- 1 Best Clay Bar Reviews – Editors’ Picks
- 1.1 1. Adam’s Clay Bar Jar 2-100g Detailing Bars
- 1.2 2. Clay Magic Blue, Fine Grade
- 1.3 3. Mothers 17240 Speed Clay 2.0
- 1.4 4. Meguiar’s C2000 Mirror Glaze Detailing Clay
- 1.5 5. IPELY 4 Pack 100g Auto Detailing Magic Clay Bar
- 1.6 6. Chemical Guys Cly-113 OG Clay Bar & Synthetic Lubricant Kit
- 2 What Is a Clay Bar?
- 3 Clay Bar Buying Guide
- 4 How Does a Clay Bar Work?
- 5 How to Use a Clay Bar
- 6 Best Clay Bar Comparison Chart
- 7 Clay Bar FAQ’s
- 8 Wrapping Up Our Thoughts on Using a Clay Bar
Does your car’s finish show water spots even after you painstakingly wash and wax it? Maybe you are having problems removing stubborn dead bug residue off your vehicle’s finish after your nighttime drives. Well, professional auto detailers have a proven method they use to deal with situations like these and there is no reason you can’t do it too. They use what’s known as a clay bar treatment. This is a very effective way to remove water spots, bug residue and other contaminants and pollutants for your automobile’s delicate finish. We are here to help you identify the best clay bar products that you will find in the marketplace.
How will we do that? In this article, you will find a complete clay bar buying guide and some useful clay bar reviews. We will give you enough helpful information on clay bars to steer you towards purchasing the perfect type of clay bar for your auto finish needs.
Best Clay Bar Reviews – Editors’ Picks
Here are some of the absolute best choices in the auto marketplace for clay bars.
Adam’s Clay Bar Jar 2-100g Detailing Bars
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Clay Magic Blue, Fine Grade
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Mothers 17240 Speed Clay 2.0
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Meguiar’s C2000 Mirror Glaze Detailing Clay
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IPELY 4 Pack 100g Auto Detailing Magic Clay Bar
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Chemical Guys Cly-113 OG Clay Bar & Synthetic Lubricant Kit
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1. Adam’s Clay Bar Jar 2-100g Detailing Bars
Adam’s is a big name when it comes to car finish products. This clay bar from them does not disappoint. Its ultra-fine grade is perfect for light auto detailing needs or for routine maintenance of your car’s finish. This is a convenient 2-bar package that will give you anywhere from 2 to 4 uses.
This is extremely soft clay that you have to be careful not to wet too much with lubricant. It will remove light doses of tree sap, tar and works well for removing water spots too. It is soft enough that it won’t harm chrome, headlight plastic or glass.
- Removes light contamination and grime
- Two 100-gram bars
- Can also be used on glass, polished metal, and plastic
- Great for brake dust, tar, tree sap, and water spots
- Soft but durable
- Results satisfaction guaranteed
- Does not remove heavy residue
- Breaks down if too wet
2. Clay Magic Blue, Fine Grade
This is a very highly-rated fine clay product that is made using a proven and patented formula. It can handle removing everything from simple water spots to light road tar buildup. The package contains a 200-gram clay bar which is good for 2 to 4 uses.
Clay Magic Blue is the perfect vehicle finish product to use if you want to clean contaminants, pollutants, and other light residues off of your car’s finish. It will even eliminate water spots which waxing sometimes does not get out. Brake dust and even tree sap or no match for this product if it’s used as instructed.
- Removes light residue and contamination
- 200-gram package (2 to 4 uses)
- Will not hurt most car surfaces
- Removes light brake dust, tar, tree sap buildup
- Eliminates stubborn water spots
- Patented makeup
- Does not remove heavy contaminant buildup
- Will not revive fading paint luster
3. Mothers 17240 Speed Clay 2.0
If you are looking for a multiple-use clay bar that is highly rated by those that have used it, then you will be interested in this product. Mothers have come up with a rubber polymer clay bar that will do a nice job removing paint overspray, bugs, tar and other contaminants from your auto’s finish.
This clay bar can be used on smooth plastics, glass, and painted car surfaces without scratching them. It’s an ergonomically shaped clay bar so it’s very easy to work with. It’s patented makeup is completely reusable and will really help add some shine to your car’s finish after using this clay bar and then waxing your vehicle.
