best clay bar

Best Clay Bar Ultimate Guide for Your Car Detailing Needs

Car detailing involves different methods, techniques, and steps, but one that is often overlooked is the use of a clay bar. It is an essential tool for removing heavy contaminants from your car paint’s surface, leaving it smooth and shiny. Such contaminants can be caused by dirt, dust, and even industrial fallout. Trying to remove hard contaminants with just soap and water is useless, which is where the best clay bar comes in.

Do you think you can clay your car by yourself? Good, it’s an easy job that does not require you to be a detailing professional. Claying a car brings astonishing results to the body paint surface and makes it smooth to the touch. So I’m sure you need to deep clean your car yourself, but which is the best clay bar for 2023?

We will share a list of the best medium-grade clay bars that suit the majority. Our guide will include three best clay bas from top brands and two alternative options. Also, we will find out how to use clay bars properly, the best tips and tricks for claying your car, and FAQs About Clay Bars for Car Detailing. Don’t forget to make a deep clean of your car’s paint before using clay bars.

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What to Look for in the Best Clay Bar for Your Car

best clay bar what to look for

When you look for the best clay bars, there are some key factors to consider:

  1. The right grade. Clay bars come in different grades ranging from fine to aggressive. Each type is for a different level of contamination on your car’s paint. If you work on sensitive paint surfaces, it’s better not to use aggressive types of bars to avoid any damage to the paint. The popular grade of clay bars is medium. It gives you a balance between effectiveness in removing contaminants and the safety of the car’s paint. 
  2. Ease of use. You want to look for a detailing product that will be easy to use and will not leave any residue on your car’s paint. Some clay bars can leave a residue that will take plenty of time to remove. It also can happen when using super soft clay bars in hot weather. 
  3. Price and brand. You don’t necessarily need to buy the most expensive detailing products, but you also should avoid the cheapest no-name brands. Low-quality and low-price products can lead to a low-quality finish and poor performance. 
  4. Durability. Make sure that the clay bar you choose is durable and is enough for multiple uses. Usually, one piece of product is enough for a mid-size sedan. 

Top brands

Chemical Guys Medium Clay Bar

Chemical Guys best clay bar

This one must be one of the most popular clay bars on the market. A great benefit that gives you Chemical Guys clay bars is a variety of toughness. You get four options to choose from based on the hardness of contaminants you have on your car surface.

Meguiar’s Smooth Surface Clay Kit

Meguiar's best clay bar kit

A good-working detailing kit from Meguiar’s. It has amazing effectiveness in removing contaminations and durability, which allows you to clean an entire vehicle with one 60-gram of product. In the kit, you receive three 60-gram clay bars.

Another benefit of this kit is that you receive all you need for claying your car just for $30. It includes three clay bars, clay bar lubricant, and even Meguiar’s microfiber towel.

Adam’s Polishes Visco Clay Bar Kit

Adam's best clay bar

The third solution is a kit solution from Adam’s. A reasonable value detailing product that makes its job easy and safe. Soft and flexible. Used on all surfaces (painted surfaces, polished metal, glass, plastic).

Currently, the price is $29.99 for a kit, which includes a red color tool for a more comfy application process and the clay bar itself. You get 80 grams of durable detailing product, which is enough to clay an entire car.

Alternative Brands

IPELY Car Clay Bar

IPELY clay bar

The best value detailing product on today’s list. Doing its job well and can be used on any surface without harm.

Consider that it’s not as soft and plastic as the named brands, so if you use it when it’s cold, such an option might not be the best solution.

TAKAVU Car Clay Bar

Takavu clay bar

An easy-to-use synthetic clay from Takavu. You can use it on all types of surfaces.

Keep in mind that based on many reviews, this clay is opposite to Ipely and becomes too soft in hot weather. Working with too soft clay can be a disaster.

How to Use a Clay Bar Step-By-Step for Optimal Results

best clay bar step-by-step

Using such detailing products is easy and doesn’t require you to have experience in detailing. Follow our step-by-step guide, and you will know how to make your car’s surface smooth and clean like new!

