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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Wash, Wax, Detailing and Cosmetic protection/repairs > Should I clay bar/decontaminate the paint before I wax or no?



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      03-14-2021, 04:51 PM   #1
Mosaud1998
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Should I clay bar/decontaminate the paint before I wax or no?

I clay bar and waxed my car in November of 2020. Didn't drive the car much during the winter. Maybe once but it wasn't snowing and there was no slush on the roads.

I am thinking about waxing it next week. Should I clay bar/decontaminate the paint before I apply wax or there's no need to do all that since I didn't drive the car?
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      03-14-2021, 05:50 PM   #2
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Feel the paint and see if its rough or if its smooth. Rough means needs to be clayed smooth should be fine. If you’d like to be careful if it isnt bad clay barring it should be rather quick and easy if it’s as you say then you have peace of mind.
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      03-14-2021, 06:01 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Smgs1992 View Post
Feel the paint and see if its rough or if its smooth. Rough means needs to be clayed smooth should be fine. If youíd like to be careful if it isnt bad clay barring it should be rather quick and easy if itís as you say then you have peace of mind.
I went over the paint with my hand in a sandwich back.

It feels really really lighty rough. I'll just use Iron-X or Adams iron remover.

That might help.
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      03-14-2021, 07:02 PM   #4
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I think it's always good to clay bar before waxing, I wax a few times a year and it can't hurt.
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      03-14-2021, 07:08 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by tcphoto View Post
I think it's always good to clay bar before waxing, I wax a few times a year and it can't hurt.
Can't claying too often run the clear coat? Or scratch the paint?
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      03-14-2021, 09:00 PM   #6
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I do it maybe 3-4 times a year at the most. I haven’t heard anything about it damaging clear coat or paint. Keeping a coat of detailing spray and not overusing the clay is essential.
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      03-14-2021, 09:18 PM   #7
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Technically you're not supposed to clay without following it up with at least a light polish, than wax.
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      03-14-2021, 10:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emilime75 View Post
Technically you're not supposed to clay without following it up with at least a light polish, then wax.
I clay then apply a wax coating and on top of the wax coating I apply two coats of CMX
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      03-14-2021, 10:39 PM   #9
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That's kinda like spilling the CMX right down the drain, it won't bond to the wax. CMX is a "hybrid" sealant that's designed to bond to paint/clear coat. If anything, you should apply the sealant, than wax as needed to prolong the protection of said sealant. And the reason why it is generally advised to polish after a clay is because you're actually putting miniscule scratches into the clear when you do clay. There's really no reason to clay unless you're prepared to do some more work after it.
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      03-14-2021, 10:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emilime75 View Post
That's kinda like spilling the CMX right down the drain, it won't bond to the wax. CMX is a "hybrid" sealant that's designed to bond to paint/clear coat. If anything, you should apply the sealant, than wax as needed to prolong the protection of said sealant. And the reason why it is generally advised to polish after a clay is because you're actually putting miniscule scratches into the clear when you do clay. There's really no reason to clay unless you're prepared to do some more work after it.
I think I contacted mothers and they said it’s fine to use CMX on top of the wax.

I’ll double-check that way I’m not wasting the product.

Oh, wait, the wax I use has polish in it. Per the manufacture.

I use meguiars 3 in 1 wax

Last edited by Mosaud1998; 03-14-2021 at 11:04 PM..
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      03-14-2021, 10:55 PM   #11
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Here it is
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      03-14-2021, 11:29 PM   #12
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Yes, I get what the marketing dept says about it, but consider what a ceramic coating is and what it does/how it works. I also get that CMX is one of these new fandangled "hybrid" ceramic/sealant/waxes/whatevers...so not a true ceramic coating. It's a decent product for what it is, I have a bottle of it. It's basically a longer wearing wax, and imo, if you're layering, should be used as a base and topped with traditional waxes.
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      03-14-2021, 11:33 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emilime75 View Post
Yes, I get what the marketing dept says about it, but consider what a ceramic coating is and what it does/how it works. I also get that CMX is one of these new fandangled "hybrid" ceramic/sealant/waxes/whatevers...so not a true ceramic coating. It's a decent product for what it is, I have a bottle of it. It's basically a longer wearing wax, and imo, if you're layering, should be used as a base and topped with traditional waxes.
Do you think meguiars 3 in 1 wax doesnít have polish in it?

