As the weather finally begins to warm up and winter’s grip allows for the Sunday drives to get a little bit longer, owners must get their cars cleaned up and ready to show off on Main Street. Whether you get your car cleaned and detailed around town at places like MILES Auto Spa or do it in your own garage, there are a few things to remember. Last week, we looked at some basics of a simple wash and dry. This week, we look at taking the next step in cleaning with clay bar detailing.
First things first, what is a clay bar? Clay bars are similar to a mix of Play Dough and Silly Putty, ranging in malleability, color, aggressiveness and price based on brand and purpose. Clay bars are sold by many different detailing supply manufacturers. Most consumer grade products are very mild and are found in a kit that includes a quick detailer spray, a clay bar and occasionally, a microfiber towel and small bottle of wax. When first using a clay bar, a consumer grade bar is better than a more aggressive variation. The more aggressive, the increased likelihood for the bar to mar the car’s paint and cause even more problems.
The other question is why use a clay bar? Cars are regularly exposed to numerous contaminants, such as tree sap, industrial debris, or road tar. Some of these contaminants can remain on a vehicle after a thorough wash. If these particles remain on the car, they can prevent wax or sealant from properly bonding to the car’s paint. This is also true for glass on the car’s windows. Clay bar detailing can help paint feel smoother and look glossier, increase visibility, and causes water on windshields to bead for easier wiping in the rain.
The main keys to remember when performing clay bar detailing is to always perform on a freshly washed surface, work in the shade if possible, always throw away a clay bar if it is dropped, and be sure to protect your paint with a coat of wax or sealant if possible.
If you don’t have the time to perform the detailing yourself, MILES Auto Spa at 100 Market Exchange Ct off of Bakers Bridge Avenue offers detailing services, with multiple levels of detail available for your car’s interior, exterior, or both or visit their Express Location at 404 Mallory Station Rd.