Last Updated on 2 months by Ollie Barker
You know how to clay bar a black car, but it’s never been quite clear how to do it for the best result. Well, in this blog post I hope to provide you with an easy-to-follow guide that will help you keep your black car looking new.
First of all, why is clay barbing important? Not only does it create a gorgeous shine and deep gloss on your black vehicle but it also serves to remove any paint defects as well as seal the surface so that dirt won’t stick as easily.
In any case, it’s one of the most important steps in the process of keeping your black car looking amazing.
So, now that I know why you should do this let’s talk about how to perform a clay bar properly. In order to do this right, you need to prepare your surface properly.
Clay Bar Kit
The first thing you’ll need is some clay wax which can be found in most auto supply stores or online. These products are inexpensive and will last you quite a while. You’ll also want to pick up a good-quality clay bar that is easy to work with.
Some clay bars (such as Meguiar’s Clay Bar) come with lubricant and polish, which can be used after the process is complete to further smooth out any imperfections.
Finally, you’ll need a lubricant. This isn’t necessary, but it does make the process more efficient, so I recommend using one.
How to Clay Bar a Black Car
Basically, you’re going to take your vehicle from a dry state and gradually add the clay bar product. Here are the steps:
Step 1: Wash and dry the car
First, the car needs to be thoroughly washed. Consider using a cleanser made to remove old wax if you intend to apply a fresh coat of wax or sealer. They are referred to as strip washes.
Dish soap is sometimes used for this purpose, although over time, it may fade the color of rubber and plastic.
Utilizing an iron remover like CarPro Iron-X is a common procedure. Your paint’s bonded iron will disintegrate as a result. Simply mist it on, then rinse it off after a few minutes.
Where the iron dissolves, it will turn those places purple on your car, but it won’t damage the paint. If left to dry, it could discolor plastic. Consider doing it in the shade.
If you think you need it, you can also remove tar with a chemical called Tar-X. CarPro also sells a product called TRIX, which combines Tar-X with Iron-X.
Many people who detail black cars say that using these chemicals makes it much less likely that the paint will get scratched when using a clay bar or waxing.
Step 2: Apply the wax on the car
Apply a liberal amount of clay wax over the vehicle. This will help keep the surface clean and free of excess dirt while causing minimal scratching. Use circular motions and keep your body height above the surface to avoid marring.
Step 3: Clay bar
The next step is to actually clay bar the surface. You’ll need to use at least one if not two, different types of claying products to make certain that you remove all imperfections.
Before you begin, make sure you’re using a clay bar that is designed for black paint and thick paint films. These are designed specifically for this purpose and will work the best on your car’s paint without causing any damage.
After you’ve applied your clay bar, clean your clay bar’s handle with a soft cotton towel to remove any excess lint or dust. Then, use the medium-grit side of the claying product for the first 45 seconds to remove any surface imperfections of less than 1/4″ in size.
Next, use the fine-grit side of the claying product for 5 minutes to polish out any blemishes larger than 1/4″.
After that, you can flip your clay bar over and continue polishing for 5 more minutes on the fine side.
When you’re done, use a towel to dry the surface and apply additional wax as needed.
Step 4: Polish the vehicle
You’ll need to use a clay bar which is designed specifically for black paint as well as polish. This will help remove any oxidation from your paint and help you achieve a deep gloss shine. Apply polish after you’ve finished with the claying process in order to seal in the shine.
The Best Clay Bars for Black Car Paint
To save you some time, I listed here the 3 best clay bars for black paint:
#1 Griot’s Garage Paint Cleaning Clay
Griot’s Garage Clay is a product that comes in a plastic container that can be used for multiple paint jobs.
This clay comes with both a wax and a polish free-grade, so you’re able to use it with your clay bar without worrying about damaging the finish. Griots also use advanced optical grade technology to ensure that no scratches are left behind when you’re finished.
- This is a high-quality non-abrasive clay that won’t cause any scratches on your paint.
- It also comes in a container that can be reused, and it’s easy to work with.
- This clay bar is well suited for use on the entire car without causing any damage to the finish – but be sure to keep it away from clear plastic parts as it might cause damage.
Some people don’t like the way this clay smells, but you can always use it with a cotton cloth to wipe the smell away. Otherwise, the only negative thing I can say is that it feels a little bit sticky on the hands when applied.
#2 Chemical Guys Medium Clay
Chemical Guys Clay is excellent on all surfaces and comes in a screw-top container with easy-to-follow directions. This clay can be used on your vehicle without any tool at all. A little bit of this product goes a long way, too.
- This clay is designed specifically for black paint and will not scratch the finish at all. It can also be used on glass and metal.
- The container can also be reused if you choose.
- This is a very difficult clay bar to use without damaging the finish. It’s not made to be used with tools, and it takes some time to apply evenly. However, once you’re done, your car will be left with a deep gloss shine.
Some people don’t like the way this clay smells and it takes some getting used to. Also, the container isn’t very durable, so be careful not to drop it.
#3 Chemical Guys Light Clay
Chemical Guys Light is a non-abrasive clay bar that is easy to use and affordable. It includes both a wax freebie and a polish freebie, so you can use this clay bar without worrying about damaging your paint. This product has been designed to work on black paint jobs, but you should always test it out in an inconspicuous spot first.
- This clay is designed specifically for black paint with an extra-fine grit that will remove any oxidation from the surface.
- This is a clay bar that won’t damage your paint, even if you accidentally scratch it during the process. It’s also helpful for minor scratches since it helps remove these imperfections without causing any damage.
Some people don’t like the way this clay smells, but it’s easy to wipe off with a cloth. The container can be difficult to twist open, so be careful not to drop it on the floor and break it.
How Can I Tell if Claying My Car Is Necessary?
Use the clay bar only if absolutely necessary because it is highly abrasive.
After you wash your car, run your fingers along the wet paint to see if claying it will help. When you touch it, does it feel rough? If the response is affirmative, you must use a clay bar to smooth down the roughness.
Do I Need Lubricants for Clay?
Over the painted surface, your clay should glide effortlessly. Scratching and marring will occur if it feels dragging or sticking.
Because the paint is wet, you might not be able to notice the scratches.
A lubricant is required to protect your paint. It will be adequate to use merely soapy water if you intend to machine compound or polish your car after you clay it.
Even though clay bars aren’t as popular as they once were, they’re still a great way to give your vehicle a deep gloss shine. If you regularly wash and wax your car, then it may be a good idea to consider how often you’d need to use one of these.
Clay bars are created with different levels of grit and can be used on all colors of paint jobs. If you use them correctly, there’s no reason that they won’t protect the finish on your car without causing any damage whatsoever.