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To Clay or Not to Clay ?

Discussion in 'Detailing - Sponsored by Slim's Detailing' started by Pushed, Apr 30, 2014.

  1. Pushed

    Pushed Member

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    Hi,

    Long weekend coming up so thought I would go for the full attempt at a detail - mainly to add some protection as I did not buy the 'Lifeshine Protection' at the dealers...

    Anyway, car is 3 weeks old, Brilliant Black A3 SB.

    Have all the Snow Foam, Lance, Wash mitt, 2 buckets, shampoo, Poorboys Black hole and Natty Blue Paste, Megs Endurance tyre gel and applicator, AG Fast Glass, AG Wheel Sealant, Monster Purple drying towel, multiple microfibre towels and sponge applicator pads.

    Have just purchased:

    Car Pro Iron X LS
    Valet Pro Ultra Fine Clay
    Auto Finesse Clay Glide Lube


    Purchased the clay after reading many forums, but forgot to search for the main question: Is it safe to clay a Black car?

    Since ordering have found many that say that there is a high risk of marring, so I am slighty nervous now about using it.


    Questions:

    As the car is only 3 weeks old is it even worth claying it ?

    And if it is safe to do so have I got the right clay?

    Can I use the clay on all the windows and wheels without issues?

    When is it best to use the iron X ? before/after snow or wash ?


    Sorry for all the questions... just want to make sure I do not do any further damage to the car ... the missus has already kerbed an alloy after 1 week :sob:
     
  2. the_cueball

    the_cueball Active Member

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    1) colour makes no difference to clay - it's not racist.
    2) marring comes from too much pressure, too little lube, and not cleaning/turning the clay over.
    3) always worth claying, your car has had a long journey through industrial lands to get to you.
    4) clay is all much of a muchness...so yes.
    5) yes clay can be used on windows and wheels.
    6) I use iron dissolver first, then tar remover then clay - and all after the snow and washing of the car.

    :thumb:
     
  3. Phil-1

    Phil-1 Well-Known Member
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    As above. I used a clay mitt last month on mine, I preferred it as I normally end up dropping the clay.

    Wash first, 2 buckets
    Iron/ tar remover
    Wash again
    Clay
    Wash
    Polish
    Then it's up to you, wax or seal
     
    Woody86 likes this.
  4. Dave-S3

    Dave-S3 Active Member

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    Get some decent wheel sealant, the AG stuff is cack!

    IronX after the wash, you might find it brings all the contamination out so no need to clay, if the paintwork feels like glass all over after a wash and ironX then you won't need to bother claying, or if you do, it won't take you long!

    I do Wash including wheels.
    decontaminate (if necessary),
    Polish,
    wax/seal or seal then wax if you want to do both.
    then seal/wax the wheels, exhaust tips etc and clean all glass bits and bobs. Then finally add tyre black and black to black!

    The fast glass is only a cleaner it doesn't really offer any sort of protection, since the cars new i would clean the glass then add some protection such as the G Technic glass sealant kit.

    Im still undecided on a wheel sealant, people recommend the poor boys stuff but then others say it only lasts a week or two, one thing i do know is that the AG stuff isn't very good, alot of their other stuff is okay for amateur works as its easy to use but once you start trying other products you realise theres better ones out there sometimes for less or the same money!

    Happy detailing!
     
    #4 Dave-S3, Apr 30, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2014
  5. the_cueball

    the_cueball Active Member

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    if you are using both a wax and sealant, the sealant always, always goes on the paint first, then wax on top.

    when layering any protection, you start with the longest lasting.

    :icon_thumright:
     
  6. Dave-S3

    Dave-S3 Active Member

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    Bang on, sorry, i need to change that! haha
     
  7. Veneeringman

    Veneeringman I've come here to chew bubble gum and kick ass
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    I clayed the RS3 before machine polishing can't believe how contaminated the paintwork was !! image.jpg
     
  8. Pushed

    Pushed Member

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    Thanks all for your help.

    Will check the paint after the iron x and the wash and might try to clay a small inconspicuous area to see what comes off if anything before deciding to do the whole car.

    I was looking at getting FK1000P for the wheels - or can someone suggest a reasonably priced sealant for the wheels.. AG was only £6 so you get what you pay for I suppose..
     
  9. wxc

    wxc Member

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    I would be very cautious about using a clay bar as it WILL cause micromarring of some sort to any paint surface. Have a look at the link below on autogeeks, page 6 and see what Mike Phillips (the detailing guru over in the US) says about using clay bars. The general consensus is - only clay if you follow up with a polishing step afterwards to tidy up any marring caused by the clay bar process.

    I learnt this the hard way on my white a3, using a fine clay bar and it marred the hell out of my front bonnet after the Sahara dessert dust pollution we had over here in the UK. A single stage polish was the only way to take them out.

    Can clay barring cause scratches on a new car? - Page 6 - Auto Geek Online Auto Detailing Forum

    Please proceed with caution! if you're not polishing afterwards, then avoid using a clay bar.. just decontaminate your car with chemicals rather then physically removing them.
     
  10. wxc

    wxc Member

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    View attachment 32755

    Hope you can see, the marring caused on the left side of the photo, it pained me to see this so I don't wish this on anyone. Just be informed, if you clay - you should ideally follow up with a polishing step.
     
