Decontamination - Step 1 - Iron deposits
- Decontamination of your vehicle removes debris that makes your paint look and feel spotty or gritty. You don't need to decontaminate your paint every time you wash your car, just every 4 - 6 months depending on your mileage and use. You'll probably notice that the bottom half of your car is more contaminated than the top half. I've split this into three steps as each step can be done independently. If your car is heavily contaminated it's a good idea to wash it after you've done the steps that you want to do.
- Most of these products smell really bad so make sure you are using them somewhere well ventilated. If you get any on your hands make sure you wash them thoroughly (it's pretty poisonous stuff, not a step to do whilst eating your bacon sandwich).
- First spray the car with your iron contaminant remover. If you have a light coloured vehicle you will see this reaction taking place as purple streaks will appear on the car.
- Leave the product on the car for 2 - 4 minutes and then rinse thoroughly with clean water.
- You can also use these products as wheel cleaners.
Decontamination - Step 2 - Tar & Glue Remover
- Tar and Glue remover (T&G) needs to be used on the car a panel at a time. Look for any brown or black spots and concentrate application on these areas. If you have a light coloured vehicle you will probably see the spots "bleeding" as the tar dissolves.
- Leave on the panel for about 3 minutes and then gently wipe over with a damp microfibre. Please don't scrub the paint at this stage or you could damage it. Thoroughly rinse the panel with clean water. Repeat this if necessary. If any spots stay after a second treatment don't panic as you can clay bar anything that remains.
- Want to remove that sticky stuff left after de-badging or taking off stickers? T&G is pretty good for that as long as you make sure that you rinse it off afterwards.
Decontamination - Step 3 - Claying
- If you've just washed your car don't dry it before claying, just make sure you've rinsed off all the shampoo. If using a clay bar, pull off a bit about the size of a £2 coin. Work the clay in your (clean) hands until it feels soft and malleable. I mould it so that one side is flat and the other has a small ridge that you can place between your index and middle finger as it means I'm less likely to drop it on the floor. It probably goes without saying but if you do drop it on the floor at any stage, bin it.
- Clay the car a panel at a time and start with the bonnet. Make sure that the panel and the clay are sufficiently lubed to prevent any marring in your paint.
- Glide the clay over the paint gently, you don't need to press too hard. Ensure that you are keeping the panel and the clay lubricated. If in doubt too much is better than not enough. Rotate and re-mould the clay to make sure you are using a clean surface. Once the clay looks dirty throw it away and get a new bit.
- The noise that you hear as you pass the clay over should change as it lifts the contaminants from the paintwork. Once the clay makes almost no noise you have completed that section. You can run a clean hand over the lubricated panel to feel for any gritty bits. Rinse off the lube with clean water. Once you have completed claying you need to wash the car again or spray it with snow foam to remove any surface residue.