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Does Claying Really Remove Wax?

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  • Does Claying Really Remove Wax?

    I was reading another thread and it was stated that claying will remove wax. From my limited personal experiences, I doubt that claying removes wax. I have to clay at least once a month and I always do another wash after claying. On my car, the water still beads just as good as it did after the first wash before claying.

    I'm sure there is some wax removal where bonded contaminants were cleaned from the surface, but not where the clay traveled over already smooth surface.
    201
    Yes Claying removes all the wax or sealant leaving the paint bare.
    37.81%
    76
    No Claying does not remove wax or sealant
    8.46%
    17
    Clay removes some wax or sealant but only where bonded contaminates were cleaned.
    21.89%
    44
    Depends on the type of clay used
    8.46%
    17
    Don't Know
    23.38%
    47
    Why do we drive on a Parkway, and park on a Driveway

    George Carlin

  • #2
    Re: Does Claying Really Remove Wax?

    As you know, washing removes only surface contaminants (such as dust, pollen, dirt, etc.). Claying removes bonded contaminants. While wax is not a contaminant, it does bond to the surface of the paint, thus claying will remove wax along with the bonded contaminants. Which is why you have to rewax after claying. Here's some information from Autogeek (I only used the parts that were relevant):

    Detailing clay glides along the surface of your paint and grabs anything that protrudes from the surface. The particle sticks to the clay and is therefore removed from your vehicle. The surface being clayed should always be wet with clay lubricant to prevent loose debris from scratching the vehicle.

    "There are two different grades of clay currently available to the public. One is a medium grade detailing clay designed to clean the vehicle once or twice a year. This grade of clay removes wax along with anything else on the vehicle. (non-quote: this would probably be like Meguiar's Professional Detailing Clay - Mild)
    Your other option is a fine grade that’s relatively new to the industry....it's a favorite of enthusiasts who prefer to clay as often as needed to keep that slick finish. This detailing clay removes everything the medium clay removes and it is gentle enough to use monthly or as needed for spot cleaning. (non-quote: this is probably like the clay in the Smooth Surface Clay kit)

    What Does Detailing Clay Remove?


    Your vehicle is under constant assault from airborne pollutants. Brake dust, industrial fallout, acid rain deposits and rail dust all can adhere to your vehicle. These contaminants often contain metal particulates, which accounts for the ease with which they penetrate the clear coat to attack the paint below. These contaminants then oxidize, and they allow rust to spread beneath the clear coat. Tiny orange spots today, total paint system failure tomorrow! Detailing clay removes these contaminants in order to keep the paint healthy and vibrant. Detailing Clay also removes stubborn sap, tar, and bug remains. Detailing clay works wonder on glass as well. Try some the next time you’re washing your windows. You’ll be amazed at the results!

    Waxes and paint sealants will adhere better to clean paint and the shine will be more uniform and vibrant.


    Always follow claying with a wax or sealant. Clay will removing existing wax and may leave tiny holes where contaminants have been removed. They must be sealed in order to protect the paint from corrosion."


    So, claying does remove wax and should therefore be re-waxed afterwards. Hope this helps!
    Shane
    1995 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera SL

    If you trim yourself to fit the world you'll whittle yourself away. - Aaron Tippin

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Does Claying Really Remove Wax?

      Originally posted by Mikejl View Post
      I was reading another thread and it was stated that claying will remove wax. From my limited personal experiences, I doubt that claying removes wax. I have to clay at least once a month and I always do another wash after claying. On my car, the water still beads just as good as it did after the first wash before claying.
      Beading is a product of surface tension. Is it possible that the reason water beads well after claying is not because wax is still present but because the surface is now very smooth?
      Swirls hide in the black molecular depths, only waiting for the right time to emerge and destroy your sanity.
      --Al Kimel

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Does Claying Really Remove Wax?

        i think it removes some wax but not all of it.
        Nick
        Tucker's Detailing Services
        815-954-0773
        2012 Ford Transit Connect

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Does Claying Really Remove Wax?

          Originally posted by CieraSL View Post
          Here's some information from Autogeek (I only used the parts that were relevant):...
          So, claying does remove wax and should therefore be re-waxed afterwards. Hope this helps!
          Thank you for that thorough explaination. I will look for that thread at Autogeek.

