Clay bars can help you to get that car showroom finish, which might otherwise be impossible. They can help lift the very finest contaminants off the surface of your car to leave a shiny, smooth result.
These days clay bars are readily available, and the choice has never been better. Our review of the best clay bars for cars covers all grades and also a variety of price-points.
So, let’s take a closer look and find the perfect product for your car’s needs…
- 1 Top 7 Best Clay Bars for Cars For Your Consideration In 2021 Reviews
- 1.1 1 Mothers 07240 California Gold Clay Bar – Best Mid Range Clay Bar for Cars
- 1.2 2 Chemical Guys CLY_109 Light Duty Clay Bar and Luber Synthetic Lubricant Kit – Best Chemical Guys Clay Bar for Cars
- 1.3 3 Mothers 17240 Speed Clay 2.0 – Best Rated Clay Bar for Cars
- 1.4 4 Senrokes Clay Bar Car Detailing Clay – Clay Bars Magic Clay Bar – Best Budget Clay Bar for Cars
- 1.5 5 Meguiar’s Mirror Glaze Detailing Clay, Aggressive – Best Premium Clay Bar for Cars
- 1.6 6 Griot’s Garage 11153 Paint Cleaning Clay – Best Value for the Money Clay Bar for Cars
- 1.7 7 Adam’s Fine Grade Clay Bar Kit 200g – Best Clay Bar for Windshield
- 2 Best Clay Bars for Cars – Buying Guide
- 3 Looking for more of the best car care products?
- 4 But what are the Best Clay Bars for Cars?
Top 7 Best Clay Bars for Cars For Your Consideration In 2021 Reviews
1 Mothers 07240 California Gold Clay Bar – Best Mid Range Clay Bar for Cars
This comes in a kit. You get two 100g clay bars together with a detailing spray and a 16” x 16” microfiber towel. Everything is included to help you bring your tired paintwork back to life. The Mothers 07240 California Gold Clay Bar is not as harsh or as hard as some clay bars. It’s pliable and soft and can be used on a wider range of car surfaces.
It can be used safely on more delicate and older paint. It’s also suitable for clear coats. Plus, it can be used on trims, plastics, and even glass. The formula is not aggressive and, therefore, will not cause scratching. It can be used to remove things like embed paint particles, overspray, or things like tree sap or bird droppings.
So easy to use…
Application is best over a newly washed car that is not fully dry. The lubricated finish allows the clay bar to slide over the surface easily. When you move the bar over the car’s surface, it will effortlessly pick up all unwanted surface material. The included detailing spray can be used with the clay bar to help the lubricating process.
Finally, it should be noted that once a clay bar has been used that the area will need to be polished and re-waxed as the clay bar will take off all added car care products. Any plan to polish and wax your car is, therefore, best left until after clay bar use.
- Non-aggressive formula.
- Complete package.
- Effective on all surfaces.
- Only available in kit form.
- Not the strongest formula.
2 Chemical Guys CLY_109 Light Duty Clay Bar and Luber Synthetic Lubricant Kit – Best Chemical Guys Clay Bar for Cars
This is part of a great line-up of clay bars and clay bar kits from Chemical Brothers. The cool thing is that they provide every grade and combination of clay bar and kit you’re ever likely to need. The clay bar kit we are reviewing is for light-duty use and comes with a lubricating spray.
A fantastic choice…
However, they make three other grades of clay bars. These are original, medium, and heavy. Additionally, if you prefer, you can buy the clay bar on its own, which can undoubtedly work out as more cost-effective. A useful feature of the different clay bar grades is that each one has a different color.
This makes it easy to instantly recognize which bar you are using when confronted with different degrees of stubborn stains.
What makes this one of the best clay bars for cars?
The Chemical Brothers clay bar can be used on all the surfaces of your car. The non-abrasive gentle formula makes it suitable to use on your bodywork, including on fiberglass, as well as on aluminum and chrome. It works well to gently lift off things liken tar and bugs. Plus, it’s great for working on overspray too.
