The Wonder Of Clay: Create A Showroom Shine On Dull Paint

Glide a few fingertips across your car’s paint. Does the finish still feel smooth and buttery, or bumpy as braille?

No worries. A little elbow grease--and a clay bar--can restore that showroom feel and shine.

“Some cleaning waxes that adds shine but don’t remove contaminants bonded to the car,” said Michael Pennington of Meguiar's Inc., one of the world’s leading manufacturers of car care products. “The surface will still feel rough.”

A clay bar can help return vitality to just about any exterior surface--windshield, rims and paint.

Begin with a dab of clay off the bar after washing. Rub the various surfaces with clay, focusing on impurities soap alone didn’t remove.

Claying can be done with every wash and wax. Pennington recommends taking clay to your vehicle every 6 months. Be sure to store the unused clay in an airtight container to maintain freshness.

Pennington offers the following advice for a quality claying:

  • Use a premium brand with a great reputation and look for a clay kit. The kits typically includes lubrication, a towel and the bar itself.
  • Take a little piece at a time off the bar for the best results.  “If you have a big piece and drop it on the ground it’s ruined.”
  • Don’t let the clay dry out. Keep what’s left of the bar in an airtight container.