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Posted: Aug 27 2007, 10:31 AM
Group: WAC Member
Member No.: 7
Joined: 27-January 05
1. How do I know when I need to clay?
After you wash and dry your car, run the palm and fingertips of your clean hand across the top surfaces. Don't be surprised if what you feel is rough and bumpy. The roughness you feel is the presence of harmful environmental bonded contaminants such as over-spay, fallout, brake dust, tree sap mist and more that have bonded to your paint finish. Most of these contaminants will wash right off if immediately addressed, however, others bond to the finish and week by week, if not dealt with, will gradually mask and blur the reflection. To remove these bonded contaminants and bring back that "smooth-as-glass" finish, this will require an extra step, prior to polishing and waxing, commonly referred to as "claying". By utilizing Meguiar's Smooth Surface Clay Kit, you can, in less than 30 minutes, clay an entire vehicle, giving it back that "smooth-as-glass" feelů and properly preparing that surface for a quality coat of wax. By doing this, your car will not only feel incredible, it will ensure the wax that you apply is able will be able to function properly.
2. How often should I clay?
There is no definitive schedule that can be applied to all cars. Many factors play into how often claying is recommended for your vehicle (where your car is stored, how often you wash it, what environmental elements are in your area, etc). However, you can easily determine for yourself how often to clay by performing a simple test. Every time you wash or Quik Detail your vehicle, run the palm and fingertips of your clean hand across the top surfaces. If you feel a rough, bumpy surface, it is time for you to clay. Depending on the mix of factors that affect your vehicle, you could benefit from claying as often as weekly to as rarely as once a year.
3. How many uses can I get out of each clay bar?
The life cycle of clay is limited. The best way to tell when it is time to get a new piece of clay is to check the color and texture of the piece you are working with. As you rub the clay bar across the surface of your paint, you are picking up bonded contaminants. After some time, you "fill up" the clay with these particulates. You can tell when the clay is "full" because it will have a darkish color and the clay might begin to feel rough to the touch. Another time to switch to a new piece of clay is if you accidentally drop the piece you are working with. When clay hits the garage floor, it will pick up large dirt particles from the floor, which can in turn scratch your vehicle if you continue using the clay. When your clay bar is "full" or has been dropped, we recommend you throw away that piece and utilize new piece of clay to avoid scratching the surface of your paint.
4. Do I clay before waxing?
Bonded contaminants prevent a freshly waxed surface from reflecting light and shining to its full potential and also repel the adhesion of car wax. If you determine that your finish is not smooth-as-glass by feeling the surface after a wash, you should consider claying prior to polishing or waxing. By prepping the surface properly, with clay your paint cleaners, polishes and waxes will perform at a higher level.
5. What is the best lubricant to use for claying?
For best results, Meguiar's Quik Detailer is the recommended lubricant to use while claying a vehicle. Quik Detailer contains lubricating agents that safely enable the clay bar to glide across the surface of your paint, removing bonding contaminants with the least elbow grease. Some might advocate the use of water as a lubricant, but water alone does not have the lubrication agents that a spray detailer product will have, and will therefore compromise the ease with which your clay moves across the paint surface. We've packaged a 16 ounce bottle of Quik Detailer in the Smooth Surface Clay Kit to provide you with everything you need to effectively clay your car in one system.
6. Does clay remove wax?
Yes, while clay is designed to remove above surface bonded contaminants, clay will also remove some wax protection from the surface. We strongly recommend following the claying process with a coat of wax for maximum gloss and protection.
7. Does clay remove scratches and swirls?
No, clay does not remove scratches and swirls. Keep in mind, scratches, swirls, oxidation and stains are all imperfections that are below the surface and require a specialized paint cleaner such as ScratchX or Deep Crystal Paint Cleaner. Clay, on the other hand, is designed specifically for above surface bonded contaminants, such as tree sap mist, industrial fallout, over-spray and road tar. It is important to evaluate your surface to determine which method of imperfection correction your paint may require. In some cases your vehicle may require the use of both clay and paint cleaners for optimal results.
8. How do I store clay?
Clay needs to be stored in a cool, dry place in order to keep it clean and fresh. Between claying sessions, we recommend storing your clay in the plastic case provided in our Smooth Surface Clay Kit. Simply mist the clay with Meguiar's Quik Detailer, place the piece of remaining clay in the storage container, and close the lid tightly. Be sure to keep that container in a cool, dry location.