Practical and efficient…
The light-duty clay bar is soft and easier to shape than harder compounds. Despite it being mailable, the high-quality formula means it doesn’t deteriorate or break-up into smaller parts. This makes it all the more efficient to quickly and gently removing harmful particles from your car.
The kit comes with a 16oz spray bottle of lubricating detailer. This can be used to lubricate the surface of your car to make the clay glide over your car more easily. This also helps when you want to work more precisely in smaller areas.
- Available as a soap only or as part of a kit.
- It comes with a lubricating detailer.
- Available four different strengths.
- Suitable for use on any surface.
- The clay soaps are color-coordinated.
- Harder compounds are not very pliable.
3 Mothers 17240 Speed Clay 2.0 – Best Rated Clay Bar for Cars
This is not strictly the same as a traditional clay bar. However, it has most of the same properties and performs in a very similar way. The main thing that differentiates it is that the Mothers 17240 Speed Clay 2.0 stays intact and cannot be broken into smaller pieces.
On the other hand…
Since it can’t be shaped or broken off, it’s more awkward to use in smaller spaces. In our experience, this is undoubtedly a product best left for those big jobs.
It has a casing that makes it easier to hold rather than having to keep your fingers directly wrapped around a bar. Plus, since it doesn’t disintegrate, it has the benefit that it’s less messy and it’s also easier to use over larger surfaces. Even if you drop it on the floor, it can still be used. Simply rinse it off, and you’re good to go again.
What else makes this product different?
Unlike traditional clay bars, the Mothers 17240 Speed Clay 2.0 can be used a lot more than just a handful of times. You can expect to use it as many as 20 times. Now that’s not bad at all. It comes as either a single bar, or it can be purchased as a six-pack for some hefty discount.
Like normal clay soaps, it’s great for use on multiple car surfaces. You can use to on your glasswork, chrome and, plastics as well as on your paintwork.
But the best part…
The clever rubber polymer technology incorporated into the clay breaks off when it comes into contact with surface contaminants. This then works to remove all the unwanted contaminants that unwantedly embed themselves in your paintwork to dull and spoil the finish.
The Mothers 17240 Speed Clay 2.0 will make light work of brake dust, tar, sap, insects and, bird droppings. It’s best used immediately after washing your vehicle.
- The clay does not break off or deteriorate.
- Can be used as many as 20 times.
- Discounted multi-pack available.
- Suitable to use on all surfaces.
- More difficult to use in smaller spaces.
4 Senrokes Clay Bar Car Detailing Clay – Clay Bars Magic Clay Bar – Best Budget Clay Bar for Cars
These are some of the least expensive clay bars on the market. You get four bars, each weighing 100g, together with a microfiber cloth. Additionally, you get a plastic container to keep them in, which is handy.
These are of around medium texture and can be used to restore the paintwork or finish on any vehicle’s surface. They will remove stubborn tar, brake dust, tree sap, and bird dropping. They can also remove fine scratches and areas of overspray.
Senrokes Clay Bar Car Detailing Clay is highly pliable, which makes it easy to use on any area of your car. This makes it a great choice for using in all those difficult to reach places. Happily, it can be used on wheels, chrome, glass, bumpers, or in fact, on any part of your car.
Application is easy though care must be taken not to use them when they are dry or on a dry surface. Ideally, they should be used just as the car or vehicle has been washed and is still wet.
But you should know…
The car clay soap will take off all unwanted contaminants from your car’s surface. Unfortunately, it will take away the ones you want to keep as well. This includes polish and wax. For this reason, to save yourself some time, it’s best to only use it when you intend to re-polish and wax your car.
However, remember that if you drop the clay bar on the floor, the area that touches it should be cut away with a knife. This is because it will pick up dust and dirt very easily. If you then use it on your car, you’re liable to scratch it.
- Very pliable.
