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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So yesterday I attempted to use a Clay Bar for the first time, but I'm not sure I was doing it quite right. I did a regular clean on my car with dish soap, then attempted to clay the car. But the clay kept getting stuck on the car, and left tons of smudges. I was thinking I didn't have it lubricated enough, so I sprayed more of the Meguiar's detailing spray that came with it, but it did the same thing. Am I doing it wrong?

I ended up just wiping it down and doing my normal cleaning with the Croftgate products...
 

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Should work fine, as long as you use enough of the spray.. I wet it down really good . just a small area at a time.. and spray it good.. then clay....
Yes, use a lot of spray. Works great if you do it in small sections with lots of spray.
Maybe too much pressure? You don't need to push down much... just glide it across the surface.
Nice easy strokes, lots of spray for lubricant, and small areas at a time. I do it once a week for different customers that I have(plus my own cars).
All this covers it. If it's sticking you need to get it even more wet. Like dripping.:pP:
 

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if all of the above mentioned is tried w/o success... then maybe it's old clay?? i had this happen to me with a new bar of clay that i found sitting for a couple years and it took me forever to get the clay off using a microfiber towel... it didn't matter how much lube i used either...

if u figure it out, let us know :wavey:
 

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So yesterday I attempted to use a Clay Bar for the first time, but I'm not sure I was doing it quite right. I did a regular clean on my car with dish soap,
I don't have an answer for you on why your clay bar is not working right, but I can tell you that if it is your "Regular cleaning" to use dish soap to wash your car, you should know that you are most likely stripping away any wax or polymer finish by using dish soap instead of a soap designed for car washing.

Now when getting ready to clay bar dish soap would be the thing you want to use and after claying the car you will have a car that has no wax or finish on it and you should immediately put something on it to protect the nice clean paint that you have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I don't have an answer for you on why your clay bar is not working right, but I can tell you that if it is your "Regular cleaning" to use dish soap to wash your car, you should know that you are most likely stripping away any wax or polymer finish by using dish soap instead of a soap designed for car washing.

Now when getting ready to clay bar dish soap would be the thing you want to use and after claying the car you will have a car that has no wax or finish on it and you should immediately put something on it to protect the nice clean paint that you have.
I realize that, and I did put a new coat of wax / paint sealant on the car afterwards.
 

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Well the Clay was just opened... But it had been sitting in the garage in 20º weather...
That'll do it. Mash and fold, mash and fold, mash and fold, over and over until it's warm and pliable.

Even old clay can be used as long as it's clean. If you drop it, or it touches the ground at all, I'd toss it. It will pick up rocks and grit and scratch your paint.
 

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I just did about 80% of my car with the Meguiars clay bar kit, and so far am very pleased with the results. It is just like wetsanding, you have to use plenty of quick detailer for lubrication at all times.

I also recommend using only half of a clay bar at a time, in case you drop it... I lost my first bar doing one of the rear quarter panels, then decided to split the second bar and make it thinner, which actually helps make it more pliable to some of the contours on the car.

Plan to spend about 4 hours on this altogether, if youre as meticulous as I am.
 

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Just finished claying my CRZ in 48 degree weather this weekend (Boston). Worked perfectly well. This is the 5th or 6th car I have used a clay bar on as a new car (I tend to clay again every 2 years afterwards). I have used Mothers and Meguiars bars and have not noticed any difference. As stated above, I used Dawn for the very first wash to get the crap off the car that the dealership put on. Most of the time I request the dealer to not do anything to the car in fear of them putting swirl marks on clear coat.

So you have a sticky bar? This is most likely from not using enough lubricant or using your dishwashing soap as a lubiricant. In the past I have used detailing spray for a lubricant, but found that to be costly. I am a diehard believer in Zaino products and I use their Z7 car wash soap for my claying. I think any true car wash soap would work as well.

