Cleaning with Clay
Every car finish shares a common enemy: pollution. It relentlessly pursues your
car from the second it leaves the factory until your car meets its ultimate
demise. It's in the air we breathe, it's on the roads we drive, and it attaches
to your car's paint, where it bonds and begins a process of oxidation.
When contaminants get a solid grip on your car's paint, washing alone may not be
enough to remove them. Pre-wax cleaners also may not be able to exfoliate large
particles. In this case, you have two choices: use a polishing compound, which
removes a lot of paint material, or use Z-18 ClayBar. Clay isn't a polish or a
compound, it is a surface preparation bar that smoothes the paint and exfoliates
USES FOR CLAY
Clay is not a cure-all or a replacement for polishing. It's a tool for removing
surface contamination. One of the many reasons for using clay is the removal of
brake dust. Brake dust contamination, which attaches to painted rear bumpers and
adjoining surfaces, is a metallic surface contaminant that can be removed safely
and effectively by using clay.
Clay is also very effective on paint over-spray. If the over-spray is
particularly heavy, you may want to seek the assistance of a professional. Tree
sap and tar specks can also be safely removed with a clay bar. Recently, I have
also started using clay on my windows (exterior) to remove heavy road film, bug
deposits and water spots. It works very well, and seems to outperform even the
best window cleaners.
EVALUATING YOUR PAINT FOR CLAY
How do you know if you need to use Z-18 ClayBar? After thoroughly hand washing
and drying your car, stretch a piece of saran wrap over your hand extending past your
fingertips. Gently slide the saran wrap
across the finish of your vehicle. Does the surface feel bumpy or gritty? These bumps are contaminants attacking the finish of your car. Removing
these surface contaminants (rail dust, road tar, bug residue, paint
over-spray, brake pad dust, hard water spots, etc.) will improve both the look
and health of your car's paint.
No matter how well you hand-wash your car, many of the contaminants that have
worked their way into your car's paint finish will remain. Have you ever looked
at your applicator pad after applying a coat of polish? What do you think that
black stuff is? It's dirt, and you're sealing it in.
USING THE Z-18 CLAYBAR
Before using a Z-18 ClayBar on your car, you must thoroughly clean and dry your
car to remove any loose dirt. Direct sunlight should not fall on your car's
surface, and it's best if the work area is relatively cool to prevent rapid
evaporation of the clay lubricant.
To use the clay bar, you spray a water-based lubricant (1/2 a cap of Z-7
Show Car Wash with 16 ounces of water) on a small area of your
car and rub the bar back and forth with light to medium pressure. Z-18 ClayBar
should glide across your paint like a hockey puck on ice. If the
lubricant begins to dry, and the Z-18 ClayBar
begins to drag, you'll need to spray more lubricant. Clay is fairly sticky, and
cannot be used dry.
After a few passes with the ClayBar, rub your hand over the area to feel if the
surface contamination was removed. Keep rubbing until all contamination bumps
are gone. Finally, wipe the clay residue off with a soft terrycloth towel, and
buff to a nice luster. Just like waxing, work in small areas.
Check your Z-18 ClayBar frequently for hard particles. When found, pick them
off. Make it a habit to occasionally knead and reform the bar so that a fresh
portion of the bar contacts your car's paint. If you drop your bar of clay on
the ground, it's history. Toss it out. Don't take any chances, discard the clay
bar if it becomes impregnated with grit. Read the manufacturers' directions for
the number of uses of their clay bar. Do not overuse a clay bar.
When you're finished claying your car, you should wash it with Z-7
Show Car Wash to remove the
lubricant film. Finally, polish and seal your freshly cleaned paint with your choice of
Z-2 Show Car Polish for Clear Coated Car Finishes,
Z-3 Show Car Polish for Non-clear Coated Paint,
or Z-5 Show Car Polish for Swirl Marks and Fine Scratches
Flash Cure Accelerator Additive.
Zaino 4057 Hwy 9 N #106 Howell, NJ 07731
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