Jumat, 04 Juli 2014

How To Use a Clay Bar Correctly?

It was Saturday morning and I had just finished picking up some groceries with the kids at the supermarket. I had arranged to meet my wife at a local playground so that my 3 boys could blow-off some steam before heading home for lunch.

It was there in the car park that I saw a man trying to clay-bar his own car. Two things struck me as strange. Firstly as I have been based in Switzerland for the last 15 years I have almost never seen a person work on their car and here was a guy trying to clay bar! That was fantastic.

Secondly he was trying very unsuccessfully to clay bar his car. I couldn't help myself, I had to introduce myself and offer him a few pointers.

It turned out that he was an American living in Switzerland and he was preparing the rear spoiler so that he could foil it. He had learnt from the Internet that before applying foil that the paint surface needs to be decontaminated with a clay-bar. Correct! But what the forum failed to tell him was what is a Clay-Bar and how to use it correctly?

So what is a Clay Bar?

In the 1980s, some very clever people in Japan invented the Clay-Bar. Car manufacturers were searching for a way to quickly remove overspray from freshly painted cars without having to resort wet sanding. Today it is unthinkable for a professional detailer not to use a Clay-Bar.

Decontaminating the paint.

When a car is driven or even parked outside, it tends to pick up some very nasty dirt particles such as hot brake dust, iron particles from rail tracks, road tar even dirty rain can etch itself into the paint. In the detailing world we call this 'contamination' and to remove contaminates is a very important step that I will try to clarify without sending you to sleep.

Dirt particles embed themselves deeply into the clear coat. Washing the car will not remove these partials. It's very important to remove the contamination before polishing as if you don't you will end up with more hairline scratches.

Let me explain. Imagine a tiny little grain of sand stuck to the surface of the paint. If you don't remove that grain of sand and you go over it with a polishing machine that is spinning at 1'500 revs per minuet. That grit will get caught in the pad and scratch the surface in lovely circular motions. Just like sand paper. Ouch!

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