Tips on How to Use a Clay Bar

The clay bar has become a popular detailing tool and is one of the most useful devices in a car enthusiasts’ DIY detailing toolbox. And for good reason! While the clay bar is most known for being able to easily remove grime and provide your car with a smooth finish, it can also be used on any smooth, hard surface, including glass and chrome.
As a leading provider in car detailing in Malta, we share some tips on proper clay bar detailing to help you get the best out of this tool.


1. How do I know whether my car needs a clay bar treatment?

The surface of your vehicle is constantly exposed to airborne contaminants (such as brake dust, road tar and bug residue) that stick to the finish and potentially cause damage if not removed regularly by using a clay bar.
Wash your car thoroughly and when it’s still a little wet, run your fingers gently over the surface of the car’s paint. If you feel bumps, what you’re feeling are contaminants, which need to be removed with a clay bar to prevent more dirt from being sealed into the finish.


2. Use a lubricant

First, cut your clay bar into smaller pieces to ensure you always have spare (as if you drop one piece on the ground, it needs to be disposed of). Work the piece into your hands and flatten it into a disk shape. Next you’ll want a proper clay lubricant to protect the surface. Without such lubrication, the clay can’t glide across the surface, and this will likely ruin the surface of your paint.

Spray lubricant or apply soapy water on a small area of your car and rub the piece of clay back and forth using light to medium pressure. As soon as the lubricant begins to dry, spray more (detailing clay can’t be used dry and is less effective when soft. To ensure the lubricant doesn’t dry too quickly, park your car in the shade, away from direct sunlight. Repeat these steps in small sections on your car. Wipe the lubricant off the car using a clean microfibre cloth. If the paint isn’t as smooth as a sheet of glass, clay the area again. Finally, seal your clean paint with a wax or sealant.


3. Cleaning your clay bar

It’s important to check your clay bar often for any hard particles that may have been picked up while cleaning; remember, grit could scratch your car’s paint surface! When the bar’s surface turns yellowish, simply use the other side.

Lastly, we highly recommend finishing off by applying a hand polish after giving your car a clay bar treatment!


Looking for the best car detailing Malta has to offer?

If you want a fresh, clean, and shiny car without going through the hassle yourself, leave it in the capable hands of our detailing specialists at Portughes Car Detailing!

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