member Allen Anderson's Avatar
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    Re: The 2 primary benefits of using detailing clay to clay paint

    Thanks Everyone!

    My girlfriends car might take two bars :-/ Pretty water spotted and all other kinds of stuff I'm sure.

  10. #10
    Senior Member AndrewBall's Avatar
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    Re: The 2 primary benefits of using detailing clay to clay paint

    Also something not mentioned in here. Although mainly noticeable on light colored, primarily white vehicles. Is clay will remove dirt from the pores of the paint restoring color as well. Just because the surface of your paint feels smooth doesn't mean it is clean.

    Look at it this way. When you use a dry vacuum to clean your carpet you are getting some dust and dirt out plus anything laying on top of it but there is still dirt in there that you dont see. Use a steam cleaner or other type of water extraction system and you will probably feel sick when you see the dirt it gets out. The same is true for a good claying. I have a white car so I get to deal with this more often then some.

    Dont clay just to make the surface feel smooth. Clay to clean the surface. Rid it of contaminants and other things that are degrading the finish of your vehicle. Just because the surface feels silky smooth and looks shiny doesn't mean there isn't dirt in embedded in the clear coat that is reducing shine and color. Our fingers are only so sensitive.

    Why i say it is mainly noticeable on light color vehicles is because you can see the dirt accumulate in the water run off while claying. Next time tape off a section of your hood and clay it very thoroughly on one side and leave it freshly washed on the other. You might be surprised.

    Paint cleaners can remove some of the dirt, but in my trials I have found the clay bar to be far more effective. So you may want to reconsider skipping the claying step if it has been a while since the car has last been cleaned.

    This may vary from car to car. and obviously if your car needs to be clayed you get this added benefit as well.


    These articles are an important part of claying
    http://www.autogeekonline.net/forum/...x-cleaner.html
    http://www.autogeekonline.net/forum/...ay-my-car.html

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