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Claying a Vehicle

Posted by Jay Schneider. Filed under Buffing Techniques.
October 14, 2009

Claying a vehicle is the first step after a good washing.  A clay bar is specially designed clay with the texture of “Play Dough” used to remove contaminates from a vehicle’s surface.  It is very flexible and contours to the vehicle’s surface to “sheer” off contaminates.  Claying does not remove scratches but it does remove everything that is embedded on the surface (examples: rail dust, airplane fuel, bird droppings, etc.)  First form the clay into a patty shape.  Before claying, a lubricant must be sprayed onto the vehicle’s surface.  Most bars of clay come with a lubricant, if not a spray detailer can be used.  Now take the clay patty by hand and gently slide it back and forth with little or no pressure.  This results in the contaminates loosening from the paint and bonding to the clay.  The clay should be kneaded in order to maintain a clean surface.  Claying a vehicle should be done in 2’ by 2’ increments.  After claying, the area should be wiped dry of any residue from the clay and lubricant.  The area clayed is now smooth as glass and can be polished if there are defects or waxed for protection.


Eric Dunn

Account Manager

Technical Support


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