Clay Barring your car is generally seen as a good thing, but, for some it’s a scary process.
If you clay bar your car using incorrect techniques, there is a serious chance of causing damage to the paintwork of your car.
Thankfully, most of the time, this damage isn’t anything serious, it’s just light paint marring that will polish out.
Using the best lubricants will allow your clay to slide across the surface picking up any stubborn contaminants while preventing your clay from scratching.
In this article I’ll tell you all about the types of lubricant you can use while claying a car. I’ll also recommend what I think are the best lubricants for clay bars.
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Types Of Lubricant
When it comes to giving your car the clay bar treatment, there are many different types of lubricant that you can use.
The most obvious option would be clay lube. This is a lubricant that’s specifically formulated to increase the lubricity of your car and reduce friction from the clay bar.
Most clay bar lubes are synthetic and will work on every surface and color car that you want. Making a wet and smooth surface perfect for claying.
Another product that’s commonly used and super easy to access is Quick Detailer.
Using a product such as Meguiars Quick Detailer will provide enough lubrication to protect your paint while providing a sparkle, shine, and even extra hydrophobic properties.
An added bonus when using a quick detailer is the fact that they also have cleaning agents. This will help to remove any remaining dust and contaminants alongside the clay bar.
Finally, the other option is to use Optimum No Rinse. I’ve already wrote an article about how to use optimum no-rinse, it’s a great product, especially for claying.
The biggest benefit of using ONR is that it’s made to be used at very high dilutions and is completely suds-less.
Using a rinseless wash solution will give you enough lubrication and cleaning power to clay your car. It will also mean that you don’t need to rinse it afterward, rather just wipe the area when you finish claying it.
If you’re working on a budget, you can always resort to using soapy water.
Because the goal is to lubricate the car, any good car shampoo will provide enough lubrication for you to clay your vehicle.
Best Clay Lube
The best clay lube is one that will allow you to safely decontaminate your car without leaving behind any extra paint defects.
At the end of the day, it’s all personal preference. You will not know exactly what you’re looking for until you’ve experimented with a bunch of products and clays.
Below are the 3 products I’d recommend trying first.
Trying out these products first will allow you to avoid buying junk products and get to the good stuff straight away.
Chemical Guys Clay Luber
For a lot of cars, using warm soapy water, a quick detailer, or ONR will be enough. As long as you’ve prepped the car well enough before claying, you will not have too many contaminants left on your car.
Despite this, I’d still recommend using a dedicated clay lube.
If you’re scared of damaging your paint or are working on a car with a lot of contamination the extra lubrication will give you a bigger margin for error.
You may also find that your clay bar will last a lot longer, due to the increased lubrication.
The Chemical Guys Clay Luber is a ready to use clay lube that easily lubricates your car panels and reduces any friction that would stop a clay bar from moving.
This product is formulated with synthetic wetting agents and slick lubricants, it’s also non-caustic which will help to extend the life of your clay bar, mitt, or block.
From my research, the Chemical Guys Clay Luber is one of the cheaper products on the market and can be bought in many different volumes. It’s safe to use on all car surfaces and does exactly what you’d expect.
The only downside is that it’s not a concentrate. This means you have much less control over just how much lubrication the product will provide.
Buy Chemical Guys Clay Luber From Amazon
Dodo Juice Born Slippy
The DodoJuice Born Slippy Clay Lubricant is considered one of the best clay lubes on the market. It’s a tangerine bottle filled with an abundance of cleaning agents and a lot of lubrication.
Thankfully, the value for money is not bad either. Because it’s such a highly concentrated product, you’ll be able to use it at a 10:1 ratio, making a single 250ml bottle last up to one or two years.
All I’ll say is that, there’s a reason why so many detailers recommend this product. You really will not believe how much this changes the feel of claying until you use it yourself.
Buy Dodo Juice’s Born Slippy From Amazon.
Optimum No Rinse
If you’re someone that likes to get a little more from their product or prefers to operate on a lean detailing setup, Optimum No Rinse (ONR) is perfect for you.
As previously touched on, ONR is a car soap product that’s designed to remove the need for rinsing from the car wash process.
Because there are no soapy suds to wash away, you no longer need to rinse your car, just wipe it dry instead.
ONR comes in a concentrate that will allow you to dilute and experiment with the product.
Adding 1 oz of product to 1-2 gallons of water will make give you a no-rinse car wash solution.
Adding 2 oz of product to a gallon of water will make an awesome clay bar lubricant
And adding 6 oz to a gallon of water provides you with a super shiny, quick detailing solution.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s ONR or Meguiars Rinseless Wash, owning a product that’s as versatile as they are lets you reduce the number of products you need to get professional results.
ONR is widely used in the detailing community, especially as a lubricant for clay barring. The fact that it offers increased protection and acts as a super-slick lubricant makes it perfect for claying your car.
Buy Optimum No Rinse From Amazon
Meguiars Ultimate Quik Detailer
While most of the time I’d opt for any of the before mentioned products, quick detailers can be used as an alternative to clay lube.
I would suggest that you only use this as a clay lube for cars that have already been heavily decontaminated or are brand new off the lot.
The lack of lubrication means that you need to be more careful, paying much closer attention to the condition of your clay and how smoothly it glides across the paint.
Using a quick detailer does have its benefits though. It’s easy and convenient to use, simply spray on and wipe off when you’re done.
The Meguiars Quik Detailer will also provide an element of protection with additional wax protection and hydrophobic technology.
If you’re looking for quick results, using a quick detailer will provide you with a wax/sealant type finish while offering enough lubricity to safely clay your car.
I will say though, if you clay your car frequently, using quick detailer as a clay lube will quickly add up over time.
Buy Meguiars Quik Detailer From Amazon.
Clay Bar Lube Alternative: Spray Wax
In a similar way to Quick Detailer, Wilson Auto Detailing (who is a professional detailer), often uses a spray wax as a clay lube.
Just like using a quick detailer, I’d only recommend this for cars that have been heavily decontaminated beforehand.
If you’re in the business and are looking to improve your efficiency, this is certainly a good way to do it. Just pay attention to your clay bar at all times, the lack of lubricity could create a lot more work than its worth.