8 Steps – The Do’s and Don’ts to Keeping Vinyl Vehicle Wrap Looking Like New

Great wrap by 111 Ink

If you have a great looking vinyl vehicle wrap, you probably want it to look like new as long as possible. To get the most out of your or your customers’ investment, follow these Do’s and Don’ts for cleaning applied your vinyl vehicle wrap.This practical and simple information can make it easy to keep that fresh, new look.

Important Do’s and Don’t’s for cleaning and caring for your applied vinyl vehicle wrap:

The Do’s

1. Hand wash applied vinyl graphics with a blend of mild detergent and clean water. Pressure washing (see diagram) is not recommended as it can cause vinyl wrap to lift around the edges and degrade the face film. Once that happens, the graphics lose luster, fade, crack and can come away from the substrate.
2. Test any cleaning solution on a small section of the vinyl graphic before using. Even with products designed for washing vehicles, it is still good practice to test on a small area. If possible, use products that are easy on the vehicle vinyl and the environment.
3. Always read the warning labels on car care products for proper safety instructions.
4. Wash the vehicle from the top down with a soapy water blend, rinse with clean water. This allows dirt and contaminants to run off the vinyl. A standard garden hose and nozzle, a clean, grit free bucket (to avoid scratching the vinyl), mild soap like Dove or Joy, soft microfiber sponges or cloths are all you need.
5. Let the vehicle air dry or dry off with a microfiber cloth. If time allows, let the vehicle air dry and touch up with soft cloth for spotting. If the vehicle wrap is dried by hand, be sure to use clean, microfiber towels and light pressure. Take care that not to lift edges or scratch vinyl.

The Don’ts

6. Do not allow fuels or other corrosive substances to stay in contact with the vinyl. Clean all spills as soon as possible. If normal cleaning procedures do not work to remove fuel or other difficult debris try spot cleaning with isopropyl alcohol or a citrus based cleaner with a microfiber towel.
7. Do not apply carnauba-based wax or any type of wax, polish, matte or carbon fiber over vinyl graphics. Doing so will result in deterioration of the vinyl film.
8. Do not use mechanical brush or pressure washing on vehicle vinyl. Brushes can cause vinyl graphics to chip or peel around the edges or scratch the surface.They can also cause the graphic to fade and dull the appearance of the over laminate. Pressure washing should only be used when if other cleaning methods have been exhausted.

For added protection, you can apply a silicone or Teflon based coating specifically designed for vinyl vehicle graphics as long as you follow the manufacturer’s suggestions for how frequently it can be applied.

For more information about vinyl vehicle wrap materials, call any of our four locations. To see what products McLogan has to offer, visit our online store.

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