Sale Countdown
AutoGeek Header

How to Use Auto Detailing Clay

How to Use Auto  Detailing Clay

How to Use Auto Detailing Clay

Clean With Detailing Clay!

If detailing clay is new to you, you might be thinking, “What is detailing clay and what can detailing clay do for my car?” The short answer is that auto detailing clay removes from the paint what washing cannot. For the long answer, read on!


Auto detailing clay is similar to the stuff you played with as a kid, but the clay used for detailing is usually much more elastic, especially in the case of Pinnacle Ultra Poly Auto Detailing Clay Bar.Auto Detailing Clay Bar is an engineered resin compound used to remove contaminants from the surface of your car’s paint, glass, fiberglass and metal. Detailing clay can be natural or synthetic, though most manufacturers utilize synthetic clays.

Auto detailing clay is similar to the stuff you played with as a kid, but the clay used for detailing is usually much more elastic, especially in the case of Pinnacle Ultra Poly Auto Detailing Clay Bar. The elasticity gives the detailing clay excellent durability as it is rolled, flattened, smashed and stretched over and over again.

Plus detailing clay is designed to stand up to the kind of contaminants that your childhood clay never had to face, i.e. industrial fallout, rail dust and brake dust. These contaminants pierce paint finishes, glass and metal and remain stuck on your vehicle through rain, car washes, and even polishing. The only way to remove these pollutants is – you guessed it – detailing clay.


How Does Auto Detailing Clay Work?

Detailing clay glides along the surface of your paint and grabs anything that protrudes from the surface. The particle sticks to the clay and is therefore removed from your vehicle. The surface being clayed should always be wet with clay lubricant to prevent loose debris from scratching the vehicle.

Used properly, detailing clay is completely safe and nonabrasive.Its a much better option than polishing to remove these contaminants because clay doesn’t remove any paint.

Used properly, detailing clay is completely safe and nonabrasive.Its a much better option than polishing to remove these contaminants because clay doesn’t remove any paint. Detailing clay glides along the surface of your paint and grabs anything that protrudes from the surface.

There are two different grades of clay currently available to the public. One is a medium grade detailing clay designed to clean the vehicle once or twice a year. This grade of clay removes wax along with anything else on the vehicle. We’re talking CLEAN. Examples are Wolfgang Elastic Poly Clay, XMT Speed Clay, and DP Universal Detailing Clay.

Your other option is a fine grade that’s relatively new to the industry. It’s called Pinnacle Ultra Poly Clay and it’s a favorite of enthusiasts who prefer to clay as often as needed to keep that slick finish. This detailing clay removes everything the medium clay removes and it is gentle enough to use monthly or as needed for spot cleaning. If you’re someone who’s meticulous about clean, shiny paint (and who isn’t?!) you’ll love Pinnacle Ultra Poly Clay.

All detailing clay requires the use of a clay lubricant to prevent scratches as you gently rub the clay on the vehicle. Check out our Clay Page. There you will find all of the different clays and their coordinated clay lubricants.


What Does Detailing Clay Remove?

Your vehicle is under constant assault from airborne pollutants. Brake dust, industrial fallout, acid rain deposits and rail dust all can adhere to your vehicle. These contaminants often contain metal particulates, which accounts for the ease with which they penetrate the clear coat to attack the paint below. These contaminants then oxidize, and they allow rust to spread beneath the clear coat. Tiny orange spots today, total paint system failure tomorrow! Detailing clay removes these contaminants in order to keep the paint healthy and vibrant.

Detailing Clay also removes stubborn sap, tar, and bug remains. Detailing clay works wonder on glass as well. Try some the next time you’re washing your windows. You’ll be amazed at the results!


Do You Need To Clay?

Chances are, the answer is yes. The surface of your vehicle faces assaults from the environment every time it’s out in the weather. Each road trip brings new insults from roadway debris, exhaust films, and airborne pollution. They will splash, mar, and embed themselves in that beautiful paint job you’ve labored over. Vehicles can accumulate these contaminants any time, any place – even at the dealership.

The Bag Test: There’s a simple test that will indicate whether or not you need to clay. Wash and dry your vehicle, put a plastic sandwich bag over your hand and lightly rub your fingertips over the paint. If it feels gritty or rough, your paint is contaminated.

