Best Clay Bar Kit

Best Clay Bar Kit

In this article we are going to review the top 10 buyer rated clay bar kits currently available on the market. We have based these ratings and reviews from customer feedback that we have found online, from a variety of automotive websites.

Clay bars work great on removing bonded contaminants like tree sap, tar, industrial fallout and whatever else the environment we live in can throw at us. Clay is also very good at removing over sprays.

Clay works great on paint, glass, chrome, headlights, chrome, wheels etc.It is worth pointing out at this stage that clay bars do not remove swirl marks or light scratches. For that you will need a cutting compound and then good quality car polish.

Here is a short 3 minute video on why and how to use a clay bar.

Just below we have created a list of the top 10 clay bar kits. We have done these by buyer rating. Listening to what real life buyers say is very important as they have spent their hard earned cash, and also taken time out of their lives to leave a review. They are worth reading and understanding.

Top 10 List of Clay Bar Kits

  1. Mothers 07240 California Gold Clay Bar System (Best Seller)
  2. Meguiar’s G1016 Smooth Surface Clay Kit
  3. Simoniz S57 Perfect Finish Detailing Clay Bar
  4. Clay Bar Kit – Auto Detailing Claybar for Car, Truck, SUV
  5. LEOBRO 4 Pack Top Quality Car Clay Bar 100g Auto Detailing Magic Claybar Cleaner
  6. Chemical Guys CLY_113 OG Clay Bar & Luber Synthetic Lubricant Kit
  7. Griot’s Garage 11153 Paint Cleaning Clay
  8. Chemical Guys CLY_402 Medium Clay Bar, Gray
  9. Towel Motors Car Clay Bar, 2-Pack Detailing Clay
  10. YGDZ Top Quality 2pcs Car Clay Bar 100g Auto Detailing Magic Claybar Cleaner

Underneath we have done a review and comparison of each clay bar kit. As you can see though the top branded car products are included in my list above.

No 1 Clay Bar Kit Choice – Mothers 07240 California Gold Clay Bar System

This is best selling Clay Bar Kit currently available on the market. I guess that it is why it is top of our list, and it really does sell a lot, with a very high buyer satisfaction rating of 92%.

This clay bar is very safe to use on all paint surfaces and with regular use it will provide long lasting benefits to your vehicle. The kit includes 2 clay bars, a showroom instant detailer and a microfiber towel. This product usually retails around $15-20

What Buyers Liked

  • 76 out of 100 buyers gave this a full 5 star review
  • Some buyers said this is a miracle worker
  • Many buyers said that this is a great kit for someone that has never done it before, as it’s much harder to mar up the paint.
  • Many car detailers said they bought this one as their number one choice

What Buyers Didn’t Like

  • Only 3% of buyers have give this product a low rating
  • A small number of buyers said the clay bar was just too weak


No 2 Clay Bar Kit Choice – Meguiar’s G1016 Smooth Surface Clay Kit

This is a clay bar kit from the popular Meguiar’s brand. This one is as you can see also right at the top of our list. Like the first clay bar product, this one also sells a lot. That is not surprising given the very high buyer satisfaction rating of 90%.

This kit includes 2- 80 gram bars, a clay lubricant, and a microfiber towel. The clay bars are non-abrasive. Buyers say that these bars quickly removes surface contaminants and helps restore a smooth surface to the paint finish.

They also said that these were safe to use on all paint surfaces, and were also very easy to use with good instructions.

This product usually retails around $20

What Buyers Liked

  • 74 out of 100 buyers gave this a full 5 star review
  • Buyers said this was a great starter kit for anyone that is interested in taking the time to detail their own car
  • Buyers said the detailer kit really does bring out the shine
  • Buyers said this was a great choice for any motor bike enthusiast

What Buyers Didn’t Like

  • Only 4% of buyers have give this clay bar a low rating
  • A small number of buyers said they didn’t receive all of the items or received the wrong items

 


No 3 Clay Bar Kit Choice – Simoniz S57 Perfect Finish Detailing Clay Bar

This is a popular choice for many buyers and is of course a very well known car care brand. Overall buyers gave this clay bar kit an average 90% buyer satisfaction rating.

