What Is Clay Bar Treatment?

Automotive detailers often refer to something called clay bar treatment. However, many people may be unfamiliar with this term if they don’t work in the industry. So, what is clay bar treatment and how can it help your vehicle? The answers just may surprise you. Let’s explore this topic in a little more detail.

Clay Bar Treatment

A clay bar is basically just a clump of detailing clay. However, it isn’t exactly the same as natural organic clay that you’d find in the ground. Detailing clay is a manufactured blend of polymer rubber and synthetic resin compounds that are formed into a block.

This material feels similar to modeling clay and is extremely flexible and absorbent. The value of this type of material is that the clay serves to lift contaminants directly from your vehicle’s clearcoat. In fact, it’s so effective that it can remove contaminants that typically stay on a vehicle’s exterior even after multiple washes.

These contaminants include things like pollen, hard water, brake dust, industrial debris, pollution, and overspray. You will typically find these types of contaminants all over your vehicle’s exterior. Even brand-new vehicles tend to pick up debris during the transportation process. While contaminants are often tiny and nearly impossible to see, they can be incredibly abrasive in nature. They can leave pits and scratches that will ruin any vehicle’s finish over time. This is why a clay bar treatment is an essential part of any professional detailing package.

How Does a Clay Bar Treatment Work?

After thoroughly washing and drying, we begin to work the clay bar across small sections of your vehicle. We first coat a section with special detailing spray to provide adequate surface lubrication. Next, our technicians gently rub the clay bar back and forth across the vehicle’s exterior, section by section. Any excess lubricant and contaminants are then removed with a clean microfiber towel.

This process is repeated until the entire car has been clayed. Clay bar treatment is a tedious, manual process by nature that takes a significant amount of attention to detail. However, it’s incredibly beneficial for your car as it leaves its clearcoat in the best state possible. Clay bar treatments can remove almost every possible contaminant from the clearcoat, properly preparing the vehicle’s exterior for a polish or ceramic coating.

Keep in mind that clay bars will stick to just about anything they touch. That’s why you never want to drop detailing clay on the ground or keep it in an old, dirty container. The best place to store it is often in its original packaging and far from high temperatures. You can always put the packaging in a clean zip-top bag to keep the clay away from dust and debris.

How Often Do I Need a Clay Bar Treatment?

The answer to this question likely depends on where, how often, and how long you drive your vehicle. The more you take your car out on the road, the more likely you are to accumulate these contaminants that aren’t easily removed by normal washing.

We recommended that you get a clay bar treatment at least twice a year. However, if you use your car often or leave it outside for long periods of time, you’ll probably want one more often. Car enthusiasts may have the time and expertise to properly treat their own vehicle, but others may require the care of a professional detailer.

Clay bar treatments are one of the best ways to care for your vehicle’s exterior. That’s why we include them in all of our ceramic coatings and detailing packages. If you need a clay bar treatment or complete automotive detail, we encourage you to contact us today. Our high quality services will ensure your car looks pristine for years to come.