- Rubber polymer technology
- Enough product for several uses
- Safe for use on glass, chrome, and smooth plastics
- Ergonomically shaped
- Completely reusable
- Patented makeup
- Not recommended for uneven plastic surfaces
- Needs to be used with special lubricants
4. Meguiar’s C2000 Mirror Glaze Detailing Clay
Meguiar’s has a well-deserved reputation for making outstanding car finish products. This car clay does nothing to hurt that reputation. It contains 200 grams of quick claying product that is meant to be used in conjunction with a surface lubricant. With just a light rubbing it will remove a large variety of surface contaminants on your vehicle’s body.
This is completely non-abrasive auto body clay. It can be used on most car surfaces including paint, glass, metal, and plastic. This auto body clay will remove tree sap, water spots, road tar, and paint overspray quickly and easily. There is enough material included for several uses too.
- Quick use product
- Easily removes bonded contaminants
- Works on paint, glass, metal, and plastic
- Only gentle rubbing required
- Completely non-abrasive
- 200 grams of clay
- Will not remove heavy deposits
- Works best when used with proprietary lubricants
5. IPELY 4 Pack 100g Auto Detailing Magic Clay Bar
Here is a generous size 4-100 gram clay bar pack from IPELY. Those who have tried it are very happy with how this product performed for them. It’s time-tested synthetic plastic clay putty that does a great job of removing all types of surface contaminants from your car’s delicate finish.
This comes in an extremely pliable and soft composition. That makes it easy to use because it adapts to each person’s preferred working shape. This is part of the reason that this product is so effortless to use. It will make your vehicle’s finish noticeably smoother after you have used it.
- Synthetic plastic clay putty
- Gets rid of car surface contaminants effortlessly
- Can be used on glass, headlights, tail lights, polished metal, and wheels
- Takes your car’s finish from rough to smooth
- Soft and pliable clay
- 4 Pack – 100g
- Not recommended for vinyl and textured plastics
- Must keep the clay very moist when working with it
6. Chemical Guys Cly-113 OG Clay Bar & Synthetic Lubricant Kit
Here is a very good clay bar product from Chemical Guys. It contains a tested and proven Flex-Clay Technology. It will do a nice job for you making any rough spots in your auto body’s finish much smoother. This product can be safely used on everything from painted auto body surfaces to glass, plastic, and metal.
It’s a clay bar product that can be used to greatly improve the finish on cars, trucks, motorcycles, RV’s and boats. It does a great job removing surface contaminants embedded in auto paint and on other car surfaces such as glass, plastic, and shiny metals. The necessary lubricant is also contained right in the package as part of a complete auto clay kit.
- Uses synthetic flex-clay technology
- Kit includes recommended lubricant
- Works on everything from painted surfaces to glass, plastic, and metal
- Can safely be used on cars, trucks, motorcycles, RV’s and boats
- Completely non-abrasive
- Contains 100g of clay
- Not many uses in the kit
- No towel included in the kit
What Is a Clay Bar?
You might have worked with clay at one time in school art class or if you are a hobbyist. A clay bar for your car is roughly the same. It’s a substance that is completely free of anything abrasive and glides across the surface of your auto body on a thin layer of lubricant. When it’s slightly wet is can also easily be molded into just about any shape you want to make it easier to work with.
Years ago clay bars were made out of real clay but that’s hardly the case anymore. These days’ clay bars are usually synthetic derivatives that act virtually the same way as real clay does. Some manufacturers will even play around with the formulas so their clay bars will perform even better than actual bars made of clay. That’s why it’s so important to learn how to shop for the right clay bar for your needs.
What Does a Clay Bar Do?
There are many ways to enhance the shine on your car’s finish. You have waxes, liquid polishes and a host of other “rub on and wipe off” products. The trouble with them is they don’t clean down deep into the surface of your vehicle. That is exactly why using a clay bar on your car once in a while is so highly recommended.
It’s the best way to remove paint surface contaminants on your auto’s finish. A clay bar will even get out dirt, debris, and other paint contaminants that are slightly into the clear coat finish on your car. These contaminants include road tar, tree sap, water spots, and bug residue.
Once a clay bar does its job it leaves the area extremely smooth and in turn, that area on your vehicle will shine up better.
Clay Bar Buying Guide
Here are a few clay bar characteristics to focus on when shopping for clay bars:
Clay bars usually come in one of two types.
