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Wash & Wax What You Should & Should Not Use To Clean Your Car.

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Old 12-31-2002, 09:49 PM   #1
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The Ultimate Clay Bar Guide

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Old 12-31-2002, 09:50 PM   #2
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Before beginning make sure you have the following:

(Clay Bar and Lube) A Clay Bar System [see guide below]
(Towel) 100% Cotton Hand Size Towel or a MicroFiber Towel (90,000 threads per square inch)
(Wrapper) Cellophane Cigarette Wrapper

In a well-lit, cool and dry area:

Step 1: Check for Surface Contaminants.
Technique: With two fingers inside the Wrapper gently glide it across the Surface. This will magnify any amount of Surface Contamination.
Tech Tip: Do not press down hard as you may free up some of the Surface Contaminants and scratch the Surface.

Step 2: Break off a 2 oz. portion of the Clay Bar.
Technique: Break off a 2oz piece of the Clay and roll it into a ball (store the remainder of the Clay in the container).
Tech Tip: If the Clay Bar is ever dropped onto the floor discard IMMEDIATELY.

Step 3: Saturate the Surface with the Lube.
Technique: Mist the Lube onto the Surface.

Step 4: Rub the Clay Bar onto the Surface.
Technique: Firmly press the ball of the Clay Bar onto the Surface to mold it to the contour of the Surface. Rub the Clay Bar on the Surface in a side-to-side motion with the Contour of the Panel.
Tech Tip: If the Surface begins to show any signs of drying wet again with the Lube.

Step 5: Wipe the Surface with the Towel.
Technique: Do not press hard onto the Surface with the Towel as you may induce some light surface scratches.
Tech Tip As you move from panel to panel 'fold' the clay to a new section.

Step 6: Inspect the Surface.
Technique: With the Wrapper inspect the Surface as in Step 1
Tech Tip: If the Surface still has some roughness to it repeat Steps 2 through 5.
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Old 12-31-2002, 09:50 PM   #3
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The Blue Clay Bar:
I recently tested 3M's and ClayMagic's clay bar and have the same one that is imported from Japan (even has the same exact patent numbers on them, LOL). However, there is a tremdous price variation between the two with 3M's being around $5.00 less. I have found the 3M one for around $18. My Rating: Very Good.

The Yellow Clay Bar:
I recently tested Mother's, Zaino's and Zymol's clay bar and they appear to have the same exact one (although there is no patent number, LOL). Mother's clay bar is available for is available for around $18 as well but I was given my Zaino clay bar so I am not sure of the price. Zymol's clay bar is $80.80!! My Rating: Very Good

The White Clay Bar:
I tested Meguiar's clay bar a years ago and was not at all impressed. Meguiar's clay bar retails for $10. My Rating: Good

The Grey Clay Bar:
I recently tested Lusso's clay bar and the quality appears to be right in line with the 3M, ClayMagic, Mother's and Zaino. Lusso's clay bar retails for $14. My Rating: Very Good

The Red Clay Bar:
I have not recently tested AutoMagic's red clay bar. It contains a mild abrasive. I would recommend that this bar only be used in a professional bodyshop atmosphere. I will not give this product a rating.
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Old 04-15-2003, 07:48 PM   #4
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how can you tell when its good time to discard the clay bar ?
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Old 04-16-2003, 10:02 PM   #5
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I depends on the size of the bar. I usually split the Mothers bar into 2 and store 1 half for another application. Then I split this piece into 2 and use one for horizontal surfaces and the other for vertical.

Always discard it if it has fallen on the ground (unless you can cut the contaminated part away w/ a knife). I never store a used piece for later.
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Old 05-21-2003, 01:03 PM   #6
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The "lube" comes with the clay ? Or is there something else I can use that may work even better ?
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Old 05-23-2003, 06:23 AM   #7
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With the Meguiar's or Mothers kits the lube comes with it. Any quick detailer product can be used though. Some people use a very dilute solution of car wash soap in water through a spray bottle.
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Old 06-09-2003, 04:38 PM   #8
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yeah.. i used a clean wash cloth w/car wash and dipped the claybar into the bucket cuz i was too lazy to grab the quick detail stuff
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Old 06-29-2003, 02:27 AM   #9
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If you use car soap ... don't you have to wash it off again after?

Can you use it with a wax and hit 2 jobs at once?