This is simply the clay bar so you don’t get anything else with this one. Most buyers of this clay bar will use a water spray with this bar or some kind of liquid lubricator. A typical bar will be enough to do 2 cars, or to do your car twice. Many buyers break the bar in half and keep the other half for when the need to use it again.

This product usually retails around $15-18

What Buyers Liked

  • 76 out of 100 buyers gave this a full 5 star review online
  • Buyers said this is a very easy clay bar to use and gives great results
  • Buyers said this was extremely good at removing all of the dirt
  • Buyers said that dollar for dollar this one is as good as any on the market right now
  • Buyers also said that this leaves a very smooth finish but you do have to work at it

What Buyers Didn’t Like

  • Only 2% of buyers have give this a low rating
  • A small number of buyers said the bar is just too small and not great value for money


No 4 Clay Bar Kit Choice – Clay Bar Kit – Auto Detailing Claybar for Car, Truck, SUV.

This is from a brand called TriNova which is a new one to me in the Car Care industry. This clay bar kit contains all the products you need to get started. Those include a spray lubrication, the clay, and a plush cloth for your vehicle.

Overall buyers really like this product and they gave this clay bar kit an average 90% buyer satisfaction rating. This product usually retails around $15-18

It is worth noting that there is a single clay bar with this kit.

What Buyers Liked

  • 77 out of 100 buyers gave this a full 5 star review
  • Buyers said the clay molds easily and that makes it very easy to use with impressive results
  • Buyers said that this works well on all types of vehicles and all paint surfaces

What Buyers Didn’t Like

  • 0% of buyers gave this kit a low rating
  • A small number of buyers said the bar was pretty small


No 5 Clay Bar Kit Choice – LEOBRO 4 Pack Top Quality Car Clay Bar

This is a set of 4 clay bars so plenty of value for money if you decide to goo for these. The good news is that overall buyers gave this clay bar kit an average 90% buyer satisfaction rating. This product usually retails around $13-15

These bars make cleaning easier, and they are pretty easy to use though as you may know they still take time and patience to get the very best results. They can remove many contaminants such as rust, grease, dead insects and over-spray etc

Again like most clay bars these can be used in many parts of the car’s body, such as mirrors, glass the bumper and more The manufacturer recommends using the clay with water to which has been added a cleaning agent or detergent.

What Buyers Liked

  • 70 out of 100 buyers gave this a full 5 star review
  • Many buyers said with other kits you just get 1 small 100 gram bar, and these 4 bars are so much better value for money
  • Buyers also said this clay does not fall apart and does an excellent job
  • Buyers said this clay is softer than some of the leading brands but still does a good job

What Buyers Didn’t Like

  • 0% of buyers have this a low rating
  • A small number of buyers said getting the packaging off the bar without damaging it was a pain in the butt
  • A few buyers said the clay was too sticky


No 6 Clay Bar Kit Choice – Chemical Guys CLY_113 OG Clay Bar & Luber Synthetic Lubricant Kit

The Chemical Guys are a popular brand for many car detailers. According to buyers this kit is particularly good at removing all contamination, including overs pray and pollution. It can be used on paintwork, glass, plastic and metal surfaces. Buyers also said this was easy to use, and left the paintwork very smooth.

