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tried the ''claying'' once wayyyyyyy back when paint was new and thought it wasn't worth bother - yes i could feel difference on the section but.......

NOW that i've got a buncha years on the paint job figure - time to learn this CLAY CLEANING - BEFORE i layer on some new SHINE......:thumbs:

IF YUH GOT A LINK OR SOME HINDSIGHT ...all ears here....... if yuh did more harm than good -:willy: haha tell me now
CAN'T WAIT for SPRING !!....... time to change the oil and get my ''detailing'' ON......
:grouphug:........... STILL HERE .........poke my head in once in a while.......

happy valentine day to all my advice gurus n mentors
 

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Absolutely, positively do NOT clay when the paint is hot! Wash your car extremely well, from top to bottom first. Ensure that the paint is cool to the touch, and remains so from start to finish. Pay attention to the instructions on when to discard the clay and move to the next chunk.

I prefer Mother's or Meguiar's, but there are many good ones out there.
 

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Last purchase from autogeek was Pinnacle Ultra Poly clay and I was impressed with it - didn't think there would be much of a difference in clays but it was noticeably easier to work with and felt stickier than some I'd used in the past.

As bb stated, wash well and be sure it's cool and in the shade. I've used a couple of different clay lubes but couldn't recommend one over the other. I always use a front to back straight line motion with light pressure at first and gradually increasing. Work the clay frequently to keep contaminants you've removed buried. Wipe clean with a microfiber towel.

And remember, once you've clayed you don't have any protection on the paint! If you have imperfections and own a dual action polisher, now's the time to use swirl remover/polish. Then follow up with a good wax - again using front to back motions, not circular (this is how we end up with swirl marks in the first place.) I usually let the wax harden for a couple of days and follow that with a synthetic paint sealant. Really helps the shine to last.
 

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Mother's pack is reasonably cheap ($20 or less) and available all over, incl Wallymart. Comes with the clay, detailer spray and microfiber cloth. Clay seems to work exactly the same as the Griot's that I have.

Break off just enough clay to work with, and refold the clay constantly as you work (to bury the surface impurities). Make sure the car is CLEAN before you start, but you don't need to dry it as the clay works when wet and you'll have to wash the car again when you're finished anyway.
 

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We have used the Meguiers Clay bar here often (on sale when we bought it) and it works great also. The biggest thing is to make sure to keep the surface wet when using it, we use Prima Slick when doing the clay bar on the car and it comes out smooth as a baby's behind.

Make sure to put some kind of protection back on the paint after, and like stated before, make sure the car paint is not hot, and keep it wet.
 

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Plenty of good advice here. I'll add if you drop the bar do not continue to use it. It will have probably picked up some crap that will do more harm than good. By that same token kneading the clay often helps a lot.
 

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Plenty of good advice here. I'll add if you drop the bar do not continue to use it. It will have probably picked up some crap that will do more harm than good. By that same token kneading the clay often helps a lot.
Keeping that in mind, I rip my clay car in 1/3s... that way, if I drop it I've only dropped part of it.
 

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Indeed. Dropped clay = done.

If you're really fanatical about your finish (like I'm beginning to become) you should make sure your garage bay is clean before you start to wash/clay/polish/wax/seal. It's bothering me this winter because I need to clean my garage but with the snow and slop outside I can't pull the Solstice out. I refuse to push a broom and kick up the dust and dirt while it's parked inside.

And no, I don't have OCD.

I have CDO. It's like OCD but it's in alphabetical order - the way it's SUPPOSED to be.
 

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I think most have covered it. Claying is the worst part of detailing in my opinion, it's hard work to do it right and can be very time consuming. If you clay the car generally twice a year it makes life a lot easier.

Clay is clay for the most part. One company owns the patent on auto clay so regardless of who is selling it your'e buying the same thing (there is different "roughness's" of clay but most of what you get in the store is mild).

Probably the best video Ive seen is by the Junkman, the man knows what he's talking about and his results speak for themselves

 

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I think most have covered it. Claying is the worst part of detailing in my opinion, it's hard work to do it right and can be very time consuming. If you clay the car generally twice a year it makes life a lot easier.
Clay shouldn't be THAT hard of work. You're not putting pressure on it (or you'll just scratch the paint up)... you just gliding the clay across the surface.

Now, if you've never clayed the car before and it's got a lot of bonded contaminants (damn, I'm hanging out with the detailing people too much), then it'll be more work the first time (it won't glide as easily and you'll be folding and replacing the clay a lot more)
 

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It's okay Matt. Come to the dark side . . .
What dark side? I clay my car once a year and it ain't that hard... (Dude, you have NO idea how many Meguiar's products I have in my garage. I have 4 cars and can't go thru all this stuff...)
 

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What dark side? I clay my car once a year and it ain't that hard... (Dude, you have NO idea how many Meguiar's products I have in my garage. I have 4 cars and can't go thru all this stuff...)
lol! I hear ya bro. My collection keeps growing and growing...
 

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Clay shouldn't be THAT hard of work. You're not putting pressure on it (or you'll just scratch the paint up)... you just gliding the clay across the surface.

Now, if you've never clayed the car before and it's got a lot of bonded contaminants (damn, I'm hanging out with the detailing people too much), then it'll be more work the first time (it won't glide as easily and you'll be folding and replacing the clay a lot more)
There's various techniques to get the job done. Gliding it is fine but depending on contamination it could take forever. Scratching should never happen as long as you use enough detail spray and you fold over used clay. I've never scratched a car by claying regardless of light or heavy pressure. Gliding will take more work in the end to get everything off and the car perfect.
 

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There's various techniques to get the job done. Gliding it is fine but depending on contamination it could take forever. Scratching should never happen as long as you use enough detail spray and you fold over used clay. I've never scratched a car by claying regardless of light or heavy pressure. Gliding will take more work in the end to get everything off and the car perfect.
My info comes from the lead instructor at Meguiars. You should never use anything more than light pressure with clay
 

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My info comes from the lead instructor at Meguiars. You should never use anything more than light pressure with clay
Okay and my info comes from one of the best known instructors in the detailing world who just does it as a hobby but has shown amazing results time after time. Lets turn this into a pissing match of my instructor can beat your instructor up. Now that we all feel better about our sources being justified, as I've said before there's many ways to achieve the same result (same with washing a car/polishing a car/waxing a car). As long as the end result is good, none are wrong as long as you follow that persons info correctly.

Light pressure will work if you want to spend a lot of time doing it, putting some effort into it will also work and it works much faster. Whatever technique you elect to do you need to make sure you follow the proper steps for that technique and it will work. Both my daily driver and my Solstice are dark and I have yet to scratch or damage the finish from claying the way I've been taught. If you use heavier pressure you can get the job done quicker but you need to use a LOT of detail spray and make sure the clay is clean.

One note to add, if you do the bag test, most people I've seen who use light pressure never get the car perfect because they don't go over it enough times or take enough time to get it perfect. Now if you polish a car that's not clayed perfect you'll be polishing whatever is left, and that will damage the cars finish.

Again, this is just one method, everybody you talk to will probably do things slightly different. What's important is you find a technique that you've seen work, you trust that technique and you follow the steps exactly how you are taught them.
 
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