Basics - Using a "Clay Bar"
Since the use of clay bar is one of most essential steps in car care, I thought it would be appropiate to post the "How to" of using clay.
Everyone wants to keep their Car in top condition, but if you drive it everyday, like most of us it is subjected to all kinds of contaminants.
Biggest complaint I've heard is "how to get out surface scratches". First lets talk about how they got there. Most of time its from improper washing/drying. When the car is not prepped properly, all you do is work existing dirt into the finish. (this is called Micro Marring)
The clay bar is the best solution to ensure proper cleaning BEFORE you polish/seal. Most people never heard of clay, and if they have they don't know how to use it. After you wash your car as I normally do, feel it with your hand.
A simple test is to put your hand in a plastic baggie and gently move across the finish, (The plastic magnifies the senses in your skin 15 times that of bare flesh so you will notice things through the plastic you never before felt.) if it grabs a little, or feels rough, you have fine particles of dirt that you did not remove during the washing stage. HOW TO USE CLAY. First get yourself a fresh bucket of soapy water. break off a small piece of clay in your hand, (clay works best with lots of lubrication) lather a small section of your car, dip the clay on the water, spray the clay with quick detail spray, gently work the clay in a side to side motion. (don't press to hard, it works well with gentle pressure)
After 4-4 strokes, spray again, lather, and do another section. Keep dipping clay in the bucket, keep spraying with QD, work side to side. You will see (and feel) the finish getting cleaner, your hand will start to get the hang of it (if the surface gums up, it is not lubricated enough).
Once you get it down, its easy. The key is lubrication, gentle side to side motion. also, after a few sections, press the clay in your hand in and out, making a fresh surface. It looks and feels like play dough, so you can make a new surface by working it.
One piece will do the whole car. IF YOU DROP THE CLAY THROW IT OUT, USE A NEW PIECE! It will pick up dirt from the ground and become a hazard, working like sandpaper. after you do the whole car, wash car again to remove clay residue, dry with large waffle weave micro fiber towel. Follow up with a paint cleaner and sealant. Your finish will be show car ready. Gary
Why do you clay a new car? Because when your car is shipped from the factory it attracks rail dust. Occurs when the friction between the steel train tracks rubs agains the steel wheels it creates hot metal fibers that stick to your finish.
Here is a simple test to see if you need to clay. Wash and dry your car. Get a plastic zip lock baggie. Put your hand in it and touch your finish - don't worry it won't hurt it. Now rub your hand gently around, if you feel bumps, roughness like fine sandpaper, that is the grit on your car you never noticed. Clay will remove that.