Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 22

Thread: How to clay your Smart

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Essex
    Posts
    502

    How to clay your Smart

    Hey everyone,

    well seeing as I have had a few questions about this and also the fact I am planning to do a quick claybarring tomorrow I thought I would write a guide.

    ok well here goes...

    What the hell is 'claying'....?

    When you wash your car you are only removing non-bonded contaminants.

    'Hang on, non bonded what....?' Once you have washed and dried your car (see my guide on evilution; http://www.evilution.co.uk/index.php?id=859) run your hands over the paintwork, can you feel a rough texture? Those rough bits are bonded contaminants, generally made up of tar, tree sap, overspray and fallout! Those need to go if you are to get your car to really shine and for any waxes or sealants to bond properly.

    A claybar is an abrasive (yes abrasive no matter what you're told), soft, pliable, product designed to gently lift, hold and remove these contaminants. Once done, you will be left with super slick, smooth, bare paintwork.

    Now claybarring is something that everyone should do from professionals to home detailers, it's easy to do once you have a few tips, and makes a massive improvement. As a pro, I would NEVER be without a claybar!

    Which clay should I use?

    Well most claybars are more or less the same, try to avoid cheap chinese imports, but there is also no need to go for Boutique (AKA Expensive) claybars. With claybarring, it's 95% technique and 5% expensive product! My only advice is to avoid aggressive claybars (most consumer ones you find will be mild in aggression). Aggressive claybars will almost certainly leave paint marring which will require polishing out and are almost never required unless you're dealing with severe overspray!

    Ok I get it, now how the hell do I use this bluetack looking stuff?

    Most consumer bars come in a 100g size, so the first thing you need to do is split it in two.

    Take a bucket and fill it with hot water, and leave the two 50g bars in the water for a few minutes to warm up. This is key, a cold stiff claybar is almost definitely going to leave marring behind.

    Once the clay is warm, take a piece and kneed it in your hands into a palm sized pancake





    On your chosen panel spray a generous amount of lubricant. Claybar lube can range from spray detailers to a mix of non wax containing shampoo. My current choice is Optimum No Rinse diluted to Quick Detailer ratio, I find it both cost effective and also an excellent lubricant providing good protection and 'glide' for the claybar



    Now take your claybar in your palm and with minimal pressure (NO SCRUBBING) rub the claybar on the surface, ensuring the panel and clay, remain well lubricated. Listen carefully and you should hear a sanding like sound, this is the contaminants being removed. When the sound goes away, this is a good sign that the panel is contaminant free, and ready for a quick visual inspection.



    If your happy with your work, you're ready to move on to the next panel!

    Don't forget to inspect your claybar and re-kneed it after each section, alternating between the two bars resting in the bucket.



    Then tackle each panel until the whole car is done!

    Dont be afraid to also clay your car's glass, the rear glass on the Forfour I recently did was covered in tar!



    Now some people will simply wipe each panel dry as they go, some insist on rewashing the car once done, this is upto you. I generally take a view point on the amount of contaminants removed, simply check how dirty your clay bar is after each section


    Rewash


    Maybe no need to rewash

    So now what?

    Well now you have squeaky clean paintwork, you may choose to use a paint cleaner to tidy up any marring and truly prepare your car for wax/sealant.

    Ultimately, you should wax or seal your paintwork after claying as the pores of the paint are now open and exposed. This will protect your work, preserve the gloss and shine, and make it much harder for dirt to cling and re-bond to the paint!

    I will write a guide on waxing and sealing at some point in the future, but for now I hope this helps!

    As always, if this seems like a lot of work, you can always employ a dashing young detailer to do the hard work for you and leave you with just the fun of admiring your great looking car!!

