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March 1, 2021   |   Tips,

Caring for a Vinyl Car Wrap

Caring for a Vinyl Car Wrap

Like a custom paint job, a vinyl car wrap isn’t meant to be applied and then forgotten. To keep your wrap in pristine condition, it is essential to regularly maintain it. To help with your vehicle wrap maintenance, we’ve put together this guide on how to care for a vinyl car wrap.

How Often Should I Wash My Vinyl Car Wrap?

Like any car paint finish, it is important to wash your vehicle wrap regularly. Although you can just wash your vehicle as it starts to look dirty, we recommend that you wash your car about once a week. Cleaning a car every week not only helps to maintain the vinyl wrap but also promotes a positive image for your business. One of the most significant benefits of vehicle wrap advertising is the number of impressions you can get from your car. Keeping your car clean can help ensure those first impressions are positive ones.

While you may not need to fully wash your vehicle every time, it is crucial to clean up any substances that could stain your wrap as soon as possible. Substances like bird droppings, insects, or colored liquids can permanently stain your car wrap if left unmanaged.

How Should I Wash My Vinyl Vehicle Wrap?

When it comes to cleaning the outside of a car, there are various options. If you choose to hand wash your car or use a car wash, there are some things to consider with a vinyl car wrap. Like with custom paint jobs, handwashing your vehicle is the best option to maintain your wrap’s integrity and quality. Hand washing, though more work, gives you full control over the process of washing a car. As opposed to automated car washes where all of the settings are predetermined, you can give your wrap a gentle touch with a hand wash.

While vinyl wraps can be run through car washes, 3M recommends using touchless car washes. Car washes that use brushes can cause dulling, scratching, or even lift the edges of your wrap, depending on the car wash settings.

Can I Use a Pressure Washer on My Vehicle Wrap?

The short answer is yes; you can pressure wash a vinyl car wrap. When pressuring washing your car, it is important to use the right settings for a car wrap. These conditions are:

  • Keep the water pressure below 2000psi.
  • Ensure the water temperature is below 180°F or 80°C
  • Attach or adjust a spray nozzle with a 40-degree wide-angle spray pattern.
  • Hold the nozzle at least 1 foot away from the wrap.
  • Spray the wrap directly on. Spraying your vehicle wrap at an angle can lift the vinyl wrap from the vehicle.

What Car Cleaning Products Should I Use?

With so many car cleaning products on the market, it can be difficult to choose the right one for your wrap. It’s important to remember that your new car wrap isn’t car paint and will need specific vinyl cleaning products. Wet, non-abrasive detergents like 3M™ Car Wash Soap 39000, Meguiar’s NXT Generation® Car Wash, or Deep Crystal® Car Wash are all great options.

It’s important to use soft and clean sponges and cloths to scrub and wipe down your wrap as abrasive fabrics can scratch the material. When cleaning a vehicle wrap, avoid letting cleaning solutions soak and rinse immediately with clean water. 3M also recommends avoiding using wax or similar coatings on a car wrap to maintain the vinyl’s finish and look.

Avoid Prolonged Exposure to the Sun and Other Pollutants

As important as it is to have your car wrap seen, it’s equally important to avoid letting it sit in the sun, rain, or other damaging conditions for extended periods. Just like paint, vinyl wraps will fade and degrade when exposed to the elements for too long. Parking in the shade as often as possible can significantly extend the look and lifespan of your wrap. Overnight, parking your vehicle in a garage is the ideal situation to protect your vinyl car wrap. If a garage isn’t an option, a cloth cover can be just as effective at keeping your wrap in its prime.

When it comes to making a vinyl car wrap last, it all starts with the initial application. At Fleet Wrap HQ, we pride ourselves on providing high-quality vehicle wraps. From design to installation, we guarantee our customers results they’ll be proud of. Get started on your vehicle wrap journey and contact us today!


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