Where to Buy a Detailing Clay Bar

January 27, 2012

A detailing clay bar is used in the auto detailing process to clean the car's clearcoat paint layer of particles that cannot be removed with a quick hosing. To use a detailing clay bar, you must wet the car's paint with detailing clay lubricant, then rub the clay all over your car. Because the clay is so sticky, it will remove contaminants from the tiny abrasions and scratches on the surface of the paint.

Buying a Detailing Clay Bar
Are available in many locations. You could try department stores like Sears or Wal-Mart, but if you don't find any bars there, any local car washes or body shops are sure to have them. Alternatively, you could search the Internet for detailing clay bars for sale. Simply typing "detailing clay bars" into the Google search box will yield countless online businesses that can send you a detailing clay bar. Remember that you must use detailing clay lubricant in order to properly clean with the clay bar, so you will have to buy that as well.

What Kind of Cars Need a Detailing Clay Bar?

In order to decide if your car's finish requires a clay bar, it helps to know exactly how a clay bar works.

How a Clay Bar Works
A clay bar is made of a synthetic polymer that resembles oil clay. They are available in a variety of grit levels. On a properly lubricated surface, this clay-like substance envelops contaminants as it glides over them, shearing them from the paints finish and enveloping them so they can no longer harm your car. A car that has been properly detailed with a clay bar will have a smooth and silky feel when you run your hand or a soft cloth over it. Whereas a car that is in need of a clay bar may have a rough or bumpy texture. If you run your hand over your car's finish and it is not perfectly smooth, your car likely requires a clay bar.

Uses for Clay Bars
Clay bars are best used for the removal of contaminants such as airborne metal particles, tar, bird droppings and other tiny particles that may not be visible to the naked eye, but can be easily felt on the paint's surface. These particles can cause long term damage, such as surface rust, and can help to accelerate oxidation and paint damage by slowly breaking down while lodged in your paint's surface. By removing them with the shearing action of a clay bar, you can seal the paint and prevent any additional harm.

Unsuitable Uses for Clay Bars
Clay bars can help maintain a healthy finish, but they will not work miracles. If your paint finish has extensive signs of damage such as deep scratches, flaking, bubbling, or an oxidized clear coat, a clay bar will not help. Clay bars are strictly for removing contaminants lodged in your clear coat or paint layers, and not for restoring a new finish to a damaged one. Because of this, owners may be disappointed by a lack of results in these cases.

It is vital when using a clay bar, that you never reuse one that has been dropped on the ground. Regularly fold over and knead the clay during use to help keep any absorbed particles from damaging the finish during subsequent use. Always use a lubricating agent such as detailing solution when using a clay bar. They may scratch or scuff the paint finish if used dry.