- Includes a sealed container for storage.
- Comes with a microfiber cloth.
- It can be used on all surfaces.
- No options include a lubricating detail spray.
5 Meguiar’s Mirror Glaze Detailing Clay, Aggressive – Best Premium Clay Bar for Cars
This is a firm and more aggressive clay than the other best clay bars for cars we’ve reviewed so far. It comes in a single 200g bar. This is kept sealed in an air proof container. It doesn’t come with a lubricant detailing spray, but it’s highly recommended you use one. Meguiar makes a good range of sprays, but it’s easy enough to pick up one from an alternative manufacturer if you prefer.
You’re probably wondering why you can’t just use the clay bar straight after washing. The fact is that you could. However, this is sufficiently aggressive that a little extra care is advised, and a lubricant finishing spray will ensure an even finish.
But is it right for you?
If you need a product to get rid of that super-stubborn bug, tar, brake dust, and overspray problems, this is the clay bar for you. It will likely succeed where other softer clay bars may fail.
Despite it being powerful, it is still safe to use on any kind of paintwork or car surface. It is even suitable for vintage cars and vintage paint jobs. Like most clay bars, it’s also fine to use on glass, chrome, clear coats, and plastics.
What a difference!
Once you’ve finished your detailing and you have re-polished and re-waxed your car, you cannot fail to notice the difference. The paintwork will have a mirror-like appearance. This is not something you can only see, but you can also feel it too.
- Aggressive formula.
- Excellent for the removal of stubborn contaminants.
- Can be used on vintage paintwork.
- Suitable for use on all car surfaces.
- Comes in a sealed container.
- No detailing spray or cloth included.
6 Griot’s Garage 11153 Paint Cleaning Clay – Best Value for the Money Clay Bar for Cars
This comes in a resealable 8 oz container. It can be bought as just a clay bar, or you can opt to buy it as part of a kit. If you decide to purchases the kit, it comes with a detailing lubricating spray, three large microfiber cloths, and gloves.
This is on the firmer end of the scale for a clay bar though it’s not as firm as the Meguiar’s bar we just reviewed. Never the less it’s still a good option for those tougher contaminant stains.
What did we absolutely love?
One of the big pluses is that it has a light color. This helps you more easily see the dirt and grime that’s left on the clay after washing. It makes it easier to see when you need to reach for a new clay bar.
Although it’s relatively firm, it can still be broken off quite easily to get into all of those awkward to reach places. Conversely, it also works well when being used in large areas. It’s fair to say that it’s a bit of a solid all-rounder.
But bear in mind…
Whether you use lubricating spray or choose to use it straight after washing, and preferably both, it’s important to remember that very little if no pressure is required. This is great news as it makes the task of cleaning all the easier. Additionally, you should also use the clay in a cross-hatch pattern.
Once you’ve made a few passes with the clay bar, you need to check the clay for any dirt and then wipe away the lubricant spray or excess water. The result will be a silky smooth and glassy like showroom finish.
- The light color makes it easy to see contaminants.
- Can be purchased separately or as part of a kit.
- Comes in a sealed container.
7 Adam’s Fine Grade Clay Bar Kit 200g – Best Clay Bar for Windshield
The kit contains two 100g bars in a sealed container. Having two separate bars can be useful, particularly when working in smaller areas. It doesn’t come with a lubricating spray though one is available from Adam if you need it.
This is the finest clay bar on our list and is, therefore, the most pliable and easiest to break up and use on smaller jobs. Because it has a softer composition, it’s not as effective on more stubborn stains. It will work on things like free sap, bugs, and brake dust, but for badly contaminated car paintwork, you’ll need to look for something more aggressive and firmer.
Why is this clay bar different?
This is more for regular use to keep your car looking in showroom condition. Just remember that even though your car may look clean, and despite regular washes, polishing, and waxing, your car’s surfaces will still pick up plenty of small harmful particles as part of its everyday life.