Where are these available at? I've tried autozone and kragen

thanks
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Old 07-12-2003, 04:18 PM   #10
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My friend, whom I don't think is right, says that clay bars take off a layer of clear coat, thus producing a smooth finish. Is this true?!
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Old 07-14-2003, 05:20 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by *GTSpeed*
My friend, whom I don't think is right, says that clay bars take off a layer of clear coat, thus producing a smooth finish. Is this true?!
No. It removes contaminants that are embedded within the clear coat. It does not remove the clear coat itself. (sure, after hundreds of applications it probably does, but any thing would)
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Old 05-08-2004, 07:28 AM   #12
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A time saving trick I have used is to start claying right after the final rinse on the vehicle. After claying, wipe the area with a microfiber towel. The remaining water provides enough lubrication and still gets the same results as if you used the lube.
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Old 08-04-2004, 03:08 PM   #13
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I work at autozone and we carry almost everyone of them that he meantioned except the one from Japan.
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Old 08-06-2004, 09:58 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Piece of Work
A time saving trick I have used is to start claying right after the final rinse on the vehicle. After claying, wipe the area with a microfiber towel. The remaining water provides enough lubrication and still gets the same results as if you used the lube.
I just used the Mother's Gold Clay Bar and it says specifically, "DO NOT USE WATER [instead of the lubricant they provide]."

I don't know the reason for this, but it's probably wise to follow the directions. What I did was rinse off the car, after washing, and then I just sprayed on the "quick detailer" that comes with the clay bar to saturate the area in which I was working. In other words, I didn't bother drying off the entire car, but I also used the lube instead of straight water.

Afterwards, it left a dull residue from the clay on my car, so I rewashed the entire thing, and then dried it off. I finished with the Mother's Carnuba Wax (also included with the Clay Bar), and I must say it looks pretty damn shiny
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Old 01-12-2005, 06:53 AM   #15
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To go along with paint cleaners. Has anyone used the cleaner from Meguiar's which is step #1 of a 3 step process. I find it highly effective to remove contaminents from paint. It is a liquid with no abrasives and clearcoat safe. After cleaning the paint with that I usually just skip to a good carnuba wax which would be step #3 in the Meguiar's process.

I use it on everything. It even works on clear plastic like the front headlights to get the yellow out from sun damage. I've also used it on stained alloy wheels that have a clearcoat.
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Old 02-02-2005, 10:04 AM   #16
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Good info
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Old 12-04-2005, 11:23 PM   #17
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so clay then wax or other way around?
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Old 12-05-2005, 04:56 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soupy
clay then wax
.
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Old 01-16-2006, 08:30 PM   #19
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so i would wash the car first then clay it and then wax it or do i clay it wash it again and then wax it? sorry if this is a dumb question
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Old 01-17-2006, 07:24 AM   #20
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Some people wash-clay-wash-wax.
Personally I just wash-clay-wax.

In any case you must wash at least once before claying.
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Old 01-17-2006, 09:53 AM   #21
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To prep the surface down to remove all contaminents I would wash to remove all suface dirt and grime. Wipe with vinegar to remove all wax and any other sealants. Wash with car shampoo, rinse, do not dry and use car wash mixture to clay with instead of the detailing solution they provide with the bar. Rinse to remove all suds and wash again for good measure. You can omit the last wash and just dry after the rinse.
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Old 01-18-2006, 04:53 AM   #22
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The vinegar really doesn't serve any purpose. The clay will remove any wax on the car.

If you do use a dilute mixture of water and soap instead of the spray that comes with the clay bar, I do suggest that you carry out a full wash after the clay step. Just rinsing after may not get all the soap off if it has dried while you take your time claying.
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Old 01-18-2006, 05:10 AM   #23
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bme you sound like an autopian. I actually find that when using vinegar as a prep step the claying step is far easier as the actual contaminents usually removed when claying are stuck in my LSP or sealants and not so much directly on my paint. If you remove the LSP and sealants then the contaminents in them lose their bond to them and are removed easier with less passes. Kind of tough to describe but it makes sense.
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Old 01-19-2006, 05:38 AM   #24
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Yes, I'm over there from time to time. Only for personal research of products/procedures. Don't post much, just read.

I see what you're saying with the vinegar. It's just that I've never had a "hard" time claying. I'm already lubricating the surface and moving my arm back and forth over the whole car. I think I'd rather take 2 more arm passes per section than bathe my car in the wonderful smell of vinegar.

