How to Clean Paint On Your Vehicle

A vehicle’s painted surface is exposed to airborne contaminants and materials such as brake dust, industrial fallout, bug residue, bird droppings, tar, and in some areas acid leached out from acid rain. Left on the paint surface, these contaminants can start to damage the clearcoat or the paint on your vehicle, sometimes leaving permanent damage. Metal particles found in brake dust can embed into the finish and start rusting.

Unfortunately normal washing of vehicles does not always remove every contaminant. Oils and grime from roadways are difficult to remove from painted surfaces as well.

Cleaning the painted surface of your vehicle eliminates potential damage from some of these corrosive materials and also prepares an ultra clean surface that enables wax to adhere better during its application.

The frequency of cleaning the paint your car is dependent on a lot of factors. You will know if your paint needs to be cleaned if after washing, running your finger on the paint surface distinguishes any rough spots, and is an indication that contaminants need to be removed from the surface. The surface of a vehicle should be cleaned at least once a year and depending on the amount of outdoor use of the vehicle it may require at least one other application. There is no specific timetable.

Body Clay Bar

Helius Body Clay Bar is a malleable substance much similar to silly putty,  which contains micro fine silica capable of gently removing surface irregularities to painted surface. It is used in conjunction with Helius Clay Bar Lubricant (with silicone and without) and Helius Quick Detailer (with silicone and without). The Helius Body Clay Bar does not glide on the surface of the paint without lubrication. Failure to use lubrication in this process will mar the painted surface and leave residue.

After the car is washed and dried, take a Helius Body Clay Bar and divide it into three or four equally sized pieces. If a piece falls on the ground do not use it any further. It needs to be thrown away. Taking one of the pieces, you flatten it out so is held by two or three fingers. Working approximately a 2-foot square section of panel, mist the area with the Helius Clay Bar Lube and with light pressure glide the  Helius Body Clay Bar back and forth across the surface. Do not do it in circles or switch directions. Only use the Helius Body Clay Bar in one direction. You will know when the clay bar has picked up contaminants as it will tend to glide easier. Do not use extreme pressure on the body clay bar and as the clay bar glides more and more effortlessly you will note the dissipation of the roughness in the finish. Move from section to section and if you find that one section does not still feel perfectly smooth relubricate with a mist and apply the clay bar process again.

Always use a fresh portion of the clay bar on the paint. Inspecting often will determine whether or not the clay bar is becoming contaminated.  After you have used both sides of the clay bar, the clay bar can be folded a few times, kneaded and re-flattened to develop a clean piece of clay bar to work with. Make sure there are no large pieces of debris in the clay bar which could harm the finish.

The Helius Body Clay Bar can also be used to clean wheels as well as windows.

Once the body clay bar appears to be heavily contaminated by becoming discolored or feeling rough you should throw away. The Helius Body Clay Bar can be used more than once and should be stored in a plastic zip lock bag after wrapping it with a clear plastic cling wrap so it does not dry out.

An experienced clay bar user can do a complete car in about 30 minutes.

After this process either wash the car again before applying the wax or clean the car with a dry Helius Microfiber Towel to move any remaining debris on the surface of the paint.

Paint Cleaner

After washing the car and drying it, take a small amount of Helius Paint Cleaner and apply it to an approximately 2×2’ square area of the panel using a foam applicator expressly reserved for this purpose.

While applying pressure, use straight strokes in a crosshatch pattern work the entire area to remove the contaminants from the surface. As a contaminants are removed the paint cleaner is easier to move about in this small section where it is applied. After you have completed the application of the product,  buff the entire area with a Helius Microfiber Towel or a soft cloth. Running your finger on the cleaned area will determine the level of preparation. A squeaky finger on the paint is a clear indication of: this. You are now ready for applying the wax.

Products Mentioned In This Article