This is the perfect product to use each time you plan to take off the car’s wax. Use this immediately after washing and with a lubricating spray for the best results. Just be sure that the car is completely clean before applying it.
Guaranteed to satisfy…
One final advantage of using Adam’s Fine Grade Clay Bar is that, like all their other products, it has a 110% customer satisfaction guarantee included. If you’ve never used a clay bar on a car before and want to give it a try, it’s a great opportunity to get started with nothing to lose.
- Very flexible.
- Great for regular use.
- Two sealed bars.
- 110% customer guarantee.
- Not suitable for very stubborn marks.
- It breaks-up quickly.
Best Clay Bars for Cars – Buying Guide
To help you find the perfect clay bar for your car, we’ve put together a useful buying guide, so let’s start with…
How to Use a Clay Bar
A clay bar should only ever be used on a thoroughly cleaned car. Once the car is clean, and only then, can you use one. When it is used, you should also ensure that it is adequately lubricated.
There are two ways of doing this. You can either use the clay bar directly after washing whilst your car is still wet. Alternatively, you can use a special detailing lubricant. These are readily available and often come as part of the kit, as with the Chemical Guys CLY_109 Light Duty Clay Bar and Luber Synthetic Lubricant Kit.
But that’s not all…
The clay bar should be worked into the surface of the car in a cross-hatch pattern. No great pressure needs to be applied for it to work. However, if you drop the clay on the floor, it’s essential to cut away the part that came into contact with the ground. Failure to do this could easily lead to scratching as a result of the clay picking up dirt and grit.
A clay bar should be used on around four vehicles before you think about changing it. If you are considering regularly using clay bars as part of your detailing regime, you should consider buying Senrokes Clay Bar Car Detailing Clays. These are the least expensive option and come in a pack of four.
When to Use a Clay Bar
Clay bars can be used as little or as often as you like. If you want to use one regularly, then it’s probably best to use a softer one, but other than that, you won’t damage your car if you use them properly.
Even new cars can pick up contaminants, and even apparently spotless cars can still benefit from the use of clay bars. Environmental dust, brake dust, and city pollutants can quickly build up and dull your precious paintwork.
There are plenty of manufactured lubricants that are made specifically to be used with clay bars. Lubricants help to make the job easier, even on a freshly washed car, and are undoubtedly worth using. Plus, if you are working on a small area, a spray lubricant after the surface is cleaned can save you the trouble of washing your whole car.
The lubricants in the Mother’s California or Chemical Guys kits are excellent options.
Clay Bar Grade
Clay bars have different levels of stiffness. They range from firm to soft. Generally speaking, the stiffer the clay bar, the greater its cleaning properties.
Softer clay bars are more pliable and are great for regular use. They are also a good choice for shaping and getting in those difficult to reach places. On the downside, they tend to deteriorate quicker than stiffer clay bars.
Looking for more of the best car care products?
If so, then check out our comprehensive reviews of the Best Car Waxes, the Best 0W-20 Synthetic Oils, the Best Catalytic Converter Cleaners, the Best Rust Prevention, and the Best Car Wax for Black Cars currently on the market.
You also won’t want to miss our in-depth reviews of the Best Oil Filters For Cars, the Best Car Upholstery Cleaners, the Best Remote Start Stop System, the Best Penetrating Oil, and the Best Fuel Injector Cleaners you can buy in 2021.
But what are the Best Clay Bars for Cars?
So, there you have it. Hopefully, there was something on our list of the seven best car clay bars that are suitable for your vehicle. Regardless of which clay bar you’re thinking of using, there’s no doubt that they will all improve the quality of your car’s paintwork.
We’d be happy to use any of the clay bars in our review, but if we had to choose just one to take home, it would be the…
This is our top pick because it’s suitable for all car surfaces, and it also comes with a lubricating spray. Additionally, there is a choice of different compound strengths, and the clays are all color-coordinated, so you can’t mix them up.