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Cleaner vs. Clay bar vs. Polish ... what's the difference?


Old 05-18-1999, 10:48 AM
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Default Cleaner vs. Clay bar vs. Polish ... what's the difference?

My understanding is that a cleaner will clean off old paint, contaminates(sp?), basically to clean the surface so the wax will "stick" (sorry, lack of a better term). The clay bar is use for cleaning, again, old paint and some of the embedded contaminates that even cleaner can't really get rid of after LOTS of scrubbing. These are almost interchangable?<br>Now, the polish actually polishes (removes) a layer of the clear coat, thus removing swirls and hair line scratches. <p>Am I right about these? I don't need to use the polish unless I am trying to remove swirls? As for the little sand like particle that I feel when I run my finger on the car surface, I can get rid of them using a clay bar, right? <p>Thanks...<p>Cris<br>
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Old 05-18-1999, 11:01 AM
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Old 05-18-1999, 11:16 AM
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Default clay/polish/wax

I wrote a lengthy note on how I clean my car, yesterday.<p>Cleaner gets the major dirt off.<br>Clay gets those little sand like things. (I love the feel after claying.)<br>You don't NEED to polish, but I feel it is a good enhancement step before waxing.<p>clean often<br>clay when needed<br>polish and wax monthly
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Old 05-18-1999, 12:27 PM
Brad Bilut
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Default I used Mothers Clay bar on my 98.5 last week (more)

My car is just about one year old and I waxed it about a month ago. I wanted to clean it up after the winter. When I was waxing it I noticed the the surface of the paint was not very smooth. When I was done the car looked clean, but I wasn't really happy. It seemed like the surface had a lot of junk on it. Not really visible, but I could feel it. I also had a couple stuborn stains on my hood that I could not get off (I think tree sap.) I bought Mother Clay Bar System last week and did the whole car. I could hear and feel the clay bar removing all junk on the paint surface, it also removed my tree sap from the hood very easily. When I was done with the clay bar the surface of the car was sooo smoooooth! I then used Mother's carnuba (I think that's spelled right)wax. Oh man, I've never seen my car so clean! It looked ten times better than when it was brand new! <p>I was very impressed with the clay bar! I would imagine it would work wonders on a car a couple years old.<p>Thanks!<p>Brad Bilut 98.5 2.8Qtip Stebro Wett
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Old 05-18-1999, 01:53 PM
Dave M
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Default Re: Cleaner vs. Clay bar vs. Polish ... what's the difference?

According to Meguiar's, their polishes (like the #7 Show Car Glaze) are pure polishes that contain no abrasives. Instead they restore nutients to the paint and restore color and shine to the paint. Wax will just protect the surface of the paint and does not supply any nutrients to the paint. So depending on whose polish you are using, it might be a good step to include. I have found that my paint feels very smooth and supple after using the #7 (not just smooth and hard), so I do think it is putting something back into the paint. While the Meguiar's polishes claim to contain no abrasives, their #9 is a swirl remover/polish. I think they can make this claim because when these products dry they become like a jewlers polishing rouge, and the more they are worked into the paint and dry out, the particles break down into finer and finer particles. That is what levels out the paint and makes it more reflective (shiney). So they don't include any abrasives, per se, but some very mild abrasives result due to the chemical properties of the polish (and you need some abrasiveness in order to level out the surface of the paint and make it shiney).<p>I think cleaners and clay bars are very similar products, but the clay is better suited (IMHO) to removing defects above the surface of the paint, such as paint overspray and rail dust (rust specs).<p>Dave M - '97 1.8tm
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