I’ve been detailing cars for a long time now, and I’ve witnessed a lot of products to come and go. Some of these products were here now, and gone tomorrow it seems, but some have caught traction in the auto detailing industry. One of the products that has staying power is the clay bar.
If you’re new to detailing cars, the clay bar may or may not be familiar to you. The clay bar appeared on the auto detailing scene during the mid 1990s. Its purpose is to remove any above surface containments that hand-washing alone will not remove. Tree tar, road tar, bug droppings, and other above surface containments are no match for a good quality grade clay bar. When I first discovered the clay bar, I had to wonder how did I ever make it without such a wonderful invention. It made my job as an auto detailer much easier. So how does it work?
You want to clay you car with a good quality lubricant such as a Auto Detailing claying spray. The spray will keep the surface slick so that the clay will easily glide over the vehicle’s surface without any marring. I like to rub the clay in one direction to minimize streaking—short, smooth strokes is the method I’ve adopted over the years. You want to use the clay after or during the washing process. A good clay bar will remove
85 to 94% of the containments, anything left over will be removed during the compounding process.
So what are the bad facets of claying? For me, the worst thing about claying a car is the time it takes. I’m a auto detailer in Knoxville Tennessee, and during the day when I’m detailing cars , the one thing I wish I had more of was time. Because of the lack of time, I had to find other alternatives to remove unwanted body containments because claying a car was not production friendly.
I discovered the Speedy Prep towel. This towel is like claying on steroids. The biggest difference is the
surface area on the towel is larger, so you can knock our whole panels in minutes. Other products like Iron X have made the claying bar an endangered species. Iron X works by removing containments just by spraying on , and wiping off. This stuff is good, and I always keep a few bottles in the van. The clay bar has been a good pal of mine for years, but here lately I’m thinking the time has come for us to part ways….It’s been fun.