Automotive Restyling

The Secrets of Washing a Matte Wrap

Secrets to cleaning a matte wrap

Color change films provide multiple restyling options that spray painting cannot achieve. In addition to cool colors, effects and sheens, they also act as a protection for the underlying paint for late-model cars. However, films are significantly softer than paint; and surface contaminants – if left unattended – tend to damage films faster than on paint. Dust, road grime, water spots and skin oil generate a localized area where heat and UV rays work overtime. Just like paint, maintenance is important to keep the wrap in top condition. Due to the sensitivity of wraps, many end-users get stumped on how to maintain them, especially matte wrap finishes.

What Separates Matte Wraps From Others?

A matte finish is produced by microscopic peaks on the surface which reflect light onto multiple directions. That’s why car wash soaps with wax, silicone and fillers should not be used on matte finishes. Such soaps will fill the valleys between the peaks and create a relatively smooth surface which will increase its gloss. This is the main, if not the only difference between washing car paint and a wrapped vehicle.

So what is the secret of washing a matte wrap?

There isn’t one. 

To wash wrapped vehicles, the two-bucket method is recommended. One bucket contains soapy water and the other with plain water. Do not wash the vehicle under direct sunlight; only use high quality microfiber towels and soaps designed for cars and wraps. Specialty soaps are also available for matte finishes. Before reloading the mitt with soap, wring out contaminated soap off the mitt, rinse it in the plain water bucket, wring out the water and then dunk it in the soapy water bucket. Also, special precaution must be taken on seams and exposed edges—either wipe parallel or away from the edge. Remember to promptly wipe the car dry and use compressed air on gaps between panels to avoid water spots and streaks.

Although the following video shows how to wash a matte wrap, the same method can also be applied to gloss and satin finishes. How-to clean a matte wrap

Washing a matte wrap is not very different from hand washing paint. Just pay special attention to the contents of the soap and seams on the wrap if there are any. Regular maintenance not only makes the wrap look good but will make you feel good about maintaining your wrap as new as possible.

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