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Car detailing: It’s tedious and intensive, but oh-so-satisfying in the end. One of the most rewarding (and important) processes in detailing is using a clay bar. It doesn’t matter what type of car you drive, or whether it’s street parked or a garage hog, it’ll eventually get contaminants etched into its exterior. It is important to consider removing those contaminants, especially if you plan on keeping your car looking pretty for an extended period of time.
A resin compound mixture, either of synthetic or natural ingredients, a clay bar is used to remove contaminants from your paint surface. Think of it as silly putty but not used to lift newspaper comics. Successful use of a clay bar will give the paint a glass-like feeling, and lift any harmful tar, debris, and iron oxide stains.
A clay bar isn’t always necessary, and sometimes, not recommended. However, if it’s been a long time since the car has seen a clay bar, it’s likely that you should use one. The best way to tell is to give the car a good wash and dry, look closely at the paint for contaminants, then rub your hands along it. If the surface feels rough and gritty, it needs a clay bar.
There’s a sea of different types out there, so we at The Drive decided to test out the Mothers Clay Kit to give you a better idea of which one is best for you. Thank us later.
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Getting After It With the Mothers Clay Kit
- Good: Amazing value!
- Bad: None!
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This kit comes with four items in total:
- Two 100 gram clay bars
- 16-ounce spray bottle of Mothers instant detailer
- Good quality, edged microfiber
To really put this clay kit to the test, I’ve once again decided to use my mom’s daily driven, white 2009 Nissan Murano. It’s been through the wringer over the years and should have been through the car wash a bit more. Nonetheless, it’s the perfect vehicle to test the kit on. White paint shows contaminants the best, and it’s not much of a thorough test if the car is in mint condition.
To start, I began by washing the car thoroughly to get as much dirt off as possible, followed up by drying, then allowing it to sit for 20 minutes to ensure the moisture was gone. The front passenger door was chosen for the test. As I’ve done in previous clay tests, I set a 10-minute timer to see how much was able to be removed after it ended. Clay barring shouldn’t be an all-day process, and 10 minutes is more than enough to finish a single panel of a crossover. Per direction on the box, I began by kneading the clay until flat, spraying both the panel and the clay generously, then working in a 2-square-foot section. I made sure to apply light pressure the entire time.
What’s Good About The Mothers Clay Kit
The main highlight of this kit was the price point. It gives you all the essentials in one package and for a bargain. Items in this kit usually cost around $30 or more sold separately, while this kit includes two clay bars, a 16-ounce instant detailer spray bottle, and a standard-sized microfiber towel for $10 less.
The amount of clay bar included is great, too and the kit’s directions suggest that a single bar should be used for a single session, but I quickly realized that it’s not necessary. Breaking off a smaller section and testing it proved that it was able to get the job done just as fast. Going by this, I can see these bars lasting a very long time, making the price point even more attractive.
The Mothers clay bar was able to get the job done pretty quickly, without much effort on my end as well. I even beat the timer and finished the panel in just under eight minutes. I was surprised by how easily it was able to remove a year’s worth of contaminant buildup on my mom’s Murano. Although not specified on the box or online, I can guess that the compound used would be a ‘medium-grade’ industry-standard — perfect for those often neglected workhorse vehicles.
What’s Not Good About Mothers Clay Kit
I struggled to find much wrong with this kit. It gets the job done well, and comes with the essentials you’d need for doing a clay bar job. There are other kits out there that come with more, like ceramic coating or polish, but those also run a higher price tag. I can imagine that the average person considering this kit likely already has the things they need for the follow-up processes that come after using a clay bar.
But, if I had to nitpick, I’d point out the fact that the clay compound can thin out and split into the areas where you’re applying the most pressure. This is due to how soft the compound is. Without realizing it, your fingernails could accidentally rub on the paint. So just be mindful of that when passing the bar over stubborn sections.
Our Verdict On Mothers Clay Bar Kit
The Mothers Clay Bar kit is a fantastic value. For those with cars marked with tons of road junk like my mom’s 2009 Nissan Murano, this is the kit for you. It’s sticky enough to pull the contaminants from your paint with ease, comes with the essentials, and won’t break your wallet. Mothers gives you quite a bit of compound to work with, too. Combine that with the fact that clay barring is generally a once or twice a year procedure, and you’ve got a value that can’t be beaten.
FAQs About Mothers Clay Bar Kit
You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers!
Q. Can I use soapy water with a clay bar?
A. Technically yes, but you should be careful about the type of soap you’re using, and how much. It’s generally recommended to use a clay lube, however.
Q. Can you clay bar ceramic coating?
A. No. It’s a bad idea to use a clay bar on a ceramic-coated car, as the clay can break down the coating prematurely.
Q. How long does a car clay bar last?
A. Again, this depends on how often the car is driven and where it’s stored. With proper application and follow-up protection, expect a clay bar to last anywhere from 6-9 months.
Q. Does a clay bar remove oxidation?
A. Yes, but only a light amount of oxidation. For heavy amounts of oxidation, we recommend polishing your car
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