Iíll spray the ceramic coating first then apply the wax this time.
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      03-15-2021, 12:14 AM   #14
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Here’s what I am thinking about doing.

1. Wash/dry car (two bucket method)
2. Inspect paint for imperfections with hand in a sandwich bag.
3. If I feel imperfections, I’ll use Adams iron remover.
4. Wash off Adams iron remover. Inspect paint with hand in a sandwich bag again.
5. If I feel imperfections still I’ll clay. If not I’ll skip step 5 and go to step 6. If I do feel imperfections, I’ll clay then go to step 6
6. Apply Mothers CMX. Let it cure for 24 hours.
7. Use detail spray to wipe the surface then add another layer of CMX. Let the second layer cure for a day.
8. Final step, use detail spray to wipe surface then apply a coating of MEG ultimate liquid wax for added protection a depth.

Last edited by Mosaud1998; 03-15-2021 at 01:13 AM..
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      03-15-2021, 05:42 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mosaud1998 View Post
Do you think meguiars 3 in 1 wax doesnít have polish in it?
Not sure why the question. I imagine it does have some very light abrasive in it in order to be called a polish, but consider what's happening here. The act of polishing a painted surface, like your car, involves removing a minute amount of clear coat by way of abrasion. You would typically want to remove all of this debris, in the form of fine dust, that is created by polishing, along with the polish residuebefore you apply a protective top coat, regardless if that is a wax, a ceramic coating or a hybrid of the 2. What happens to this debris and residue when the polish is also the wax? I don't doubt you get decent results doing what you're doing, but think about the steps, the products and the tools needed to do a paint correction and/or maintenance. BTW, the AutoGeek forum is a fantastic source of info and full of very helpful people if you ever want to do a deep dive into the world of paint correction and maintenance. Their store also carries anything and everything you could ever need to do this type of work.
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      03-20-2021, 09:04 PM   #16
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Just washed, clay bar and put one coat of mother's ceramic spray(CMX)

Wow, the silver really pops. No photoshop used

I Will put another layer of ceramic spray Sunday and a layer of liquid wax Monday for extra shine and protection.
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      09-22-2021, 07:23 PM   #17
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If you are going through a multi step process you might as well ceramic coat
it since it's not that much more work for much longer protection.
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      11-21-2021, 09:46 PM   #18
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Turned out nice!
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      02-04-2022, 11:44 PM   #19
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Iv been detailing for a long time and also use to run the detail department at a bmw dealer here in town. I will give you my personal opinion on what I like to do to my own ride and family members.

Clay bar makes a huge difference (especially if it has never been clayed.) it will remove road tar, tree sap, over spray etc. prep work is everything and it will really add to the depth and shine during the end result.
Most clays are quite mild so don't worry about it damaging the paint. Just do small sections at a time and rotate/ remold the clay in your hands alot. Around wheel arches and rear of the car will be the worst. It will also take off metallic break dust that has stuck to the car and looks like tiny rust specks. Claying sucks and kills my shoulder but it worth it in the end

I have tried so many products and methods over the years. This is my favourite method at the moment...

I like to hand wash first.
Clay bar
Chemical guys vss scratch and swirl remover . This can be done by hand but much better results with a light power polishing. No need to use cutting pad just a application pad on the polisher is fine.

Next some sort of wax or top coat. I have been using chemical guys top coat with carrauba in it.

Lastly I love the hydrosilex recharge ceramic spray. This stuff is amazing and will last all winter if applied correctly. Two coats giving time to cure between coats. Leaves you with a candy coating shine that repels water and dirty like crazy.
All this sounds like a ton of work( and it is) but the results speak for themselves.
Below is my dads black s4 I did with this method. That is me and my garage ceiling you see in the reflection of the hood.
The other pic is the side of my blue water metallic 335.
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      02-08-2022, 10:23 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mosaud1998 View Post
I clay bar and waxed my car in November of 2020. Didn't drive the car much during the winter. Maybe once but it wasn't snowing and there was no slush on the roads.

I am thinking about waxing it next week. Should I clay bar/decontaminate the paint before I apply wax or there's no need to do all that since I didn't drive the car?

https://www.detailedimage.com/Ask-a-...se-a-clay-bar/
https://www.detailedimage.com/Auto-D...0be%20required.
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