This is what the vast majority of clay bar products are made out of these days. Synthetic clay bars give those that manufacture them the option of adding special ingredients to them. That often makes them better than using natural clay bars.
You will have to look hard to find all-natural clay bars anymore. That’s because synthetic clay bars work as well if not better and they are also more affordably priced. If you are an old school auto detailer these will still work nicely for you.
There are varying grades of clay bar products. You have to match the grade you use with the amount of work your car’s finish needs to help it shine up again. Here is a rough idea of what you can expect to accomplish with each grade of a clay bar.
If you do clay bar treatments regularly you will probably not have to use any clay bars but ultra-fine ones. This is not a bad way for novice clay bar users to start either.
For the most part, fine clay bar products will do a nice job of removing surface contaminants from your vehicle’s paint. It’s also a very forgiving grade of clay bar that will help clay bar newbies avoid hurting their vehicles finish when doing a treatment.
It takes a little more know-how to use medium grade clay bars. So unless you know what you are doing when it comes to clay bar treatments, it’s best to stick with fine or ultra-fine grades of clay bars. Medium clay bars work best for people who very seldom do clay bar treatments on their auto bodies and they have become very dull.
This type of clay bar should only be used if you are a professional detailer. That’s because it’s much less forgiving than finer grades of clay bars are. You can make your vehicle’s finish worse using a coarse grade clay bar if you don’t know what you are doing. Most auto detailers only use this grade of clay bar if the car’s finish is in very rough shape or has not been cared for in many years.
Number of Uses/Package size
You will want to know the weight of the clay in any clay bar package that you are buying. That will give you a good idea of its value for the money. You can roughly figure that for a medium-sized car it will take 2 ounces or 60 grams of clay bar product for a single-use. Of course, this figure will go up if you have a large car, SUV or pickup truck. If you are novice clay bar user, you can also expect to use more product the first few times you do this task until you get the hang of it.
Patented makeup – yes or no?
You may have noticed that some of the clay bars that were in our reviews of the top ones have patented or proprietary ingredients. It’s a pretty good bet if this is the case that you are getting a little something extra for what you pay for. There will be some ingredients in that particular clay bar that will do things such as making it safer to use or remove embedded contaminants even better. So take a look to see if the clay bar that you are buying has a little something extra added to it.
What lubricant it works best with
Some clay bar manufacturers also make clay bar lubricants that are specially designed to work with their brand of clay bar for best results. Other clay bar manufacturers will tell you their brand of clay bars can be used with any type of clay bar lubricant. Some clay bars only need to be used with water as a lubricant. So make sure when shopping for your clay bar you know what type of lubricant to pair it up with.
How Does a Clay Bar Work?
You may be wondering how a clay bar can get paint contaminants off of your car’s finish without scratching it? It’s because the clay itself only lightly touches the surface of your car. That’s why you have to use a spray lubricant whenever you do a clay bar treatment. The lubricant provides a minuscule barrier between the clay bar and your vehicle’s painted surface. That way it only allows the clay bar to get close enough to your car’s surface to pull up the embedded contaminants that greatly contribute to your vehicles finish looking dull.
Does a Clay Bar Remove Wax?
You might want to highly consider purchasing a good brand of car wax at the same time you purchase your clay bars. That’s because the clay bar treatment will remove most if not all of the wax from your previous auto wax jobs. So it’s best to be prepared for this from the start so you can get all of the work done in a single day.
Benefits of Clay Bar
There are several benefits that using a clay bar on your car’s finish gives you. Among them are:
- It will remove a variety of paint contaminants that take away from the looks of your car’s finish
- It will make waxing your car much easier
- The shine you get detailing your car will last much longer
- It leaves your car’s painted finish slicker and smoother
How to Use a Clay Bar
There are many misconceptions when it comes to clay bar use. That’s why you have to follow the instructions of your clay bar’s manufacturer to the letter. Anything else and you may be disappointed with your clay bar application results or worse yet, you may hurt your car’s delicate finish.
Here is a basic overview of how to do a standard clay bar treatment.
- Step 1: You will give yourself a little advantage before you start your clay bar treatment if you wash your car. Give it a good scrubbing and go lightly on soaps and detergents because the buildup of these cleaners will hurt the performance of your clay bar during the treatment. This is also the reason you want to avoid using an automatic car wash or the best foam cannon before doing any clay bar treatment. See our guide onchoosing a wheel cleaner if you want your rims and tires to look great too after you wash your car.
