Clay ???? - Alfa Romeo Forum
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Clay ????

Hi All,

I've seen loads of threads on here about this, they go into the "this one is best" or this "this is how you do it" or "make sure you don't do this"................ All very helpful, I'm sure.......

........... But I can't see a difinitive answer to the 64 thousand dollar question...........

I was thinking of giving it a go (I'm not real big on car cleaning........... Generally prefer the "Illegal Immigant" car wash)..........

But will the result really be worth all that effort ????? ................

Cheers to All
Peter
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I think so I'll only do it once or twice a year though. Did it last week and it does leave the car looking much shinier, and the surface feels noticeably smoother even before waxing it.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Green_Rizla View Post
Hi All,

I've seen loads of threads on here about this, they go into the "this one is best" or this "this is how you do it" or "make sure you don't do this"................ All very helpful, I'm sure.......

........... But I can't see a difinitive answer to the 64 thousand dollar question...........

I was thinking of giving it a go (I'm not real big on car cleaning........... Generally prefer the "Illegal Immigant" car wash)..........

But will the result really be worth all that effort ????? ................

Cheers to All
Peter
I will let you know next weekend. I have ordered some, as my paint has gone pretty shabby and I have a scratch down the side.

I spent nearly 3 hours yesterday washing the car and going over it with autoglym tar remover to try and get off the film that has built up from the brakes, and next week will use the clay and then polish.
 
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I dont think claying take much time at all. The result is truely worth it though. The bodywork is just so smooth. I love that feeling.
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It is amazing stuff. I clayed the offices 9 year old Bravo last Christmas. Before the paint felt like fine grade wet and dry paper, but within minutes, it felt completely smooth. Be careful, as too much pressure can marr the paint, and make sure you use plenty of lubricant.
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Clay all the way!

This really short video let's you in on all you need to know.

YouTube - Clay Bar Paint Cleansing by Car care Products
 
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Yeah claying is worth it but id really prefer to pay someone else to do it as it is a little labour intensive - unless youve got a lot of free time and see detailing as a hobby.
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Peter, in reply to your question I would ask a question back:

Why do you want to clay? You say you are not into car cleaning and prefer to use illegal car washes, then you are probably not going to get much out of claying.

It is not going to make your car more shiny.
It is not going to get rid of scratches

All that it is going to do is lift bonded contaminants off the surface leaving the paintwork smooth and ready for further work. Note it will remove any wax or sealant that was previously applied, so it is quite likely to make the paint dull. You will need to polish and wax after claying.

Claying is not a magical cure all, it is merely one step in the detailing process. Good detailers follow up claying with paint correction using a machine, then polish and finally wax or a sealant to protect the surface. 90% of valet shops don't clay cos they cant be bothered, it takes too long and they go straight into correction mode.

Claying is fun and rewarding, especially if the surface is rough, as you can FEEL the difference. It is not hard to do but requires a bit of patience and you need to be methodical. If you wash your car regularly and wax 3 or 4 times a year, then claying should not be required more than once per annum.
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I use the clay before correction to remove any particles that might then end up in the compound later and give me more work to polish out!
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Usually the clay bars come in fairly large sizes. So to make the most, cut them into smaller pieces. Once moist and warmed up in your hand it feels like putty. Make sure the clay stays soft and moist and ensure the panel you're claying is also wet. I use the clay in smallish circles then fold over to get a new clean section.

A good test to see if you should clay the car is to run your hand over each panel after you've washed and dried the car. If it needs claying, you will find the panel is rough - as though there's sand on it. Claying will remove the contaminants as well as things like brake dust and oil/

I always recommend claying the car before waxing - you don't want to be adding a nice layer of (expensive) wax on bodywork that isn't clean.
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Yep, its wash, clay, quick wash or rinse then polish and seal\wax for a good finish. I clayed and waxed at the beginnning of this summer and it made cleaning a hell of a lot easier and when it looks like there will be a couple of decent dry days I'm planning on doing the full clay, polish, wax again.

That being said, if you are quite happy to take your car to one of those car park handwash places there isn't much point. They tend to used detergent mixes so strong it strips any wax you have on straight off and leaves the paint open to the elements again.
 
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I echo what springbok says. You only need to clay once a year IF you wash and wax on a regular basis. A good number of wax layers helps prevent nearly all of the contaminents from bonding. My car was clayed in march and still feels as smooth as a babies bum! I do give the car a hand polish somewhere in the middle of all this waxing though just to get the shine back.

The other thing is that it's inevitable that you will induce marring by claying. So you don't want to be doing too often because your just creating more work for yourself. And nothing looks worse than swirl marks and holograms.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cj romeo View Post
I use the clay before correction to remove any particles that might then end up in the compound later and give me more work to polish out!
What is this correction process, whats involved here?
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Correction means removing a microscopic layer and thus "correcting" swirls, minor scratches and imperfections. It is the technical term for polishing (as opposed to waxing). It is achieved using a machine polisher, either a rotary or a dual action, with a pad and a compound. By varying the grade of pad and the cutting strength of the compound you can achive a high level of shine.

Look at this pic of the lambo bonnet. The left side is uncorrected and the right side is after correction
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