Before using a clay bar, it is important to adequately prespray the vehicle and clay bar with a clay bar lubricant to provide a slick surface to glide the clay over. Clay must be lubricated at all times as you gently slide the clay bar over your working area. Without proper lubrication the clay bar won’t easily glide across the paint, and it may leave a residue, which can be difficult to remove. This residue will later cause the wax to cure improperly and, if polishing, will be picked up by the pad on your high-speed buffer or dual-action buffer.

Roman Diaz, Zep Vehicle Care senior vehicle care specialist, has provided professional detail training to car wash locations for more than 25 years. He recommends using a wax enhancer lubricant rather than a high-alkaline lubricant. Diaz says high-alkaline lubricants can ruin the clay bar and render it unusable.

Once the car is fully lubricated, the clay bar will easily remove oxidation and smooth the surface. The removed contamination sticks to the clay and then readies the vehicle for the wax or polish process.

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