Browse by Manufacturer
Browse Categories
Auto Detailing Supplies Guide
How to Use an Auto Detail Clay Bar, NanoSkin Wash Mitt or Nanoskin Autoscrub Foam Pad

Why Use Clay?

     Over time, all vehicles accumulate tiny pieces of metal from brake dust, industrial fallout and other sources that bond to the surface. Other contaminants include rail dust, paint overspray, tree sap, acid rain and water spots. Left untreated, these contaminants will make the vehicle’s finish feel rough and can cause significant damage to a car’s paint, resulting in rust spots that will eventually corrode the paint. No wax or chemical has proven effective for preventing this condition.

     Using an abrasive polish or rubbing compound may remove the contamination, but can only be done intermittently before wearing away at the clear coat over the paint.

      The safest and most effective procedure for removing contaminants from the surface of a vehicle is with a clay bar, Nanoskin wash mitt or a Nanoskin Autoscrub DA foam pad. Clay may be used on painted surfaces as well as on glass, chrome, moldings and plastic. Automotive appearance professionals in body shops, detail shops and auto dealerships use clay on a regular basis. With improved technology over time, the use of a clay bar has become inferior to the new rubber polymer technology of the Nanoskin wash mitts and DA foam pads which essentially have replaced the need for clay bars. The application process of the Nanoskin technology including hand application with the wash mitt or by using a dual action polisher with the foam pad, has also made the use of a clay bar irrelevant. Unlike the clay bar, the Nanoskin technology can be cleaned simply by rinsing off the accumulated contaminants with water. If you drop the Nanoskin wash mitt or foam pad on the ground, no worries, just rinse the sponge pad clean and you're ready to keep using it. They are also very easy to use as easy glides allows for sturdy and controlled handling, unlike clay bars where constant reshaping is required.

How to Use a Clay Bar
    Before you get started, please note the following:
  1.  With a plastic sandwich bag over your hand, feel the surface of the car. If it feels rough or gritty, it's time to use clay.
  2.  Clay will not remove scratches, swirl marks or oxidation
  3.  Clay will not revitalize dull paint
  4.  Make sure your surface is freshly washed and clean. Dirt on the surface will cause scratching. It is not necessary to dry.
  5.  Do not use in direct sun or when the vehicle body is hot.
  6.  If you drop your clay bar, discard it immediately. You will pick up debris from the ground that will transfer scratches to your vehicle.
     Clay bars are available in several degrees of aggressiveness. Light cut may be used for a low level of contamination. Medium cut removes older, more stubborn contaminants. Heavy cut is for vehicles with severe paint overspray, tree sap, acid rain or very old contamination.

      Clay is used together with soapy water or with a detailing lubricant. Malco Mist-It is an excellent clay lubricant and may be purchased at www.detailsupplyplaza.com. Plain water is not a sufficient lubricant. Using a spray bottle, mist the surface so that it may be rubbed gently with the clay, similar to using wet sand paper. Work on a small area at a time, gently gliding the clay in a top-down motion over the surface until you feel no more resistance. When you have finished the area, wipe with a clean, dry microfiber towel and move on to the next area. Repeat the process until the entire vehicle is complete.

      As you use the bar, it will get dirty and turn darker. When this happens, stretch and fold the bar in half, exposing a clean portion. Continue this procedure until the entire bar is dark and dirty. Before discarding, store it in a zip lock bag for use on your rims. A 100-gram bar (about 3.5 ounces) will usually last approximately 10 –12 cars with proper care and storage. When you are done, spray the bar with your lubricant and store it in a zip lock bag or other airtight container for next use.

The New Nanoskin Clay Wash Mitt
    The new rubber polymer Nanoskin Clay Wash Mitt also available at www.detailsupplyplaza.com has several significant advantages over the traditional clay bar. The most important benefit is that if you drop it, you can simply rinse it clean and continue to use it. No need to throw it away! It’s easy-grip allows for controlled handling, and doesn’t need continual stretching, folding and reshaping. It does require a bit more lubrication than a regular clay bar and should be rinsed frequently during use. Polish is recommended after use. 
Available in medium and fine grade, the mitt will cut your work time in half by covering more surface area with each swipe. While more expensive than clay bars, each mitt may be used on over 60 vehicles making it more cost-effective in the long run.  


Tips & Tricks for the Nanoskin Wash Mitt:
  1. Wash the car and allow it to completely cool off before claying.
  2. Do not clay in direct sunlight.
  3. Prime the mitt before first use by spraying generously with lubricant and rubbing the mitt on a windshield or glass.
  4. Spray a generous amount of lubricant on the mitt as well as on the vehicle.
  5. Use light pressure, do not rub hard!
Nanoskin DA Clay Foam Pad
For use with a DA or orbital polisher with a velcro backup pad, the 6 inch pad does not require reshaping and may be rinsed after dropping. Use on low speed (1 - 2) with a Porter Cable or Meguiar's polisher. Will speed up your clay job by up to 66%. Do not use with a rotary polisher!


Immediately After Claying
      When you have finished claying, wash and dry the car. If the paint is in good condition without scratches, it is ready for polish and wax. If the car is older with dull paint or swirls, use a swirl mark remover, then polish and finally wax. This should last 3 – 6 months before you need to polish/wax again.

Maintaining Your Car after Claying
  1. Wash your car regularly, every week to two weeks.
  2. Remove contaminants (e.g. bird droppings, tree sap, reclaimed water spots, etc). ASAP by placing a wet tissue on the area. Wait five seconds and wipe it off.
  3. Your clay job can last up to a year depending on where it is parked and exposure to the elements. You can clay as often as you like. It won’t remove the polish or wax, just the dirt and contamination. If your car feels gritty when you wash it, simply run a light cut clay bar (or clay sponge) over the surface until it feels smooth. 



Nanoskin Clay Wash Mitt
Price:$45.00 


Showroom Shine Clay Lubricant 
& Spray Wax
Price: From $10.00 - $88.00
 



Mist-It Spray 'N Shine
Price:From $24.00 to $150.00
 


Auto Detailing Microfiber Towels

HT-20 Microfiber Polishing Cloth,
16 x 16 (Each)
Price:$1.50