How To: Using Detailing Clay

Using Detailing Clay Surface preparation is the process that removes imbedded particles and surface contaminates from paint surfaces. These are contaminates that were not removed by the washing process. They include industrial fallout, rail dust and paint over spray. Industrial fallout (IFO) and rail dust both are created from environmental pollution. This pollution is carried across the atmosphere by wind currents, eventually falling from the sky. It then attaches itself to vehicle exteriors. It is especially noticeable on white vehicles where it is visible as small rust colored spots. It can also be felt by gliding a hand across the paint surface. A rough texture can be felt. Even new cars have the presence of IFO from being shipped and stored at shipping points and at dealerships. Paint over spray occurs to more than 1 out of every 4 vehicles. On a breezy or windy day, a painter’s work can travel some distance. This airborne paint attaches itself to everything in its path. Paint over spray can also be seen and felt.


Surface contamination removal bars are often referred to as Clay Bars.They remove IFO, paint over spray, dead oxidized paint as well as other bonded contaminates. They are called clay bars because they are comprised of a bar shaped clay like material. They are used along with a detailing clay bar lubricant to reduce resistance as the bar glides across the surface. To remove contaminates, make sure the vehicle has been properly washed. Spray the Clay Bar Lubricant on the panel to be cleaned. Clean only one panel at a time (one fender or a half of a hood). Gently glide the bar across in a back and fourth motion until resistance is eliminated. Wipe moisture away with a clean Cotton Polishing Cloth or Microfiber Towel. Fold bar over, kneed into a pancake form and use on the next panel. DO NOT ALLOW BAR TO COME IN CONTACT WITH ANY FOREIGN SURFACES SUCH AS THE FLOOR ETC. If the bar becomes dirty, or falls onto the ground, it can scratch the paint surface. Clay bars have specific benefits. This process can be performed in a relatively small amount of time. It also allows polishing and waxing to be more effectively applied and removed. The paint will also look cleaner, and be easier to maintain.

This entry was posted in How To Articles and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.