Matte Finish Care Guide

Matte Finish Care Guide

A matte or low-gloss finish is a unique exterior finish that gives your vehicle a distinctively different appearance. It requires special care to maintain this unique look. To maintain your vehicle’s low-gloss appearance for years to come, please refer to the following maintenance recommendations below.

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General Cleaning

DO NOT:

  • Use any type of wax, polish, detail spray, or any products made for a standard, glossy finish. Use only products specifically developed for low-gloss or matte finish paint.
  • Use products that are even mildly abrasive, such as rubbing compounds or glazes.
  • Use mechanical cleaners or polishers.
  • Use commercial car wash facilities and/or their finish enhancement/protection products. Facilities that use mechanical brushes or towels can damage the low-gloss finish.
  • Use terrycloth, cloth, or paper towels.
  • Rub the finish vigorously. This will burnish the finish, causing a permanent shiny spot.
  • Wipe vehicle in a circular motion. Lightly wipe the vehicle in a forward and backward motion.

DO:

  • Remove foreign substances such as insect remains, tar, and road debris using a soft applicator and a mild solvent. Saturate and soak the area before cleaning—lightly rub to clean.
  • Hand wash with a soft wash mitt and mild cleaning product safe for low-gloss or matte finishes.
  • Use microfiber cleaning cloths with alcohol-based window cleaner for basic surface cleanup.

Spot Cleaning

Pressure washing is the preferred way for removing typical road dirt and debris. However, when you need to do a quick spot cleaning to remove tree sap or bug/road debris before it causes stains and lasting damage to the finish, follow the recommendations outlined below:

Equipment/Supplies:

  • Alcohol-based window cleaner (not vinegar- or ammoniabased) or mixture of 50% alcohol and 50% deionized water.
  • If needed, tar remover or mild solvent.
  • Microfiber soft cloth suitable for low-gloss or matte finishes.

Cleaning Tip: Always test cleaning products in hidden area before using.

Cleaning Procedure:

Note: Using a dry towel can damage the finish.

  • Apply cleaner to both the microfiber towel and the spot/surface to be cleaned.
  • After applying cleaner, allow spot to soak and soften.
  • Using a backward and forward motion, lightly wipe surface. Avoid using a circular motion as it may leave swirls in the finish.
  • Rinse with water, making sure cleaning product does not stay on finish.
  • Repeat above steps if necessary.

Removing Tough Road Debris and Stains:

  • Spray the area with water to remove any loose debris.
  • Spray the area with alcohol-based window cleaner or a solution of 50% alcohol and 50% deionized water and allow to soak. For tar or tree sap, dampen debris with tar remover and allow to soak.
  • Apply cleaner to a clean, damp microfiber cloth.
  • Wipe the finish lightly to remove the debris using a backward and forward motion (avoid using a circular motion).
  • Once the debris is removed, wash area with matte paint finish soap, using a damp microfiber cloth. Rinse well with water.
  • Dry with clean damp microfiber soft cloth.

Cleaning Tip: Saturate/soak microfiber cloth with tar remover and place on the debris. Allowing to soak for approximately five minutes.


Washing Your Vehicle

Pressure Washing:

Pressure washing (with pressure not exceeding 1200 psi) is the best way to remove heavy soiling and debris before washing. A 45° fan tip is recommended keeping the tip at least 12 inches from the surface/finish. For tough-to-clean stains, refer to the “Spot Cleaning” recommendations outlined of this document.

Hand Washing:

Hand wash for best results. Be sure to park your vehicle in a cool, shaded area. Avoid direct sunlight. Follow the recommended steps listed below.

Pre-Wash Check List:

  • Before soaping up the car, prepare your equipment and supplies.
  • Car wash soap specifically designed for a matte or low-gloss finish.
  • Soft car wash mitt, wash pad, and/or microfiber sponge.
  • Two buckets with dirt separator grids at the bottom
  • Hose and sprayer with shut-off nozzle.
  • Alcohol-based window cleaner (not vinegar- or ammonia based) or mixture of 50% alcohol and 50% deionized water.
  • If needed, tar remover or mild solvent.
  • Microfiber soft cloth suitable for matte or low-gloss finishes.
  • Chamois cloth for drying.

Cleaning Tip: Always test cleaning products in hidden area before using.

Washing:

Cleaning Tip: Keep the hose handy for frequent rinsing throughout the wash.

  • Pre-rinse the vehicle with a hose or pressure washer to cool finish surface and to remove large debris that can scratch the finish.
  • Prepare one bucket with matte/low-gloss finish car wash soap.
  • Fill the second bucket with clean water. This is to be used for rinsing the mitt throughout the wash. Always rinse and keep the mitt clean before placing it into the wash solution.
  • Soak the wash mitt/wash pad/microfiber sponge in the wash solution and wash the vehicle lightly. Work in small sections starting at the top. Work your way to the bottom.
  • Wash a section and then completely rinse before proceeding to another section.
  • Continue washing each section and repeat the rinse, wash and rinse steps until the car is clean.

Cleaning Tip: Keep the clean sections wet as you finish the next section. This thoroughly rinses the soap residue and prevents water spots from forming.

Drying:

  • For best appearance, use a clean damp chamois, sponge cloth, or microfiber towel before it air dries. If the surface begins to air dry, dampen the areas that you are not drying.

Cleaning Tip: Water blades are NOT recommended for matte/ or low-gloss finishes.

Wheels:

If you are planning on washing your wheels, do this before you wash the vehicle. Use products intended for coated alloy wheels. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Cleaning Tip: Do not use the same wash mitt or microfiber sponge used to wash the matte finish paint. Avoid getting any wheel cleaner on the matte finish. If this happens, wash and rinse immediately.


Matte Finish Protection

There are many products on the market designed specifically for the care of matte or low-gloss finishes. Treating your matte or low-gloss finish regularly with these products will protect the finish, make it easier to maintain, and prevent water spots from forming.

  • Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. Always test the product in a hidden area before using.
  • Apply the product evenly keeping the wiping to a minimum to prevent burnishing of the matte or low-gloss finish.

Cleaning Tip: Lightly wipe the surface in a forward-and-backward motion. Avoid circular motions. This can leave swirls in the finish.