The Wonder of Clay: Create A Showroom Shine On Dull Paint

You’ve washed the car, but the paint still feels gritty against your fingertips. Times like this call for claying--a technique car care professionals rely on before waxing. Claying only takes a few minutes, and the results are worth the effort.

Clay detailing bars do what washing alone cannot.

“Claying can remove paint swirls, grit, brake dust and other contaminants,” said Michael Pennington of Meguiar’s Inc., a leading manufacturer of car care products.

Clay bars are available in automotive stores and are used by dealerships, classic car owners and anyone who wants their car to look and feel its best. The product works wonders at getting hardened contaminants--and other unsightly blemishes--off the paint.

A clay bar can help return vitality to just about any exterior surface-- windshield, rims and paint.

The best part? It’s pretty easy to get the hang of using.

“Once you get the motion you’ll zip around pretty swiftly,” Pennington said.

Claying can be done with every wash and wax. And Pennington suggests taking clay to your vehicle every 6 months. Be sure to store the unused clay in an airtight container to maintain freshness.

Pennington offers these three tips for a quality claying:

  • Take a little piece at a time off the bar for the best results. “If you have a big piece and drop it on the ground it’s ruined.”
  • Don’t let the clay dry out. Keep what’s left of the bar in an airtight container.
  • Look for a clay kit. The kit typically includes lubrication, a towel and the bar itself.