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I have zero experience with using one, but I think I'll try it just because. My question is why doesn't the clay pick up particles and other solids and hold them such that they'd scratch the paint ?? I understand that the car needs to be washed thoroughly first, but stuff happens. Any tips will be greatly appreciated. TIA, Craig
 

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I'm sure posters more certain or experienced than I will reply too, but the basic answer is that the abrasive bits are suspended in the liquid film between the actual clay and the paint not unlike bad stuff is suspended in motor oil. That's why the instructions will emphasize the use of plenty of "lubricant", (either their own or a mild dilustion of water and dishwashing detergent) and to be certain the clay is as clean as practical especially if the clay is dropped onto the ground...

I did it years ago on my old Mustang with great resutls but have not tried it on a newer clear coated car.

Kevin
 

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The dirt/grit is actually held in the clay, not the lube. That's why the clay gets dirty. If you drop the clay on the ground, throw it away unless you're on previously washed off concrete that has NO dirt on it. A new clay bar is cheaper than a new paint job.
Follow the instructions on any clay bar kit packaging for best results.
I like to wash the car thoroughly like I usually do, then clay, then wash it again and dry it off before starting to polish. Swirls are from dirt left in the paint.
 

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I used the clay bar for the first time this earlier this summer on my '09 and was amazed with the results. I had similar concerns regarding the potential for damage as a result of the particles getting stuck in the clay, but with sufficient lubrication what I observed is that the clay is soft enough to "absorb" the removed material so it's not pushed back onto the clear coating. You also keep folding the clay bar over as you use it (it's like silly putty) and it's amazing how much clean surface area there is to work with.

Anyway, the clay bar removed this dull haze I never really noticed I had until afterwards, and the car is almost slicker than our new vehicle's finish... After claying and waxing you can't lean on my car without sliding off it. I used to chalk the clay bar up to detail fanatics, but now I see there's really something to it - for the cheap price and minimal effort you get fantastic results.
 

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Once you've clay barred a car you realize you've been doing it all wrong for a long time.
After a clay barring, I'll use a hand glaze before waxing, just to give it that really smooth to the touch finish.
 

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First use Turtle Prewash Extreme de-greaser (it is a gel to be sprayed on) to remove tar/dirt spots, before considering any claying.
 

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I keep two to three bars going at a time. One new/near new for use on the upper half of the vehicle, one with some use on it for the rockers/behind the tires, and one well worn for wheel openings. With the lower cladding of a CRV, multiple bars aren't really needed.
 

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I have been using a clay bar for years. I only buy all my products from Adamspolishes.com. A clay bar will remove all the contaminants off your paint. Wash it and dry it first. I know this sounds funny, but take a sandwich baggy and put your hand in it. Run it across your paint, after washing and drying. It will feel like sand paper. The baggie intensifies the ability to feel the contaminants. Spray a section with the lube that came with your clay bar and rub that section with the clay bar. Do the baggy test again and feel the difference. Follow up with a polish to remove paint defects. More often than not a machine is necessary to get your paint to perfection. Wash again to remove any polishing oils and dry. Follow up with a sealant, glaze, and then a wax. You can also buy a clay bar from any local auto parts store.
 

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Anyway, the clay bar removed this dull haze I never really noticed I had until afterwards, and the car is almost slicker than our new vehicle's finish... After claying and waxing you can't lean on my car without sliding off it. I used to chalk the clay bar up to detail fanatics, but now I see there's really something to it - for the cheap price and minimal effort you get fantastic results.[/QU

I agree; clay may take awhile to use, but the results are worth it. If you've not tried it, you should….
 

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I've used a variety of clay bars over the years (Zaino, Mothers, Meguiars) and can't say I noticed any significant difference in quality or final outcome. The use of Dawn to strip the old wax is important.
 

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I don't have the energy (nor desire) to *wash* my cars, let alone claybar/ polish / wax them.
However I often power rinse them - to remove the love bugs, bird poop and clear the windshield of unknown crap. I call it my "No Maintenance Appearance Package".

Following this program the next owner will find no swirl marks in the paint.

*Exceptions* - I have occasionally washed one before attending a funeral; it's quite a surprise to see the color change. RIP my dear friends.

YMMV.
 

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I'm sure posters more certain or experienced than I will reply too, but the basic answer is that the abrasive bits are suspended in the liquid film between the actual clay and the paint not unlike bad stuff is suspended in motor oil. That's why the instructions will emphasize the use of plenty of "lubricant", (either their own or a mild dilustion of water and dishwashing detergent) and to be certain the clay is as clean as practical especially if the clay is dropped onto the ground...

I did it years ago on my old Mustang with great resutls but have not tried it on a newer clear coated car.

Kevin
correct
 

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Just this last weekend I decided it was time strip wash, clay bar, polish, and apply paint sealant on my 2017 AWD Touring. I still need to do the tires but the results look good. After the strip wash the clay bar still picked up a significant amount of contaminants. I use all Adam's Polishes products simply because they work well and complement each other. Next weekend I'll do a two bucket wash and add a top coat of Brilliant Glaze to add even more shine.

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I just clay barred my 08' the 4th of July. Washed it, then chamois dry, clay bar(Mothers clay bar kit), sealed with McGuires paint sealer, then used McGuires carnauba wax. I did the entire body, windows(not the windshield), wheels. I used Wipe New on the black a month ago or so. The paint feels like silk...

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