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Had not heard of using a clay bar on automotive finishes. Having just purchased a 05 ML500SE (black) in Dec. 04 I figured I better get aquainted with the clay bar process. Purchased a Mother's kit at Pep Boys for $16. I have a low mileage 91 GMC pickup (black) that had a lot of little red spots on it that made it feel rough. To make a long story short after claying it and a coat of Meguiers NXT the truck looks and feels fantastic. What a deal this clay bar thing is. Thanks to the forum! [8D]
 

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Just make sure that you spray on that lubricant, because clay will scratch your paint. Also check the clay bar for grit. Need to remove any grit, sand and other containments in the clay. It is best to clay after you wash and wash again after you clay.
 

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dakat - 2/5/2005 8:43 PM

Had not heard of using a clay bar on automotive finishes. Having just purchased a 05 ML500SE (black) in Dec. 04 I figured I better get aquainted with the clay bar process. Purchased a Mother's kit at Pep Boys for $16. I have a low mileage 91 GMC pickup (black) that had a lot of little red spots on it that made it feel rough. To make a long story short after claying it and a coat of Meguiers NXT the truck looks and feels fantastic. What a deal this clay bar thing is. Thanks to the forum! [8D]
Yup .. the clay bar is a life saver. It makes paint come to life after some good polish.
 

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Clay is a fallout remover. It will remove all the grime off the paint and should be used often to prevent a build up of these contaminants stuck in your clear coat. I'd keep away from Mother's brand. It's too hard! The reson why one might say the clay will scratch is when clay is used that is too hard, the contaminants that you remove stick halfway into the clay and halfway out causing small hairline scratches. From what I have seen, peoplewho get scratches after using clay waited too long. I would recommend Auto Magic clay and use it once a month. You can use very soapy water for lube and definitely clay after a first wash and rinse.
 

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This might just be me, but i use dishsoap to remove any sort of grease or oil on my car before i claybar it. After i caly it, i wash it with my speical soap :) and then wax it. with Zimol!
 

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RE: Clay Bar results with NXT Meg.

I used the Maguiares Clay bar with their detailer spray...followed bu NXT Meguires wax, today. I have never used clay before...have always used Meguiare's Gold class carnuba...so this was my first experience with a synthetic wax on my silver car. BTW my thanks to all ye guys for all the tremendous info shared so far!!

To be honest...there's good news & not so "subjectively" good news. I ended up with a car that was almost glittering with shine. I had so much shine that I could lend it to others!! Seriously..it was amazing. Hmmm...I should be a happy customer ..right!! Well, No!!! there was just something missing in all that shine. No X factor..no depth...no richness..no subtleness, it was as if my car's color code was 7.44 rather than 744....bland, superficila..almost artificial as synthetic is supposed to be. It was still silver but not the silver that made it look so exotic the day I bought it. Note that I have used the word subjective above...so that just maybe me.bottom line ...synthetic stuff not for me. ...and we keeeeeep learning!I definitely will revert to carnuba on my next 3 month extended detailing.

Anyone else had a similar experience/ opinion?

Cheers.
 

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Hand waxing is by far the safest thing for your paint but there is nothing like paint after a polish with a high speed buffer using the softest pad. It's the heat created by the pad that brings the color and depth out something waxing by hand could NEVER accomplish. Just my opinion since we're being subjective.
 

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Clay isn't abrasive, in fact if you don't put enough lubricant, all it does is smear. And it only takes particles off the paint that stick up like those little specs that you can feel even on a clean car.

As for shine, you need to polish the paint before you wax it. The wax is only as good as the paint under it.

I just bought an orbital polisher (porter cable 7424) on sale at Loewes for $99. And used Meguires paint cleaner, polish and topped of with NXT and my gosh, what a stunning result. Don't know how long NXT will last but for now its breath taking!
 

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I use three types of clay.

I perfer Top of the Line clay because it has no silicones, solvents, or abrasives.

Mequiar's sells Mild and Aggressive clay.

Clay Magic clay is mild.
 

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tiggerfink - 3/8/2005 1:54 PM

I use three types of clay.

I perfer Top of the Line clay because it has no silicones, solvents, or abrasives.

Mequiar's sells Mild and Aggressive clay.

Clay Magic clay is mild.
Why three different clays..any specific indication for using either of these? Never heard of Top of Line...any URLs?

Thanks Tiggerfink..learnt a lot from you so far!!
 

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Ashar - 3/10/2005 7:29 PM

tiggerfink - 3/8/2005 1:54 PM

I use three types of clay.

I perfer Top of the Line clay because it has no silicones, solvents, or abrasives.

Mequiar's sells Mild and Aggressive clay.

Clay Magic clay is mild.
Why three different clays..any specific indication for using either of these? Never heard of Top of Line...any URLs?

Thanks Tiggerfink..learnt a lot from you so far!!
First of all, I am no expert. I just have a passion for cars and up keep. If you clay your car every 4 months, I would use a mild to no abrasive clay. I only use aggressive clay to remove stuff off your car that was bake on for a year like paint.

Check out these web sites below. I buy from Alisa because she does tech sessions for our MB club.

http://www.premiumautocare.com/howtousedecl.html

http://www.detailsbyalisa.com/

http://www.advanceautoparts.com/english/youcan/html/ccr/ccr20030401cb.html#

http://www.tintdude.com/clay-bar.html

http://www.autopia-carcare.com/inf-clay.html

http://www.topoftheline.com/claysapovrem.html
 

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does the clay bars come with lubricant???
 

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hey guys, i'm new here, its my first post actually.

