Welcome back! We are headed back to the auto detailing basics today with this Mercedes Benz AMG GTS that is getting some vinyl wrap paint prep at a vinyl wrap shop. Before you get started don't forget to subscribe to the channel so you never miss the latest detailing advice!
What is a clay bar? A clay bar is a bar of clay. Literally. You rub it on the paint using a lubricator of any particular brand and it removes contamination from the paint.
What is contamination? Contaminants get stuck to our cars paint during daily driving, they can come from brake dust from cars around you, jet fuel fall out, bee pollen, dirt, etc and it makes your paint feel kind of rough even though you just gave your car a nice wash and it looks clean.
This is an important step to do before doing paint correction (paint polishing) or applying a wax, sealant or ceramic coating. Contaminants in the way can cause issues during paint correction or application of a wax, a sealant or a ceramic coating. You want a nice clean and smooth surface to work with.
There are also different grades of clay bay, fine, medium and heavy. For cars that do not really too contaminated or rough, a fine clay bar will be fine and may cause less marring during process. For cars where the paint is really rough you will want a medium or heavy grade but be prepared to buy a polisher or sell a paint correction step to your customer afterwards because you will most certainly add marring and swirl type scratches using a medium or heavy grade clay.
For super contaminated vehicles you may need an additional step using a fall out remover such as iron X or shine supply smooth move.
Clay lubes can be things like shine supply shine mist which is what I am using in this video along with a detail magic clay bar. @Meguiar's clay lube is a classic, you can use a variety of waterless wash or detail sprays like @nexgen waterless wash or nexgen quick detail spray, you can use shine supply eco shine or even stuff like feynlab prime or optimum no rinse rinse less wash, so many options, it just needs to make lube!
For clay bar beware of cheap clay's because some of the made in china ones can be kinda crappy and leave sticky residue behind, any clay bar from Chemical Guys will leave this residue behind, it can be obnoxious to clean. Some cheap clay bars end up being heavy duty even when advertised as fine or medium, i've made that mistake before. I recommend buying the detail magic clay or the shine supply clay bar's from the shine supply website.
So a brand new clay bar comes in a 200 gram brick usually. Break this brick in half and that's your average size clay bar. On a heavily contaminated vehicle spray the section you are claying and do small 2x2 sections going back and forth with your hand and the clay bar slowly or you can go fast does not really matter. Do this process around the whole vehicle. You should wet wipe panels inbetween doing additional swipes with the bar or before drying so you remove all the dirty contamination liquid before swiping again or using your nice clean drying towel. On very contaminated vehicles you do not want to continuously rub dirt and grime into the finish trying to remove all of it.
Claying a car is super easy and is the basic prep required prior to installing ceramic coating, vinyl wrap like were doing today, clear bra, wax, ceramic coating or sealants. Some vehicles take as little as 15-20 minutes to clay while others can take 2 hours, charge accordingly because it can be a real work out sometimes!
Your clay bar will get nasty once its time to throw it away, you'll be able to tell. Do not leave it overnight in water buckets and store it somewhere clean like in a small case so it does not pick up dirt, if you drop it, throw it away or clean it a ton and fold it a bunch in your hands before use again.
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