Overall buyers gave this clay bar kit an average 88% buyer satisfaction rating. This product usually retails around $20

What Buyers Liked

  • 70 out of 100 buyers gave this a full 5 star review
  • Many buyers said this is a very good starter kit and would be classed as a light clay starter kit
  • When used with the provided lubricant buyers said this was very easy to use and did an excellent job and left a very smooth finish on all type of paintwork and even on the glass
  • Owners of white cars were impressed at how this kit could remove rust spots

What Buyers Didn’t Like

  • 5% of buyers have this a low rating
  • A small number of buyers said the clay was just too hard to work with
  • Some buyers said when they received the product it had leaked
  • A couple of buyers said the clay scratched their vehicle


No 7 Clay Bar Kit Choice – Griot’s Garage 11153 Paint Cleaning Clay 8oz

A number of car owners will be familiar with the Griot’s Garage brand. This is an 8 ounce cleaning clay product. Overall buyers gave this clay bar kit an average 88% buyer satisfaction rating. This product usually retails around $17-20 so one of the more expensive products.

Car enthusiasts know and understand that using a clay bar is an essential step to prepare paint for polishing and waxing. This clay product is effective at removing tree and shrub sap, bird droppings, and other contaminants and leaves a completely smooth pain surface.

If used regularly it also helps prevent oxidation and as a result leaves your vehicle to be more effectively polished and waxed.

What Buyers Liked

  • 74 out of 100 buyers gave this a full 5 star review
  • Many buyers repeated that this item is just the clay and not a it but they believed it to be superior to a kit because there is enough clay to last a very long time
  • Quite a few detailers said this did an amazing job at taking off any over spray
  • Buyers also said this was good at removing all imperfections and the finish was so smooth
  • They also said this was a very easy clay to use.

What Buyers Didn’t Like

  • Only 3% of buyers have this a low rating
  • A small number of buyers said the advert was misleading as it is just a plastic wrapped up bar
  • Some said the clay was just too soft and not that effective


No 8 Clay Bar Kit Choice – Chemical Guys CLY_402 Medium Clay Bar, Gray (100 g)

This is another option from the Chemical Guys and this is a slightly more aggressive clay bar than the one that I have already listed here. The manufacturer says that this medium bar easily removes moderate over spray, rail dust, brake dust, pollution and contamination for a smooth-as-glass feel.

The advanced Medium Clay Bar is designed to cleanse vehicles with years of contamination and rough pollution.

Overall buyers gave this clay bar kit an average 87% buyer satisfaction rating. This product usually retails around $11-15

What Buyers Liked

  • 69 out of 100 buyers gave this a full 5 star review
  • Many car detailers go for this medium bar to deal with over sprays
  • Many buyers also use this one for cars that have not been treated for a few years and were pleased with the results
  • Buyers said this was good at getting rid of light to modern contamination
  • Many buyers bought this to restore the finish on old trucks

What Buyers Didn’t Like

  • Only 3% of buyers have this a low rating
  • A small number of buyers received a dried out product and had to return it


No 9 Clay Bar Kit Choice – Towel Motors Car Clay Bar, 2-Pack Detailing Clay

I have to say that the Towel Motor’s brand is not one that I am familiar with. Buyers do seem to be relatively impressed though. This kit comes with two 160 gram clay bars in a storage tin and travel pouch. It is a medium grade clay, which is easy to mould and is safe to use on paint, chrome, glass, plastic and rims.

Overall buyers gave this clay bar kit an average 84% buyer satisfaction rating. This product usually retails around $15-18

What Buyers Liked

  • 69 out of 100 buyers gave this a full 5 star review
  • Buyers said that these are packed in a really nice little tin, with a small microfiber bag, and some waxed paper inside for storing the clay bar after taking it out of the plastic wrap
  • Buyers said that they believe the clay did a very good job of cleaning
  • Many buyers said these were very good at cleaning glass

What Buyers Didn’t Like

  • 7% of buyers gave this clay bar kit a low rating
  • A small number of buyers said this left a lot of swirl marks
  • Really too soft to remove anything


No 10 Clay Bar Kit Choice – YGDZ Top Quality 2pcs Car Clay Bar 100g Auto Detailing Magic Claybar Cleaner

With this option you get 2 clay bars. They do offer a 45 day money back guarantee and an 18 month warranty.

The manufacturer recommends that this professional size Car Clay Bar can safely remove micro iron particles, grease, dead insects contamination and over-spray etc.

