It is often asked on detailing fora and social media: “what is the best claybar or claymitt”. Off course there is a difference between certain products and brands, but it is important to know what you are asking. In this guide I will try to explain what the problem is with this question unless it is asked more in-depth.
The general problem
When somebody asks what the best shampoo is, they are not letting other people know what they mean with “best”. A shampoo is developed with several characteristics in mind. It has to be slick, good soluble in water, good cleaning properties, wax/sealant-safe and several more. These properties can be very different between products and/or brands. In the question “What is the best shampoo”, it is nowhere specified if that person is looking for a shampoo that is very slick, if it just smells nice or if it is the least protection-affecting.
So it is almost impossible to give an answer.
What to keep in mind when you ask the question
Many detailers are searching for a certain product that offers good quality. This could mean that they are looking for a cheap product, one that smells good, etc. Before you ask the question which product is the best it is important to know what you are looking for. Are you looking for a wax that offers mainly gloss? Or is easy to buff off? Or one that offers as much gloss?
It is important to know what you are looking for, and to know that there will be cases in which 2 properties can not be combined. A shampoo that is really awesome at washing away stubborn grease can not be wax safe. Simply because you need a certain harshness to remove the grease, harshness that is more then the wax can handle. Even sealants are likely to be affected by this.
A list of things to consider
Here is a list of properties you might consider including in your question. These can be your own preferences, or just things you find important. This list is simply made to help you find out what you exactly want to ask, so you will get better answers that suit your search.
Claybar or claymitt
- Fine, medium or heavy clay
- Salt is an unwelcome type of contamination on your vehicle. Salt can cause rapid corrosion and extreme dage to unprotected metals. It can also severely stain polished metals and create a matte look over the surface....
- Paintwork can, in some cases, become oxidized. Making it turn matte and slightly fade color. If untreated, it can eventually cause the lacquer and/or paintwork to completely fail. It is most common on red cars, but it can happen with every color....
- Polishing pads can get very dirty. After use they contain polish residue, oils, very small paint particles, possibly dirt and mineral deposits. Cleaning polish pads properly prepares them for use the next time and prolongs their life....
- Delamination occurs when 2 layers seperate from each other. This can happen between many different types of material. Delamination can occur between 2 layers of paint, but also between a wax and a coating. Even when windowtint seperates from the window, it can be referred to as delamination....
- Dog hair in the interior of a car can be real nuisance. The hairs get stuck in the fibers of the fabric and become very difficult to remove. Using just a vacuum cleaner is often unsuccesfull, however, with a few tips these hairs can be removed much easier....
- Overall pad performance is dependent on the type and amount of fabric, stiffness and length of the fibers and how they are attached to the pad. The difference between a foam pad, different kind of wool pads and a microfiber pad are discussed in relation to the Kevin Brown Method....