Clay bar

Discussion in 'Detailing and Car Care' started by edthefed, Dec 2, 2019.

  1. edthefed
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    edthefed Site Supporter

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    A couple of questions if I may
    I would class myself as an "amateur enthusiast" (not an enthusiastic amateur) when it comes to car cleaning and detailing.

    My normal routine is a

    weekly rinse off to remove worst of Muck
    hand wash (2 bucket method) using Meguiars wash and wax
    rinse off
    application of Autoglym Aqua wax
    dry off and buff

    In addition at least twice a year both cars get a polish Autoglym (SRP) and a coat of Meguiars Hard Wax..

    The cars , a 2 yr old X1and a 3 year old G30, come up well, water beading is impressive etc, very little swirling, but I am noticing a bit of contamination / tar etc on the paintwork.

    Overall I'm very happy with how the cars look, they have never been to a car wash and dealers are instructed not to wash them

    I'm contemplating next year trying my hand at "claying" the paint before polishing and waxing

    Questions

    If I clay the cars will it remove the existing layers of polish and wax ?
    Am I better simply trying to remove the bits of tar etc using a tar remover?
    Am i likely to damage the paint in any way by claying it ? I've got visions of dragging a piece of tiny iron across the bonnet?

    I've no desire to spend hundreds of pounds on ceramic coatings, or really expensive polishes / waxes etc, but are there other reasonably priced products I could try or suggest as Xmas presents ?
     
  2. Cotswold BMW
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    Cotswold BMW WARLORD Site Sponsor

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    If I clay the cars will it remove the existing layers of polish and wax ? Yes
    Am I better simply trying to remove the bits of tar etc using a tar remover? No
    Am i likely to damage the paint in any way by claying it ? I've got visions of dragging a piece of tiny iron across the bonnet? Yes, make sure you only do it after a proper wash so there is no lose grit

    I started doing it about 10 years (and I made a few mistakes early on). A few tips I'd suggest;

    • Do it one panel at a time
    • Don't put pressure on, you're not using a sanding block
    • Keep a cup of hot water to keep you clay in so it's more malleable
    • Keep the panel wet/lubed up, don't let it dry
    • Start at the top / panels with the least amount of contamination
    • Fold and re mould your ball of clay after each panel
     
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  3. slim_boy_fat
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    slim_boy_fat WARLORD Site Supporter

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    Don't overlook a clay mitt, I have one I tried as an alternative to the bars and was very impressed.

    Follow the instructions - keeping the mitt lubed is important. (n) And, they can be reused, which appeals to a Scot......:whistling: :D
     
  4. Madmoggy
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    I'd try to remove the existing wax by using something like 1:4 APC (all purpose cleaner) mix as a pre wash, before you clay it. You could also consider using something like dragons breath or ironx, to remove contaminants without the clay, then clay to remove any tiny particles left over if you need to.

    Yes, if there are big bits of tar then rather than risk them picking up and scratching the surface, spray tar remover on, leave to dwell (do not allow to dry) then gently wipe away.
    As for are you likely to damage the paint, its always a possibility but as long as you go gentle, use plenty of lube, rub softly and with short strokes then you should be ok ;)
    Damage will come from contaminants picked up by the clay so keep an eye on it, do the top half first then the areas more likely to be contaminated, fold it regularly and don't use it if you drop it on the ground.

    As for products, as a spray finish I like Rupes P808 protective sealant or Serious Performance show detailer. For soft wax I use Chemical Guys 50/50 and for durability and use on light colours, FinishKare FK1000P sealant wax (this can also be used on wheels as its hi temp)

    Good luck, and don't forget to post before and after photos
     
  5. K777
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    K777 WARLORD Site Supporter

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    Tar remover.
    Then iron/fall out remover. You will be amazed just what this brings off your paint (not just wheels)

    Then clay if needed.

    As madmoggy says use FK1000P as a sealer, its cheap and amazing. I used this first time on this car as i didn't bother with another ceramic on this one, and its brilliant.
     
  6. edthefed
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    edthefed Site Supporter

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    Cheers for the tips so far.

    The quandry I'm having is that the cars are cleaner and better looked after than 95% of all other cars, and I'm 99% happy with how they look.

    Do I accept that are do I strive for that extra 1%
     
  7. slim_boy_fat
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    slim_boy_fat WARLORD Site Supporter

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    Wait until Spring.
     
  8. edthefed
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    edthefed Site Supporter

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    Nothing except weekly washes etc happening till Spring !l
     
  9. Wynne71
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    Claying your car is a revelation for the uninitiated. Started this in 2006 and have always had this piece of kit in the car cleaning store.
    Lots of useful advice above. I originally used the Bilt and Hamber bar as this only needed water to lube it. Have excellent results after a little prac.
    I bought a clay mit (Megs) and was impressed. Have used this on the wife’s Audi a few times.
    The current BMW has a pint protection (AG Lifeshine) so won’t be going near it with a clay bar for another 12 months or so. As has been said earlier, this strips off all previously applied protection.
     
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  10. edthefed
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    edthefed Site Supporter

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    Still not decided what to do next Spring. However a break in the wet weather today and I got chance to give it a quick wash. Within 10 mins of finishing we had a torrential downpour.

    Coming up to3 years old the Sophistico still comes up well 20191219_132719.jpg 20191219_132632.jpg 20191219_132522.jpg
     

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  11. quinnj3
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    quinnj3

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    Clay is definitely worth doing. There are so many chemical washes available now though it makes sense to chemically decontaminate prior to claying. Minimises any risk. It’s also noticeable on the clay bar. Prior to using fall out remover my clay bars used to get manky quickly. Now after thorough chemical washing the pickup is minimal but still noticeable. I tend to do a detailed wash and wax twice yearly. I now only clay once every year to two as the chemical treatment during wash routines keeps it at bay. I live in the country away from industrial processes so your requirements may be different.

    I also have a clay cloth. Whilst quicker to use the bar is nicer as you can see how much crude is being lifted.

    A wee pic here. Note I haven’t Clayed in 5 months, this is purely chemical washing followed by an application of Colinite 915 Marque d’elegance and trim dressings. Just completed yesterday.

    [​IMG]


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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