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How do I keep matt paintwork clean?

How do I keep matt paintwork clean?


Matt paintwork looks great, but it's much more tricky to look after than its shiny sibling; here's everything you need to know.

Matt paint is now a popular special choice when spec’ing up your car, but it needs to be cared for and looking after it is a far more involved job than caring for its more usual glossy relative.

5 big no-noes’ when it comes to caring for your matt paintwork:

  • NO wax of any kind
  • NO detailing spray
  • NO polishes
  • NO glazes
  • NO abrasive cloths or sponges

Car with wax on it and a red cross through to show not to use wax

Do NOT use wax!

5 must-haves when it comes to caring for your matt paintwork:

  • Microfibre cloths
  • Matt paintwork safe tar remover spray
  • Wash buckets with grit guards are essential
  • Choose a wax-free shampoo
  • A very gentle touch

Red microfibre cloth

5 steps to keeping your matt paintwork clean:

  1. Wash your vehicle in the shade, do NOT wash in sunlight.
  2. Use a pressure washer under 2,500psi and the water should come out of a fan-shaped tip to avoid damaging the paintwork. A thorough pre-wash is essential.
  3. Remove any tar spots or dead bugs with a preparatory tar/bug remover; do NOT rub at these with your cloth, best to spray onto a microfibre cloth and lay on the area which needs removing, then wipe gently to avoid paint damage.
  4. Use two buckets, both with grit guards. One for water with wax-free shampoo in it and one for rinsing water.
  5. Allow your paintwork to dry naturally, do NOT use commercial blow dryers, if you’re in a hurry you may use a chamois, but be careful of any fine grit.

Follow all these steps and you’ll keep your matt paintwork looking matt and brand new. It does take time and effort, but it’s worth it when you see your car looking showroom fresh!

Matt black paintwork

Avoid automated car washes

In our opinion if your car has matt paintwork then automatic car washes are to be avoided; if you MUST use one, then only use one which uses the cleaning arms which have strips of cleaning cloth and not brushes; no wax programme and no drying programme. In reality better to wait until you can wash yourself in put into the hands of a reputable hand car-washer or valeter.

Pink old fashioned car wash sign


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