Using the faster and easier Clay Towels
Our new Clay Towels
Our new Clay Towels clean and decontaminate your paint much faster and easier than clay bars. Read all about how to use them effectively, and how to save you time decontaminating your paint.
Faster, Better, Easier
True car lovers are always searching for the best products to help give their car a great shine in less time. The Bowden’s Own Clay Towel re-writes the rule book on paint care, in the way it quickly and safely removes above surface contaminants like; old bugs, embedded dirt, metal particles, paint oxidisation and paint overspray, through the use of advanced polymerised rubber technology. Best of all, this material removes all these potentially destructive paint contaminants faster and easier than you ever imagined possible, without damaging your paint.
A new level of clean
In the 1990’s, clay bars quickly became an essential step in most peoples' car care regime, as it was understood that the cleaner the paint, the better wax, sealant or coatings would bond to it. Mild abrasives are blended into all clay bars to help remove bonded contaminants easily as they get rubbed over a lubricated surface. The Clay Towel takes this same type of paint cleaning and decontamination to a whole new level by applying 21st century technology to it. The Clay Towel is essentially a microfibre towel with a high-tech polymerised rubber coating applied to one side. This polymerised rubber grabs all the above surface contaminants and pulls them quickly off the surface, leaving you with beautiful and smooth, contaminant-free paint. And if you’re a car enthusiast, you should know that shiny comes from having smooth and clean paint!
Size is important
The reason they are so much faster is the surface area, with the orginal clay bars falling well short of the area of a clay towels surface, that is about 8 times larger (as you can see in the image with the yellow clay bar sitting on top of the Clay Towel).
Since we first got them, we have found them a lot faster and easier to use. As they are so fast, it's now a rare occasion we ever go back to using the clay bars anymore.
Depending on how contaminated the surface is, a traditional clay bar will yield 3-10 uses, and the Clay Towel will provide between 30 to 50 uses, making it far more cost effective over the long run.
One of the best features of the Clay Towel is that if you drop it on the ground, you don’t toss it out like you would with a clay bar. Simply rinse it off with your car wash or our Orange Agent all purpose cleaner, and it's ready for action once again. These towels use a new, light coloured polymer, so it’s easy to find and remove any damaging particles in them, as you can see in the image here. Over time the Clay Towels compound will slowly get dirtier and fill up, and that's when you will notice its effectiveness decline and you will need to change it. You will also notice small cracks begin to appear in the rubber surface after a few uses, especially if you get it near any hard edges or sharper parts of the car. These cracks are superficial only and won't affect the way the towel will work.
Two Versions - Fine and Medium
There are two grades of these towels: a Bowden's Own logo blue coloured Fine Grade (left side of image) for regular use on well kept vehicles that have light contamination, and a light purple coloured Medium Grade (right side of image), for occasional use on cars that suffer from heavier paint contamination or overspray.
We find ourselves using the Fine Grade Towel 90% of the time as it's best for regular use. If you have really heavy contamination then the Medium Grade Towel is there to help, as it will work better and faster for these bigger jobs. Please be aware, that for anyone who is using the Medium Grade, that you possibly need to be following up the Clay Towel process with a machine paint correction, as with its extra cleaning power it has the potential to marr softer paints.
Suds or Boss Gloss?
The Bowden’s Own Clay Towel is for anyone who wants ‘easy to use’ car care, as you can see when using it with either washing, or with a lubricating detailing spray below. But, which method is best for you?
Using the Clay Towel with Boss Gloss is an effective way of using the product, and if you're indoors, or the car you're working on is one that doesn't see water, then it's perfect. Boss Gloss offers an excellent amount of lubrication for the Clay Towel process and makes it a nice and quick job when compared to the traditional Clay Bar.
We prefer to use the Clay Towel with the wash suds right after we've washed and rinsed the car. Washing and rinsing the car first is critical, as it removes any of the heavier dirt and grime that could potentially scratch the paint should it get underneath the Clay Towel when you start using it. The way we prefer to do the job is; using wash suds in a bucket from Nanolicious Wash, carrying the suds to the car with the Shagtastic Wash Pad, then using the Fine Clay Towel one panel at a time, and rinsing off the panels as you go (making sure to keep the car wet to avoid water spotting), is the easiest and fastest way we've found to use this gear, and it gives us the results we're after, every time. It's also the chosen technique by many professional detailers.