Use a high quality detailing clay bar, like Wolfgang Elastic Poly Clay or Pinnacle Ultra Poly Clay, and a clay lubricant to clean your paint before applying wax or polish.

The Bag test will tell you if you need to use detailing clay.
The Bag test will tell you if you
need to use detailing clay.

Waxes and paint sealants will adhere better to clean paint and the shine will be more uniform and vibrant. Sounds like a win-win situation!


To Use Clay:

Clay is available in 2 to 8 oz. bars. Two ounces is enough to do three or four vehicles. On average, a vehicle will need to be clayed twice a year. At this rate, one 2 oz. clay bar will last you 18 months to 2 years if used on the same vehicle. If you buy clay in an 8 oz. bar, like DP Universal Detailing Clay or XMT Speed Clay, cut it into quarters and keep the unused portions moistened with lubricant in the storage case. Other brands, like Pinnacle Ultra Poly Clay, come in a 4 oz. bar.

  • NOTE: To optimize both the quality of your claying and the clay's useful life, avoid soap and water as a lubricant. They will prematurely deteriorate today’s clay compounds. Use only clay lubricants. A good clay kit, like the The Wolfgang Polishin’ Pal Clay Kit, contain both the detailing clay and it’s corresponding lubricant.

Follow these steps:

  1. Wash and dry your vehicle.
  2. Spray a small area with clay lubricant, no bigger than 2 square feet.
  1. Gently rub the clay bar back and forth across the wet area. It will grab at first. This means that it is pulling contaminants out of the paint. When it glides
    freely, the paint is clean.
  2. Wipe the area with a microfiber towel and use the clay lubricant to remove any clay residue. Rub your fingers across the paint now; it should be as smooth as glass. If it’s not, repeat the process. Reshape the clay bar as needed to expose a clean surface. Keep the clay well-lubricated.
  3. Continue these steps until you’ve clayed the entire vehicle. Clay does a marvelous job on glass and chrome, too.
  4. Store the clay bar in its original case if possible, or in an airtight plastic bag. Spray it with lubricant to keep it moist. Do not allow the clay to freeze and do not store it in temperatures above 200° F.
We have found in our testing RaggTopp is one of the top products on the market. 303 High Tech Fabric Guard is also a quality product. Either will restore the repellence to factory specifications and keep your fabric top looking good.
Mist a 2 x 2 sq. ft. section of paint with clay lubricant.
Rub the clay bar across the wet paint until it no longer grabs the surface.
Rub the clay bar across the wet paint until it no longer grabs the surface.
  1. Always follow claying with a wax or sealant. Clay will removing existing wax and may leave tiny holes where contaminants have been removed. They must be sealed in order to protect the paint from corrosion.

  • Note: Detailing clay does not remove oxidized paint or fill in blemishes. If your paint is mildly oxidized, clean the paint with clay and then use a polish to remove the oxidized paint. If the oxidation is severe, polish first because the oxidized paint may flake off as you clay and ruin the clay bar. (See our polish how-to.)

Click on image to see this video



Then use a pre-wax cleaner, like Pinnacle Paintwork Cleansing Lotion, to fill in minor swirls and scratches prior to waxing. If your paint is in good condition, proceed to waxing.





