Porsche Folio "Articles & Guides"

How to Clay Bar your Porsche

What is a Clay Bar?
Clay Bar your PorscheA Clay Bar is a simply a blended clay material with a similar feel to something akin to blue tack, although slightly harder and stickier. The basic concept of the Clay Bar is that you rub it over your Porsche paintwork using a lubricant, and the stickiness of the Clay Bar will remove any impurities from your paint, such as dirt, grime and general organic contaminants. Therefore a Clay Bar will 'clean' your Porsche's paint work. It will not polish the paintwork which is a common misconception. The Clay Bar treatment should be seen as a cleaning process prior to polishing or waxing the paintwork and provides better overall results.
Can a Clay Bar Harm my Porsche's Paintwork?
If done correctly with appropriate care and attention the clay bar will improve the appearance of your paintwork which will enable the wax to get maximum results. Like most things, however, if done incorrectly without the correct proper care and attention, the clay bar could damage your paintwork. Remember you are using the clay's sticky properties to pick up contaminants while rubbing the bar over the car's paintwork. Follow the rules and all will be well. Ignore the rules at your peril! You have been warned.
The Rules for use of a Clay Bar
Rule 1: Make sure your car is clean. I do mean clean. Don't be tempted to cut corners. Clean all nooks and crannies thoroughly. You have to make sure all surface debris is removed as best as possible;

Rule 2: Don't drop your clay bar. If you drop the clay bar then you have to bin it and get a new piece. Clay bars are designed to be sticky. If it falls on the floor it will pick up all manner of dirty and grit which will serve to scratch your paintwork rather than clean it;

Rule 3: Lubricate well. Make sure you keep the paintwork well lubricated during the claying process. The clay bar should glide over the surface and not drag;

Rule 4: Fold and Knead. These are two important steps. Kneading the clay will serve to keep it warm and pliable. Folding the clay regularly will ensure that you have fresh contaminant free clay surface to apply to the paint work. When you can't fold the clay to reveal and clean surface it's time to throw it away and replace it with a new one.

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The following is a step by step guide to Claying your Porsche. It is the process that I have used on my Porsche and has worked well for me.

Step 1: Clean your Car. First clean your Porsche, or the area of the car you intend to clay. I use warm water with normal car wash. I use slightly less than the normal amount of wash additive. Essentially you need to wash off any dirt or dust, but you don't want to leave the surface too waxy. Make sure you rinse well.

Step 2: Dry. Make sure the car is dry. Don't use a chamois leather I think they retain too many contaminants. I prefer a good microfiber cloth cleaned regularly.

Step 3: Preparing the Clay Bar. You need to get the clay bar warm, so knead the clay bar in your hands. Squeezing and folding to get it warm and pliable. Next flatten it into your palm until you create a flat pad like shape.

Step 4: Lubricate. Spray the lubricant onto the paintwork. Be generous. It's important that the clay bar glides over the paintwork and doesn't drag across it. Just spray the lubricant onto a small area where you intend to apply the clay bar.

Step 5: Claying. With minimal pressure lay the flattened clay bar onto the lubricated paintwork and then move the clay bar in a backwards and forwards motion. Continue to apply the lubricant as you go. Remember, you don't need to apply a great deal of pressure: just enough pressure to hold the clay onto the paintwork and no more.

Step 6: Keep it up. Repeat steps 3, 4 and 5 while keeping to the rules. Repeat until you have removed any rough surface feel over the entire panel or car as appropriate. The test I carry out is to run the back of my finger gently across the paintwork which will enable you to feel any roughness which is an indication of the remaining impurities in the paintwork.

Step 7: Dry. After claying dry the lubricant off with a microfiber cloth.

Step 8: Clean the Paint. You can take this opportunity to clean the paintwork before waxing. I used Miguiars paint clean. Just a single application applied the same as wax and then buffed off.

Step 9: Wax. Finally the car's paint can be waxed. I used Miguiars liquid Gold. Two coats and the paint shines as good as new. Maybe even better!

How Often Should I clay Bar my Car?
That varies depending on a number of factors such as how often I drive the car, is it garaged, is it left in the weather, is it cleaned and waxed often etc. I would say use the back of the finger touch test. If the feel is silky smooth then all is well. If however it starts to feel a little rough or gritty, then its time to repeat the clay bar process



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When I did mine I felt the same. The paint felt really smooth afterwards.

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I have recenly given my 911 a clay bar treatment.  I followed your instructions and it was alot easier than I thought it would be.  I couldnt believe how much debrit came out of the paint.  The paintwork looks like new again.


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