Have you ever tried 3M General Purpose Adhesive Remover insted of the vinegar? I'd think it would result the same, without the smell, but at a higher cost.
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Old 01-19-2006, 09:52 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bme107
Yes, I'm over there from time to time. Only for personal research of products/procedures. Don't post much, just read.

I see what you're saying with the vinegar. It's just that I've never had a "hard" time claying. I'm already lubricating the surface and moving my arm back and forth over the whole car. I think I'd rather take 2 more arm passes per section than bathe my car in the wonderful smell of vinegar.

Have you ever tried 3M General Purpose Adhesive Remover instead of the vinegar? I'd think it would result the same, without the smell, but at a higher cost.
Yeah I am only on there for personal and family use too. I have never used the 3M stuff though, might be worth looking into as smelling like a pickle is not very attractive. I have noticed though that if I do not strip the wax off with vinegar prior to claying I get much more micromaring which means more time with the PC and resorting to SSR2.5 with a blue pad.
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Old 06-06-2006, 04:50 PM   #26
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not sure if this was answered but can you use clay bar on carbon fiber products(ie. Hoods, scoops)?
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Old 06-06-2006, 05:20 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carbonized_GT
not sure if this was answered but can you use clay bar on carbon fiber products(ie. Hoods, scoops)?
Yes, since they have clear coat on them.
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Old 06-06-2006, 08:36 PM   #28
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ok thanks
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Old 06-07-2006, 04:56 PM   #29
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Is it unwise to use a bar on the headlights?
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Old 06-08-2006, 01:10 PM   #30
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It is fine to use a clay bar on the headlights. You can even use it on the glass. In either case you will have to clean them afterwards to get rid of the smearing from quick detailer spray.
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Old 07-10-2006, 03:51 PM   #31
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great info!
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Old 07-10-2006, 09:33 PM   #32
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Is a claybar safe to use on Carbon Fiber?
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Old 07-11-2006, 05:32 AM   #33
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If the CF is clear coated (most hoods etc. are) then yes.
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Old 09-23-2006, 08:04 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvanJ
I just used the Mother's Gold Clay Bar and it says specifically, "DO NOT USE WATER [instead of the lubricant they provide]."
Some clay bars will disintegrate when there is too much water.
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Old 06-02-2007, 07:05 PM   #35
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This works!

Everyone should own a clay bar, does a car good.
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Old 06-23-2007, 11:24 AM   #36
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is the liquid clay bar any good Turtle Wax - Ice Liquid Clay Bar? any reviews on this
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Old 06-25-2007, 11:42 AM   #37
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I've not even seen the product on the shelf.
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Old 05-13-2008, 08:03 PM   #38
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I purchased the mothers brand with the quick detailer and carnuba wax. I'm very impressed with how much dirt came off after a wash and dry. Dirty water just rolled right off the car, I was blown away. Not nearly as blown away as after I waxed my car.

Plus the quik detailer spray smells cinnamony.
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Old 05-23-2008, 02:57 PM   #39
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how many times should i clay bar my car??only did it once in 2 months and wax 2 times
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Old 05-27-2008, 09:15 AM   #40
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You don't need to clay bar that often. Once, maybe twice a year depending on the environmental conditions you drive/park in. Waxing once a month is a good schedule.
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Old 09-17-2008, 08:26 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snizzlers View Post
is the liquid clay bar any good Turtle Wax - Ice Liquid Clay Bar? any reviews on this
i want to know as well.
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Old 02-20-2009, 09:20 PM   #42
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^ me too
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Old 02-27-2009, 11:03 AM   #43
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a while back my apt complex painted the buildings and got overspray on my car...they used aclay bar to get off the overspray but now i have swirl marks/ scratches in my clearcoat. any products to remove those? i used carnuba wax once but only helped a little.
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Old 02-27-2009, 05:51 PM   #44
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Good guide! Very informative.
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Old 03-13-2009, 04:13 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artimis008 View Post
i want to know as well.
I tried Ice Liquid Clay Bar. It cleans pretty good. But I think Mother's gold clay bar is better.
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Old 03-25-2009, 08:44 AM   #46
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Autopia.org has some great articles on car detailing, i'm not sure which one has it but one of the articles has a full schedule for clay baring, washing, waxing, etc.
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Old 05-28-2009, 02:24 PM   #47
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A friend gave me the Mothers California Gold Clay Bar package but the Instant Detailer lubrication wasn't in the package. Is that necessary in order to use the clay bar?
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Old 06-30-2009, 10:57 AM   #48
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DetailingDude is the man! Awesome guide! Thanks bro.
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