    Hope you found this helpful

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark84; 07-07-2013 at 11:17 PM.
    For Detailing advice, or to see examples of my work please visit
    www.atten2detail.co.uk
    Essex Detailer | Essex Car Detailing
    www.facebook.com/Atten2Detail
    Don't forget to 'Like' the page


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Southport
    Posts
    1,098
    Mark,
    When you say "listen carefully and you should hear a sanding like sound, this is the contaminants being removed". To me if you can hear a sanding like sounds, then it's probably doing exactly that. Isn't there a chemical method of removing the contaminants without rubbing the paintwork with grit (no, that's not a spelling mistake, lol)?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Essex
    Posts
    502
    Hi XTEN10

    This is the best way to describe the sound.

    The noise is the clay abrading the top layer of bonded contaminants, but the clay 'picks' these up and absorbs them into its surface. If you was to stop mid way and feel the underside if the clay it is always very smooth. This capability is what makes it so ideal!

    Ideally though yes you would use chemicals to do as much as possible first.

    Before I clay, I use a citrus cleaner, wash with a good quality shampoo, then use a detarring agent to remove tar spots, and a deironiser to remove Iron deposits!

    Sorry, the description of that noise isnt the best, but as I say, once the contaminants are removed safely, the noise stop. This indicates not only clean paint but also that the clay is not abrading the panel.

    Trust me, if there was a non touch product to do this instead of clay, me n the rest of the detailing community would be all over it!

    Hope this helps

    Mark
    For Detailing advice, or to see examples of my work please visit
    www.atten2detail.co.uk
    Essex Detailer | Essex Car Detailing
    www.facebook.com/Atten2Detail
    Don't forget to 'Like' the page


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Southport
    Posts
    1,098
    Thanks Mark, that's a very good bolt on to the first post above. If we knew the chemical composition of the contaminants, and the underlying surface then we could go 'scientific', but too much work for minimal benefit, given the claybar technique works. Listening to a repeat of In our Time on the iPlayer, the guests this week of Melvyn Bragg were discussing the mysterious properties of water. Did you know, for instance, that when you touch a surface (material independent to a large extent, unless its ionic, such as table salt) that you're actually touching water. Water on your finger tips too, irrespective how dry you think your hands are, and the surface too is an interface of water, again however dry you think it is. Water always takes the lowest energy state and surface tension needs to be ameliorated, so hence the introduction of the clay bar lube, which I'd imagine does exactly that. I'm not sure about the properties of paint once it's dried, e.g on a car that is 2 years old, but I'd hazard a guess that the interface is water.
    Anyway, keep these helpful guides coming ! Cheers.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Essex
    Posts
    502
    Just hope it helps, I know some are unsure on this topic, but if done right, its very rewarding!
    For Detailing advice, or to see examples of my work please visit
    www.atten2detail.co.uk
    Essex Detailer | Essex Car Detailing
    www.facebook.com/Atten2Detail
    Don't forget to 'Like' the page


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Cape Town (South Africa)
    Posts
    161
    The sand-paper bit is a bit nerve wracking for those using clay for the first time.

    So if you are a newbie to clay and detailing and are scared of the sandpaper noise then fear not. If you follow Marks excellent guide you will immiedetly feel that initially upon contact the clay "sticks" and does not evenly and easily slide on the panel you are claying, with the contaminants removed you will notice the clay slides with minimal effort, the moment you feel a resistance again then you know that section needs more attention.

    Also keep in mind, if you have clay to waste that given the faces of your mag wheels a once over using the same method can be quite rewarding if you have signs of pitting or fading but again I cannot stress enough that you need to wax/seal them afterwards.

    Mike


    Smart Fortwo 600cc - The Matte Black beast in the night!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Norway
    Posts
    2,657
    Just out of interest, MiniFolk, do you clay your matt black finish?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Hertfordshire
    Posts
    194
    just wondering whats the diffrence between using wax and polish?
    Who says you need 200+BHP to have fun?

    Member of the Mad Smartz Club




  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Norway
    Posts
    2,657
    Quote Originally Posted by Diz View Post
    just wondering whats the diffrence between using wax and polish?
    Wax comes from a phase of the moon....polish comes from next to Germany.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Hertfordshire
    Posts
    194
    Ohh and there was me thinking it was something small
    Who says you need 200+BHP to have fun?

    Member of the Mad Smartz Club




Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •