What does Car Clay Do?

What does it mean to clay a car? Claying a car is the process of removing contaminants from a car’s surface that cannot be removed by a wash alone. Many times these bonded contaminants can’t be seen, but they often can be felt. These types of contaminants can include brake dust, metal dust, industrial fallout, overspray, and road grit. You can use a car clay bar or a synthetic clay to do it:

There are two main


Let's take a quick look:


Clay Bar

What is a Car Clay Bar? This type of clay is made from a malleable material that is molded into a bar shape and used to remove contaminants from the surface of a vehicle.

The Car Detailing Clay Bar. It comes in different grades and can be reused by kneading and must be trashed if dropped.


Synthetic Clay

Synthetic clay is made from a micro-abrasive material that can be used in place of traditional Car Clay.

It works as a car clay bar, though it can be reused by simply rinsing thoroughly, even if dropped.

Clay Mitt washing


Inside the Synthetic Car Clay

Clay Mitts

Part wash mitt, part synthetic clay. Complete both wash and car clay processes in the same step.

Microfiber Clay Mitt in use

MaxShine Clay Lube Spray Bottle

All types of clay can be used with a clay lubricant to help remove contaminants from the surface of the vehicle. The choice between a traditional car clay bar or synthetic clay will depend on personal preference and the specific needs of the vehicle.

5 Steps to Clay Your Ride



Prepare Your Surface

After a thorough wash, apply generous lubrication to the surface of the car and the clay product

Spraying MaxShine Clay Lube Spray

The Correct Movement

Apply the Clay

The proper movement for Car Clay is: Lightly glide the clay back and forth (ideally along car body lines, never in circles)

car Clay Pad Movement


Always Check the Clay Lubrication

Apply more lubrication as necessary, you shouldn’t feel tension

MaxShine Clay Lube Spray and Applicator sprayed

Work by Panel

Clay Every Panel

Knead or rinse clay after each panel, or more as needed depending on contamination level

Ferrari Claying Prep

Clean the Surface

Wipe/rinse residual lubrication

Suede Towel Cleaning Clay

More About Claying

While claying doesn’t remove scratches or all bonded contaminants, it does help prevent paint damage from the contaminants and allow waxes and sealants to work as they should.

Check the following video from our YouTube Channel



Car Clay can help improve the appearance and overall condition of a vehicle, leading to a more attractive and protected surface. It is recommended to clay a car once or twice a year, depending on the amount of contaminants present on the surface and the level of protection desired.

Clay pad in use
Clay Bar used



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