Qty Pinnacle’s Ultra Poly Clay is the single finest clay composition available today. Use auto Detailing clay to deep clean car paint, glass and chrome.Pinnacle Ultra Poly Clay - PIN-510
Our Price: $19.99
A fine grade detailing clay safe for regular use. ...more
Qty Pinnacle’s Ultra Poly Clay is the single finest clay composition available today.Pinnacle Ultra Poly Clay Special - PIN-510K
Our Price: $51.96
Sale Price: $29.99
Save on detailing clay and lubricant! ...more
Qty Pinnacle Ultra Poly Clay is our ultra fine grade of detailing clay, designed for frequent, gentle cleaning of your vehicle. Pinnacle Ultra Poly Clay – Buy it by the Pound! - PIN-510-LB
Our Price: $49.99
Detailing clay in bulk! ...more
Qty Clay Disc for the Polishin’ Pal enables you to clay without getting clay residue or lubricant on your hands. One side of the disc has hook & loop material to attach to the Polishin’ Pal.Clay Disc for the Polishin’ Pal (Disc Only) - WG-DISC
Our Price: $9.99
Get a handle on detailing clay! ...more
Qty Wolfgang Elastic Poly Clay Bar, wolfgang car care,wolfgang clay lubricant,clay lube,clean water spots,remove water spots from car,compound car,clay bar,auto clay,auto rubbing clay,wolfgang elastic polyclay,poly clay bar,poly clay cleaner automotiveWolfgang Elastic Poly Clay Bar 200 Grams - WG-9000
Our Price: $29.99
Deep clean with detailing clay! ...more
Qty Kit includes DP Universal Detailing Clay and a bottle of DP Universal Clay LubricantDetailer's Universal Detailing Clay & Lube Combo - DP-7200
Our Price: $41.98
Sale Price: $34.99
Deep clean your vehicle with DP! ...more
Qty DP Universal Detailing Clay lets you clay your way to a silky smooth finish with a bright glossy shimmer!Detailer's Universal Detailing Clay 200 grams - DP-720
Our Price: $24.99
Safely remove overspray, bugs, tar, and pollution! ...more
Qty Wolfgang Polishin’ Pal Clay Kit Wolfgang™ Polishin’ Pal Clay Kit FREE BONUS - WG-8800
Our Price:$88.93
Sale Price:$59.99
A complete detailing clay kit. ...more
Qty Pinnacle Paintwork Cleansing Lotion will restore and preserve your car's original beauty.Pinnacle Paintwork Cleansing Lotion - PIN-200
Our Price: $27.99
Think of this as an anti-aging cream for your car's paint! Automotive paint loses its luster due to the effects ...more
Qty Paintwork Clay Pad ApplicatorPaintwork Clay Pad Applicator - LC-46-205
Our Price: $19.99
Sale Price: $17.99
Maximize your clay bar with a dual action polisher. ...more
Qty Meguiars Professional Auto Detailing Clay, meguiars C2000 clay bar, Detail Clay cleans better than polishes! Clean your car with Meguiars Detailing Clay Bar, Overspray Clay.Meguiars Professional Detailing Clay - C2000 - C-2000
Our Price: $29.99
Sale Price: $27.99
Remove contaminants washing leaves behind! ...more
Qty Pinnacle XMT Speed Clay, detailing clay bar, paint cleaning clayPinnacle XMT Speed Clay 226 grams - XMT-1500
Our Price: $19.99
Prep your vehicle for maximum shine! Pinnacle XMT Speed Clay rids your vehicle of impurities to create the ...more
Qty Pinnacle XMT Speed Clay Lube, Detailing Clay Lubricant, clay bar lube, spray clay lubePinnacle XMT Speed Clay Lube - XMT-1400
Our Price: $12.99
Preserve your vehicle and your detailing clay! Pinnacle XMT Speed Clay Lube is an ultra slick lubricant formulated ...more
Qty Meguiars Smooth Surface Clay Kit, meguiars detailing clay, Meguiars Smooth Surface Clay Kit - G1016 - G-1016
Our Price: $20.99
Creates a smooth-as-glass surface! The Meguiars Smooth Surface Clay Kit is a complete detailing clay kit from one ...more
Qty Meguiars Brilliant Solutions Paint Restoration Kit, meguiars G3300, paint polishing kit, restore auto paintMeguiars Brilliant Solutions Paint Restoration Kit - G3300 - G-3300
Our Price: $26.99
Make your car look new again! Meguiars Brilliant Solutions Paint Restoration Kit is the simple answer to restoring ...more
Qty Meguiars Professional Detailing Clay – Aggressive - C2100Meguiars Professional Detailing Clay – Aggressive - C2100 - C-2100
Our Price: $29.99
Sale Price: $27.99
Remove heavy paint contamination without polishing! Meguiars Professional Detailing Clay Aggressive formula cleans ...more
Qty Mothers California Gold Clay Bar - Mothers California Gold Clay Bar Paint Saving System, detailing clay bar, 2 clay barsMothers California Gold Clay Bar Paint Saving System - 2 Clay Bars - MO-7240N
Our Price: $24.99
Clean and protect the paint with Mothers! ...more

Best Car wax, Auto Care Products, Auto Detailing Supplies,klasse car wax,Meguiars Car Wax,Mothers Car Wax.

Join The Autogeek.net Auto Detailing Forum - Autogeekonline.net
www.autogeek.net