          Your explanation sounds good, but I'm still not convinced. It is true that wax is bonded to the paint, but once the car is washed all but the bonded contaminants should be removed leaving a lot the waxed surface smooth. The clay traveling over the lubricated waxed surface would just glide over until it reaches a protruding contaminant. If my logic is sound, then there is still a fair coverage of wax on the paint.

          Originally posted by akimel View Post
          Beading is a product of surface tension. Is it possible that the reason water beads well after claying is not because wax is still present but because the surface is now very smooth?
          I thought about that, but I really doubt it in this case. The beads were just a tight as they were after wash before I clayed. #26 beads very nicely.

          Just to be clear, I'm not suggesting that you don't need to wax your car after claying. I believe that the waxed finish would be somewhat compromised by claying. I just don't think all wax is removed like an IPA or Mineral Spirits wipe down would do.

          Let's take this scenario for example:

          We take a freshly clayed and waxed car and then decide we want fresh clean bare paint to remove some swirls. Let's also say it takes the same amount of time to do a Dawn Wash, IPA rubdown or Clay. Which one would you feel the least confident to remove all wax?

          Mike
          Why do we drive on a Parkway, and park on a Driveway

          George Carlin

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Does Claying Really Remove Wax?

            Originally posted by Mikejl View Post
            Thank you for that thorough explaination. I will look for that thread at Autogeek.

            Your explanation sounds good, but I'm still not convinced. It is true that wax is bonded to the paint, but once the car is washed all but the bonded contaminants should be removed leaving a lot the waxed surface smooth. The clay traveling over the lubricated waxed surface would just glide over until it reaches a protruding contaminant. If my logic is sound, then there is still a fair coverage of wax on the paint.


            I thought about that, but I really doubt it in this case. The beads were just a tight as they were after wash before I clayed. #26 beads very nicely.

            Just to be clear, I'm not suggesting that you don't need to wax your car after claying. I believe that the waxed finish would be somewhat compromised by claying. I just don't think all wax is removed like an IPA or Mineral Spirits wipe down would do.

            Let's take this scenario for example:

            We take a freshly clayed and waxed car and then decide we want fresh clean bare paint to remove some swirls. Let's also say it takes the same amount of time to do a Dawn Wash, IPA rubdown or Clay. Which one would you feel the least confident to remove all wax?

            Mike
            Here's that thread from Autogeek: http://www.autogeek.net/detailing-clay-bar.html

            Quote: "It is true that wax is bonded to the paint,but once the car is washed all but the bonded contaminants should be removed leaving a lot the waxed surface smooth." Not necessarily so. Washing removes surface contaminants (dirt, pollen, dust, etc.) but claying removes bonded contaminants (industrial pollution, rail dust, brake dust, overspray, etc.), with scratches and swirls falling elsewhere and requiring a different realm of products to remove. Obviously, wax is not merely intended to lie on the surface of the paint only to be removed with just a simple wash (provided of course you're using a quality car wash and not Dawn detergent), it bonds to the paint and breaks down over time, sacrificing itself so your paint doesn't suffer. Since it is bonded to the paint, it will be removed by the clay bar. In order for this not to be the case, the wax would essentially have to be part of the paint itself, which just isn't so. Let me try to explain it this way. This is a bad example, but I couldn't come up with a better one off the top of my head. Imagine your car is a piece of wood (which was true with the first cars, lol), and the wax on your car is like a stain or varnish. Washing the car is like taking a dust rag to the piece of wood, merely removing surface dust and whatnot. Sanding the surface is kind of like claybarring, removing rough protusions in the wood and the stain or varnish along with it, thus the need to re-stain or re-varnish. Like I said, not a very good example but it's the best I could do. And as far as water-beading is concerned, that is not the only indication that there is wax on the car. Water beads up tightly on our shower wall, but I can tell you for a fact that there is no wax on the shower. Also, I've seen water bead up on cars that have never had a wax, probably because there is more surface tension on them; I never could figure that one out. Hope this helps and answers your questions. Thanks for reading!
            Shane
            1995 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera SL

            If you trim yourself to fit the world you'll whittle yourself away. - Aaron Tippin

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Does Claying Really Remove Wax?

