Detailer's clay and decontamination are two different processes. The abrasives 'shear' the surface contaminates, the sheared particles are then encapsulated by the clay
Fact: Detailer’s clay is made from Polybutene a malleable polymer material; it was originally invented and patented in Japan in 1987. Tadao Kadate is generally acknowledged as the inventor of automotive clay resin for the removal of paint over-spray. First used by Japanese auto manufacturers on vehicle production lines and then auto body repair shops, the technology was passed on to the US market in the late ‘90’s.
Myth: detailers clay doesn’t' t pull embedded particulates, it contains abrasives, which is useful for the removal for paint over-spray, this is what the Japanese invented it for. It cannot remove any particulates below the surface, this can only be accomplished through a thorough chemical cleaning, which uses an exothermic action that opens the pores and loosens the particulates to enable debris to be flushed away.
Products like detailing clay and the polymer based cloths is that they shear the iron particulates leaving behind a metal that will rust when it comes into contact with moisture, this process will be accelerated once heat is applied by a process called creativity. The particulates that remain will permeate the paint metric and cause corrosion.
The advantage of a neutralized acid product is that it has an exothermic action, that is to say a chemical or physical reaction that releases heat. It gives net energy to its surroundings, causing the paint to release the bond between the particulate and the paint, making it easier to be flush rinsed away.
Valugard has a slightly different approach in which they remove the particulates with an acid and the use a chemical rinse to neutralize and flush rinse it
Detailer's clay / Decontamination Clay Towel can be used to remove above surface contaminants they incorporate abrasives fused into the polymer coating, enabling them to abrades the top section of an iron particle, leaving what is below the paint surface to remain. Sintered (friction heated) ferrous iron particulates penetrate the clear coat, once water and heat (reactivity) is added, any remaining particulates below the surface act as a conduit and the corrosion process is started with moisture.
These are documented and proven by long term testing, conducted by numerous paint suppliers and vehicle manufacturers, this is the reason why neither clay or one step products are approved or endorsed as a paint decontamination system by them.
Be cognizant that the paint surface will require polishing after using any abrasive product to remove the resultant scratches
Paint decontamination and Neutralisation systems vehicle manufacturer studies have shown that failure to remove environmental contaminants (like embedded rail dust, acid rain, industrial fallout and other environmental contaminants) from paint film can cause premature degradation of the paint system. The ValuGard system was developed as a method of removing ferrous contamination beyond what can be removed by washing or claying alone. The only way to completely remove sintered (heat fused) ferrous iron particles is with a dedicated decontamination system that opens up the paint's micro pores to release iron particles and to neutralize the caustic compounds that have developed as a result of the particle.
In one step, you can eliminate both the cause and its effects. Ongoing damage is immediately stopped and future damage is prevented by completely removing the ferrous particles This system is the most recognized by original equipment manufacturers (OEM) as well as their paint suppliers, BASF, DuPont, and PPG approved chemical neutralization system in the industry. In fact, major auto manufactures have issued technical service bulletins/advisories directing their dealers and port operations to use the ValuGard System for required repairs and pre-treatment for acid rain and industrial fallout repairs. (ValuGard ABC Decontamination System).
Spray on Brake Dust Remover
This type of cleaner was originally formulated for powder coated wheels to remove ferrous (Fe2O3) iron particulates, and are usually formulated using a neutralized acid. When a strong acid and a weak base are mixed, the resulting solution will be a base (alkali) Car care product vendors advertise them as a decontamination system for auto bodywork although acidic water tends to keep minerals in solutions and will typically cause corrosion problems when levels are below 6.5. This explains the formation of rust when insoluble iron is exposed to the atmosphere, lowering the pH in the water and oxidizing the iron. Modern clear coat paint is porous so you’ll need to neutralize the salt. (Sonax Wheel Cleaner)