I just talked with Tech Support at Bessey. His only idea was to take off the ratchet end and re-clean the bar. No, they do not sell just the bar….
I took Comet cleanser AND scrubbing bubbles to the bar and cleaned with a soft brush. Still no bite. I had already tried acetone and alcohol (not the drinking kind, although that occurred to me – I’d drink it and clean with something else!). The 4 clamps now reside in the trash. I’ve ordered 10 more (glutton for punishment?) as they really are great light duty clamps. I think I am at fault here… me and my OCD cleaning!
Thanks everyone for your suggestions. My best advice is not to believe everything you see on the internet… that’s where I got the idea to clean and wax them!