But I've heard not to clay too often, because it takes a layer of paint off with it. While it might not be your pigmented paint, it can take the clear coat, and when thats gone... you get the idea.

I usually will clay once a year in the springtime, and just be sure to take care of my paint the rest of the year. But clay does wonders, I love it.
 

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burtharrris - 3/15/2005 8:44 PM

hey guys, i'm new here, its my first post actually.

But I've heard not to clay too often, because it takes a layer of paint off with it. While it might not be your pigmented paint, it can take the clear coat, and when thats gone... you get the idea.

I usually will clay once a year in the springtime, and just be sure to take care of my paint the rest of the year. But clay does wonders, I love it.
It will not take layers off. But if you use the aggressive clay without lubricant, it will scratch the paint. Also make sure that every time you wipe with clay, you need to check for harsh containments in the clay from your car.

However, a cleaner with harsh abrasions will take layers off your clear coat in order to smooth out the scratches.
 

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read this one - it's about how to use clay properly

http://autopia.org/kb/index.php?page=index_v2&id=31&c=root
 

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ttaleric - 2/11/2005 7:30 PM

This might just be me, but i use dishsoap to remove any sort of grease or oil on my car before i claybar it. After i caly it, i wash it with my speical soap :) and then wax it. with Zimol!
Be careful with dishsoap on plastic - i read it may break down something in plastic (not a good thing)
 

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so basically if i clay after that i have to wax right? because there will be no protectant since it removes everything i really should try it out i always wash and wax but never clayed before and i still get good comments on my car daaaamn i wonder what my car would look like with clay
 

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The first thing I will recommend is that you wash your vehicle well in a shady or covered area! Use the two bucket method. One bucket with your car wash solution, the other bucket with just plain clean water. Use a genuine sheepskin or wool wash mitt and try not to use a sponge! Sponges trap dirt at the surface where as the wool mitts will hold the dirt up and out of the way!

So...rinse your mitt in the plain water bucket and squeeze the excess water out, now dip into your wash solution and wash a section of your car. Now dip your dirty wash mitt into the plain water to rinse the debris and then back into your wash solution! You get the drift of this by now I'm sure.

You do not need to dry as yet. Perhaps remove most of the standing water on the flat surfaces, but that's it for now.

After you have washed you can clay your car. I would suggest one of the two following kits that can be bought most anywhere automotive cleaning supplies are sold;

Mothers California Gold Clay Bar System - Comes with a Bottle Of Instant Detailer, A Yellow Clay Bar and a small bottle of Cleaner Wax.

Meguiar's Clay Bar Kit - Comes with a Bottle Of Quick Detailer and a White Clay Bar.

Have a few soft clean 100% cotton terry towels or micro fiber towels ready as well for wiping up.

In both cases the Instant or Quick Detailer will act as your lubricant for the clay bar! Clay is a soft mailable substance that will effectively and safely remove contamination such as rail dust, Industrial fallout etc. from your paint, glass, plastics etc. when used in a safe and as directed manner as below.

Here we go...

Break your clay bar into two equal pieces. This way if you drop a piece of clay you have another to use! If you drop the clay..THROW IT AWAY! Do not use it.

Mold the clay in your hand to soften it and then mold it flat but not too flat between your palms. Spray a section of your hood (let's say a 1/4 of the hood) liberally with the Instant Detailer. LUBRICATION IS THE KEY! Use plenty of lube. Now pass the clay over the lubricated section using linear (back to forth) motion and LIGHT pressure to begin. Use a little more pressure as you understand a feel the action of the clay bar. You will feel and possibly hear the contamination being pulled from your paint up into the clay. It will feel rough at first, DO NOT PANIC and then it will smooth right out! When the feeling goes smooth and the clay bar passes over the section with ease, it's safe to assume that that area in now clean of debris. Look at the clay...filthy right?? Good..it's working. Wipe that area dry and thoroughly with a quality micro fiber towel or a 100% cotton soft terry towel.

It can be a little messy and runny but it wipes up very easily and will not stain your car or trim etc. If you do a nice job wiping up, it will save you the extra effort of having to re-wash the car or re-do the whole car with just the instant detailer and clean towel again!

Now run your hand over that section..it should be as smooth as glass and very shiny just by virtue of clean paint.

Now..turn the dirty side of the clay over to expose a cleaner side of clay. Don't worry, the dirt will turn in and be suspended high enough in the clay to let you work safely.

Spray another section of the hood and follow the same routine as above. Again..I cannot stress the importance of LOTS OF LUBE! If the clay feels like it is sticking to the paint, then you need more lubrication. After each area is complete, wipe it dry. You can do the same for your windows as well and even your trim.

I would suggest you do the whole car this time around! This way you have totally clean paint and a fresh "canvas". If you feel your clay is getting too dirty to use, then use the 2nd half that you broke off and set aside! My experience tells me that you should get by doing the whole car with 1/2 a bar, but use your good common sense and switch to a clean piece if you feel the need.

And YES..it might sound as though you are scratching your paint with the clay bar, but I say again..that with lots of lube and even pressure you will not be at risk.

Now...stand back and marvel at the results you just achieved with a simple piece of clay! You will probably not even feel the need to wax the car because the instant detailer will leave a great shine providing you did a nice job of wiping up after yourself.

From this point on, you can follow up with the wax of your choice if you wish! Keep in mind that a clay bar will have removed any wax you had on your paint as well!

You do not need to clay every time you clean your car! I would think that once a year is fine.

Geez...have I forgotten anything??? I don't think so! If you have any questions ask away! I would be more than happy to help!

Have Fun
 
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