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Claying - the ONLY way to clean and polish

My friends, not so long ago, I did an article for the R&S Valiant Club magazine about the benefits of using Meguiars Auto Cleaning Products.

I think at the time I may have compared them to Gods gift to the automotive enthusiast and stated that it was impossible to find better products to clean you car with – all from a personal point of view of course, but something I felt like sharing with you. I think at the time, the saviour for my Valiants duco was a product called Maguiars GOLD CLASS. A fantastic polish which was pretty much the best I’d used. Sure – there’s probably dearer ones on the market, but I reckon for the cost versus the finish, Gold Class was the ducks guts.

Until now………

I recently cleaned and polished my cars paint using a process called CLAYING. For those of you that have already heard about CLAYING, well…COCK-A-DOODLE-DOO……you’re about to hear some more.

Claying is – in my humble, unbiased opinion – the be all and end all of getting that fantastic shine you used to have on your car. Allow me to elaborate.

My S Series paint is about 18 years old I reckon. Yes, she still looks good to the untrained eye……did I say “good”? I meant incredible……but to tell the truth for years now the paint has had a rough feel to it when you rub your hand along it. I’m sure you all know what I’m taking about. It felt like there were tiny specks of something on the paint, and on the roof the paint was actually feeling rough. I just put it down to age. Paints wear out, what can you do? Also on the boot-lid, because I’m such a careless knob, were tiny specks of overspray from years of painting fiddly bits in too close a proximity to the old Val.

Anyway…..one day I’m on the phone to a mate in Queensland who’s a Chrysler man from way back, and he tells me about this stuff he’s just used called “Clay”. A few companies probably make it, but the one we discussed was the Meguiars Clay.

Clay is like a bar of soap, and rather than think of a lump of clay, think of it as a big bar of “Blue-tac” or “Glue–tac” or whatever that stuff’s called. It’s like plasticine. You have to use it in conjunction with another of their products called “Quick Detailer”, which is basically a spray on polish that you use in between the proper polish you give your car, to bring back it’s shine. You spray the Quick detailer onto a panel, then you get this lump of clay and work it into the panel, back and forth over all areas with your hand. You must make sure you keep the panel wet with the Detailer or else it sticks to the panel. Once you’ve done a section, you wipe it over with a cloth and straight away you can feel that the panel is like glass. This “CLAY” picks up every single ounce of crap that is contaminating your paint work – even overspray, but especially grit.

Then you’re supposed to polish the section with your polish, which brings me to the next product I’d like to rave about – Meguiars NXT Generation Car Wax. How good is this stuff? Not only does it smell great like every other Meguiars product, but it actually makes the colour of your paint deeper than it was. It’s fantastic, mind you at nearly $40 per bottle, it’d want to – but it’s worth it.

So you’ve rubbed the clay over the panel, applied the Polish, and buffed it off. What you’re left with is one of the best finishes I’ve ever had on my car probably since it was first painted. I went over the whole “S”, and the panels just feel fantastic. They are really glassy to touch and all the overspray and rough gritty textures are gone. I am dead set sold on this stuff. I did my Dodge, and the result was the same. I then thought I’d give the little Mitsubishi Lancer a try, but by now my bar of Clay was filthy, and I only did a few sections……same result. When you’re using it, you do a section, then you roll it and knead it until you’ve got a clean part, then you rub that bit into your paint.

Look, all I know is I’m no paint and panel man…..I’m just some “Yobbo” who wanted to get his paint shinier, and this stuff did a fantastic job. It’s one of those little things that makes the difference.

Now for the scary part – the Clay, plus a bottle of Detailer will set you back around $35.00. This is on top of the NXT Generation if you decide to get it, which also costs around $35.00. But if there’s one thing I’ve found out over the years, it’s that you get what you pay for, and these products are the real deal. Sure you can keep using your old bottle of Turtle Wax when you want to take the car out, but I’ll put my Meguiars up against the Turtle any day of the week. Claying is probably a once a year thing, and $35.00 isn’t much for a once a year effort. It really gets rid of all the crap on your paint, so instead of polishing the rubbish, you’re actually polishing the paint. I have found that the Gold Class works just as well, but the NXT Generation is what I’ll be buying from now on.

So that’s my sales pitch for this issue. No, I’m not on Meguiars payroll, I just really love their products. Apparently “Mothers” also have a Clay product out at the moment, but I like to stick with what I know. Give it a try if you can afford it. I couldn’t really afford it when I did it, but I have absolutely no regrets. In fact, I already had 2 full bottles of Gold Class, but bought a bottle of NXT Generation on my mates advice and I’m glad I did. The reason he was singing the praises of the Clay was because he’d just used it on his Maserati, and he was stunned. If it’s good enough for a Maserati, I reckon it’s good enough for the Val. So if nothing else, splurge on the Clay, and use whatever polish you’ve got at home and see if it doesn’t do wonders for your paint as well.


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