They also recommend keeping it in a Ziploc bag or wrapping it in its original plastic wrapping and keeping it in a shaded place, when it comes to storing the product.

This should be used with a lubricant. Overall buyers gave this clay bar kit an average 84% buyer satisfaction rating. This product usually retails around $9-12

What Buyers Liked

  • 59 out of 100 buyers gave this a full 5 star review
  • Mainly bought by new buyers because of the very low price point
  • Buyers said it did leave a smooth finish

What Buyers Didn’t Like

  • 8% of buyers gave this a low rating
  • As this is a low price buy, it it bought by new buyers so hard to compare with other clay products
  • Some buyers said this fell apart when it gets wet


What Grade of Clay Bar Should You Use?

There are as you can see a lot of clay bars and clay bar kits on the market. These are made by many different manufacturers, so I wanted to give you a general guide to understanding what the different grades of clay bar are, and when you should use them.

A clay bar is simply a product that can be used to remove contamination from a painted surface. When you do that it makes it a great deal easier and more efficient to polish and wax. That then ensures a clean and smooth surface with a great showroom style shine.

There are essentially three grades of clay bar:

  1. Fine – not coarse, easy to knead and will work but take more work and as such are slower to work. There is however little to no risk of damaging your paint
  2. Medium – probably the most popular choice and a good choice for cars that have not or never been clayed for a few years. These medium clays do work faster and there is only a low risk of marring the paint
  3. Heavy – beginners should avoid these and I would only recommend these to professional detailers who are experienced and know what they are doing

These grades of clay bar are used by car detailers and also by car enthusiasts to prepare a car for polish and wax. The different grades are for different applications and experienced car detailers know when each grade should be used.

Finer to medium clay bars tend to do the job most of the time on lightly contaminated vehicles and leave a pretty smooth surface behind. Some vehicles are sprayed with harder paints and when clay is used on these it should always be used with a good quality lubricant.

Some cars and some vintage cars will have a more sensitive paint used. Please exercise great care if you plan on using a clay. With these even the finest of clay bars may easily leave some marring on the surface. If that happens then that marring will require some polishing to remove.

The general principle is that the more abrasive clay bars tend to work much quicker in removing contamination, but at the same time will pretty much 100% of the time lightly mar the surface. Once polished and waxed that will not be noticed.

If you are knew to using a clay bar then I would recommend a medium bar and do a small area to start with. Clay bar selection depends mainly on the level and type of contamination. Car detailers have a good sense of this as they do this job every day.

Your normal car owner will not have that experience. If in doubt start with a fine clay bar and when that is used properly it will do a good enough job. However just be aware that if contamination is something that has built up over the years, with contaminant like stubborn tree sap or really stubborn tar, then you should use a more abrasive clay bar.

That is simply because it will reduce the working time and be a lot more effective, though you will always have to polish the vehicle afterwards.

The first clay bar on my top 10 list “The Meguiar’s Smooth Surface Clay Kit G10” is one of the finest around and I try to use it as much as possible as it is a very good choice.

Finally selecting a clay bar really comes down to what results you want to get. My recommendation overall is start with a fine bar and work your way up as required.

Why Should You Use a Clay Bar?

When you buy a new car straight out of a showroom it really has not been exposed to the environment. It has been made in a factory, sprayed, polished and waxed. The only time it has been exposed to the atmosphere and environment is when it is being transported.

Once it is on the road though, the surface and the paintwork of your vehicle is constantly getting exposed to airborne contaminants. With many of these contaminants they actually stick to the finish and over a period of time will cause damage.

These are things such as brake dust, industrial fallout, tree sap, bird dropping, bug residue, tar, etc. Many of these are corrosive, and they will start to eat through the clear coat on your vehicle and cause rust spots if not removed regularly by using a clay bar.

One common form of this will be well known by white car owners. It is referred to in the car industry as “rail dust.” This is where small metal particles get stuck in the finish, and will show up as tiny rust colored dots.

