Thread: Importance of Claying! MUST READ
04-28-2010, 04:02 AM #1
Importance of Claying! MUST READ
I'll start off by saying, most people don't realize the amount of filth on their car after a car wash unless they are avid car-washing/detailing freaks! However, most of us are not, and I think it is important that everyone understand what claying is and exactly how it helps to remove this filth.
Washing your car is always essential, but claying is a step that is always mandatory in a proper detailing session, and is usually done atleast once to twice a year.
So let's begin by asking ourselves, "What is claying and why should I do it?"
Let's examine the diagram below, courtesy of detailingworld:
Taking a good look at the above diagram shows exactly what occurs when one clays the surface of their vehicle.
Initially, the vehicle's surface is contaminated with dirt, mud, etc...from the daily driving.
The first phase of washing and drying, if done properly with a 2-bucket method* (reference below) and proper wash, will eliminate majority of the mess.
However, the contaminants that are stuck on the paint won't go without a fight. Enter the clay bar.
The clay bar works essentially on friction, and as a result, with a viscous surface, is able to create a smooth contamination-free surface; similar to that of your car when you first received it (hopefully!).
So at this point you're thinking, "Oh so what, no one is going come up and feel the surface of my car!"
Observe the picture below, courtesy of Meguiar's:
Notice how the clay on the left is clean, and the one on the right is dirty. The dirty clay bar is usually what occurs when claying the surface of a vehicle that has not been clayed in say several months, or even years.
MAKE SURE YOU FEEL THE SURFACE BEFORE AND AFTER!
I mention this because prior to the clay, the surface felt like a crater field, but afterwards, it was as smooth as the curves on J-Lo's ass.
Clay kits usually come in packages such as that shown below, and consist of 1-2 clay bars, a quick detailer, a micro-fiber towel, and sometimes a wax to clean the clayed surface.
HOW TO CLAY:
Note: This must be done after washing and drying your vehicle.
First, cut the clay into several pieces!
IF YOU DROP THE CLAY BAR, THROW IT AWAY!
You definitely do not want to scratch the car up with a claybar that has fallen to the floor. It will pick up little pieces of micro-filth and create microswirls without you even knowing.
When you first begin to clay, make sure the surface has plenty of detailer/cleaner liquid that came w/ the claying kit.
Spray a generous amount and make sure to work in small areas as to not be overwhelmed. Use a swiping motion with little to medium pressure moving back and forth. The clay will do most of the work for you and pick up most if not all of the contaminants.
You'll be hearing little noises as it removes the filth, and you can stop when the clay bar glides across the area you are working on. Make sure to re-knead the clay often as it will get a bit dirty.
Once you have clayed the sections you wish to work on, you will notice the surface isn't exactly glossy, but a bit dull. However, upon closer inspection, you'll notice that it is free of contamination if done properly. Several passes may be needed on cars that still feel like they have micro-filth on them.
This ends the claying process!
After claying, you can either:
a) re-wash to remove any debris from the claying process
b) begin to polish if using a machine polisher or
c) jump on your wax/sealant to get that beautiful shine
Ofcourse....this article was primarily just one step in a several step process, below is a mini-description of what I go through when washing my car.
I usually Do the following:
1) Park car in a dry/shaded area
2) Rinse car and remove excess dirt or mud build up w/ water
3) use a two-bucket method* to wash the car, working with panels, starting from the roof down, spraying each panel as I finish.
4) after thoroughly washing each panel, I begin the drying process
5) I use one of those insta-dry towels for this, the one that dries itself when rinsed thoroughly
6) after drying all of the car, I open the trunks/doors/hood to dry off any excess water
7) once the car is fully dryed, I look and see if the car needs to be clayed, usually I do it 1-2 times a year if not more, depending on how much the car has been driven.
End result would be something similar to what one member posted here.
I know there should be more steps in there, but I'm not a pro-detailer and still learning.
I plan on writing more articles as I gain more knowledge, but I think claying is something everyone should have atleast some knowledge about.
Please feel free to add your comments/concerns/criticisms as you see fit
04-30-2010, 12:28 AM #2
04-30-2010, 12:47 AM #3
nice. i just had my car detailed recently actually. here is the resulting clay to back up phantom's claim.
2007 335i Coupe
Mods: Check the Garage
04-30-2010, 12:57 AM #4
^Oh man! that is just sick!