  11. AlexA4Avant

    AlexA4Avant Active Member

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    I have never clayed a car it seems a lot of hassle and cause a lot of extra work when a decent polish avoids this and gets the same result like a glass finish
     
  12. Pushed

    Pushed Member

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    Yep sorry to say I can see it :( - would stick out even more on solid black - thanks.

    Will keep the clay for wheels and windows only.

    Thanks for the help.

    So hopefully all I have left to get is a wheel sealant and some fabric protector... I just better not tell the other half... spent far too much already LOL
     
  13. the_cueball

    the_cueball Active Member

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    sorry mate, but that is caused by poor technique not by claying well... bad technique and poor use of tools shouldn't be blamed on the products.

    sounds like you never washed the car properly and it still had sand on it, which you then rubbed into the paint.

    my S4 after washing and claying... not a mark on it.

    [​IMG]


    claying isn't dangerous, and it doesn't always cause even the slightest marring - if done correctly and safely.
     
    #13 the_cueball, May 1, 2014
    Last edited: May 1, 2014
  14. wxc

    wxc Member

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    I should clarify then for arguments sake, that the car has been detailed meticulously before by myself, i've hand washed with the 2 bucket method and started claying with detailing lube, in my instance, the freshly chopped clay bar I used was too aggressive and that caused the marring on that small patch alone. Using an ultra-fine clay bar was no good as it wasn't removing the contaminants. Either ways, you can't deny that the fact still remains when you're physically rubbing a clay bar against the paintwork - you are dragging contaminants across the interface between the clay and paint. And however careful you are as Mike Phillips states on Autogeeks, scratches can still happen with a clay bar.

    As mentioned above by Pushed, feel free to clay a small portion of the car and see if that causes any marring, if it doesn't then feel free to proceed with the rest of the car. Personally, I would never clay a car without preceding this with a polishing step.
     
  15. the_cueball

    the_cueball Active Member

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    so we've went from you trying to cause worry into someone wanting to clay a car by telling them
    to admitting you caused it yourself by using poor choices in what you were trying to do
    A bit of a difference there, but glad we got that cleared up for the person asking for help, now maybe he can make an informed decision.

    :icon_thumright:
     
  16. Brodster

    Brodster Shark Performance in Scotland
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    With new clay mitts you can clay-bar a whole car in 15/20 mins. The polish alone will struggle to remove contamination on a badly tarred car and as said before if the clay is used the correct way and with lube then no damage to the paintwork will incur especially if you use one of the new mitts.
     
  17. the_cueball

    the_cueball Active Member

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    The new style mitts are great... What one do you use?

    I currently have the Chemical guys Yellow and Blue ones.... after my normal snow foam, 2BW, decon... I then snow foam the car again, and wash/clay using a new shampoo bucket and the mitt...

    So quick and easy, I don't think I'll pick up a clay bar again!
     
  18. AlexA4Avant

    AlexA4Avant Active Member

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    Can you post the link to the clay mitts and what is different about them?
     
  19. Pushed

    Pushed Member

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    Thanks for all the advice.

    After snow foam, wash, iron-x, wash the paint felt smooth, so decided this time not to clay.

    After Megs Crystal Shine polish, poor boys black hole, and 2 x Nattys blue paste it came up lovely.

    Then it rained :(. But at least I got to see the beading.. Smallest water beads I have ever seen on car.. And at about 40 a 50mph the water just flew off the car.

    I did try the clay on a hidden part of the car with no marring, so feel more confident next time to actually clay the car.

    Thanks again all.
     
  20. lee_fr200

    lee_fr200 Active Member

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    This!

    In the last 4 weeks I've done a black range rover and a brand new rrsport and flayed them not a single bit of marring on either car!

    Too much pressure with not enough lube causes marring!
     
    Brodster likes this.
  21. Scoobycarl1

    Scoobycarl1 Member

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    I work in a bodyshop and we do some paint correction sometimes but also when we are denibbing fresh clear coat after painting most of the problems we see on dark colours are often caused from a dusty environment and bits of tiny grit can easy come out of door gaps,if a car has some particles drop on it or blown on it after wash then its easy to drag that dirt over the paint finish even when claying !

    I have just bought a polyshave clay cloth has anyone used one of these as i have not tried it yet ?
     
  22. Brodster

    Brodster Shark Performance in Scotland
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    Never used a Polyshave clay cloth.........but I have used a Mainz Car Care clay cloth and clay mitt and both great and quick at what they do if used properly. Cant fault them.
     
  23. Scoobycarl1

    Scoobycarl1 Member

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    Yea i have read they are quicker than a bar and easier to use ! What lube do you use parden the pun lol can you use a mix of water and a good brand wash n wax or is it better with a speed detailer ?
     
  24. Brodster

    Brodster Shark Performance in Scotland
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    Can sometimes be a topic of debate this one. I use a quick detailer as it works for me. Some others use a clay lube as thats what its designed for but thats their decision. As long as its used with some kind of lube to stop dragging on the panel and to stop marring then I see no reason at all for not using something that works. There isnt a 'MUST USE' product as QD and wash n wax both work.
     
  25. Scoobycarl1

    Scoobycarl1 Member

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    Cool i may try some wash n wax mixed with water on an are that will get compounding anyways to see how that works mate
     

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