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Old 03-14-2013, 11:58 PM
Asur Asur is offline
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Default How to Clay your truck

How to use a Clay Bar

Every car finish shares a common enemy:

Pollution. It relentlessly pursues your truck from the second it leaves the factory until your truck meets its ultimate demise. It’s in the air we breathe, it’s on the roads we drive, and it attaches to your truck’s paint, where it bonds and begins a process of oxidation. When contaminants get a solid grip on your truck’s paint, washing alone may not be enough to remove them. Pre-wax cleaners also may not be able to exfoliate large particles. In this case, you have two choices: use a polishing compound, which removes a lot of paint material, or use a ClayBar. Clay isn’t a polish or a compound, it is a surface preparation bar that smooths the paint and exfoliates contaminants.



USES FOR CLAY:

Clay is not a cure-all or a replacement for polishing. It’s a tool for removing surface contamination. One of the many reasons for using clay is the removal of brake dust. Brake dust contamination, which attaches to painted rear bumpers and adjoining surfaces, is a metallic surface contaminant that can be removed safely and effectively by using clay. Clay is also very effective on paint over-spray. If the over-spray is particularly heavy, you may want to seek the assistance of a professional. Tree sap and tar specks can also be safely removed with a clay bar. Recently, I have also started using clay on my windows (exterior) to remove heavy road film, bug deposits and water spots. It works very well, and seems to outperform even the best window cleaners.

EVALUATING YOUR PAINT FOR CLAY:

How do you know if you need to use ClayBar? After thoroughly hand washing and drying your car, stretch a piece of saran wrap over your hand extending past your fingertips. Gently slide the saran wrap across the finish of your vehicle. Does the surface feel bumpy or gritty? These bumps are contaminants attacking the finish of your car. Removing these surface contaminants (rail dust, road tar, bug residue, paint over-spray, brake pad dust, hard water spots, etc.) will improve both the look and health of your truck’s paint. No matter how well you hand-wash your car, many of the contaminants that have worked their way into your car’s paint finish will remain. Have you ever looked at your applicator pad after applying a coat of polish? What do you think that black stuff is? It’s dirt, and you’re sealing it in.

USING THE CLAYBAR:

Before using a ClayBar on your truck, you must thoroughly clean and dry your truck to remove any loose dirt. Direct sunlight should not fall on your car’s surface, and it’s best if the work area is relatively cool to prevent rapid evaporation of the clay lubricant. To use the clay bar, you spray a water-based lubricant (8 drops of dawn dish washing liquid in 16 ounces of water) on a small area of your truck and rub the bar back and forth with light to medium pressure. The ClayBar should glide across your paint like a hockey puck on ice. If the lubricant begins to dry, and the ClayBar begins to drag, you’ll need to spray more lubricant. Clay is fairly sticky, and cannot be used dry. After a few passes with the ClayBar, rub your hand over the area to feel if the surface contamination was removed. Keep rubbing until all contamination bumps are gone. Just like waxing, work in small areas at a time. Check your ClayBar frequently for hard particles. When found, pick them off. Make it a habit to occasionally knead and reform the bar so that a fresh portion of the bar contacts your truck’s paint. If you drop your bar of clay on the ground, it’s history. Toss it out. Don’t take any chances, discard the clay bar if it becomes impregnated with grit. Read the manufacturers’ directions for the number of uses of their clay bar. Do not overuse a clay bar. When you’re finished claying your truck, you should wash it to remove the lubricant film. Finally, polish and seal your freshly cleaned paint with your choice of Polish.
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Old 03-15-2013, 01:28 AM
S.C. Express S.C. Express is offline
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Tree sap! Thank you for posting this!! That's my biggest nemesis.. Yard full of pine trees and no garage..
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Old 03-15-2013, 08:43 AM
Asur Asur is offline
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If you have lots of tree sap, or tree sap issues, before you Clay your truck, use WD40 on them, spray your spots with it and let it soak for 5 min, then wipe them away, clay your truck and then put on 3 coats of wax, you will be good for 6 months and tree sap will be even easier to remove. Remember that tree sap will eat away the wax and WD40 also, so if you use it once in a while, make sure to dab some wax back on the area that you cleaned the sap off of.
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Old 03-15-2013, 08:54 AM
Clifford17 Clifford17 is offline
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I've clayed Clifford 2 or 3 times now.... now that the weather is strting to kinda break, looks like ill be busting it out soon...
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Old 03-15-2013, 09:21 AM
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Clay bar works awesome.. I did my truck twice last year and once in October before winter with some good wax and all threw the winter the water still beeds and rolls off the paint I love it.. Once it gets nicer out I wanna do it again.. It takes a bit of work and time but I highly recommend it
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Old 03-15-2013, 03:35 PM
Hermes1 Hermes1 is offline
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Nice write up and description Asu of an important step in the wash, polish and/or wax/seal process.
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Old 03-15-2013, 07:45 PM
PaulMys PaulMys is offline
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To hell with the forum rules, I will vote for Asur for member of the month every month from now on! LOL!
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Old 03-15-2013, 08:51 PM
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Thanks for the post i will definitely be doing this
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Old 03-15-2013, 09:09 PM
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nice write up asur...and i agree the claybar is quite the detailing tool.


i also use Ironx and Tarx for some of the less severe contaminants without risking the marring associated even with a mild clay!
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Old 03-15-2013, 11:38 PM
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I had paint overspray on my last ram. It took it all off and make the brilliant black look amazing!! It was a very long process(QC) BUT SOO WORTH IT!! i used mothers claybar kit, smells good too!!
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