I went to see a detailer friend of mine when I was a lot younger.
His boss was away and he had invited me to hang out for a few hours. Watching and learning all his tips and tricks on car cleaning was like car porn to me. I loved it. Each time I hung out with him, I would learn newer and better things.
I was always so excited to get down there. I had even made sure that my car was looking the part, all shiny and clean, because the last thing I wanted was him thinking that his earlier tips to me weren’t in vain. And they weren’t. I would always put into action a lot of his cleaning tips. In fact it was him who taught me how to clean a convertible roof.
Well, that particular day, I went down there like a kid in a candy store. I couldn’t contain myself. My wife was already hoping that the day had been and gone, the way I was going on and on about it. When the day finally arrived, I had gotten down there just as he was about to start cleaning a matte black car.
I’m sure you’ve noticed, but standard car paint has a shine and a gloss. When bright and clean, the car paint can be very reflective. And the brighter the sheen, the easier it is to wash.
Matte cars are quite the opposite.
They have a duller and darker finish and as a result are not at all reflective. When cleaning a matte car, I was told that an extra level of care was needed. One had to be infinitely more delicate when washing a matte car. Matte cars have no sheen and really require some major TLC.
Cleaning a Matte Finish
Now generally, my friend Freddy explained, a matte black car, or any matte car and one with a satin finish are pretty much washed the same way.
However, for these types of finishes on cars, ‘regular’ products won’t work. You’ve almost got to account for how sensitive to UV sunlight and contamination they are. The issue Freddy had with regular products is that they would ultimately damage and/or deteriorate the skin of the car.
Whilst I was still trying to get my head around all the minuscule details of what he was talking about, nodding my head all the while being polite, he kept giving me more and more facts about car wraps. I thought I was a car geek, but Freddy knew it all. After a few minutes of nodding, my neck was beginning to hurt and I couldn’t help myself. I interrupted him and said:
“When do we get to wash the car?”
That was it. He smiled and before I knew it, he was off. He started off by using Meticulous Matte Auto Wash. It has high lubricity. Crazy word I know. It effectively means that it can easily wipe off and collect the dirt from the car without scratching it at all. The other great thing about this particular product is that we didn’t have to worry about leaving stains on the finish because it didn’t contain any of the waxes or gloss enhancers that can cause those types of issues with the finish.
Once he had cleaned the car it was time to wash it using the snow foam and mitt method.
Again Freddy was always conscious of 2 things. And that was to make sure that we didn’t, in any way shape or form, damage the outside of the car, whilst at the same time, ensuring that we kept the finish in mind from the outset, and worked backwards to not have any streaks on it.
Once we had dried the car it was time to protect it. Generally speaking matte finished cars are particularly sensitive to the UV rays from sunlight. And this means that owners of these cars need to keep products handy to protect from this.
Freddy grabbed the JetSeal Matte and started applying onto the car with a soft sponge. He worked the car meticulously and just did panel by panel whilst using his handy microfiber cloth to buff it into the car.
And that was that. An hour of good learning and an experience from a professional like Freddy that I wouldn’t ordinarily get outside of YouTube. After he parked the car outside, I grabbed my stuff and was on my way back home. The owner was coming later that day and I wanted to be sure I was out of there before that happened.
On my drive home all I could see was matte cars and wrapped ones, and I wondered how each of them kept their cars clean.
Once home I realised that I had left my cell there. Grrr frustrating. I went to call Freddy who of course found the whole thing hilarious. I didn’t have the energy to go back and knew that I could live without it over the weekend.
Of course I couldn’t, and first thing Monday morning I was in their car park waiting for Freddy to show up to work. As usual he was running late and knowing Freddy he’d probably had a crazy weekend. Cleaning and washing matte cars wasn’t the only thing he was up to, if you know what I mean…
To my surprise, the matte Subaru that we had cleaned only a few days ago still hadn’t been collected. The owner had somehow got busy and was running a day or so late. He was expected to come and collect the car that very morning. As I went closer to almost smile at the work we’d done, I was confronted with total shock.
Freddy was running late and the car owner as on his way. Not just was the car covered in some sort of light dust from the typical Miami air, it also had fingerprints on it and a little bit of bird poo. WTF!!!!!
I frantically started calling Freddy. My worry is the owner shows up and just flips out – and who’s he going to take it out on? That’s right ME!!!!
Finally, Freddy shows up. I’m jumping around, showing him the car screaming “You’ve got to wash this again!”
He breezed past me smiling. Almost ignoring me and went to grab some Meticulous Matter Detail Spray.
He just sprayed it all over the car and wiped it away with his trusted microfiber cloth. The beauty about this product is that it helped the JetSeal coat that we had put on a few days before. Also it didn’t contain any enhancers or wax, and combined with it’s patented sealant technology, it was if it never happened.
So I guess what I learned was washing matte cars isn’t easy, but keeping them clean between washes isn’t as bad.