What to Use as a Clay Bar Lubricant?!

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Last Updated on 1 month by Ollie Barker

What to Use as a Clay Bar Lubricant

You love your vehicle and so you take good care of it by washing and waxing it regularly. You want to do the same for your car, but you’re not quite sure what will work as a clay bar lubricant.

What is Clay Bar Lubricant?

A clay bar or clay block is a tool used to smooth out paint by rubbing it against the surface of the vehicle. A clay bar is a very fine-grained “clay” that is rubbed on the surface.

Lubricant is applied to a vehicle’s surface and the clay bar is run over it in order to remove small imperfections such as water spots, bird droppings, paint overspray, etc. The clay bar does not remove scratches; rather it polishes the paint to restore its gloss, thereby removing blemishes.

Do you think: Does WD40 cause car paint scratches?!

Clay Bar Lubricant Pros & Cons

Pros of Clay Bar Lubricant

You want to protect your vehicle’s paint when you use a clay bar. By applying this lube, you can limit paint damage such as scratches and swirls. Depending on your price range, there are different types of lubes on the market for clay bars. Some of them may have chemicals in them which could be harmful to your paint.

Cons of Clay Bar Lubricant

Clay Bar Lubricant is only a lubricating agent and not a paint sealant. It cannot replace the need to use a clay bar with a proper paint product.

What to Use as a Clay Bar Lubricant

Clay Bar Lubricant Types

There are many different types of clay bar lubricants available. There are oils, waxes, and water-based products that all lubricate the paint and polish it. When you purchase the lubricant that works best for your vehicle, remember to check the label carefully so you’ll know just what is doing for your paint and which one you should use on your vehicle.

Things to Look for

On the label of the lubricant, look for the following:

Oils are highly concentrated oils that are used to lubricate paint and polish it. These oils can be very effective at removing dried waxes, but they do not work well on vehicles that have been sprayed with clear coat coating. The oils will cause a film to form over the paint which will need to be removed.

Waxes are oil-based substances that are used as lubricants.

Water-based products are made up of a combination of ammonia, alcohol, and surfactants. These products can be used on glass or paint, and they are often used as clay bar lubricants.

Check out: How to use clay bars on glass safely in car detailing!
Water-based clay bar lubricants are known to be gentle on your paint, but they need to be cleaned up well after using them because the residue will cause water spots if left behind.

Clay Bar Lubricant and Clay Bar Technique

If you’re used to hand-application polishing, then you must be wondering what a clay bar is and what it does for your vehicle’s paint. With this tool and its lubricant, the process of polishing is done more efficiently.  The clay bar replaces the hand application of the polish. With the clay bar, you can effectively remove polishing oils from the paint’s surface.  This allows for a much more professional finish and will leave the paint with a nice shine instead of a dull look like it would have if you were to polish it by hand.

Find out: How to make your car shining just like glass?!

How to Use Clay Bar Lubricant

There are two types of clay bars to choose from: a soft clay bar and a hard clay bar. The soft clay bar is more flexible and is easy for you to apply. Most people like this type of bar because they find the hard clay bar harder to handle.  Use a soft clay bar if you have larger vehicles that need regular maintenance, or if you’re able to do the job yourself.  If you don’t have the means to apply it, then go with the hard clay bar instead.

After buying your lubricant, find a smooth clean surface that will fit your hand comfortably. Some lubricants can be used on hand and some can be used to lubricate the rubber mold.

Make sure that the surface you’re using is non-porous enough to hold the lubricant. Another way to apply it is to clean your hand first and then lubricate your hands before applying it on your car. A clean surface means no other product or dirt accumulated on your hands, so this technique is quite effective in giving you a good finish.

Rub it onto your vehicle’s car surface and then start rubbing it off using the clay bar. Take your time to ensure that you’re not missing out on any spots.

Once you’re done, wipe off the residue with a soft cloth. This will remove any extra lube from your vehicle’s paint surface so that it stays protected from whatever elements may try to affect it.


#1 Can You Use Water as Clay Bar Lubricant?

The only way to make water work as a clay bar lubricant is to use a wet clay block. In other words, you need to have the lubricant on the clay bar itself. This might not be what you wanted to hear, but it is true that clay bars are used with oils and waxes.

There are also other types of lubricants on the market that claim they can emulate water for an effective car wash. Look for clay bar lubricants that are non-toxic to your car so you can protect it from damage. You also want to look for a clay bar lubricant that is biodegradable so you’re not hurting the environment.

Caring for your vehicle is important, but so is caring for the environment. Look for a clay bar lubricant that will nourish your paint but don’t overlook its benefits to the environment as well.

#2 What is the Best Clay Bar Lubricant?

There are many types available to you. You can choose the one that works best for your paint.  If you have an SUV, then you may want a clay bar lubricant that is non-abrasive. If your vehicle is smaller, then a clay bar lubricant with substances called silicones might be the best choice for you.  Be sure to read the label directions carefully and follow what it says in order to get the best result.

#3 Can You Make Your Own Clay Lubricant?

Not really. You can try, but you will find that it isn’t as effective as a store-bought clay bar lubricant.  You should continue to buy your clay bar lubricant because it is the best way to get the job done right and make sure your vehicle’s paint stays looking its best after each wash or polish.

#4 How Much Clay Lube Do You Need?

You can use as little as a shot glass worth or you can go all out and use a quart for larger vehicles. A shot glass is enough for most cars, but if you’re on a budget then a quart will get the job done without breaking your bank.

#5 How Long Would You Need To Spend With The Clay Bar Lubricant?

The clay bar lubricant will give you results approximately 30 minutes after it’s applied. This is when you should take a break and give your hands some rest.  To get the best results, spend about 30 minutes with the clay bar lubricant before you wipe it off.


It should be obvious that it’s very important to choose the best clay bar lubricant for your needs.  You want to be able to get a high-quality product that will last a long time, especially if you have multiple vehicles or you plan on doing the job for others.

It’s easy to overspend when choosing a clay bar lubricant because there are so many products available. To ensure that you’re getting the right one for your budget, just remember to make a list of what you need from your lubricant.