Clay bar paint restoration has been used by car detailing professionals for a number of years. It’s only quite recently that clay bar detailing has become an accepted part of auto detailing for regular people. It’s an extra step that helps the finish. A clay bar kit is the easy way to perform clay bar paint restoration. Remember, though, that this is just one step in detailing. By itself it won’t work magic.
Before you use clay bar paint restoration, wash your car thoroughly. Many professions giving it two complete washes with a good car shampoo. This removes a great deal of the paint contamination, so the clay bar can be most effective. Using a clay bar when your paintwork is dirty can result in damaged paintwork.
You need to use your fingertips to knead the clay bar. Keep going until it’s very supple and will bend and move easily. At this point, use the spray from your clay bar paint restoration kit on the bodywork. Just spray a small area.
Rub very lightly with the clay bar, following the car’s lines. Go up and down and from right to left. Don’t use a circular motion and only apply the clay to areas that have been sprayed. Once you’ve finished an area, use a microfiber towel to wipe it. Knead the bar regularly, turning to a clean area, as it takes on contaminants from the bodywork.
Generally, you’ll need to perform clay bar paint restoration once a year, although it can be done more often. To determine whether your vehicle needs it, open up a plastic freezer bag and slide your hand inside. Run it over the paintwork. If it feels gritty, then it’s time to use a clay bar on your paintwork. Test at the very start of spring each year.
You don’t use the entire clay bar on a single treatment of your car. It should be good for 4 even 5 treatments. Given that you’ll usually only be using the clay bar once a year, you’ll need to keep it in an airtight freezer bag with all the air removed. That way it will only take a few short minutes of kneading to be useful. After you’ve used part of the clay bar, discard it.
Shop around when you’re looking to do clay bar paint restoration. Prices can vary greatly, running from a low in the region to $20, all the way up to $50 for essentially the same thing. Don’t be fooled by brand names. Ultimately, clay is clay.
Although a clay bar can make a big difference to the paintwork on your car, remember that you need to use it in conjunction with other detailing treatments. Polish the car properly and give it a thorough waxing to protect it. Between the three of them, your car can look as good as it did when it left the factory.