How to use a Clay Bar

Step 2 - (Exterior) CLAY

When most people hear the word "Clay" they either think about that pottery wheel scene in the Movie "Ghost" or those strange "Gumby & Pokey" characters.

  • We suppose Clay could be looked upon as sensual or strange thing but in the Professional Detailing World it is one of the most important & useful tools to have!

Basically without going into too much depth (more can be read here tho) the Automotive Claybar, Pad, Mitt & Block is a miracle product that removes embedded particles like paint over-spray, carbon deposits (from truck & vehicle exhausts) and things like tree sap, transfer marks from shopping trolleys and a heap of other things!

  • Clay Products work by grabbing embedded particles IN & ON the surface and safely extract them away.
  •  When used with proper lubrication on a properly-washed vehicle (ahem...aka Step 1) a clay product with safely lift those nasty embedded particles which are unsightly and can't be removed with normal washing techniques.

They're reasonably cheap and can be used up to 30 times! Be warned though.. not all Clay Products are equal. Beware the ultra-cheap knock-offs that WILL scratch your surfaces & simply crumble apart when using.


  • Carrying out a simple "clay" bar, mitt, block or pad treatment will leave your paint silky smooth & contaminant-free.  Another benefit is that your wax, sealants, nano coatings and ceramic coatings to adhere better for longer with higher gloss & protection too!
  • Refract have some really special Clay Products for you to try!
  • All our Refract Clay & Lubrication Products are Patented for your assurance of quality & guarantee! They are all made with the highest quality, A-Graded Natural & Synthetic ingredients & outperform any other clay product in the market!


The Refract SPEED CLAY MITT backing material is made from the softest Korean Microfiber, SPEED BLOCK comes with 2 replacement NANO pads & REFRACTS COMPLETE CLAY KIT has everything you need in one convenient kit!


(try & find any other brand that can say that!!!) 👌😎


Did we mention that Refract also has Patent Clay-Lubrication Tablets? Like a BLUE Berocca!


How Does Auto Detailing Clay Work?

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.

Used properly, detailing clay is completely safe and nonabrasive. It's a much better option than polishing to remove these contaminants because clay doesn’t remove any paint.

  • Detailing clay glides along the surface of your paint and grabs anything that protrudes from the surface.
  • 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. We’re talking CLEAN.
  • Waxes and paint sealants will adhere better to clean paint and the shine will be more uniform and vibrant. Sounds like a win-win situation!
  • All detailing clay requires the use of a clay lubricant to prevent scratches as you gently rub the clay on the vehicle. Our Refract Clay Lubrication Tablets are specifically designed to provide our line of clay products with the perfect amount of lubrication to achieve optimal results.

What More Can 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 & black 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!

Do I Really Need To Clay?

Chances are, the answer is yes.

The surface of your vehicle faces assaults from the environment every time it’s out in the weather. Each road trip brings new insults from roadway debris, exhaust films, and airborne pollution. They will splash, mar, and embed themselves in that beautiful paint job you’ve labored over. Vehicles can accumulate these contaminants any time, any place – even at the dealership.

The Bag Test

There’s a simple test that will indicate whether or not you need to clay. Wash and dry your vehicle, put a plastic sandwich bag over your hand and lightly rub your fingertips over the paint. If it feels gritty or rough, your paint is contaminated.

How do I Use My Clay Properly?

On average, a vehicle will need to be clayed twice a year. At this rate, one clay bar will last you 18 months to 2 years if used on the same vehicle like our Joybond Refract Clay Bar, cut it in half and keep the unused portions moistened with lubricant in the storage case. 

Other Clay products like Mitts, Blocks, Towels & Pads can last for more than 20 well kept vehicle surfaces! 

NOTE: To optimize both the quality of your claying and the clay's useful life, avoid soap and water as a lubricant. Soap will prematurely deteriorate today’s clay surfaces. Use only clay lubricants. A good clay kit, like the Refract Clay Bar Kit contain both the detailing clay and it’s corresponding lubricant.


Now Lets get Claying! Follow these steps:

  • Wash and dry your vehicle thoroughly
  • Drop a Refract Lubricant Tablet into an All-Spray 800ml Bottle filled with clean fresh water and let dissolve. (Ideally De-ironised, but tap is ok)
  • Spray a small area with Refract Clay Lubricant no bigger than 30x30cm area at a time.
  • Tear a matchbox sized piece of clay from the wrapper if using a clay bar or soak your mitt, pad or block in some warm water for 5 minutes prior then proceed.
  • Gently rub the clay bar or mitt back and forth across the wet area. It will grab at first. This means that it is pulling contaminants out of the paint. When it glides freely, the paint is clean & contaminants are being lifted.
  • Quickly rinse the contaminated clay product in a bucket of clean fresh water and continue.
  • Wipe the area with a Refract Pro Dry 2 Microfiber towel and rub your wet fingers across the paint; it should be smooth as glass. If not, repeat the process.
  • Reshape the clay bar as needed to expose a clean surface & keep the clay mitt, block or pad flat always ensuring to keep the surface well-lubricated.

Continue these steps until you’ve clayed the entire vehicle. Clay does a marvelous job on glass and chrome, too.

Store the clay bar in its original case if possible, or in an airtight plastic bag. Spray it with lubricant to keep it moist. Do not allow the clay to freeze and do not store it in direct sunlight or temperatures above 30 degrees. (Cause it will melt) 

Detailing Clay Fixes Faded Clear Coats & Oxidised Surfaces Right?...


Detailing clay does not remove oxidised paint or fill in blemishes. If your paint is mildly oxidized, clean the paint with clay and then use a polish to remove the oxidized paint. If the oxidation is severe, polish first because the oxidized paint may flake off as you clay and ruin the clay bar. mitt or pad!