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Griot's clay bar

Discussion in 'Detailing' started by mjweimer, Mar 15, 2008.

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    So I am finally getting around to cleaning the paint on the convertible in preparation for a good polish/wax and have had the opportunity to try out the Griot's Garage clay bar...I don't like it.

    It does not seem to be as effective as the Zymol Lehm Klay I have used in the past. Bug splatter and tree sap are just not touched by the Griot's product. Thankfully I had a little bit of the Zymol left for some tough areas and those areas cleaned up easily.

    I purchased the Griot's product in hopes of a cheaper alternative with equivalent performance to the Zymol but it unfortunately is not what I expected.

    What are you guys/gals using for clay bar products?

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    For years have used the Meguires clay...good price and has been fine, even on some fairly oxidized areas on one vehic we have...always use a new bar twice a year on the Z3 we have. Have not used the Zymol product--no good reason but that the Mc worked. AND just got some Griots Bar for this spring to try it [I have really like all the other products] and now you have me wondering--so its out to the Z soon to see how Richard's clay stacks up...I'll try to post on it as well. Surely like the engine cleaner he has...great prod...bests mjw...

    ML. [zkeeper]

    1996 328ti guest

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    I used Griot's clay for the first time. I never used clay before.
    I hardly ever wax my car. I thought it did a good job considering my car has not seen a coat of wax in 6 years.

    Good riddance to my Zymol stuff.
    It never lasted very long and always hard to use.
    The only good thing about it was it smelled good.
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    Interesting responses, thanks for the feedback.

    To clarify, the Griot's clay worked well on 90% of the car that had light surface dirt. It is on the really tough areas that is does not seem to work very well.

    For another data point I decided to try it on a small area of my Touring yesterday. The paint on this car is highly contaminated due to lack of regular care by the PO and also has some rail dust on all of the top surfaces. The Griot's stuff could not remove the rail dust but the Zymol product did the trick. Maybe the Griot's clay is just not as aggressive as the Zymol product?

    Just for the record, I have used and keep on the shelf many Griot's products. Their machine polishing system has restored the paint on many of the old cars I keep dragging home and for the price/performance you cannot beat a gallon of their car wash soap.


    Cfv007 guest

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    I agree with you on what the Griots clay does and does not remove on a paint surface. Griots works wonderfully on paint that has a somewhat of a grit to the touch before claying. However, for tough substances on cars (sap, rail dust, tar), moving a clay bar and "Speed Shine" over the substance just doesn't do the trick. Here's a Griots tip for you since you're a user of their (excellent) car wash. Take a towel, and put a dab of non-diluted car wash solution on it, and rub it directly on the stubborn spot. The car wash will break down the substance after a few passes, and follow with a quick pass of Speed Shine and continue claying. Hope this helps!


    Ana guest

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    Elbow grease

    I too use the Griot's products, and have had excellent results with the clay bar. I was even able to use it to remove paint overspray from the previous owner. A lot of effort was required on my part, but no damage to the paint. Yahoo.
    Griot's recommended using it with the special pad on their orbital. I'll have to try that out. Maybe next time my arm won't be so tired. :rolleyes:
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    Thank you for the excellent tip!

    I will try this out on my Touring once I get done with the polish and wax on the 'vert.


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    love the GG orbital with machine polish 2, 3, & 4

    I only use the #2 grade to massage light scratches.
    ...then with the 3 & 4.
    ...only after this do I then apply Zymol Carbon, by hand.

    BTW, to the guys that think Zymol 'wax' is a pain.... you do realize that you take it off before it dries, right?

    and then buff with an orbital--- it is fantabulous.

