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The 8 Steps of Using a Clay Bar

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Amongst all exterior car-detailing tools, clay bars often get overlooked. Between washing away smudges and blemishes to creating the shine that we love so much on cars, drivers should consider claying their vehicles.

The Importance of Claying

Over time, contaminants embed themselves in the paint of your car, giving the surface a rough texture. It may not seem like much, but these contaminants get in the way of wax jobs and diminish the polished look that you are going for. Clay bars remove these pesky particles and they preserve the lustrous surface of your vehicle.
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First, wash and dry your vehicle.
Perform the bag test to check for contaminants - put a plastic bag over your hand and lightly rub your fingertips over the paint to see if it feels gritty or rough.

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Make sure you have a detailer or lubricant so that the clay bar slides smoothly across the surface and potential damage is prevented. Find a clay kit here.
Perform the claying in a cool, shaded area. Direct sunlight may dry the clay, making it difficult to remove.

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Mold the clay bar into a flat surface so that it grips the surface of your car. Spray it with lubricants to keep it moist, and store in a room temperature area.
Apply the lubricant or detailer directly to the clay bar or to your vehicle. Gently slide the clay across the surface in a fluid motion. When the clay fills with contaminants, simply fold it over and flatten out a new, smooth surface.

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Once you have finished claying your car, remove the lubricant and clay residue from your vehicle with a towel. Store the clay after use.
Follow up with a wax or sealant. These will fill any holes left from the contaminants and they will protect your paint from corrosion.