How To Clay Bar a Black Car

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How to clay bar a black car is a question often asked. The reason being black car owners are always advised to be extra careful when detailing their car in case they mar the surface. 

But why is black more prone to scratches and swirl marks compared to other color cars? The truth is: it isn’t. There is nothing in black paint quality that is any different from other colors, but the very color just tends to amplify the visibility of those marks.

Also, since black is the best absorber of radiation, it tends to absorb more UV rays, which in turn accelerates oxidation, leading to paint fading. Giving us all very good reason to take extra attention to our slick black beauties.

Detailed black car

Why do you need to clay your black car?

If your car (or a part of it) has been damaged in some way (scratching, denting), or the previous protective coat needs to be replaced because it is uneven, dirty, faded, worn out etc., then clay barring is an excellent way to remove everything right back to the clear coat.

Claying is good for removing superior quality coats (which have an SiO2 composition above 80%) with ease. It also prepares your paint job for the polishing and final protective coating.

How to clay bar black cars?

Follow this simple 3 step guide to clay bar your black vehicle.

1. Wash the vehicle with wax-stripping shampoo

To get the best results, you must prep your car before claying it. This is done by giving it a thorough wash. If you are going to apply a new ceramic coating, wax, or protective sealant, you have to wash off the existing wax. This is called a strip wash.

Use a proper wax-stripping shampoo designed for cars with a foam gun; do not use regular dish soap because that can damage the surface.

Once washed a test you can make to ascertain if clay barring is needed, is to lightly draw your hand across the surface and feel for any roughness. Or drag a good quality microfiber cloth across the panel and note if it is snagging on any protruding particles in the surface. If it is then clay barring is definitely needed.

It is recommended to use an iron remover spray before claying, which dissolves any bonded iron from the paint and prevents scratches while claying.

2. Clay the surface with a clay bar or mitt

Next is the actual claying process.

Always buy a clay bar from a well-known brand. It is also recommended to buy a clay mitt instead of clay bar because it is much less likely to cause any marring of paint (professional car detailers have also started shifting towards mitts). Using clay of a finer grade also reduces the likelihood of scratching.

We highly recommend Adam's Clay Mitt fetured below due to it superb claying qualities and ease of use.

It is essential to use a proper lubricant, otherwise your mitt will not move smoothly and will almost certainly scratch the paint job. Use a dedicated clay lubricant or detailer spray instead of a standard car shampoo. You know you’re doing it right if your clay moves easily over the surface.

Move the clay in long, smooth strokes instead of circles to avoid swirl marks. When the clay gets dirty, fold it over and knead it to use the clean side.

Using the clay bar this way you car get many cars fully clayed using the same bar. Please note that if you drop the clay bar then you have to throw it away as it will just contain too many dirt particles to continue claying.

3. Wash and dry

At the end, wash and dry your car again to remove any leftover residue.

Drying can be done with a large special drying microfiber towel or you can use a car dryer. The dryer will reduce the chances of any final scratches by eliminating human contact.

An optional step is to spray Isopropyl alcohol after the surface has dried. Then wipe it off and you are ready to apply a new protective layer on your car.

What protective layer should you choose?

As discussed earlier our beautiful black vehicles need that extra layer of protection due to the tendency of black to show the scratches up more than other colors.

Therefore, it is of great importance that we have the best level of protection, not only to guard against scratches but as an insurance to ensure our hours of labour preparing the surface doesn't go to waste.

You have two main choices of protection:

  1. Coat of wax
  2. Ceramic Coating

Coat of Wax

This form of protection involves covering the whole of the vehicle in a cocoon of wax. The wax will dry to form a hard shell that sits on top of the paintwork.

It will deflect and absorb and inpact from road debris and also the harmful UV rays of the high Summer sun.

Wax is the traditionalist approach to protecting bodywork. Favoured by many old time detailers and a firm favourite amongst classic cars owners.

There are also certain types of waxes that are designed for black cars. Most of these contain Montan Wax which is produced from brown coal, mainly in Germany but also in Ione Basin, California.

A third of the world production of montan wax goes into car wax specifically for black cars. Therefore, it is well work checking out a few waxes that contain this dark ingredient.

Dodo Juice Purple Haze

Zymol Ebony Wax

Montan wax to protect after clay bar a black car

How to Clay Bar a Black Car Conclusion

We hope you can now see the important role clay barring occupies in the process of detailing a black car. Its such an important step in the whole process and really does hlpe give that deep shine by removing all the surface imperfections.

Follow our step by step guide and you wil be assured or the results you desire.

  1. Wash the car with a good wax clearing shampoo to leave surface ready for clay barring
  2. Use our microfiber cloth test to assess if the surface needs clay bar
  3. Clay bar the car using plenty of lubricant using long strokes.
  4. Dry the car completely
  5. Apply a black car wax containing montan wax for best results.