Okay I had to hack down this DIY hardcore because this forum limits the number of pictures to ten. BOO. Anyways ~
How to clay bar your car (make it really really nice looking and impress all your friends/boss/dog/etc.) ~
First, you've gotta have the right materials. That means buying a claybar kit such as the Mother's "California Gold" kit I bought at AutoZone for about $20. It'll have the claybar (duh), a bottle of "lubricant," and usually a little car wax too. You can use whatever kit you want, but I use the Mother's kit because it smells really really good also have a clean rag handy, preferably something that won't scratch up your car.
It also helps if you've got a clean car. I just finished washing my car thoroughly, so it's nice and clean. Please don't try claying a dirty car ~ it will look like crap and people all over the world will make fun of you. This do-it-yourself article is about claying your car; not washing it, so if you need help washing you car I'll make a DIY article about that some other time. So make sure your car is clean before going on to the next step.
The directions on the instant detailer/lubricant will tell you to spray a 2ft x 2ft area with lubricant. This kinda works, but I recommend you spray a slightly smaller area. Hold the lubricant/instant detailer about 1.5ft away from the surface of the car ~
And spray. A fine mist over a 1.5ft x 1.5ft area is perfect. This doesn't have to be exact, and the point is just to get some wetness on your car (hell, even water works) but I'm a perfectionist and this is how I do it.
Now you take that little slab of clay and rub it lightly across the wet area. Back and forth/left and right, hey, whatever works for you. You don't need to press really hard, so save your energy for waxing afterward . You'll feel a "grainy" feeling as you rub your car with the clay. Depending on how crappy your car's condition is, this feeling can vary from "sandpaper and steel wool" to "smooth as a baby's ass." If your car feels really rough; fret not ~ that's the clay bar picking all the pollutants and dust and crap that is stuck in your car's finish. You're exfoliating your car.
Keep rubbing the clay over the area until it feels as smooth as a mirror (it'll look like one too). You can spray more lubricant over the area if it starts getting dry. I spray a ton of lubricant when I clay my car 'cuz a) it smells really good *Mother's Instant Detailer*, b) it makes it easier, and c) it smells really good. Oh I already said that huh? I've gotta stop sniffing this stuff.
After the area feels smooth, wipe the excess lubricant off with a cloth.
Yeah, I really used a lot of lubricant. Anyways, move on to the next area and repeat the process. You'll find that horizontal surfaces take a lot longer to do than vertical surfaces since more dust collects on horizontal panels of your car. Pay special attention to the hood, the roof, and the rear bumper of your car (especially if that bumper sticks way out, like the Legend's).
And when your clay bar looks noticeably dirty, just fold it in half and flatten it out again, so you always have fresh clay to work with. If at any point, you drop your clay on anything dirty (ie ground, little brother's hair, etc.), you're supposed to throw it away and get another clay bar. That's slightly expensive, so I just cut the dirty part off with scissors. That kind of money could be put to better use buying condoms or something.
If your car has any sculpted body panels, like the Legend's hood, make sure to push the claybar into those angled surfaces. Hey it's clay after all, so you can squeeze it into whatever shapes you need to match the surfaces of your car.
For gaps between body panels (like between doors, your bumpers, or for the area around your headlights or something) shape a little wedge with your clay...
And jam it into that gap. Make sure not to flatten it too much or stuff it in too deep. You don't wanna get loose clay stuck in there. Picking it out with toothpicks is a real pain.
Oh by the way, a clay bar should last two ~ three claying sessions, depending on the size of your car and how dirty it was. My old G20 dirtied a whole clay bar on its very first time, but my Legend (which is considerably cleaner) can go through three clay sessions on just one bar. If you've never done this to your car before, count on using up a whole clay bar the first time around.
To store the clay, spray a piece of plastic wrap with the lubricant, then wrap the clay in it. You don't have to put it in the fridge or anything, but keep it out of reach of people who might eat it. It doesn't taste very good; don't ask how I know.
Once you get your car clayed all over, make absolute sure that you wax your car. Not waxing your car after a clay bar treatment is like using the toilet and forgetting to pull up your pants. You've gotta finish the job. Wax your car.
Finished product and I washed my neighbor's Lexus too ~
Neighbor's Lexus GS300, and those are 20-inch D'Vinci rims with 235/35/20 Falken Azenis.
Okay, enough of that. Hope you learned something from this DIY. Now go out and love your car! :p
*note: this pics were taken with my phone so they may not be the best quality. If however, you think they're really good quality considering it was taken by a phone, then credit goes to Audiovox for making the CDM-8900 so awesome*