              Mike, you can easily test your hypothesis. Check for beading and take photos. Then wash your car using a wash solution like Chemical Guys' Citrus Wash Clear at the full detail strength. This will remove all wax on your car (at least so the product description says). Then clay the car. Now check the car for beading and take photos. If you are correct, your car should not bead as well after the wash and clay as before.

              Without empirical data, all our speculation is just that ... speculation.
              Swirls hide in the black molecular depths, only waiting for the right time to emerge and destroy your sanity.
              --Al Kimel

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Does Claying Really Remove Wax?

                Originally posted by CieraSL View Post
                Here's that thread from Autogeek: http://www.autogeek.net/detailing-clay-bar.html

                Quote: "It is true that wax is bonded to the paint,but once the car is washed all but the bonded contaminants should be removed leaving a lot the waxed surface smooth." Not necessarily so. Washing removes surface contaminants (dirt, pollen, dust, etc.) but claying removes bonded contaminants (industrial pollution, rail dust, brake dust, overspray, etc.), with scratches and swirls falling elsewhere and requiring a different realm of products to remove. Obviously, wax is not merely intended to lie on the surface of the paint only to be removed with just a simple wash (provided of course you're using a quality car wash and not Dawn detergent), it bonds to the paint and breaks down over time, sacrificing itself so your paint doesn't suffer. Since it is bonded to the paint, it will be removed by the clay bar. In order for this not to be the case, the wax would essentially have to be part of the paint itself, which just isn't so. Let me try to explain it this way. This is a bad example, but I couldn't come up with a better one off the top of my head. Imagine your car is a piece of wood (which was true with the first cars, lol), and the wax on your car is like a stain or varnish. Washing the car is like taking a dust rag to the piece of wood, merely removing surface dust and whatnot. Sanding the surface is kind of like claybarring, removing rough protusions in the wood and the stain or varnish along with it, thus the need to re-stain or re-varnish. Like I said, not a very good example but it's the best I could do. And as far as water-beading is concerned, that is not the only indication that there is wax on the car. Water beads up tightly on our shower wall, but I can tell you for a fact that there is no wax on the shower. Also, I've seen water bead up on cars that have never had a wax, probably because there is more surface tension on them; I never could figure that one out. Hope this helps and answers your questions. Thanks for reading!
                Thanks for the link. I will check it out shortly.
                If I'm reading your reply correctly, your premise is that claying removes anything that is bonded to the paint and since wax is bonded to the paint it is removed during claying. Is that correct?

                Is so, I disagree. I think clay is designed to remove bonded contaminants that protrude above the surface. I don't think it abrades a smooth surface until it hit bare paint. If that were the case you would mar the surface. Plus the clay is gliding over layer of lubrication while it working.

                Mike
                Why do we drive on a Parkway, and park on a Driveway

                George Carlin

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Does Claying Really Remove Wax?

                  Originally posted by Mikejl View Post
                  Thanks for the link. I will check it out shortly.
                  If I'm reading your reply correctly, your premise is that claying removes anything that is bonded to the paint and since wax is bonded to the paint it is removed during claying. Is that correct?

                  Is so, I disagree. I think clay is designed to remove bonded contaminants that protrude above the surface. I don't think it abrades a smooth surface until it hit bare paint. If that were the case you would mar the surface. Plus the clay is gliding over layer of lubrication while it working.

                  Mike
                  OK, let's look at it this way. Here's some illustrations from http://www.texstardetail.com/6.html



                  Imagine that these illustrations were taken from a car that had not been clayed, only waxed. Now imagine that the top of your wax comes to the top of the word "Overspray" in the first illustration, that is to say, the layer begins at that point and ends at the clear coat. So the wax is sealing in the contaminants. The wax has to be removed if the clay bar is to move "through the wax" in order to remove the bonded contaminants. If the wax were not removed, then how could the contaminants be removed? That just doesn't make sense. And the lubrication is just that, lubrication. The lube does not affect whether or not wax or bonded contaminants are being removed, it just helps the clay bar move so it can pick up whatever is bonded to the paint. Like how you rinse your skin off before you soap it, just to help the soap move easier. You could make the argument, "Oh the soap doesn't remove dirt and whatnot from my skin because it never comes in direct contact with my skin, only with the water." Same basic principle with the clay bar and lube. This won't mar the surface - you're gently cleaning the surface with a clay bar, not scrubbing it with a Brillo pad. Hope this clarifies things a little better.
                  Shane
                  1995 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera SL

                  If you trim yourself to fit the world you'll whittle yourself away. - Aaron Tippin

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Does Claying Really Remove Wax?

