Did You Know? The Importance of the Clay Bar

octanedetailing/ January 18, 2018/ Blog, Car Care Tips, Detailing

In order for wax, sealants and paint coatings to properly bond to your car’s paint, paint prep is key. Making sure your vehicle’s surface is free of contaminants will not only create a smooth foundation for waxes, sealants and coatings, but it will help them protect longer and create more gloss.

Proper use of a Clay Bar or Synthetic Clay Mitt will remove all sorts of above surface contaminants, including…

  • Industrial Fallout – Byproducts of industrial plants, nearby freeways and local airports adhere to your car’s paint over time.
  • Tree sap – whether big globs or a light mist, tree sap sticks to everything on your car and doesn’t usually come off with just soap alone.
  • Tar – road tar is very common, often found on the lower panels just behind your wheels.
  • Bugs – the remains of bugs contain acids that will etch into your paint over time if not fully removed.
  • Rail Dust – during rail transit from the factory to the dealer, dust from railroad wheels grinding on the tracks will attach itself to your car’s paint.
  • Brake Dust – the brake dust from your vehicle and others around you will stick to your car’s paint. Becomes especially bad on cars that are not washed regularly.
  • Paint Overspray – This happens to almost all of us at some point. Did your neighbor have their house painted? How about a construction site near your office? Or, did your car spend time at the body shop?

Clay Bars and Synthetic Clay Mitts remove unwanted contaminants from paint, glass, chrome and even wheels! Being careful to use special lubrication during the process, the friction of rubbing the clay across the surface of your car will pick up and remove the contaminants.

You can often feel these contaminants with your bare hands, but if you need a little help, place your hand in a plastic sandwich bag and feel the paint. Most likely, it will feel gritty and rough. If it does, your vehicle needs to be clayed!