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Do You Need To Use a Clay Bar on a New Car?

When you buy a new car, you might think you don’t need to do anything to clean or maintain it, at least for a while. After all, this is a new car, right? Experts disagree because the longer you let bird poop, pollen, and road dirt sit on the clearcoat, the more likely they will affix to the surface and stay there.

Girl looking at new car

You need to use a clay bar on a new car. Doing so will remove contaminants from the car’s paint without damaging the clear coat. If the paint feels rough or textured, a clay bar will clean and smooth your vehicle, leaving it with a bright, clear finish.

Clay bar applications are an essential part of car detailing. Keep reading to learn what a clay bar is, how to use it to remove contaminants on the paint surface, and the benefits of using a clay bar to restore the shine and luster of your car’s paint.

What Is a Clay Bar?

Hand holding clay bars

A clay bar is a special resin that will remove microscopic contaminants from your car’s paint. The compound is an engineered balm that lifts pollutants from the surface to produce a clear, shiny finish.

The clay is similar to the substance you played with as a child. However, a clay bar for detailing has added elasticity so that you can use it repeatedly. Using a clay bar before adding wax to your vehicle is an excellent way to improve your car’s shine.

How To Clay Your New Car

New car car headlight

Using a clay bar on your new car does not have to be complicated. The clay bar is similar to a facial mud mask since it will pull the dirt out of your car’s “pores.” Think of a clay bar as a companion to washing your car, which comes after washing to remove the bug remains, resins, and overspray.

Here is how to use a clay bar on your new car, which should take about an hour and a half:

  1. Attach the hose to the water spigot.
  2. Park your car on a flat surface with plenty of ventilation, like in your garage or driveway.
  3. Wash the vehicle with a car wash mitt and all-purpose car wash soap.
  4. Rinse the car well, ensuring that you have sprayed off all the soap.
  5. Use a microfiber towel to wipe the car dry.
  6. Divide the clay bar into two to four pieces.
  7. Work each portion of the clay bar into a circle. It should be about the size of your thumb, index, and middle fingers.
  8. Apply a small amount of clay bar lubricant to the clay bar. I recommend you to use the Chemical Guys Clay Bar and Synthetic Lubricant Kit for this. This kit has an ultra-fine clay bar that easily maintains the smoothness of your car.
  9. Apply a quarter-size amount of lubricant to the car surface.
  10. Use a back and forth motion to spread the lubricant over the surface to pick up the contaminants.
  11. Use only back and forth motions, not circular.
  12. Fold the clay over and knead when you see it getting dirty.
  13. Cover your hand with a plastic baggie and run it over the section.
  14. Continue working the same section until you can run your hand with the bag over the area and feel no drag.
  15. Wipe this section clean with a microfiber towel.
  16. Start the process again in the next section until you have clayed the entire surface.

Once you have treated the entire car with the clay bar, your vehicle is ready for a polish and wax to seal the finish.

CarCareReport dot com is owner of this article and was first posted on Sep 17, 2022 and was updated on ..

The Benefits of a Clay Bar Treatment for a New Car

View of front of the new car

You might think your new car doesn’t need a clay bar treatment. However, most new vehicles have been sitting on the sales lot for a while. A vehicle that has been outside might have accumulated contaminants like:

  • Rain
  • Snow
  • Wind
  • Road dirt
  • Bird droppings
  • Pollen

Even the new cars on the car haulers travel long distances to get to the dealerships. During that time, road dirt, brake dust, and rain stick to the surface of the cars. Treating your new vehicle with a clay bar can remove all of that stuck-on gunk and bring back your vehicle’s ultra-clean texture and slick feel.

Here are some benefits of using a clay bar on your car:

  • The clay bar removes contaminants from your car’s surface, leaving a shiny, smooth exterior. When you leave dirt, pollen, bird droppings, and exhaust on the car surface, they will embed into the finish. If you don’t clean them off soon enough, your car’s paint will develop rough patches, becoming more prone to chipping.
  • A clay bar application produces the best base to apply wax. The clay bar removes the uneven, rough surface, leaving a pristine surface that receives wax well.
  • The clay bar treatment will restore the light reflection off your paint. Contaminants from the air form an uneven covering on the car surface, hindering the light reflection that makes your car look glossy.
  • The use of the clay bar removes oxidation from your car’s exterior. Oxidation interferes with light reflection and stays on the car unless you use a clay bar to clean it away.

How Many Times a Year Should You Clay a Car?

New car running

You should clay bar a car at least three times a year. However, since a clay bar only removes oxidation and contaminants from the surface, you can use it as often as you wax your car.


Most car detailing professionals recommend using a clay bar on new vehicles. New vehicles travel on the road and highways only to sit in lots until you take one home. As they wait for their new owner, the cars pick up:

First published on Sep 17, 2022 by

  • Road debris
  • Brake dust
  • Bird droppings
  • Other harsh debris such as pollen, soot, etc.

Using a clay bar will return the shiny surface and bright paint tone to a new car. If you don’t feel confident applying a clay bar at home, a professional car detailing service will do that and more to give your new vehicle that new car look.

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CarCareReport dot com first published this article on Sep 17, 2022..

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