After cleaning the car with Dawn, I liberally wet a 2x2 foot panel with the car wash soap. then I gently clay back and forth multiple times until it gets smooth and silky. the very first clay motions will be a bit sticky with crap on the paint surface. For the CR-Z, I found the front quarter panels to be the dirtiest. You should hear a lot of slight clicking sounds (best I can describe in words, sorry) as the clay removes the depostis from the paint surface. After a few seconds, you should not hear any more clikcing and the clay bar should move very smoothly over the paint. then move to the next section.

I can't stress how much of a difference the clay made. I forgot to clay one part of the car - the 4" wide panel above the door that runs along the roof. When I went to polish that area it was noticeably less smooth than the areas I clayed previously.
 

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Just finished claying my CRZ in 48 degree weather this weekend (Boston). Worked perfectly well. This is the 5th or 6th car I have used a clay bar on as a new car (I tend to clay again every 2 years afterwards). I have used Mothers and Meguiars bars and have not noticed any difference. As stated above, I used Dawn for the very first wash to get the crap off the car that the dealership put on. Most of the time I request the dealer to not do anything to the car in fear of them putting swirl marks on clear coat.

So you have a sticky bar? This is most likely from not using enough lubricant or using your dishwashing soap as a lubiricant. In the past I have used detailing spray for a lubricant, but found that to be costly. I am a diehard believer in Zaino products and I use their Z7 car wash soap for my claying. I think any true car wash soap would work as well.

After cleaning the car with Dawn, I liberally wet a 2x2 foot panel with the car wash soap. then I gently clay back and forth multiple times until it gets smooth and silky. the very first clay motions will be a bit sticky with crap on the paint surface. For the CR-Z, I found the front quarter panels to be the dirtiest. You should hear a lot of slight clicking sounds (best I can describe in words, sorry) as the clay removes the depostis from the paint surface. After a few seconds, you should not hear any more clikcing and the clay bar should move very smoothly over the paint. then move to the next section.

I can't stress how much of a difference the clay made. I forgot to clay one part of the car - the 4" wide panel above the door that runs along the roof. When I went to polish that area it was noticeably less smooth than the areas I clayed previously.
This man know what's up w/ clay! :thumbsup: It's so amazing to me that a bit of clay and some lubricant (I use dishsoapy water) can do. There's nothing better than a freshly clayed car.

I do mine every 8 months to a year, though. I wash once a month with a quick wax. Do you find every 2 years better for a particular reason?
 

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I think you certainly can do it sooner than every 2 yrs. For my Mustangs, I never drove them in winter or whenever there was salt on the road - only good weather. So it took about 2 years until I felt there was enough deposits on top of my 6-8 layers of Zaino. I think the clay will strip off any prior wax and probably some layers of Zaino polish, so I did the claying sparingly because it brings you back to step 1. On my wife's Ford Edge, that is just a big car and so I don't look forward to claying that every year :cry:

For my CR-Z that is now my daily commuter car. I may end up claying every year, but I need to see what the surface looks like down the road. It certainly is a small enough car that claying was not a big chore.

I really like the curves on the body panels of the CR-Z. Once these CR-Zs are clayed and polished the curves really reflect the light in different shades.
 

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I think you certainly can do it sooner than every 2 yrs. For my Mustangs, I never drove them in winter or whenever there was salt on the road - only good weather. So it took about 2 years until I felt there was enough deposits on top of my 6-8 layers of Zaino. I think the clay will strip off any prior wax and probably some layers of Zaino polish, so I did the claying sparingly because it brings you back to step 1. On my wife's Ford Edge, that is just a big car and so I don't look forward to claying that every year :cry:

For my CR-Z that is now my daily commuter car. I may end up claying every year, but I need to see what the surface looks like down the road. It certainly is a small enough car that claying was not a big chore.

I really like the curves on the body panels of the CR-Z. Once these CR-Zs are clayed and polished the curves really reflect the light in different shades.
Ok, I see. I only wax my old Camaro every 2 or so years. But it's a weekend/1/4 mile car. It does get nasty rubber from race days on the rear 1/4 panels.
 

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Time for me to clay...Trudy is just begging for it!

This thread is quite old, VERY informative. If there is any new advice, it would be appreciated!

 
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