Bilt Hamber Clay Bar(s)


Cost: £10 for  200g

Date of Review: 24/6/2019 Warm sunny day.

Test Vehicle Background: Ford Mustang, well waxed and looked after.

The Sales Pitch from Bilt Hamber:

Our clay-bars are designed to effortlessly restore the factory smooth finish to paint finishes. They have received critical acclaim in the detailing industry for being the most durable, cost effective and well-designed clay-bars available today.

Auto Express Magazine, a giant in the car magazine world, has awarded auto-clay with their Best Clay Bar award every year for the last 5! Also they compared the clay-cloths to clay-bars in one recent test, where they concluded that bars were better, and that auto-clay was the pick of the bunch once again!

So which clay-bar do you need?

The choice between the auto-clay bars will depend on several factors:

Regular –

If the vehicle is heavily contaminated, has never been clay-barred before, or it’s hot summertime then use Regular. All clay bars become firmer when cold and softer when warm.

Medium –

For paintwork that is in a reasonable condition, Medium will be preferred.

The easier folding of the clay to expose a fresh working surface will be very beneficial.

Soft –

If paint is in good condition, if you like to clay your vehicle frequently or indeed if the weather is cold, then use Soft.

Why use a clay-bar?

Assess the degree of embedded metallic and brake dust debris that has entered the surface of your paint film by gently rubbing the paint with fingertips.
Feel for the grittiness that these damaging particles impart to paint films.
Using Bilt-Hamber Clay-Bars – regular, medium or soft – you will effortlessly remove particles, leaving the paint glass-smooth. Discolouring road film will also be gently lifted.
Claying will make a world of difference when lubricated with plenty of water and hardly any pressure. The bar glides like an ice hockey puck, and is pleasant and satisfying to use.
Not only does the paint feel and look a lot better once clayed, but the removal of these objects sticking to the surface allows the next stages of paint care to progress far more smoothly. As now cleansers, waxes and polishes glide across the surface far more easily.
It is highly recommended that before using a clay bar the paint is pre-treated with korrosol.
This high activity cleaner actively removes embedded metallic particles in a simply spray on rinse off action.
By removing these particles before the clay-bar is used, the bar will last longer and concentrate its action on the remaining contamination.

Source: https://www.bilthamber.com/waxes-polishes-and-clay-bars/auto-clay

What You Get:

A sturdy resealable plastic box with an individually wrapped 200g of white clay.

Product Description:

An odourless clay bar which can be used to remove contaminates embedded on the paint work. It will leave the surface smooth and ready for further follow-up treatments like compound, swirl removal, glaze or waxing.

The texture of the clay feels a little more chalky and not as plasticky as other brands. It’s easy to tear of a chunk and mould into a small patty to work over the paint.

Instructions:

Quick Guide (By Bilt Hamber)

Run your fingers over your freshly washed and dried paint work. Feel for a rough, gritty texture? This is caused by embedded particles. Bonnets are often the most contaminated.

If you can feel these particles atomise a fine mist of clean tap water over a 2-3 square feet area, using a plant mister or suitable spray.

Glide the auto-clay over the wet surface, properly lubricated clay will move effortlessly just like an ice hockey puck on ice.

You may well hear the contamination at first, this will quickly reduce as you move the bar back-and-forth. Keep the bar moving until the noise has gone

Check again with your finger tips to check that all the contamination was removed.

Once your car’s paint is glass smooth – and it really will be – use auto-balm, cleanser-polish, finis-wax, hydra-wax or micro-fine to seal the pores and provide a deep gloss shine.

Application:

How To Use (by Bilt Hamber)

Before using auto-clay thoroughly wash your car to remove any loose dirt. Direct sunlight should not fall on your car’s surface, and it’s best if the work area is relatively cool, but not cold.

To use auto-clay spray water with a plant mister on a small area of your car and rub the bar back and forth with light pressure. auto-clay should glide across your paint, keep the paint surface wetted thoroughly. auto-clay must not be used dry. Listen carefully – at first you will hear the bar as it pulls the particles away from the paint, the noise and friction will disappear quickly.

After a few passes with auto-clay, rub your fingers over the area to feel if the surface contamination was removed. Keep rubbing until all contamination is gone. Finally, wipe the clay residue off with a soft terrycloth towel. Just like waxing, work in small areas.

What you should see coming off of the car and depositing itself on the clay bar is a reddish brown residue, this is what you want to see. As the clay bar becomes soiled, simply fold it over squash it out and keep going. Under no circumstances should the clay bar be used if dropped on the ground, inside or out! The clay bar is good for about 4 or 5 cleans on the average sized car. Once the paint is clean, wax your car immediately.

My Remarks

This is such a huge bonus to be able to just use water. Others brands need a lubricant, (Auto Finesse – Glide and Meguiar’s – quick detailer). I found the lubricants are a barrier between the clay and paint and can prevent effectiveness,  especially Auto Finesse. The other brands didn’t pick up anything from my paint, but BH picked up some contaminated particles.

Removing:

I found that if the clay bar water residue is allowed to dry on the paint it will leave a fine white pasty mess, but a little more water squirted of the area again and it comes straight back off.

Results:

Brilliant, the paint is mirror like and glass smooth. No other clay I have used comes close to this and only with water for the lube is pretty amazing.

Rating:  10 out 10

No other score can be awarded. Blindfolded you can tell the difference between the clay bars.

Conclusion:

A superb clay that comes with three options; soft, medium and hard. The Clay’s are for the weather types, for cold weather use soft, for hot use hard the rest medium. It can make a difference on how easy it is to fold over and work the clay. I have medium clay, but I think it’s a little hard for our not so warm climate. Soft would be better for me next time around.

Paint is smooth, it worked where others failed. No wonder this clay wins the awards each year.

To use water and just the clay is so much more cost effective to use as you don’t need any other products to make it work.

This product I would class as my prt of my essentials product for detailing a car.

Would I recommend it? Yes. Without a doubt. 

Would I buy it again? Yes. Already on the list.