How to Clean Matte Paint Motorcycle


In contrast to the glossy paint (usually 2-3 layers of clear coats), matte motorcycle paints are created by using the plastic impregnated paint, which is then sandblasted or not. It gives a flat surface finish and has no shine as it has been meant to reduce glare from sunlight. This paint is used mainly on military vehicles.

How to Clean Matte Paint Motorcycle

When we talk about Matte Paint Motorcycles, we need to consider the true meaning of the word ‘Matte’ and how different it can be from one bike lover to another depending on their choice of riding styles and climate conditions. In this article, I will be discussing how to clean matte paint motorcycle. Matte paint is a unique finish that is becoming increasingly popular in the motorcycle industry. It can be found on bikes from brands like Harley-Davidson, Yamaha, Suzuki, and Ducati.

Why Do You Want to Clean Your Matte Painted Motorcycle?

The main reason why people opt for the matte finish over other types of paint finishes is that they generally have less glare and are more durable. In addition, matte paint is rolled with the surface of the material at a different angle, resulting in a difference of refractions which causes this matte finish. As a result, the color and details of the motorcycle are more pronounced and visible. If you have a motorcycle that is coated with chrome, then it is advisable to use the matte paint finish. It will not only help to protect your investment but also enhance the look of your vehicle.

But, like any other type of paint product, a matte finish can get dirty. It may have dirt or dust particles stuck on it that can damage your bike’s durability and visual appeal. But then again, not all types of dirt are obvious to go away with a simple swipe or wipe. There are times when you need to use a little elbow grease to remove the indicators of polluted air from your bike’s surface.

Investing in cleaning tools will surely help you maintain its fresh look without spending tons on professional services. It is also important to remember that matte paint requires different treatments than other types (i.e., semi-gloss) since they tend to be much more sensitive to damage. For instance, there are certain types of cleaning cloths and products that are designed to be used on these delicate surfaces. Most paint retailers also sell specially formulated cleaning agents for matte paint.

Step-wise Guide on How to Clean Matte Paint Motorcycle


Clean your motorcycle with a damp cloth or sponge. If you have dirt on the paint, use polish and wax remover if available to clean it. Wash your motorcycle with soap and water using a sponge or cloth. If you have dirt on the paint, use polish and wax remover if available to clean it.

Step 2:

Wash off the polish and wax remover with plain water using a washing brush. Use cool water for this purpose. Avoid hot water as it can damage the paint in case there is any scratch or crack on the surface of your matte paint motorcycle.

Wash off the polish and wax remover

Step 3:

Take some Matte Cleaning Compound (MCX) out of its container, and apply it to a soft cloth or sponge that is moistened in lukewarm water. Squeeze excess moisture from the cloth so that MCX does not drip down when you begin applying it on your motorcycle’s matte finish.

Step 4:

Use a circular motion while working the MCX into your motorcycle’s matte finish. Allow MCX to air dry by itself and do not use any material or paper towel for drying it off. Continue with this step until you see that all remaining dirt, rust, wax, or polish is completely cleaned from the paint surface of your bike.

Step 5:

Buff the paint surface gently using a soft cotton cloth so that there are no lines left behind after air-drying at Step 4 above, and also so that any streaks have disappeared. Do not apply too much pressure when buffing, as it may lead to scratches in your finish.

Avoid steel wool for buffing as it may scratch your motorcycle’s matte coat, but if you don’t have a soft cotton cloth (like T-shirt) or chamois leather, you can use the steel wool for this purpose. 

Step 6:

Wax your motorcycle’s matte paint surface if you want to make its texture shine and give it better resistance against water spots. Avoid fully drying off your motorcycle before waxing, as moisture is essential in case you are using the paste form of wax, and else you will end up with a sticky film on your bike.

If you are using liquid wax, let it completely dry by itself after cleaning and buffing so that no moisture is already present on the surface.

Wax Your Motorcycle's Matte Paint

Precautions While Cleaning Matte Paint Motorcycle

  • Always wear goggles while cleaning matte finish paint motorcycle.
  • Before using any chemicals, test those chemicals on a small area of the motorcycle to ensure that these chemicals won’t damage paintwork or other parts of your bike.
  • Never use rough scrubbing pads or abrasives that can scratch the surface and remove its luster.
  • Never use strong solvents like acetone as it may cause some serious damage to the clear coat of your bike’s bodywork.
  • Do not spray water directly onto matte paint, but always do a blast from an air nozzle so you will get complete coverage with a minimum amount of moisture applied on the surface just enough to dampen it without washing away the original shine and luster.

Step-wise Guide on How to Clean Normal Paint Motorcycles

These are general guidelines on how to wash a bike with normal paint. If you have a matte bike, please skip down to the section below this one.

Basically, what you’re doing is cleaning off all the dirt with solvent and getting it wet enough so that when you wipe off the residue with a clean microfiber towel, there are no streaks left behind. 

While there are other methods out there (such as washing your car or using rainwater), these seem to work best for me: 

  • Remove everything from the bike  (helmet, gloves…) and lay it in an area where you can still see it, but nothing will get dirty. 
  • Put all your tools away in a safe place and get your cleaning material ready. I use spray solvent to wipe off the dirt (others prefer soapy water, etc.). 
  • Wipe down with a dry microfiber cloth (a second one if necessary).
Wipe Down With a Dry Microfiber Cloth

Get a bucket of warm water (hot can damage paintwork…) and wash down all parts with it, wiping them clean. Do this first before any cleaning agent is used, as it may remove some grime. 

Spray down the bike with solvent using an air compressor or aerosol can, paying special attention to areas that collect dust, such as between mirrors and gas tank/side covers. Let soak for 2-3 minutes if treated with hard soap/waxes beforehand, 10-15 seconds otherwise. 

Using a clean microfiber cloth, rinse off all excess solvent from the bike, and avoid leaving any streaks. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Matte Paint Hard to Clean?

Yes, matte paint is hard to clean. However, there are some methods that can help you get rid of the paint and make it easier to clean.

One method is using a warm water and vinegar solution, which will dissolve any residue left on the surface of the wall. Another method is using an acid-based cleaner like Lime-A-Way or CLR, which removes stains from walls without damaging them in any way.

Can You Use an Iron Remover on Matte Paint?

It is possible to use an iron remover on matte paint. However, you should be careful when using this type of product and ensure that the area you are working on is not in direct contact with the surface or furniture.

There are a few precautions that you should take before trying this method:

1. Ensure that your iron remover doesn’t contain alcohol, as it will cause the paint to become brittle and crack.

2. You can also use a spray-on primer first if the paint is in bad condition or if it has been previously damaged by other means such as acid rain or exposure to sunlight.

Use a Spray-on Primer First

What Is in Sugar Soap?

Sugar soap is a term used to describe handmade soaps made with natural ingredients such as lye, glycerin, vegetable oils, and honey. It’s also referred to as organic soap.

Benefits of sugar soap:

• No animal fats or animal by-products are used in the production of sugar soap.

• Sugar soap is naturally moisturizing because it contains glycerin and vegetable oils that lock moisture into the skin for hours after application.

• Sugar soaps have a low pH which means they’re gentle on your skin and can be safely used on babies delicate skin.


I hope this article has helped learn how to clean matte paint motorcycle. Thank you, and have a good day!

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