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Mothers California Gold Clay Bar kit

Available at: Canadian Tire and most auto-detailer suppliers

Price: $29.99

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Have you noticed when people walk into an automobile showroom, they slowly drag their hand along the hood of a new car. It's almost a sensual caress of the cool, smooth polish. But, after being exposed to the elements for a year, that surface has lost that loving feeling under a dull bumpy sheen of grime and embedded dust. I wanted to get that feeling back.

"Use a clay bar," said the guy at the dealership.

Huh? A what? A clay bar looks like Silly Putty, but it's actually a synthetic poly-elastic resin material designed to gently remove dust and film that a simple wash will not. Many brands market the yellow dough, but I tried the Mothers products.

Mothers California Gold Clay Bar kit comes with two bars, the spray lubricant and a polish cloth. The directions are simple; start with a clean car, flatten the putty, spray the lubricant, lightly glide the clay over the surface, feel the little bumps smooth out, wipe the area clean and repeat on the rest of the car.

It didn't remove the baked-on bugs or tree sap, but the car felt like a freshly exfoliated face – smooth and blemish-free. Yeah, that lovin' feeling is back.

If you have questions about driving or car maintenance, please contact our experts at globedrive@globeandmail.com.

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