How to Take Care of Matte Vinyl Wraps

Matte, Wraps. Vinyl, Cleaning, How-To

Taking care of matte wraps isn’t all that different than taking care of a matte painted car. The surface needs to be cleaned and you don’t want to add a shine. It’s not difficult or meticulous, it’s just a frequent car wash routine and a particular set of products.

Let’s Start With the Products…

With any matte surface you’re simply trying to clean it and keep it as original as possible. That removes any need to purchase waxes or polishes. The reason being is that the purpose of a wax or polish is to make cars shine better. NOT our intent here.

Using a traditional car wash soap or detail spray is a bad idea as well. Many of them contain slight amounts of waxes, silicones, and optical brighteners to help give glossy cars a better shine when cleaned. It’s important to choose products that don’t have any waxes, silicone, or any other glossing agents in them. Only use dedicated matte care products that adhere to these specifications.

Because we’re not using a wax doesn’t mean that we can’t protect the surface! Using a liquid paint coating (dedicated to matte finishes) will effectively protect the surface from staining, fading, and etching. Essentially it has all the properties of a poly-sealant for glossy cars, it just doesn’t produce a shine on the finish.

Cleaning Matte Vinyl Wraps

Cleaning a matte vinyl wrap isn’t all that different than cleaning any other car. We recommend the two bucket wash system for effective cleaning without contamination. Stick to using your matte car wash soap and some plush wash mitts. Wash the car like you would any other car.

There’s no need to be particular in how you wash your car in terms of washing in straight lines or anything like that. When drying the car, always use clean microfiber towels. Dirty towels can track contaminants back onto the finish. Some people choose to dry the car with compressed air to minimize abrasion on the car.

For stuck on contaminants like bugs, bird droppings, or water spots, using a chemical cleaner will safely break down the contaminants and allow them to be removed with a microfiber towel.

It’s best practice to never try and wipe down any surface, let alone a matte wrap surface, without some sort of cleaner or lubricant. Having a quick detail spray allows you to clean up soft contaminants like finger prints, fresh bird droppings, and dust without risking damage to the surface.

Matte Wrap Damage

One of the best and maybe one of the worst things about a vinyl wrap is how they can be damaged. It’s one of the worst things because of how it’s so seemingly easy to damage any wrap, regardless of color. However, it’s one of the best things because it protects the paint underneath and when desired, can be stripped off and replaced.

Certain matte vinyl materials, like those of 3M and XPEL, are what are called “self healing wraps”. When someone leans up against a wrapped car and their bag or jeans scrape against the surface, it can leave indents in the wrap. However, these can be reversed with the use of a heat gun or a hot day.

Because of the way that wraps adhere to the surface and flatten out with heat, that same technology is used to correct imperfections in the wrap. Simply take a heat gun (or hair dryer) and keep it 6-12 inches away from the surface and heat up the wrap, the wrap will eventually smooth back out. This can also be done by leaving your car in the sun on a hot day, same idea.

 

If you have any thoughts or concerns about cleaning or protecting matte wrapped vehicles, feel free to reach out to us by leaving a comment below!

 

  • samantha

    how can I remove a gas stain from my teal matte wrap?

    • Hi Samantha,
      Thanks for reaching out to us. To remove surface level gas stains from your matte wrap, you can use our Matte Paint Cleanser ( http://goo.gl/rAdPgT ). It’s designed to remove tough stains from matte paint and wraps.
      After the stain is out, you should seal it up with Matte Paint Sealant (http://goo.gl/OFP1EN ) to prevent future staining.
      Hopefully that helps. Let us know if you need anything else!
      -Dr. Beasley’s Team

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  • Tommy

    Hi great article by the way. Just 1 question and hope there is an answer (cross my finger).

    I accidently use too much heat on the matte wrap so the matte became gloss at certain area. Is there anyway to bring it back to matte finish?
    Will Matte Paint Sealant do that or anything else?
    Thanks

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  • Sam Minallah Kakakhel

    I just got my car matte wrapped in black colour. My apologies however as i still dont fully grasp the way i should go about cleaning it. Because at some points it says a detailer is ok and others it says its not. Please innlaymans terms help me with how i should clean my newly matte wrapped black car. Thanks. SAM.

  • Ricardo D M Huggins

    hey, I installed a 3m black satin finish wrap to my car , and my painter was painting the gate next to my car with white oil paint and a small roller, and now I have paint splatter on the wrap, how do i remove it .. thanks

  • Leanna

    hey, a friend of mine wrote in the dust on my grey matte wrapped car bonnet. I’ve had the car washed twice since and the word that was written on the bonnet in the dust hasn’t come off. A friend said that it’s probably scatched the Matte wrap. Is there a way of fixing this without re wrapping the car?
    Thanks

    • Hi Leanna,

      We recommend trying our Matte Paint Cleanser on the effected area. It should lift out and remove any embedded dust. Just spray on the surface, let sit for a few minutes, then wipe away with a microfiber towel. Multiple applications may be necessary, so don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t go away after the first try.

  • Alex without a 7

    The sprinklers were being tested at work, and now I have tons of hard water spots on my Matte Black vehicle wrap. Specifically, what can I use to get them out. I’m talking virtually the entire car is covered in them.

    Thanks in advance!

  • Tiffini Clark

    I have a matte mint on my car, and tree pollen got on it and has left these orange/brown specks, and dots. Is there a product that might get rid of this?

    • Hi Tiffini,

      Film Cleanser would be a good product to try. It’s great at removing stubborn contaminants from wraps without damaging the vinyl.

  • Jamie

    I have noticed that my matte grey vinyl wrap on my vehicle is fading in certain spots (probably for the sun) is there any product to restore the spots that are faded on the wrap?