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Car Paint Decontamination – What Is It and How Do You Do It?

Car Paint Decontamination

Car Paint Decontamination – What Is It and How Do You Do It?

After thoroughly washing and cleaning your vehicle, you expect the exterior to be clear of any debris. However, if grime and other materials appear stuck to the surface, car paint decontamination can help eliminate the tough dirt.

What is Car Paint Decontamination?

Paint contaminants are airborne problems caused by road salt, grime, bugs, etc. that can get stuck in the exterior paint. Some of these will come off with washing after a short period of time. However, others dig into the surface and remain, slowly degrading the clear coat of your car.

Furthermore, new vehicles sometimes require car paint decontamination as well. To determine whether you need to perform this process, check to see if the surface is rough and bumpy. If so, you need to follow these steps:

What to Do?

Clay Bar Treatment

Most people who own cars have probably never heard of clay bar, or know when to properly use it. However, this product is a necessity for removing dirt and other particles from car paint. Additionally, detailing clay is the only way true way to perform car paint decontamination.

Clay bars are similar to the normal product, except it is more elastic and durable. This allows it to remove tough problems like brake dust and road salt. These contaminants pierce through the glass, metal, and paint of cars.

Grades of Clay

Clay bars come in 3 different types. The first type is fine clay bars which are softer and easier to use. This works best for removing small contaminants. However, for tougher contamination such as tree sap, it does not work as well.

The second option when it comes to types of this product is the medium-grade clay bar. This is more abrasive and works to remove difficult debris. The consistency is more firm and has a higher density to successfully scrub away impurities. For example, this clay can be good at removing overspray and industrial fallout.

Finally, heavy clay works to remove tough overspray and other stubborn contaminants. However, this is normally not recommended and left for professionals. This clay is used more often on metal wheels and glass due to the impact on the clear coat. Overall, never use heavy clay on exterior car paint until you are 100% certain it is the last option.

How To Apply

The first step – wash your car. With a multitude of options, you can wash it yourself, visit an automated car wash, or see a professional detailer. However, some of these methods of cleaning are more recommended because they could cause damage to your car over time.

After cleaning, the surface is ready for clay. It is important to clay your car in sections. First, divide a 2-foot section and spray the area with a lubricant. Working on a wet surface is required when clay barring a vehicle to avoid paint damage.

Rub the clay bar in small, circular motions along the damp section, repeating the process until it runs smoothly over the surface. Afterward, wipe the clayed area with a microfiber towel. For any residue left behind, simply spray it with the lubricant and wipe the surface.

Despite the fact clay barring takes up more time, this allows you to properly clean your vehicle. Car paint decontamination helps remove the tough blemishes to restore the exterior.


Once you have finished the entire process, polishing and waxing your vehicle will extend the life. Polishing your car creates more of a glossy finish, and waxing will help protect your car from those road contaminants you just removed.

Car paint decontamination is a difficult process and requires hard work to complete. DetailXPerts, an eco-friendly, mobile auto detailing company offers specialty detailing including clay barring. Our steam cleaning technology also helps to eliminate leftover residue on the exterior paint. Schedule an appointment today.

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