Even after waxing most cars will still have some roughness on their surface. Daily, they are being attacked by bird droppings, tree sap, and road grime. Just sitting out in the atmosphere a vehicle will pick up contaminants out of the air which in the presence of moisture (morning dew or rain??) will start to attack the paint surface. Even with frequent waxing, a car will pick up these surface contaminants which will start to oxidize the paint.

Doing an auto detailing clay job is the most effective way to remove most of a car's surface contamination. There are several available places that provide instructions on how to use detailing clay. However, if it is done incorrectly, it can create more harm than good.

This article shares seven common mistakes to avoid when performing a detailing clay job.

Mistake #1 – Not Washing The Car First.

Go ahead and get the grime off the car or you will just smear it in or create scratches. Use a good quality car wash from your local automotive car care store and thoroughly wash your car.

Mistake #2 – Tackling Too Large of an Area.

Keep the area you are working on small. Less than 2 square feet is best. If you work on too large an area, you stand the chance of missing part of it.

Mistake #3 – Not Keeping The Clay Lubricated.

Always use a clay lubricant or a little spray wax on the area you are working. When you first start the surface will be rough, but will get smoother as you go. Be liberal with the lubricant so you won't create heat and damage the paint. Also don't bear down on the bar, let it glide. It will be rough at first, but keep using the lubricant and it will get smoother as the contaminants are removed.

Mistake #4 – Reusing Clay That Has Been Dropped

If you drop the clay on the ground, it will pick up dirt. Using the clay bar again will then transfer that dirt right onto your car's surface. Break the clay bar into a small enough piece for you to hold easily in one hand and if you drop it, throw it away.

Mistake #5 – Forgetting To Clay Glass And Chrome

Auto detailing clay works wonders on glass and chrome as well as the car's flat panel surfaces. Don't forget to use it to protect these areas as well.

Mistake #6 – Storing Used Clay Dry

After use, always spray a little lubricant on the clay bar and store in an airtight container . Most clay kits come with a container, if your does not, then use a ziplock bag. Once you see the benefits from using detailing clay you will do it more frequently and want to reuse the clay. Just keep it moist and it will be ready.

Mistake #7 – Not Sealing the Car's Surface Immediately

Once you have removed the surface contamination, you need to put some paint protection on it. If this is the first time and you discover a lot of oxidation, I recommend using a paint sealer then applying a good wax. For later uses, you can probably get by with only waxing.

Remember to avoid these mistakes and you will get the most value out of your auto detailing clay job.