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Discussion Starter #1
Clay Bar


This is the single most important step in detailing.
How to use 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.

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, before you dry, feel it with your hand.

A simple test is to put your hand in a plastic baggie and gently move across the finish, if it grabs a little, you have fine particles of dirt that you did not remove while washing. 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 gently pressure)

After 4-4 strokes, spray again, lather, and do another section. Keep dipping clay in 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 found on my web site. Follow up with my paint cleaner and sealant. Your finish will be show car ready.
Gary wwwperfectautofinish.com
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1998 Seville STS
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What?? First of all, tell people this is Detailing Clay!! Not just any clay. Or we'll end up having someone whine like the guy that used the orbital sander on his headlights. 2nd why do we have to use a "large waffle weave micro fiber towel found on your web site"?? Is this some kind of advertisement?? LOL
I will agree with you thought. Clay help tremendously when detailing a car. Some people that do not know about it will be scared and won't let you come near their car with it. Show them the difference on your car and they're sold. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #3

Here is a picture of a hood I clayed, its hard to appreciate the slickness of a clay finish unless you feel it. as far as your feedback, I would hope people understand we are talking about automotive clay not craft clay, I guess I should of clarified. sorry. do this simple test if you are unsure about claying your car. put your car in a plastic sandwiche baggie, (do this after your car is clean and dry)now gently move your hand around the finish, if you feel roughness you need to clay. the plastic will magnify the senses in your skin so you feel things through the finish you cannot with bare skin. and YES I sell the clay on my web site. LOL!
Next, why use a waffle weave micro fiber towel. If you look at a chamois closely it is unforgiving, flat. if a particle gets inbetween the chamois and the finish it will scratch it. a waffle weave MF has recessed cubicals that will absorb any particles within the fabric, so it won't scratch. and YES I sell the waffle weave on my web site (go figure?????? LOL) www.perfectautofinish.com sooner or later you will see I'm trying to help you guys, Gary
 

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01 frontier , 89 Shelby CSX vnt
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he is a supporting vendor .....

while i didnt use your products i have been "claying" for years with "mothers" ....did my caddy for the first time last month , didnt think 10+ year old paint could feel like the paint on our 05 Maxx (same color GM paint)
 

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1976 Eldorado project
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Can't wait till I get to do this kind of stuff...that will mean that the '76 is done and ready to start looking good! BTW nice site.
 

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The sandwich bag always sells em. Except sometimes they get mad when i get mayo on the paint. I m a smoker and use the cellophane on the pack to show the difference clay can make.
 

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1988 SDV; 1997 SDV D'Elegance
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Actually Turbo, While I can't disagree with you on any of these points, I DO have a question for you re: the frequency of claying. Normally, I clay 2-3 times a year. The car is washed weekly, garaged every night, never sees winter use at all and is parked underground during the weekdays.

I'm moving in my job to a place that doesn't have any underground parking, so my car will be exposed to the elements on a daily basis every weekday, during the sunniest part of the day (7:30am 'til 7:00pm). Where I'm going, there isn't even a tree or thick shrub to shield some of the worst sun's rays,,,,,,

I would expect that anything I do for the car's surface (wash, clay, seal, swirl remove, glaxe, wax/polish, etc.), will at best, not hold up as long as it has in the past because it'll be attacked on a daily basis by the outside elements and commercial fallout.

So, aside from it's weekly washing, should I be claying it more frequently (based on the touchy-feely test) and if that is the case, how frequently can the car be clay'd before it becomes an issue paint-wise? Or is there any limit?

Please advise,,,,,,,,,,,,,
 

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1998 Seville STS
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Here are my recent pics of my car. I clay it whenever I "feel" any surface contaminants. This car has 117,000 miles on it. Original paint. And NEVER garaged! I love clay!





 

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2012 Escalade, 2014 SRX
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Frost said:
Actually Turbo, While I can't disagree with you on any of these points, I DO have a question for you re: the frequency of claying. Normally, I clay 2-3 times a year. The car is washed weekly, garaged every night, never sees winter use at all and is parked underground during the weekdays.

I'm moving in my job to a place that doesn't have any underground parking, so my car will be exposed to the elements on a daily basis every weekday, during the sunniest part of the day (7:30am 'til 7:00pm). Where I'm going, there isn't even a tree or thick shrub to shield some of the worst sun's rays,,,,,,

I would expect that anything I do for the car's surface (wash, clay, seal, swirl remove, glaxe, wax/polish, etc.), will at best, not hold up as long as it has in the past because it'll be attacked on a daily basis by the outside elements and commercial fallout.

So, aside from it's weekly washing, should I be claying it more frequently (based on the touchy-feely test) and if that is the case, how frequently can the car be clay'd before it becomes an issue paint-wise? Or is there any limit?

Please advise,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Depending on how much industry is in your area you may want to clay your car twice a year, I have customers in north NJ that have to do this. If when you wash your car you start feeling roughness or little pieces of contamination start sticking to your clear coat, it's time to clay.
 

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'05 Expedition
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I was claying the entire car 3 times a year and finally realized I only needed to do the front and rear, plus any spots on the hood and roof that might've had bird poop. A good coat of wax helps protect against that etching that can happen from poop and hard water spots.

I'm only planning to do it once a year from now on, and if I feel fanatical I'll do the mirrors and front bumper area more often.

For some reason the back sides of cars seem to get more stuff embedded. It doesn't make sense, but it happens.
 
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