Cleaning Matte Wrap Textures
Cleaning matte wrap textures use different cleaning requirements than gloss or printed wraps; they are notorious for showing greasy areas, fingerprints and holding dirt and grime. Here are some tips to help you keep your matte finish looking its best. This article focuses on Matte if you have a printed wrap we have a guide devoted to their care HERE.
A common mistake in cleaning matte wrap textures is using automotive cleaning products that contain wax and other compounds used to protect the paint. Never use wax on Matte or Satin finish, because it will fill in the texture and cause shiny spots. A 50/50 mix of isopropyl alcohol and water usually works well cleaning matte wrap textures. Gently wipe away any hard-to-remove substances, aggressive rubbing can cause a polishing effect with irreversible damage, wipe gently!
Automatic Car Washes
Avoid putting your vehicle through an automatic car wash. These car washes use waxing agents in their soaps that will create shiny spots on your matte finish. The pressure from water jets and hot air can cause vinyl to lift. Automatic brushes can scratch or peel your wrap.
Waterless washes are an excellent wrap cleaning option with a few caveats. Be sure to check that the waterless wash does not contain wax. Also, waterless washes are not as effective on excessively dirty vehicles. For vehicles that are very dirty, it is recommended to wash by hand first then use the waterless wash for your final touches. Before using any new product on your wrap, be sure to test them in an inconspicuous area of the vehicle before using it on the entire car.
Lighter colors like matte or carbon fiber white are prone to showing more dirt than other colors. If the 50/50 isopropyl alcohol and water mix do not cut the dirt, you can try using a hot soapy water solution and let it rest for 30 seconds, gently wipe off before it dries. Sometimes the soap and water can remove contaminants better than isopropyl alcohol. Don’t let squashed bugs or bird droppings sit on your wrap too long, the ammonia and other contaminants they contain do not react well with vinyl.
Clean your wrap in a shaded area to reduce the appearance of streaking. Because direct sunlight reacts with the cleaners and will create streaks.
There is nothing wrong with pressure washing your vehicle. However, avoid seams, edges, and corners to direct water pressure. Prolonged exposure to pressure may cause the wrap to unravel. Therefore, be sure to follow these guidelines:
- Water pressure below 1200 psi
- Water temperature below 180 degrees F
- Keep the nozzle at least 12 inches away from edges
- Keep the nozzle perpendicular to the graphic (this will avoid chipping or lifting the edge of the graphics)
- Use a nozzle with a 40-degree wide angle spray pattern
Excessive pressure or spraying at the wrong angle with a pressure washer can cause damage and create failure points in your wrap.
Extend The Life of Your Wrap
Properly cleaning matte wrap will greatly improve the longevity and the appearance of your vinyl.