Originally Posted by nUcLeArEnVoY
I tried those rubbery surfaced clay alternatives (the towel, the sponge, the autoscrub) and TBH, I dunno if I was doing something wrong, but they all left marring on any creases in the body work for me. Not on flat surfaces - just on creases. And when I mean marring, I don't mean scratches or swirls, I mean it began to fade the paint in those areas a bit as though I was rubbing an extremely fine sandpaper on them. You could see the pits of the orange peel. I had to follow them up w/ a polish.
The only thing I've noticed that really gives my paint the advertised "glass" feel with little to no scratches is a traditional blue claybar. Sure, it takes forever but it's just what I like to do. *Shrug.* You can get a better feel of the contamination with a traditional claybar too.
Odds are, you're going to mar your paint or scratch somewhere when using any mechanical decon method whether it's the sponge/towel or a claybar, because sometimes you really do gotta bear down hard with whatever you're using to get stubbon contamination out, which substantially raises your risk of scratching. But to think that with the sponge and towel; that the grit pretty much has nowhere to go but stay directly under the rubbery surface, is downright nauseating. At least with clay, there's a chance the grit will eventually sink into the clay where it can't scratch the paint.
I always seem to be in the minority here...LOL - Oh well, my lot in life.
We certainly have two diff levels here: hobbyists and prof detailers. As a prof detailer many times I would make a decision that is not the same as a DD hobbyist.
Now as a hobbyist, I have never seen any of the above creasing or marring with either the sponge or the speedy prep towl. Just a good clean base from which to start detailing. I don't use soap as I have plenty of waterless, but for someone that is cleaning/detailing his DD and claying like twice a year, I'm sure the saop is fine. I'll never use clay again after discovering the elastomeric products, particularly the speedy towel...