Auto detailing clay is a safe and effective way to deep clean the paint, removing the contaminants that cannot be removed by washing alone. Detailing clay bars grab embedded contaminants that make paint feel gritty and completely remove them, leaving the paint silky smooth. Once wax is applied, auto paint has a slicker feel and superior gloss.
Detailing clay is a flexible resin compound invented in Japan in order to remove contaminants that become lodged in clear coat paint. Over the last two decades, detailing clay has become an important part of the detailing process. One benefit is that clay requires no special tools or equipment. All you need is a clay bar and an appropriate clay lubricant to deep clean paint and create a perfect surface for wax.
How Does Auto Detailing Clay Work?
Detailing clay works by grabbing contaminants that protrude from the surface of the paint. This includes things like industrial fallout, rail dust, brake dust, bugs, and tree sap. As you glide the clay bar over the paint, it removes these gritty contaminants.
There are two different grades of clay available at Pinnaclewax.com. One is Pinnacle XMT Speed Clay, a medium grade detailing clay designed to
clean the vehicle twice a year. This grade of clay removes wax along
with anything else on the vehicle. It creates a true clean slate. Pinnacle XMT Speed Clay Lubricant allows the detailing clay bar to glide across the paint without scratching.
Your other option is a fine grade thatís
relatively new to the industry. Itís called Pinnacle Ultra Poly Clay and itís a favorite of enthusiasts who
prefer to clay as often as needed to keep that slick finish. This detailing clay
removes everything the medium clay removes and it is gentle enough to use
monthly or as needed for spot cleaning. If youíre someone whoís meticulous about
clean, shiny paint (and who isnít?!) youíll love Pinnacle Ultra Poly Clay. Use Pinnacle Clay Lubricant to protect the paint while claying.
All detailing clay requires the use of a clay lubricant to prevent scratches as
you gently rub the clay on the vehicle.Detailing clay lubricant protects the paint and helps maintain the flexibility of the clay.
What Does Detailing Clay Remove?
Your vehicle is under constant assault from airborne pollutants. Brake dust, industrial fallout, acid rain deposits and rail dust all can adhere to your vehicle. These contaminants often contain metal particulates, which accounts for the ease with which they penetrate the clear coat to attack the paint below. These contaminants then oxidize, and they allow rust to spread beneath the clear coat. Tiny orange spots today, total paint system failure tomorrow! Detailing clay removes these contaminants in order to keep the paint healthy and vibrant.
Detailing Clay also removes stubborn sap, tar, and bug remains. Detailing clay works wonder on glass as well.
Do You Need To Clay?
Virtually all vehicles, including new cars, can benefit from detailing clay. Even with dedicated waxing, certain contaminants can penetrate the paint. Each road trip brings new contamination from the roadway, such as debris, exhaust films, and airborne pollution. Even vehicles at the dealership often arrive from the manufacturer with rail dust and brake dust embedded in the paint, incurred during transportation to the dealership.
To know for sure if your vehicle needs to be clayed, perform this simple test.
The Bag Test: Thereís a simple test that will indicate whether or not you need to clay. Wash and dry your vehicle, put a plastic sandwich bag over your hand and lightly rub your fingertips over the paint. If it feels gritty or rough, your paint is contaminated and you need to clay.
The Bag test will tell you if you
need to use detailing clay.
To Use Clay:
NOTE: To optimize both the quality of your claying and the clay's useful life, avoid soap and water as a lubricant. They will prematurely deteriorate todayís clay compounds. Use only a true clay lubricant. A good clay kit, like the Pinnacle Ultra Poly Clay PLUS Special or the Pinnacle XMT Speed Clay Bundle, contains both the detailing clay and its corresponding lubricant..
Gently rub the clay bar back and forth across the wet area. The clay will grab at first. This means that it is pulling contaminants out of the paint. When it glides
freely, the paint is clean.
Wipe the area with a microfiber towel and use the clay lubricant to remove any clay residue. Rub your fingers across the paint now - it should be as smooth as glass! If itís not, repeat the process. Reshape the clay bar as needed to expose a clean surface. Keep the clay well-lubricated.
Continue these steps until youíve clayed the entire vehicle. Clay works well on glass and chrome, too.
Store the clay bar in its original case if possible, or in an airtight plastic bag. Spray it with the clay lubricant to keep it moist. Do not allow the clay to freeze and do not store it in temperatures above 200į F.
Always follow claying with a wax. Clay will remove existing wax.
Note: Detailing clay does not remove
oxidized paint or fill in blemishes. If your paint is mildly oxidized, clean the
paint with clay and then use a polish to remove the oxidized paint. If the
oxidation is severe, polish first because the oxidized paint may flake off as
you clay and ruin the clay bar.
Then use a pre-wax cleaner, like Pinnacle Paintwork Cleansing Lotion, to fill in minor swirls and scratches
prior to waxing. If your paint is in good condition, proceed to waxing.