See below for a more in-depth look at both of these techniques.
For fast use while washing
Wash your car using our Nanolicioius Wash, Wax Wash, or Auto Body Gel, then rinse it thoroughly.
Create a lubricating suds solution, by adding two capfuls of one of our washes into 5 litres of water and frothing it up nicely.
The very first time you use the towel, it’s good to start on the windscreen to help “break in” the cloths' polymer coating.
Work on small areas at a time, like 1/4 of a bonnet, or 1/2 the roof or boot.
Get heaps of suds onto the car with a Shagtastic Wash Pad, Muffy sponge or The Love Glove wash mitt, (we prefer the Shagtastic Wash Pad as it holds an insane amount of suds). Dip it and the Clay Towel in the suds solution. Take the suds to the car and squeeze them all over the section you're about to clay, with the Shagtastic Wash Pad. You want to really make sure the surface area is wet with the lubricating suds.
With your hand on the microfibre side of the towel, apply to the surface with little to no hand pressure. Use a smooth side to side motion, then change to an up and down movement. You will hear and feel resistance on dirtier areas, which will disappear once it’s clean and smooth. Be real sure you don’t use the towel outside the lubricated area, and don't use too much pressure!
Little Tip: If the towel feels like it wants to grip onto the surface, have your thumb lift the towels corner as we show in the images here, and this will help the lubricant get under and glide that little bit better.
Once the Clay Towel moves smoothly over the surface, the contamination is gone, so you can rinse down the section with water and move onto a new section. Inspect and hand clean the Clay Towel with the wash suds or Orange Agent, between sections.
To avoid water spotting, keep the car wet till you’re done, then safely dry the paint with The Big Green Sucker. Your paint is now super clean and smooth, ready for the next steps of cleansing and waxing.
Using with Detailing Sprays
For those who don’t clean their cars with water, the Clay Towels can be used with Boss Gloss as well.
Clean the area down you're going to be using the Clay Towel on before using it. Spray Boss Gloss liberally onto the surface and safely remove any light dust with a super plush microfibre cloth like our Drop Bear. Work in small sections at a time, like 1/3 of a bonnet, a guard or half a door.
Spray another fine mist of Boss Gloss down as the lubricant on the area you will be working on. Be real sure you don’t use the Clay Towel outside the lubricated area.
Spray 2-3 sprays of Boss Gloss into the Clay Towel surface and apply to the car surface with your hand on the microfibre side of the towel. Apply to the surface with little to no hand pressure. Use a smooth side to side motion, then change to an up and down movement. You will hear and feel resistance on dirtier areas, which will disappear once it’s clean and smooth.
Once your towel is free moving, remove it from the surface and then use the Big Softie microfibre cloth to buff the area dry and clean. Repeat the process on each panel, till the car is done, making sure each section is well lubricated as you go.
Your paint is now super clean and smooth, ready for the next steps of cleansing and waxing. These steps are very important for protecting and maintaining that new found slickness. Please see our guides on using our waxes and Fully Slick in the Guides section of the website.
Cleaning and Storage
We use a light coloured rubber compound on the towels so it's easy to clean and inspect as you're cleaning.
To clean after use, apply a few sprays of Orange Agent directly onto the towel and gently rub your fingers over the rubber compound surface, then rise off well with water.
Over time you will notice contamination bond more to the rubber compound, and this is normal. It is not at a level high enough to ever affect any surface you are cleaning, but as it builds up the towel does lose its effectiveness, and once full, it's time to swap it over for a new one. From our own testing here in our collection, this can be between 20 to 50 uses. It all depends on how high the level on contamination is on the paint.
From time to time you may see the surface of the towel present with some cracks in the polymer surface. This is entirely normal and part of the "ageing" process of the towels. It will not affect the way the towel performs, nor will it damage your paint in any way while you use it.
For drying, don’t EVER wring it out!! Always let it air dry indoors, in a well ventilated area, away from heaters or direct sun (heat will affect the rubber surface), so a small drying rack indoors is what we have found best.
Once it's dry, roll it up with the rubber compound on the inside, microfibre on the outer, and store in a cool and dry location inside its plastic packaging.