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Real clay bar vs synthetic...my 2 cents

Did a little unscientific test on our 2 cars. F150 with 90k miles, Honda Accord with 160k miles.
Back in July I used a clay bar for the first time ever on the Honda. Then waxed with turtle wax carnuba. A week later I did the truck with synthetic clay bar and followed with the same wax. I had never used a clay bar in the truck either.
Washed them both today, water beads better and paint is slicker on the Honda.
My truck sits in the garage most of the time while I drive a cheaper car to work. It comes out to go on longer trips or tow our toys.
Honda goes to work every day and sits in the sun.
Seems the real clay is the way to go.

Good to know… but the brands of each might help us understand the differences. Could be there is a synthetic out there that is as good as the natural stuff you used. I’ve used both and honestly they seem to work pretty similarly.

But, if I need to bring out the clay, the fine polish slots in between the clay and wax. The clay takes off the grit that could swirl up the paint. The fine polish just buffs out any scratches and lays a nice surface for the wax. That’s a lot of work though!

Meguirs brand on both. Bought at Walmart.
Clay bar was the kit that came with detailer and cloth. Synthetic was the red sponge with black surface.

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I usually use the Mothers clay for $20 but gee I get several years of use on two cars with one kit. The purpose of clay though is to pull the contaminants off of the paint not to make the wax last longer. You get a much smoother surface with clay but doesn’t really do anything for wax longevity.

I’ve heard the pros talk about buying the professional clay but hey, they complain about anything a consumer uses compared to what they use. I do it twice a year so it’s about time again. Gotta little extra work this time though.

A real test would be to do one side of each car with real clay and the other side with synthetic. I have not noticed a difference, but I am doing brand new cars.
Synthetic does have some advantages; no kneading, easy to hold, and it can be washed if dropped.

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