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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Wash, Wax, Detailing and Cosmetic protection/repairs > Proper Clay bar technique



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      09-22-2005, 04:29 PM   #1
EvEr35
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Proper Clay bar technique

I just ordered a Zaino "kit" and it includes 2 clay bars. My question is: Do I really need to do this on a new car? Can anyone explain the proper technique on it's use ie: when should I turn over, how many strokes in the same spot, lubrication etc etc.

Thanks in advance
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      09-22-2005, 05:18 PM   #2
etherbored
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yes, you do need to do it on a new car. i did on my new 330...
proper technique can be found under the detailing section @ bimmerforums.com, but put simply you mist a 3x3 section from a spray bottle mixture of something like 1 part car wash and 8 parts water and then use the clay (flattened somewhat, of course) as an eraser. keep the area you're claying as wet as you like. you'll be amazed at what it does to the surface.
read the details @ bimmerforums, but if you drop the clay then you immediately discard it. therefore, cut the clay pieces up into about 8 sub-pieces and keep it spotless. otherwise you risk picking up debris that you may then rake across your finish...
good luck,
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      09-22-2005, 10:52 PM   #3
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Imo, it depends on how new, or perhaps better, how clean is the surface.

After washing the car with Dawn, put your hand in a plastic baggy and gently move it across the surface of the car. (The baggy enhances sense of touch.) If you feel little bumps and bits, that is dirt and claying may be worth while. If dirt is present but minimal, my inclination would be to do a second wash with Dawn then check again.

I applied Zaino within 5 days of delivery and without claying. Three months later I have no indication that it was needed then or now. YMMV
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      09-23-2005, 01:05 AM   #4
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No, you don't need to do it on a brand new car, IMO.
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      09-26-2005, 08:39 AM   #5
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Depends on how far you are from the port of entry, and how your vehicle got from that port to your dealer. Rail dust is UGLY on a car's finish. Truck stuff isn't much better, and I don't think BMW transports under cover. After watching the cars come off the boat here, and seeing all the salt and grime on them, it's worth it to clay the new car.
I prefer the blue clay bar that 3M makes over those little yellow thingys that Zaino provides. The larger bar on a new car makes the process faster, since the stuff you are removing isn't so deeply imbedded.
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      09-28-2005, 10:32 AM   #6
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Rail dust is the reason you do it to a new car. If you dont do it and its there give your car 3-4 months or less and you will have tiny rust spots that have embedded themself in your paint. If its sits on your paint to long it can acctually go through the clearcoat over time.

Another option would be a decontamination kit if you dont like the idea of clay.

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      09-30-2005, 10:08 PM   #7
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Hello, everyone, my first post here. I really like this place, along with the new e90!!

Here is my own claying technique:

How to: Properly Clay your Car


Make sure you have thoroughly washed and dried your car prior to claying.

Cut the clay bar in half. Take the half and cut it into 15 equal pieces:

2 for the hood
2 for the roof
1 for the trunk lid
1 for the trunk rear and rear bumper
2 for the rear quarter panels (1 per side)
4 for the doors (1 per door)(if you have a sedan)
2 for the front fenders (1 per side)
1 for the front of the car

Take the piece and roll it in to a sphere. Take the sphere and flatten it out into a circle so that it covers the top third of your first two fingers. Spray the first section of the roof with quick detailer. Glide the clay across the area in a front to back motion applying some pressure. Work in 2x2 areas. If you feel your fingers going through the clay, then you are pushing too hard. If the clay is streaking on the paint, then you need more QD. While gliding, you should hear a slight noise and feel some resistance. This is the grit being lifted from the paint. When the resistance and noise stops, dry the QD off with a quality towel. Move onto the next 2x2 section and do the same thing. Once half the section is done, flip the clay over and do the other half of the section. Once the section has been completed throw the piece of clay away. It is too contaminated to use on another section. If you do use it, you will most likely put micro scratches in your clear.

Keep working your way down using each dedicated piece for its area. Flip the clay over when you have completed half a section. Throw the clay away when the section is done.

When complete your car should be as smooth as glass. The next steps should be to remove the swirls (if necessary), remove any hazing from polishing/bring out the full gloss, and seal in the rejuvenated finish with a wax or sealant.


For more tips and tricks, see my post at the following link:

http://www.detailersclub.com/forums/...?t=1142&page=1
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      12-07-2005, 03:07 PM   #8
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Thanks David, that is an excellent technique! I definitely appreciate all of your quality posts.
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      12-07-2005, 03:38 PM   #9
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Lots of lube and long smooth strokes...or so she says.
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      12-08-2005, 10:35 AM   #10
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About how long do you think it would take a beginner to clay bar an entire e90?
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      12-08-2005, 12:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natalia
About how long do you think it would take a beginner to clay bar an entire e90?

when i got my e90 it took my roughly a whole day and change to do a total detail from begining to end
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      12-08-2005, 03:24 PM   #12
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I had never clayed before, and it took me about 20 minutes to do the entire car. Most of the car did not need it, but there were some spots that did.
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      01-04-2006, 12:00 AM   #13
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how often you clay your car? if your clay is one time use, that's like 6bucks at a time.
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      01-04-2006, 10:11 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abc
how often you clay your car? if your clay is one time use, that's like 6bucks at a time.
Some people will reuse the same clay bar multiple times. If you are not paranoind about getting excessive dirt trapped in the bar (and hence marring your paint) then go ahead and use your bar multiple times.

Since I clay my car 2x a year, using half a bar once and throwing it away is not a huge cost.
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      01-05-2006, 05:25 PM   #15
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twice a year? hey your the expert. Thanks for the info.
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      01-05-2006, 08:16 PM   #16
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I picked up my new 325 this week and clayed mine the next day and yes you really need to do it on all cars even if new. The difference is night and day. Then proceed with your normal polish or wax routine. I clay mine about 2 times a year and reused the clay. I just keep folding and reworking it. It helps to get it warm in a cup of warm water first in order to better shape and handle it
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