Car Wash & Auto Detailing

What is a Clay Bar Treatment?

Your car will spend most of its lifetime on the outside and is subject to many contaminants. With time, those contaminants will go through the protective layers of your car damaging its paint and bodywork. To prevent that from happening, you need to do a Clay Bar Treatment.

Before having a mobile car detailing there are basics things you need to know. There are two types of contaminants:

  • The physical ones: sand, brake dust…
  • The organic ones: salt, tree sap, acid…

The only way to remove those contaminants is to use a clay bar. If you care about your car, you need to do it on a regular basis to preserve the paint and the shape of it. When booking a Mobile Car Wash or a Mobile Detailing, make sure to tell the detailer that you need a Clay Bar Treatment (or ask for his opinion on that matter) so that he takes the supplies along with him!

Can I do it myself?

I would almost say that you cannot! Moreover, don’t bother asking yourself “Does the Car Wash near me will use clay on my car“? It is less likely that they do!

Don’t venture to do it yourself if you have no ideas how this works as you could heavily damage your bodywork. Let a professional detailer take care of this for you. Even if it sounds easy to do, you need to use the right clay bar, chemicals and apply it the right way (it is more subtle than doing a simple wipe-down!). Nevertheless, here are all the steps for a clay treatment:

  1. Start by doing a car wash and dry the car. Do never use clay on a dirty car or you may damage the paint even more!

  2. Knead the clay until it becomes as supple as a modeling clay.

  3. Spray the Lubricant on your car on a small surface and gently slide the clay bar. Don’t go circles, try to cover all the surface of the car, respect the shape of it and don’t put any force. The more smoothly the clay slides on the car, the more efficient the treatment is.

  4. Use a microfiber rag to wipe to wipe the clay lubricant.

  5. Repeat the steps 2, 3 & 4 on the entire surface of your car.

It is advised to polish the bodywork after a good clay bar treatment. However, polishing a car requires some precise skills if you do not want to alter the shape and paint of the car. This is where your Washos detailer comes into play I’d say! Protect paint and shape of a nice car is a real challenge.

How frequent should I do a clay treatment on my car?

It all depends on the usage you have of the car. If you live under the hot sun of California and have a heavy usage of your car, you may want to do one every two months or so to keep it in the best shape. Indeed, in dry regions, your car is exposed to a lot of organic contaminants, are way more subject to UV rays and don’t benefit from being naturally washed by the rain.

Before/after a Clay Bar Treatment and Wax on a black BMW.

What difference between a clay treatment and car wax?

We’ve been writing about What is a car wax on our blog. Many of our customers do not know exactly the difference between those two operations. It is simple, Waxing will add a protective layer on your bodywork to prevent it from being damaged by the sun or other contaminants. However, the wax will not eradicate the contaminants and other dirt already embedded into your bodywork. Car detailing has its own logic, and you want to have this one in mind!

All of our detailers know this: it is often better to use a clay bar before waxing your car. Don’t be surprised that a car detailer will most of the time try to sell you this before applying wax. Waxing your car without a clay treatment is fine especially if what you are looking for is to give your car a shiny look but keep this rule of thumb in mind.

Doing a clay treatment is for those who actually care about their car and who want to preserve it as long as possible.

Try Washos

Washos CTA 1

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    What Is Car Wax ? | Washos
    August 10, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    […] be waxed once a month with a proper wash in between. Prior to the wax treatment, we recommend our clay bar treatment to remove physical and organic contaminants. Another good thing to know is that even after a […]

  • Reply
    What is a Waterless Car Wash? [The Complete Guide] | Washos Blog
    December 18, 2016 at 11:07 am

    […] you want to use wax or to go up to the clay bar treatment, preparing your car with waterless car wash solution is better. If you use water, you would have […]

  • Reply
    January 10, 2017 at 11:13 am

    […] you want to use wax or to go up to the clay bar treatment, preparing your car with waterless car wash solution is better. If you use water, you would have […]

  • Reply
    A Beginner's Guide to Car Detailing | Washos Blog
    February 14, 2017 at 9:09 pm

    […] top to bottom using washing mitts and soft microfiber towels. The paintwork is then clayed using automotive clay bar that removes the tightly bonded dirt of the surface of the car, which is your car’s clear […]

  • Reply
    March 31, 2017 at 5:36 pm

    cost of clay bar

  • Leave a Reply