  1. Start with a thorough car wash with a high-quality car wash shampoo to remove any dirt, debris, and sand grains from your car. If you want to clay your vehicle to prepare it for waxing or ceramic coating, use our guide for proper car paint cleaning
  2. Once your car is clean and dry, prepare the clay bar. Take a piece of product. You can cut it into smaller pieces for comfortable handling. Knead the small piece gently in your hands until it becomes soft and pliable. Form a flat and thin circle for a larger work area. 
  3. Spray clay bar lubricant on a small section of your car and your formed flat circle. Specialized lubricant prevents leaving scratches on your vehicle and makes the claying process easier. 
  4. Gently rub the clay bar over the lubricated surface back and forth, using circular motions. You should only use light pressure and let the product do the work and remove contaminants without harming your car’s surface. 
  5. Once you hear or feel a light ‘crunching’ or ‘scratching’ sound, it’s time to fold your clay bar and form it into a new clean circle. Such sounds mean that the clay bar catches some contaminants, and now you are scrubbing your paint with these contaminants, not with a clean clay bar surface. 
  6. When you have finished the section, you can wipe away any excess lubricant and residue with a clean microfiber towel for detailing. You will know you are finished once you see that the work side of your clay bar is clean after rubbing the car’s surface. 
  7. Move on to the next section and repeat the process until you remove contaminants from the entire car. 
  8. After using a clay bar, wash your car again to remove any remaining lubricant and residue.

Tips and Tricks for Maximizing the Benefits of Your Clay Bar

best clay bar tips

Like every detailing tool and method, the clay bar has its own tips and tricks. For example, it can be a useful tool in removing bird poop stain from car. Here are some tips and tricks for you to achieve better results in the claying process of your car.

Use a clay bar lubricant

As mentioned, clay bar lubricant is an essential detailing product for claying car paint. Lubricant prevents leaving scratches and other damage on the paint’s surface. It also allows the clay bar to glide more smoothly over the surface of your car. It makes the process easier and faster.

Work in small sections

As a small section, you can take one body part, like a door, fender, trunk, and so on. Working in small sections prevent clay bar from drying out or getting too dirty to use effectively. Also, cleaning part by part helps to ensure removing all contaminants and not miss any spots.

Use a clay bar holder

A common problem while claying a car is dropping the clay bar on the floor. It can render it unusable. To avoid such a problem, use a clay bar holder. It is a handy tool that helps you keep a better grip and avoid it slipping out of your hand.

Use a light touch

Using too much pressure when using a clay bar makes such work ineffective and can harm the paint’s surface. Above this, extra pressure makes a bar stuck on the paint, which leads to slipping it out of your hands to the floor. Use a light touch, let the clay bar lift, and remove contaminants from your vehicle’s surface.

Store your clay bars properly

After using a clay bar, store it in a cool and dry place that is free from direct sunlight to prevent it from drying out and becoming contaminated with dirt and debris.

Follow up with wax or sealant

After claying your car, it’s a good idea to apply wax or sealant to protect your clean car’s surface from collecting new contaminants. Above this, waxing a car with a smooth surface leads to improved shine and wax durability.

FAQs About Clay Bars for Car Detailing

best clay bar FAQs

Using a clay bar to remove contaminants becomes a more popular method for DIY detailers. It leads to appearing of many new questions about this procedure. DIY detailers want their cars to be clean and safe. Here are some popular questions about Clay Bars.

Q: Is there anything better than a clay bar?

A: No, the most effective, safe, and affordable way to remove hard contaminants from paint’s surface is a clay bar. There is an alternative, called synthetic clay pads. You can use such pads with quick detailers, and they do the same work. An advantage of these pads is that you can use them many times, and it handles better. On the other side, the effectiveness of pads is lower, and in removing contaminants, effectiveness is prior to durability.

Q: How often should I use a clay bar on my car?

A: It’s recommended to use this product about twice a year or once you notice a buildup of contaminants on your car paint.

Q: How do I know if I need to use a clay bar on my car?

A: You can make a simple test to know if you have contaminants on the car paint surface. Place a thin plastic bag on the paint’s surface and gently run your hand over the bag. If you feel any roughness or bumps, your paint’s surface has contaminants.

