A vital part of any detailing decontamination is the Clay-bar or Clay-cloth stage. Without doubt this should not be overlooked or missed as introduced damage may result during the polishing phase. This simple action uses a product to grab any contaminant still present on the surface after washing has been completed. These stubborn particles cling to the paint and could be picked up either with the drying towel to create swirling damage or picked up by a polishing pad introducing scratches that will require additional and unnecessary attention to correct.
Traditionally the clay block is the go-to care detailing product and is employed with a lubricant and folded periodically to encapsulate the contaminants. Whilst still favoured by traditionalists this proves time consuming and messy with the vehicle needing to be washed a second time to cleanse the lubricant prior to the next detailing phase.
Technically speaking the products used are not clay at all and are a modern polymer product that has enabled the product to be combined with a microfibre cloth. This modern development can be employed effectively during the wash phase, negating the time wasting effort of a second dedicated wash phase.
Once the vehicle has been thoroughly washed and rinsed the recommended Sentinel method is to decontaminate the surface by ‘rewashing’ using the clay cloth. During product testing the most efficient method was achieved by using snow foam to cling to the clean paintwork and progress around the car in gentle linear strokes using soapy foam as the lubricating medium. The microfiber towel attached to the polymer clay provides a reservoir of soapy water to boost the lubrication and can be flipped to provide a gentle wipe of the surface to check that the contaminants have been cleared. Rinsing in clean water after each panel is completed, the towel is re-lubricated with soapy foam before continuing. Once completed the final rinse leaves a clean and contaminant free surface ready for the next stage of the detailing process.
Using the Sentinel Clay towel within the wash phase of the detailing process can prove both time saving and cost effective for professionals and enthusiasts alike. The Sentinel Clay towel can be reused several times proving both practical and cost efficient.
If used regularly can be rolled (avoiding clay to clay surface contact) and stored damp in an airtight container or if used periodically it can be carefully dried flat and again stored in an airtight container.