Detailing clay is an underused and extremely valuable item to apply to your vehicle to rid it of contaminants. The idea of using it scares away most consumers, but if you know what you are doing, it is better than a lot of alternatives on the market.
At first glance, ‘clean’ cars that have gone through a wash appear as if no further action is required. So where does detailing clay come in? By running your hand over the body of your vehicle, to the touch you will feel imperfections in the paint, typically in the form of bumps. These are foreign particles and unwanted debris you need to get rid of. Wearing thin gloves such as surgical or something similar makes this process very easy to complete. Gloves are recommended during clay detailing anyway, so it is two birds, one stone.
“Detailing clay ‘shaves’ down the bumps on your vehicle, doing so carefully and with the help of the pre-applied lubricant to ensure scratching does not occur”
Spray the lubricant advised by the brand of clay you own over the most problematic surfaces. The lubricant acts as a buffer before the clay is spread. Once applied, take your bar of clay and form it into a flat shape to better adhere to the car’s exterior. Generously rub, not press, the clay over the area repeatedly. Upon doing so you should feel the uneven sections of the paneling. Clay almost acts like shaving cream in that cream is used to make your face smooth for a razor. Detailing clay ‘shaves’ down the bumps on your vehicle, doing so carefully and with the help of the pre-applied lubricant to ensure scratching does not occur. If the task is done in a quiet enough area, often times you will be able to hear the imperfections coming off with a faint ‘click’ noise.
It should be noted that if your clay is dropped or placed on a surface that isn’t smooth, you should discard it and grab a new bar. Clay that has dirt or even a spec of sand in it can completely undo the process you are trying to carry out. Additionally, when an area of the clay is dusty, fold it over to a fresh patch to complete the detailing.
If done correctly, your car is primed to look the best it has ever been, as now it is ready for a thorough wash, waxing, polishing, or a full detail. Detailing with the addition of clay brings out the performance of these other treatments exponentially.
While car detailing with clay can be done yourself, having professionals do it before your cleaned, waxed or detailed can add thousands of dollars to the vehicle’s resale value. Moreover, if it is an automobile you plan to keep, routine clay usage will have the upkeep of your paint paneling look phenomenal. The difference between clay detailing yourself and letting the experts handle it is that professionals use more pertinent clays depending on the make, model and condition of the car. Furthermore, their inspection routine is much more in depth and calculated. Detailing with clay is far more than just running it over the paint finish as there is an art to its application, and those with expertise in this field can even eliminate scratches with the proper technique.