A Natural Clay Bar is used to treat your paint when contamination has built up over time. This contamination might consist of tree sap, dust, bird droppings, tar deposits and other grime found in everyday environments. Sometimes you may notice it by eye, other times you might just feel how rough your paintwork has become whilst carrying out a shampoo wash. If your paint is not feeling soft and smooth, it could be time to clay.
If there has ever been an instance where you've applied a wax or sealant and been disappointed with the results. The chances are your paint has not been prepared correctly. Many find that the best way to correct this is to prepare the car with a clay bar treatment.
The Natural Clay bar itself is a soft, malleable substance that can pick up these particles without damaging your paint. Once the contaminants have been removed, it is recommended that a protective coating, wax or polish can be applied to prevent further damage.
Synthetic Clay Bars / Mitts are now available to us and are favoured by many due to their sustainable nature. They are quick and easy to use and any dirt particles picked up can simply be washed off the mitt ready to be used again. Unlike the natural clay bar that has to be disposed of after use or when dropped on the ground. However, they may be less sticky and therefore more time may have to be spent on areas with more dirt build up.
How to use a Clay Bar / Mitt
First of all, Ensure your paintwork has been thoroughly washed rinsed and dried.
Make sure to work in small areas, apply a mist to the panel you are working on with your chosen clay lubrication and add a small bit to the clay bar / mitt for added lubrication.
Work in Cross hatch motions (top to bottom, then side to side) You will notice some resistance from the clay at first, but as you continue to glide the mitt and pick up contamination it will get smoother and smoother.
Always check your clay for particles, continuously fold in the clay on itself to reveal fresh clay to allow further contamination to be picked up. With a clay block / Mitt just rinse and continue.
Repeat on all of the the panels until you have finished.
Depending on how contaminated the surface was, polishing may be required after to help correct any marring that may have occurred. Followed by your choice of protection.