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What is a Clay Bar used for?

A Clay Bar is used to remove contaminates from the surface of your paint leaving your paint silky smooth. It works by gliding the clay across a wet surface of your paint. This will pick up and remove anything that protrudes from the paint.

Even though Clay Bars are abrasive, if used properly they will not marr the paint. There are Clay Bars available that will marr the paint no matter how careful you are, these are designed to remove heavy overspray.

How to use a Clay Bar

It is important that the surface of the paint is clean and cool to the touch before you start claying.

  • Start by cutting the clay into thirds. I do this so I don't use the whole clay for one use, plus if you drop it I'm not wasting a whole bar.

  • Mold the clay by squeezing it in your hand, once it becomes pliable roll it into a ball and flatten into a disc shape about ¼" thick.

  • Spray a generous amount of clay lubricant on a 3x3 area.

  • Glide the clay back and forth over the wet area of the paint using little to no pressure. If the clay sticks, add more lubricant. As the clay goes over the paint you will feel and hear the clay picking up the contaminates.

  • Keep going over the area until the clay glides easily and you no longer feel or hear contaminates on the paint.

  • When the clay becomes dirty, fold it upon its self and knead it until a clean surface appears. Also check the clay periodically to make sure that you didn't pick up any large contaminates that might scratch the paint.

  • Remove the clay lubricant with a microfiber towel and move to the next section.

See the Video Section
for a demo on how to use the Clay Bar.

For more in-depth information about Clay Barring,
Detail University has a very informative article:
"Detailers Automotive Clay - Article by Jon Miller"

Be careful not to drop the bar, if you do throw it out and start with a new piece. You don't want to risk scratching your paint with something it might have picked up from the ground.


Remember, claying will only remove surface contaminates,
it won't do anything for swirls and scratches.

Use once or twice a year for garage parked cars, up to four times a year for outside parked cars.

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