Paint decontamination is the process of removing contaminants from the surface of a vehicle's paint. These contaminants include tar, tree sap, bird droppings, and industrial fallout. Decontamination can be done using various methods, such as washing the car with special detergents, using clay bars, or applying chemical cleaners.
Clay bar treatment is one method of paint decontamination. It involves using a clay bar, a malleable bar made of a clay-like material, to remove contaminants from the paint's surface gently. Synthetic clay towels or mitts can also be used and can be used more times before replacing, unlike clay bars. The clay bar is lubricated with a special spray or solution (such as quick detailer, spray wax, rinseless wash like Eco Wash, and more) and is worked over the paint's surface using a back-and-forth motion. As the clay bar moves over the paint, it picks up contaminants, leaving the surface smooth and clean. It's important not to add too much pressure during this as it can easily add marring to the paint's surface.
Claying a car is generally considered one of the most effective ways to clean a vehicle's paint thoroughly, but it requires some work and specialized products. It is important to note that the clay bar should not be used on cars with newly coated paint.
Iron removal in auto detailing refers to the process of removing iron particles that have become embedded in a vehicle's paint. These iron particles can come from various sources, such as brake dust, industrial fallout, and rail dust. They can be difficult to remove using traditional washing methods and, if left untreated, can cause damage to the paint, creating rust and discoloration.
One standard iron removal method is an iron remover or fallout remover. These specialized chemical products are designed to break down and dissolve iron particles. The iron remover is applied to the paint's surface and left to dwell for a specific time, typically a few minutes. After the dwell time, the iron remover is agitated using a wash mitt or brush and then rinsed off with water. The iron particles that the iron remover has dissolved are washed away with the rinse water, leaving the paint clean and free from iron particles. Note this chemical does smell like rotten eggs due to the nature of sodium thioglycolate.
Another method is using a clay bar, as mentioned before, but this time after the clay bar treatment, Iron fallout remover is used. This Iron fallout remover will dissolve the iron particles that have been picked up by the clay bar, and these particles will be rinsed away with water, leaving the paint surface free of Iron particles.
It's important to note that iron removal can be a messy and time-consuming process, but it is essential if you want to protect your car's paint from damage and keep it looking its best. Always follow the instructions on the iron remover product you are using and do a test spot before applying it to the entire car. I do one of these to my vehicles once a quarter, but for most of my clients, I recommend doing it at least 1-2 times a year for daily drivers as a part of regular maintenance.