If you regulalry wash your vehicle it doesn’t remove all of the contaminants. This grime builds up over time and in all honesty the only effective way to remove that is by using clay.

How To Use a Clay Bar?

I will start by answering a very common question, how often should you use a clay bar? I would recommend twice a year. I found this video below from Meguiars that I think best explains this process and how to do it properly. As you will see in this video, preparing your car for polish/wax is in two stages:

  1. Using the clay – removes above the surface conatminants
  2. Using a compound – removes any swirl marks and light scratches

To clay a car you  will need just three things:

  1. A clay bar
  2. Lots of lubrication
  3. Microfiber cloths

TOP TIP: – Use lots of lubrication

You will have noticed the guy in the video uses a lot of lubrication and that is very important to do especially with medium or heavy clays. The clay should glide across the surface and without lubrication that will not happen and will end up marring the surface of the paint.

Always break your clay bar up into 4 pieces. The reason for this is that if you drop the full bar on the ground, then it is contaminated and it needs to be thrown away. If it picked up small dust when it hit the ground it will only scratch your car.

Mould and knead the piece of clay until it is wide enough to fit over your three middle fingers. I always work in sections of about 2 square feet and use a lot of lubricant. Always make certain that the area you are working on is covered with lubricant, as otherwise the clay will stick.

Apply a light pressure when doing this and move only backwards and forwards in one direction only. Don’t use circular movements and don’t change direction. As you do that you will feel the difference as the contaminants are removed. You will hear a change in the sound and you will also feel the surface getting smoother.

You will also notice the contaminants gathering on the clay. That is when you knead it again and get a fresh and clean part of the clay. I always do the body of the vehicle first, then the glass and use it finally on the wheels.

When the section has been clayed to your satisfaction then wipe the lubricant off and dry it with a clean microfiber cloth.

How Long Does it Take?

If the car has never been clayed before, then the first time you do this will take around one hour of your time, depending on how bad it is, or how thorough you want to be. After that first time, and providing you polish and wax the car from then on, then I can normally do my next clay session in about 30 minutes.

As I only do this task twice a year, it is really not that big an effort, and you also get to chat with the neighbours, well those who are curious why you are rubbing your car with a lump of clay.

Storing Your Clay Bar

Clay needs to be stored somewhere that the sun and air can not get at it. The simplest way of doing this is to spray it with some lubricator and then put it into a zip lock bag. The store it in a cupboard where the sun will not shine on it. You can store this in any airtight container.

The Compound Stage of Car Preparation

If you watched the video above you will notice the guy talks about both claying and then using a compound to remove swirl marks or light scratches.

If there are no swirl marks or light scratches then you can of course skip the compound stage. Personally I have used the Meguiar’s Ultimate Compound to get rid of swirl marks and I think it is one of the best out there. I have done a review on this which you can read by clicking here.

I also use the Meguiar’s G3500 DA Power System Tool as it works really well. It certainly speeds things up, but you can also do the compound by hand, though it is a slow process and especially on a bigger vehicle.


Steps to Great Car Care

Using a clay is one of the five basic steps to complete car care. There are 5 basic steps if you want to have your vehicle feeling smooth and with a great deep showroom shine. I have listed those below.

  1. Always rinse, wash and dry the car first
  2. Use a clay bar and then a compound to remove contaminants and swirls
  3. Polish You Car to a brilliant high gloss. You only really need to polish dark colored cars
  4. Wax your car as this is what seals the car and protects the paint surface.(Click here for the best car wax)
  5. Detail your car – maintaining the car, so use a quick detailer and microfiber cloth for fast removal of contaminants

If you are a car enthusiast or just someone who wants to look after their car, then a wash and wax should be done every couple of weeks. Then keep a detailer handy to top this up if your car starts to pick up general dust and dirt.

About twice a year complete the 5 step process shown above and your car will always look fantastic.