Tips on How to Keep Your Vinyl Car Wraps Looking Fresh
There are many reasons why people choose to have their car wrapped. Some do it because it's a good way to make extra money.
If you're in a busy city, for example, you can make $100 to $3,200 monthly for having your car wrapped and driving it around as mobile advertisement for certain companies.
Others do it to change their vehicle's appearance. There's just something about driving a car and knowing that it's got a one-of-a-kind-look. And then there are others who go for vinyl car wraps because they offer an excellent way to protect their car paint from fading, scratches, and chips.
Whatever your reason/s for getting a vinyl car wrap though, you need to know how to maintain it. Here are our top tips to help keep your wrapped car in tip-top shape.
Regular Cleaning Is a Must
Just because car wraps are completely removable doesn't mean you should forget about regular cleaning. Cleaning will extend the life of your car's graphics. This is especially important if you're driving your vehicle in congested urban areas.
Don't forget that smog, pollutants, particulates, and increased UV exposure can compromise your wrap's durability. Regular cleaning with a non-petroleum-based wax will protect your wrap from added UV exposure and will remove particulates that shorten your wrap's lifespan.
And don't worry. You don't need a special ritual or products to clean your wrapped car. Just use a mild detergent and water.
Remember not to scrub too hard when you're washing your vehicle wrap. For matte films, skip the wax altogether and use a waterless wash or a hot soapy water solution for a deeper clean.
What About Drive-Through Car Wash Services?
If you're too busy to give your vinyl car wrap a good cleaning, you can take it to a car wash. However, make sure to give specific instructions as to how your car should be cleaned.
Keep in mind that brush car washes may be too abrasive and could cause the film to lift and peel. Your best is to take it to a hand car wash that knows how to keep vinyl wraps nicely by not using harmful cleaning solutions or aggressive cleaning methods.
Rethink About Pressure Washing Your Car Wrap
Pressure washing is awesome for cleaning your home's exterior. But if you're talking about maintenance for vinyl car wraps, you should think first if it's worth the hassle.
For one thing, you'll need to keep your washer below 2,000 psi, and you have to pick a spray nozzle with a wide angle spray pattern. Another thing you have to worry about is the water temperature.
You don't want it to be too cold or too hot, and you'll need to be at least 2 feet away before you start spraying. If you can't remember these pressure washing tips, you're better off hand washing your vinyl car wrap once a week.
Remove Stains Right Away
Bird poop, dead insects, and other difficult stains could permanently damage your wrap if you let them sit for too long. That's because the longer they stay, the harder they are to remove.
If you're dealing with some nasty stains, don't panic. Apply warm soapy water and wait for the stains to become loose. If nothing happens, you can use isopropyl alcohol diluted with water.
Rinse with water and use a microfiber cloth to dry the recently cleaned areas. If you purchased a cleaner from a store, don't forget to test it on a small area first before applying gobs of it on your car wrap. You want to make sure the cleaner is safe to use and won't cause your wrap to wrinkle or peel.
Avoid Prolonged Sun Exposure
We've already established that UV exposure can damage your vinyl car wrap. So if you don't have a garage, you should invest in a canopy or shelter for your vehicle.
Of course, there are times when you have to park your car outside for prolonged periods. If this is the case, try to look for shady parking areas. It's also a good idea to have a cleaning kit in your car just in case you need to do some spot cleaning.
Use The Right Products for Cleaning Your Wrap
DIY solutions are everywhere. But experimenting with cleaning products not intended for car wraps isn't the best way keep vinyl car wrap clean.
This includes kitchen and bathroom cleaners, essential oils, sandpaper, thinners, solvents, and so on. Save your money by not DIYing everything and trust that good old water and soap will do the job.
Do You Need a Fresh Wrap?
Sometimes, there's just no way to restore a wrap that has been neglected for far too long. If you see it turning brown, it's a sign that it's already too late for the maintenance tips we've mentioned above to work.
The best thing you can do here is to remove the film, so you don't damage your car's paint and get a new wrap installed. If you're lucky, you might just need to replace the affected area and not the entire thing.
Final Thoughts on Vinyl Car Wraps
Now that you know the top tips for caring for your vinyl wraps, you should find it easy to keep your wrapped vehicles looking awesome.
Just remember, regular cleaning is a must. That means once a week or more if you need to do some spot cleaning. Avoid harsh cleaning products and keep your car wrap away from the sun if you can help it.
For those times, you can't clean your vinyl car wraps yourself, choose a car wash that offers hand wash services. If it's your first time taking your wrapped vehicle to a car wash, always leave specific instructions as to how to clean your car.
If you need more tips though or if you're thinking of getting a car wrap, don't hesitate to contact us. We also offer basic detail to full-scale paint correction, as well as graphic design, and plot services. You can fill out this form for an estimate/quote.