Can car wraps be washed or waxed? Is it possible to apply a protective coating? These readily available answers ensure that your customers comprehend the obligation of maintaining a vehicle wrap. Below is the proper care for vehicle graphics, just like any fine paint finish.
Good old-fashioned elbow grease is the safest approach to maintaining your vinyl car wrap and may be done in three steps:
- Utilize a water spray to hand wash as much dirt and grit as possible.
- Wash the vinyl wrap using a damp, non-abrasive detergent and a soft, clean cloth or sponge in a circular motion. A magic eraser and hot, soapy water go a long way toward preserving the condition of your vinyl vehicle wrap. Biodegradable, non-abrasive cleaning chemicals are also effective for those seeking a sustainable alternative.
- Thoroughly rinse with clean water. To reduce tough stains and water spotting, remove the water with a silicone squeegee and dry with a clean microfiber cloth or soft cloth.
Vinyl wraps must be washed with mild detergent at least once weekly or whenever the wrapped vehicle appears dirty. Stubborn contaminants, such as bug splatter, tree sap, and bird droppings, may be more difficult to remove with cleaning products. In particular, matte and satin wraps should be washed frequently. These films are more porous and susceptible to dirt and debris, which accelerates their deterioration if they are not consistently cleaned.
Take note never to use solvents or oil-based cleaning products. After cleaning an area, rinse it with cool water. Avoid using tire dressing to spot clean since it may cause stains on the most wraps if it splashes. Let it air dry, and do not leave any fuel spills.
If washing by hand is not possible, automated car washes may be utilized. Avoid using a brush and high-pressure car wash since they can dull, scuff, and raise edges. If the car wrap is satin, matte, or textured, a simple wash is enough. Choose the deluxe option for a gloss vinyl film, which includes a wax option for coating. By selecting automatic car washes for satin, matte, or textured films, an undesirable sheen is applied.
Do the same process you did when hand washing the wrap. For difficult stains, follow this with an isopropyl rubbing alcohol or alcohol wipe mixed at 70 parts isopropyl alcohol with 30% water. You may also go to a drive-through car wash to spot clean your fleet vehicles for regular cleaning.
Although handwashing a wrap is the preferred technique of spot cleaning, a pressure wash can be utilized under the following circumstances:
- Water from the pressure washer should be below 2,000 psi (14 MPa)
- Water temperature should be below 180 F (80 C)
- Utilize a spray nozzle with a 40-degree wide-angle spray pattern
- Place the nozzle at least 1′ (300 mm) from the graphic and perpendicular (at 90 degrees)
Store Indoors Or Under A Cover
As with paint, prolonged exposure to UV rays and air pollution degrades vehicle wraps, particularly on horizontal surfaces that are intensified by UV ray exposure like the trunk lid, hood, and roof. If you let the dirty water or spill stay on the wrap too long, it will degrade the vinyl.
When possible, store items in a garage or a covered area throughout the day. At night, cover the vehicle from dew or rain that may include acidic pollutants (a common problem in many large metropolitan areas). If you do not have access to a garage, try using a cloth car cover at night.