The Clay Bar

Motorbike Detailing

There's a good chance you haven't heard of clay bars and how they can help deliver a glass smooth paint finish. Here we have a quick look into them.

How to Detail a Motorbike

  1. The Two Bucket Rule
  2. Hand Washing
  3. Snow Foam
  4. Cloth, Sponge Or Mitt
  5. Detailing Brushes
  6. The Rinse
  7. Drying
  8. The Clay Bar
  9. Polishing and Waxing
  10. General Protection
  11. Specialist Protection
  12. Chain Maintenance

Using A Clay Bar

It's exactly what it sounds like - a bar of soft clay and they are particularly good at removing bonded surface contaminants like sap, road film, salt, bird droppings and dust which then leaves the paint feeling glassy smooth to the touch. You can work out which areas need it by running your fingers over the paintwork to pick up any rough feeling bits. They come in rough, medium and fine but fine is the easiest to begin with because it's less abrasive.

To use the bar first spray some clay bar lubricant on the paint or a little shampoo mixed with water, then rub a small flattened bit of the bar very gently over the rough area. Be careful not to apply any pressure though, just let the clay's surface do the work. You'll see whatever was making the surface rough transfer onto the clay and once that side is dirty you can fold it over for another two clean surfaces to work with. If you drop the clay it's probably game over though. Then simply wipe off any excess lube and you're ready for the waxing stage.

An alternative to a clay bar is a Clay Mitt or Clay Cloth and you can even get special clay bar lubricants to us with them all. Check out this quick video from Sweet Scoots:

Next: Polishing and Waxing

Clay Bars