- Step 2: Assemble the proper materials to do your clay bar treatment. Pick the proper clay bar you need by judging the dullness of your car’s finish (go with a fine grade clay bar if you are unsure or a novice at clay bar treatments). You will also need the proper spray lubricant and a premium microfiber towel. Ask an auto store professional for help if you are having trouble matching a clay bar to its proper spray lubricant.
- Step 3: Grab a little bit of clay bar product and flatten it out into about a palm-size piece. This will make it easy to work with.
- Step 4: Spray some spray lubricant onto a small section of your vehicle. Next, take your clay bar and work it in a back and forth motion across the lubricated area on your auto body (make sure you do not go past this area or you might scratch your car’s finish). You should only apply light pressure when doing this. Let the clay bar itself do the work. Work in small quarter panel size sections for best results. After completing a section, then wipe it down with the microfiber towel before moving on to the next section.
- Step 5: For best results fold and knead the clay regularly so you are continually using a fresh clay surface.
- Step 6: Follow your clay treatment up with a good wax job. This should leave your car with a brilliant shine if you have done the clay bar treatment properly.
Best Clay Bar Comparison Chart
|Adam’s Clay Bar Jar 2-100g Detailing Bars||$||Two 100-gram||Removes light contamination and grime / Great for brake dust, tar, tree sap, and water spots||3.4 x 3.3 x 3.2″|
|Clay Magic Blue, Fine Grade||$$$||200 g||Removes light residue and contamination / Patented makeup||6.5 x 5 x 1″|
|Mothers 17240 Speed Clay 2.0||$$$$||Single Unit||Rubber polymer technology / Completely reusable||3.1 x 4.7 x 11″|
|Meguiar’s C2000 Mirror Glaze Detailing Clay||$$$$||200 gr||Easily removes bonded contaminants / Only gentle rubbing required||3.6 x 3.6 x 3.6″|
|IPELY 4 Pack 100g Auto Detailing Magic Clay Bar||$||100g||Synthetic plastic clay putty / For glass, headlights, tail lights, polished metal, and wheels||5 x 3.8 x 1.4”|
|Chemical Guys Cly-113 OG Clay Bar & Synthetic Lubricant Kit||$$||16 oz||Synthetic flex-clay technology / Completely non-abrasive||8.3 x 3.5 x 3.5”|
Clay Bar FAQ’s
Here are some questions that we repeatedly get about clay bars.
- Question: Which is better at leaving your car’s finish shinier; a clay bar or wax?
Answer: This is a hard question to answer because there are so many variables involved. A quality wax can certainly bring out the shine on your vehicle’s finish but with a catch. That’s if there are not a lot of contaminants embedded deeply in your car’s finish. If that’s the case, then using a clay bar is your best option to help bring out a nice shine on your auto’s finish. When you use a clay bar and follow up with waxing, you are almost guaranteed to leave an incredible shine on your car’s finish.
- Question: Do I always have to wax after using a clay bar on my auto body finish?
Answer: Chances are you have purchased a clay car because you want to get your car’s body to shine up and look like new. If that’s the case, then you will want to apply a nice wax finish to your vehicle after you have done a clay bar treatment on it. You will be amazed at how good your car’s finish looks after combining these two auto detailing steps if you have done them right.
- Question: Will a clay bar get rid of unsightly scratches?
Answer: The answer to this question is both yes and no. First of all, a clay bar is not the first option for removing scratches but it may help. Chances are if you only have extremely light scratches in the very outer surface of your clear coat it may remove them. Any scratches deeper than that and its best to use a product that is specifically designed to remove scratches from auto paint.
Wrapping Up Our Thoughts on Using a Clay Bar
Without a doubt, a good clay job on your vehicle’s surface will help to improve the looks of the finish. They just do a wonderful job of getting rid of paint surface contaminants that severely limit the ability of your car body’s to shine. That’s why professional auto detailers seek out the best clay bar products they can find to use as part of a regimen to get their customers’ auto finishes looking great.
You do have to do a little research to find the perfect clay bar for your needs. That’s why we provided you with this handy clay bar buying guide. You can also skip the research part and buy one of the trusted clay bar products that were in our clay bar reviews. Either way, you should be able to purchase a clay bar that will help improve the looks of your car’s finish.