Taking Care of Your Vehicle Wrap

Cleaning Sponge

A installed vehicle wrap should never be forgotten. Just like your paint, your vehicle wrap requires regular cleaning and maintenance. For a long-lasting wrap, wash your vehicle on a regular basis and keep your wrap away from possible pollutants from the roads and by-ways of daily life travels. Here are some common questions customers have about cleaning their vehicle wraps:

How often should I wash my vehicle wrap?

Wash your wrap at least once a week or more often if your vehicle is exposed to a lot of dirt or pollutants. If available hand wash using 3M® Car Wash Soap 39000 or Meguiar’s NXT Generation® Car Wash or Deep Crystal® Car Wash. A Quick Detailer Spray Wax from 3M or Meguiar’s Ultimate Quik Wax works between washes. You can in a pinch use other gentle automotive detergent if necessary – any mild brand will do. Always use a nice automotive sponge or clean, soft cloth to wash your wrap. Rinse vehicle with clear water before and after washing. To minimize water spotting use a silicone squeegee or chamois to remove water. Dry with a clean microfiber cloth.

Can I take my wrapped vehicle into a drive-through car wash?

You can take your vehicle wrap to an automatic car wash, though hand washing is safer and more thorough. Brushed car washes are rough on the film, causing peeling and lifted edges. If a car wash is brush-less and uses water spray, it should be adequate for most vehicle wraps.

What should I use for spots?

Isopropyl alcohol or Simple Green to remove spots and clean stains. Rinse area with water after. On hot days its best to Avoid wiping your wrap; this can stress the material and cause the vinyl more harm then good.

Can I Pressure Wash my Vehicle Wrap?

Yes... pressure washing your vehicle wrap is fine as long as you keep the water pressure below 2,000 psi. Spray nozzle should be the 40 degree wide angle spray pattern type and keep water temperature below 140 degrees Fahrenheit. We use heat to remove a wrap and thats why we suggest cleaning in the shade on hot days. Also keep the spray nozzle at least 12 inches from the vehicle and away from edges.

How Do I Clean Bird Droppings, Insects, Tree Sap or Other Difficult Stains?

Immediately clean bird droppings and difficult stains. Letting organic contaminants sit too long, makes them harder to remove and could damage your wrap permanently. Soak the area for a few moments with soapy, warm water to loosen the stain. Rinse completely and dry with a microfiber cloth. For stubborn contaminants, use denatured alcohol, 3M® Citrus Base Cleaner, Meguiar’s Gold Class™ Bug and Stain Remover or two parts isopropyl alcohol to one part water. Always test solutions on a small area inconspicuous area to ensure the cleaner will not damage your wrap. Do not use solvents or oil based cleaning products! For matte finishes never rub your wrap hard and vigorously especially when the wrap is warm to hot. It will glossify. Slow and gental wins the race.

What Should I Do about Gas or Fuel Spills?

Wipe off fuel immediately, then wash the affected area by hand. Letting the fuel stay too long on your wrap will destroy the vinyl. At the gas station a quick wipe with a wet paper towel will clean the affected area enough until you can get home to hand wash the are with the appropriate cleaning supplies.

Can I Park my Vehicle Outdoors for Long Periods?

Excessive amounts of time under the sun or other outdoor elements (rain, smog, debris and road pollutants from passing cars) can degrade the wrap on the roof, trunk lid and hood. These horizontal areas are a magnet for pollutants, which are intensified by UV ray exposure. Try your best to park your car in a garage or under a canopy or shelter. If you must park it outside for prolonged periods, look for shady parking areas.

My vehicle wrap is turning brown or rust colored. What should I do?

Wrap turns brown due to prolonged exposure from pollutants in the air. This is typically a result of neglect and failure to follow the above exercises. If you do notice brown, discolored or rust colored areas on your wrap, it is best to remove the film from your vehicle to prevent paint damage and re-apply a fresh wrap. Often it’s is only necessary to replace the bad panel.

What products should I avoid when cleaning my wrap?

  • Never use any of the following cleaning products on your wrap:
  1. - Solvents
  2. - Oil based cleaners
  3. - Kitchen & Bathroom Cleaners
  4. - Oven cleaner
  5. - Orange Oil
  6. - Engine Degreaser

We will be adding more useful information on the topic of Color Change Wraps soon. The industry is always evolving, and we get so excited when it does. Thanks, and feel free to share this with your friends on social media. Below you will find a share link for your convenience… more to come.