Can you partially 'clay' a car, only claying the problem areas? Or will you see differences in the end result (after waxing) between area's clayed and not clayed?

I'm just starting in car detailing. I've never used a clay bar before.

1 Answer 1


If you only do part of the vehicle, how do you know you've gotten the part which is actually contaminated? If you clay a car, you want to do the whole thing. Claying removes the surface contaminants which can further harm the finish on your vehicle when you are washing it. The contaminants act to the dull the appearance. If you are only going to do part of the surface, the rest of the vehicle will still have contaminants which will leave that part of the car looking dull as well as the possibility of you pulling some of those contaminants off and causing damage to the car finish.

If you're going to use a clay bar, don't go 1/2 way ... take care of business and do the entire car.

  • While I think you mostly nailed this, certainly there's no reason to only clay part of the car in 99.99% scenarios of claying - really claying should come after washing. Nov 23, 2018 at 14:14
  • @motosubatsu - You are right! I've updated my response. Nov 23, 2018 at 14:18

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