    I have yet to use a clay bar. They kinda scare me -- you know, the whole concept of dragging something across the surface of the paint... :eek:

    :rolleyes: but maybe you guys/gals can tell me of the correct technique...
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    I've used the Griot's clay bar on a pretty-much neglected (by me) 2002 Toyota Tundra. I used it with the special holder sold by Griot's, which is then mounted to the Griot's random orbital. I tend to think that Griot's has opted to make a really mild and non-aggressive clay. At least with the orbital machine, it eventually will take off most of the gritty stuff, albeit with a lot of lubricant.
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    Praise for Clay

    I had the same thots re: clay usage...arrrg in dragging something as such across the paint...BUT got converted once I tried it. Wash surface well, and I dry it...[some do not] then with a good lubricant, usually the one recco'd by the clay product, [ie.Speed Shine, which is a nicely liquified suspended wax] one merely spritizes [ML dictionary] a perhaps a 2 foot section and then rub the clay right over the paint...[dragging is a bit draconian--but that is what you are doing-] You get the feel real quick as to how much pressure, and not allowing any area to be left untouched. It lifts all the grime and and basic residual atmosphere fall out right up...you knead the clay and go at it again. Once clayed by the way, makes the next time, [maybe 6 months or so] much easier if surface is then protected with a really fine wax...again I have used Gold Class or now, the Best of Show by Griots. Verrry satisfied for what that is worth.

    As an aside story: our family is a bit of gearhead family, and my sister had her new Denali Envoy all properly re-clayed and properly waxed [as dealer prep was not as lasting as we wished] and proceeded to get trapped on a street where some oiling was taking place. The emulsified oil in the air flew all around and later that day one could feel millions of very tiny specs over the entire surface. Out came the clay, and tho it took one jar to do the car and it was ruined when finished, the oil was off in moments, which in any other product usage would have taken too much work, and would have "smeared" those oil specs even further...we are clay users to be sure...just a thot, and it makes me anxious to get out and get at the Z3 thot it hardly needs it...great fun and takes the work out of such a tedious job...bests all.

    ML. [zkeeper]
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    I've used clay bar kits from Zaino, Griot's, Zymol, and Meguiars, and honestly, I can't tell a whole lot of difference other than the branded lube they recommend with the various kits. Even at that, once you've done it a few times, I think there's a point where technique will make which lube you use irrelevant.

    Bang for buck, I use the Meguiars clay with the Zaino or Zymol lube (whichever I have around), but I really don't think it matters for this first step in the detailing process. After the clay, I then go through the whole Zaino or Zymol exterior detailing process. That's where the difference is obvious to me.

    Good luck!

    :D Rick

    niemibl guest

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    If you put that much effort into polishing and waxing your car you really should try to clay your car. It is quite easy to do and you will be amazed and how well it works. The key is to keep the surface well lubricated. Griot's Garage has a DVD which shows how to do it. Give it a try and Good Luck.

    194648 guest

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    There are different grades of clay out there -

    A really nice perhaps more aggressive claybar is Clay Magic blue bar, sold in most auto part stores or online -believe its claymagic.com - I have used these with great success on alot of neglected finishes and they pretty much took off alot of the crap that you could feel with your hand.
    Follow up with some nice polish like Zaino ZPC-Fusion on a foam pad under a Porter Cable 7224 and the finish comes out like glass, no scratches, swirls, etc., just clean, smooth, paint, ready for your polish or wax of choice..
    Zaino also makes a red claybar that at first I thought it was less aggressive than ClayMagic, but I have since learned now to use it and it works fine too and is less likely to leave any marring that some bars can make if used improperly.
    Good luck with your project ! DanF
    I hear that 3M makes different grades of clay for the auto painting industry as well

    Badbee guest

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    Clay bars

    I've been using Maguires and Mothers clay bars for years. If you haven't clayed your car, try it. Rub your hand over your paint before clay and you will feel the grit. Clay it and it will feel smooth like glass. Mother's showtime detailer has more lubricant than Maguires so I would recommend it. Make sure you use sufficient lubricant or the clay will streak and be difficult to remove. I would suggest claying your car every third wax or at least twice a year.

    Good luck and if you are just using clay for the first time, let me know what you think.

    bradley01 guest

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    I used clay for the first time last weekend. I used the Meguiars Smooth Surface clay kit.

