What does detailing clay do?

There are a lot of misconceptions about what automotive "clay" will and won't do. We've written this article to set the record straight.

CLAY DOES NOT POLISH  PAINT

You may have heard of detailing clay, but what does it actually do?

Look closely at your vehicle. Examine the paint on the hood and the lower side panels. Depending on the condition of your vehicle, you may see tiny brownish orange spots in the paint. These little specks are rust and they can keep spreading until your paint system completely fails. The good news is that these tiny specks of rust can be easily removed with clay!

Clay is easy to use and it is the only way to completely clean automotive paint. Microscopic debris penetrates your vehicle’s clear coat everyday. If these contaminants are not removed, they oxidize to create the tiny rust spots. Those spots are doorways into your vehicle’s paint system.

These contaminants come from multiple sources:

Rail dust: When a vehicle is shipped to the dealership from the factory it can be transported via car carrier or train. During transport tiny metal particles can come off the trucks and rail road. This is known as "rail dust".

Brakes: Every time you use your brakes, tiny metal fibers come off and land on the paint. Primarily behind the wheels and on the rear of the vehicle due to the air flow around the car or truck. Tailgates are notorious for this.

Overspray: We often use clay to remove overspray from spray painting being done downwind.

Road / Environmental fallout: Whether it's grime from the road, salt, rust, or other foreign environmental contaminants, clay can often be used to remove these embedded particles.

White: Now while all vehicles get contaminants, they're much more visible on white vehicles. If you get close you'll see a ton of tiny orange specs all over it.

If you wash your vehicle and feel the lowers and/or rear of the vehicle, and it feels rough, then it's time for clay!

A contaminated vehicle will:

  • Get dirty quicker
  • Be harder to clean
  • Appear dull
  • Interfere with ceramic coatings, sealants, waxes

There are multiple decontamination methods and clays available.

  • Chemical decontamination
  • Classic clay bars
  • Synthetic Clay Mits, Towels, Discs

What will clay NOT do:

  • Clay will NOT polish
  • Clay will NOT remove scratches
  • Clay will NOT provide protection

Clay can be abrasive and, like sandpaper, it comes in different grades; Fine, Medium, Heavy.

Clay must be used with a lubricant to avoid marring and it is recommended to be used by a professional.

We include clay treatment with our exterior detailing service.

If you'd like to learn more about our exterior detailing process, or if you'd like to book your detailing appointment, please contact us today.

You can learn more about all of our packages and services and request an appointment online here:  CLICK HERE TO BOOK ONLINE

Detailing Cape Cod, Inc.
Detailing Services:
360 Route 130,
Sandwich MA 02563
508-833-1522 ext.2

XPEL PPF & Ceramic Coatings:
8 Jan Sebastian Drive, Unit 5
Sandwich, MA 02563
774-521-5989