Q: Can I use a clay bar on a matte finish?

A: No, you should not use it on a matte finish cause it can damage the finish. Instead, use specialized detailing products for cleaning matte finish.

Q: Can you damage the car with a clay bar?

A: Yes, if you will not follow the steps in our guide, there are high risks of damaging the clear coat of your vehicle. Avoid applying too much pressure, using the product after it falls on the ground, claying without washing the car before, and not using lubricants.

Q: Can I reuse a clay bar?

A: No, once it has been used, you should throw it in the trash. Reused bars can be contaminated with dirt and debris, which can damage your car’s paint.

Best Clay bar Lubricants

If you are new to a car care culture, you might be wondering, why do I need a lubricant when I plan to detail my car alone? This type of lubricant we are using for a bit different purposes, not for what you first thought. Clay bar lubricants are used when making a deep clean of your car before applying waxes or sealants.

Why do you need to use a clay bar lubricant?

Using a clay bar is a great idea while maintaining your car paint surface. It removes deep and hard contaminants that a regular car wash will never do. On the other side, using a clay bar means friction between the paint surface and a clay bar which can lead to swirls. So using a lubricant will resolve that. Here are the main reasons to use lubricants:

  1. reduce friction, creates a slippery surface;
  2. helps to avoid scratches and swirls;
  3. not letting clay bar to get stick to the paint;

Chemical Guys Clay Luber

Chemical Guys Clay Luber

One of the most popular products if we are talking about clay bar lubricant.


  • specially formulated to increase lubricity;
  • helps extend the life and effectiveness of your clay bar;


Meguiar’s Quik Detailer Mist & Wipe

best clay bar lubricant

My personal number one, and I always use it when claying my car. The reason why I love it so much it’s because of its versatility.


  • you can use it as a quick detailer as well, even on waxed cars;
  • high-lubricity formula;
  • replacing silicon remover before applying wax;
  • low price for a quality product;


If you are claying your car for the first time and not sure if you will make it again, buy Meguiar’s or Chemical Guys, they will give you an amazing experience while detailing, and they cost under $10.

GYEON Quartz Q²M ClayLube

best clay bar Gyeon clay lube

The most profitable deal on our list is from a South Korean named brand.


  • can be diluted up to 1:10, which makes it the best deal in fluid ounce per dollar;
  • extreme slickness that reduces friction and prevents the clay from ‘grabbing’ and marring the surface;


If you are planning to work with clay bars 1-2 times per year, definitely, the best option will be Gyeon, because you can dilute it.

Adam’s Detail Spray

Another great multipurpose solution from Adam’s that can be used as a lubricant as well.


  • can be purchased in high volume, up to 5 gallons;
  • versatility;


For those who are going hardcore with car detailing, and love to clean their car every time they see a leaf from the tree fall on it, buy a high volume of Adam’s quick, so you will get enough product with a decent save of money.

Koch-Chemie – Clay Spray

best clay spray

A mild, low-residue lubricant, free of coating defects from the German brand Koch-Chemie. The most expensive on our list.


  • the specialized formula allows clay bars to last considerably longer;
  • excellent lubricity;


If you are an experienced car enthusiast and you worked with different detailing brands, definitely look into Koch-Chemie. Even though it’s the most expensive offer on the list, they will surprise you in a good way.


In any case, choosing the right clay bar should be based on what results you want to achieve and how much you want to spend on it.

Even though there is not an insane gap in the results that different claying products will show. What is important is how easily you will work with them. Do not buy no-name brands. Such low-quality products can easily scratch your paint. If you want to avoid harming your car while using alternative brands, consider weather conditions as well.

For beginners, we highly recommend trying it for the first time- top brands. You will not be claying your car every day (maybe two times per year), which means that the waste of clay bars is small, so even 100-gram bars can last 1-2 years. You will not save a lot on buying alternative brands, so buying clay bars from top brands will give you a 100% easy and safe result.

For professionals, it is worth trying alternative brands cause if one of the displayed alternative clay bars will fit you and your weather conditions, you will save at least $5 on every used 100 grams of a product. It will not make an insane difference to your expenses but will for sure save you some pennies in your budget.

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