    It came with clay (2 - 50 gram bars...one bar is enough to do your whole car, so you have enough for two applications), quick detailer, cleaner wax, and a micro fibre towel. I found that it worked very well at removing some very stubborn crap from my paint. I would HIGHLY doubt that the car had ever seen a clay bar before I bought it. The clay bar took off tar, bugs, tree sap, everything with ease. I am now a firm believer in clay. And since I don't have a garage, I will be doing my car multiple times a year. I followed my clay up with the cleaner wax and the surface is very nice! I am going to put a coat of Meguiars Gold Class liquid wax on next weekend...just for the heck of it. In between washings and waxings, I use the new Meguiars Ultimate Quick Detailer spray:

    and it seems to keep the surface very clean and the wax in tip-top shape!

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    I have used Griot's clay bar for several years and have never been disappointed. It is milder than other bars, he claims this in his advertising. Sometimes I have to make two or three passes if I'm dealing wih a car that's really gritty. That's usually only the hood, trunk lid, and roof that get that bad. But that's the exception rather than the norm.

    Key to using this is plenty of Speedshine. I also recommend doing it by hand with latex gloves. I tried the random orbital and found it a pain more than anything. The clay would not stay in the holder, it would smoosh down between the pad and bottom, you can't get to small areas, and quite frankly it didn't do that good a job. Wear the latex gloves to keep your hands from turning yellow and getting it under your finger nails. Also spray some Speedshine on your glove from time to time to keep the bar from sticking to it. I wear a glove on my left hand to work the clay bar and leave my right hand ungloved to spray Speedshine and work the drying cloth.

    Every person that I've detailed a car for is mighty impressed with the paint and how smooth it is`. The "secret" is the clay bar. Give it a try, you'll be amazed at the results!

    BigGar guest

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    I've been a detailing professional for almost 25 years. After trying almost every clay out there, I agree with what most everyone has posted here about their experiences with the different brands. I pretty much concentrate on car collection management and prepping vehicles for shows like Pebble Beach, where we just won a class again this year.

    The blue Clay Magic product seems to me to be the best all around claybar out there. I know there are "milder" (read softer) bars available, but to be honest, I have no qualms about breaking out the blue clay on a brand new black car or anything else. It gets the job done without any paint damage, provided the clay is clean and you're using plenty of spritz to lube the paint, but that is applicable to any clay. Avoid the Clay Magic red bar at all costs though, as it is very aggressive. If you've got an ancient white pickup truck or something that is completely trashed, have at it with the red, but be prepared to do nearly as much polishing to remove the fine scuffing as you would if you have just wiped all the damage off with 2000 grit sandpaper.

    I almost always rinse the car off again with deionized water after I finish claying, then proceed to inspect for any scratches, scuffs, or paint flaws that are repairable by proper polishing. The goal is always to remove as little paint as possible from the vehicle while getting the desired results. I try not to use any filler type products until the final glaze and finish wax. I feel that if I have a swirl free and nearly flawless finish with virtually no waxes and oils hiding things, then I am confident that the paint will remain beautiful, with no surprises popping up weeks or months later when the oils and waxes begin to dry out.

    I rarely use clay to remove tar spots, as it's much easier to use a solvent to wipe the tar off than to ruin your clay doing it. Mineral spirits is always safe to clean up tar and goo, and on modern paints, lacquer thinner is safe 99% of the time and works much better than mineral spirits, but it should always be tested in an inconspicuous place before using. The bottom of a door in the door jamb is a good place to test.

    As far as a final wax, I'll use carnuba based products if I'm going for absolute maximum shine. Zymol, Formula113, Meguiars, etc. . . For durability and protection, I've yet to find a better product than Micro Seal 2000 from Blue Ribbon Products. I honestly don't think even a show judge could tell the difference in shine between it and carnuba, and it lasts and beads water for far longer.

    For polishing, by rotary machine, I use 3M products 95% of the time. I have tried SystemOne with decent results, along with most everything else out there. I am intrigued by the Menserva?? (something like that) products. I've never tried them, but some other high end professional guys who do some great work have been getting excellent results with them. I'll probably pick a bunch of it up and give it a go soon.

    All for now.


    298509 guest

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    for years I used Megs and was happy with it.

    Then I switched over last year to Adams Clay, and use Optimum No Rinse mixed 1:1 with water in a spray bottle for a lubricant.
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    Griot's clay here

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