                    Originally posted by CieraSL View Post
                    OK, let's look at it this way. Here's some illustrations from http://www.texstardetail.com/6.html



                    Imagine that these illustrations were taken from a car that had not been clayed, only waxed. Now imagine that the top of your wax comes to the top of the word "Overspray" in the first illustration, that is to say, the layer begins at that point and ends at the clear coat. So the wax is sealing in the contaminants. The wax has to be removed if the clay bar is to move "through the wax" in order to remove the bonded contaminants. If the wax were not removed, then how could the contaminants be removed? That just doesn't make sense. And the lubrication is just that, lubrication. The lube does not affect whether or not wax or bonded contaminants are being removed, it just helps the clay bar move so it can pick up whatever is bonded to the paint. Like how you rinse your skin off before you soap it, just to help the soap move easier. You could make the argument, "Oh the soap doesn't remove dirt and whatnot from my skin because it never comes in direct contact with my skin, only with the water." Same basic principle with the clay bar and lube. This won't mar the surface - you're gently cleaning the surface with a clay bar, not scrubbing it with a Brillo pad. Hope this clarifies things a little better.
                    How can you equate overspray with a coat of wax? Overspray protrudes above the surface unevenly. How are you getting wax above the contaminants? The wax layer is sub micron thick. I doubt any contaminants that we are trying to remove are anywhere near that small. Wax is a smooth coat over the paint. All contaminants will be above the wax layer. Will wax be removed where the overspray was removed? Certainly, but I still believe the well lubricated clay glides over the smooth surface of the wax leaving it in place. I don't see claying ever being used as a reliable method of stripping wax from paint.

                    Since none of the Pro's have weighed in on this, maybe it isn't as cut and dry an issue as either of us think.

                    Mike
                    Why do we drive on a Parkway, and park on a Driveway

                    George Carlin

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Does Claying Really Remove Wax?

                      When you rub a clay bar with pressure over a waxed, painted surface are you adding wax?

                      Mike Phillips
                      Office: 800-869-3011 x206
                      Mike.Phillips@Autogeek.net
                      "Find something you like and use it often"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Does Claying Really Remove Wax?

                        Originally posted by Mike Phillips View Post
                        When you rub a clay bar with pressure over a waxed, painted surface are you adding wax?

                        No. That was my point - the clay bar removes anything that is on the painted surface, including wax, right? Anything you do to an already waxed surface either improves/"assists" the wax or takes away from/removes the wax. At least that's what my assumption is. Help me out Mike, does a clay bar remove all or some of the wax?
                        Shane
                        1995 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera SL

                        If you trim yourself to fit the world you'll whittle yourself away. - Aaron Tippin

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Does Claying Really Remove Wax?

                          From the Meguiar's FAQ:

                          6. Does clay remove wax?

                          Yes, while clay is designed to remove above surface bonded contaminants, clay will also remove some wax protection from the surface. We strongly recommend following the claying process with a coat of wax for maximum gloss and protection.
                          Swirls hide in the black molecular depths, only waiting for the right time to emerge and destroy your sanity.
                          --Al Kimel

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Does Claying Really Remove Wax?

                            Originally posted by Mike Phillips View Post
                            When you rub a clay bar with pressure over a waxed, painted surface are you adding wax?

                            No it doesn't add wax and I understand that the opposite of adding is removing, but there is a third "does nothing" option (where the wax is smooth and clean on the paint).

                            QD'ing doesn't add wax either, but I'm pretty sure the most effect it has is to slightly degrade the wax, It doesn't strip wax and remove it competely.



                            Mike
                            Why do we drive on a Parkway, and park on a Driveway

                            George Carlin

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Does Claying Really Remove Wax?

                              Hey Mikejl, you wanna go into debating classes together? I think we're getting pretty good at this virtual debating stuff! LOL!
                              Shane
                              1995 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera SL

                              If you trim yourself to fit the world you'll whittle yourself away. - Aaron Tippin

                              Comment

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