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Make Your Car’s Paint Great Again!

Alex Kroeze

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Categories: DIY Car Care

How clay barring can make a difference in your car's appearance.

Background Information:

The exterior of a vehicle undertakes all the abuse of our roads and environment. Our vehicle’s paint has pores like our skin that can absorb particles, and sometimes they get clogged. If you feel your car after a car wash you may notice that there is still a gritty texture to the surface. That is because even if you washed your car every day, you would never be able to get rid of the dirt and grime that is hiding inside your paint. If you are looking for something new to help keep your car not only looking good, but also obtain a smooth finish, then clay barring may be worth giving a chance.

Experience Information:

What is clay barring? Auto Detailers use a clay to lift and remove contaminants that are embedded in the car’s paint. When most people think of car detailing, they think of the long and tedious process of compounding, polishing, and waxing. But you can clay bar your car in a short amount of time and as often as you wish or even use it in preparation for polishing or waxing. By adding clay barring to your car washing method, you can save the look and longevity of your paint and keep your car looking like new.

Supplies needed:

Clay Bar Kit (Use Lubricant in kit that is safe for the clay bar and paint or water. Soap may deteriorate the clay)
Microfiber cloth (if not included in the kit)


Thoroughly wash your car to remove loose dirt and make sure paint is as clean as possible.

How to Use a Clay Bar:

Focus on one panel at a time. Begin by spraying the surface and the clay bar. Take your clay bar and go over the entire panel in side to side motions. Do not go in circles as it can potentially cause scratches and swirl marks. Keep the surface lubricated. When the clay bar looks clogged with too much dirt, flip the clay bar to a new clean section so you can continue to remove dirt rather than moving the dirt around. Once you are done, wipe down the panel.
You will know when you are done with an area of your car by the sound of the clay bar. You should feel some resistance and hear the dirt (almost like sand paper) when moving over the surface as it is picking up contaminants. Keep going over the area until the noise is gone and you can feel that the clay bar has little to no resistance when moving and the surface is smooth. Now admire the results.

In this video, see what a difference clay barring made on this Mercedes.