What is clay bar and iron & fallout remover?

Have you heard of Iron-X? It’s probably the most commonly-known iron and fallout remover on the market, and the name has become synonymous with the product. Most major auto detailing brands offer iron and fallout remover. We use Americana Global, but Gtechniq, Adam’s, Chemical Guys – everyone makes it. 

Generally speaking, iron and fallout remover contains the ingredient ammonium-thioglycolate, which smells really bad. However, it also quickly oxidizes metal that is embedded in your paint. Why would you have metal embedded in your paint, even with a new vehicle? Vehicles are often transported by rail at some point in their journey to you, and metal from the rail system (or brake pad dust from driving) can embed itself in the paint. 

When you use iron and fallout remover, it reacts with the metal, oxidizes it, and lets it be pulled off the vehicle very easily. When it reacts, the product typically changes purple. If it doesn’t change color – no iron.  

If you have ever seen little rusty specs, especially on lighter-colored vehicles, it’s iron embedded in your paint that has begun to rust. It’s not the same thing as in older cars where the entire panel gets rusted – but it’s rust nonetheless.

What is a clay bar?

This may sound obvious but a clay bar is, in fact, a bar of clay, used to prepare and decontaminate paint – we use this prior to paint correction, even on new vehicles (which may have gotten contaminants during shipment), or ceramic coating and even clear bra. The clay is a very tacky product (it is often difficult to remove from the packaging and storage container) that will grab and absorb contaminants from the paint without re-depositing them elsewhere. We use a heavily lubricated liquid either dedicated for clay bar usage, or prior to clear bra installation, we simply use our slip mixture which is a combination of reverse osmosis water and Johnson and Johnson baby shampoo.

The prevents the clay bar from catching on the paint and marring the surface.

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