Just like most products you purchase, vehicle wraps require a little TLC. Frequent cleaning and maintenance will make the wrap last longer, prevent fading and keep the colors vibrant. It will also help remove pollutants and particulates that can damage your wrap over time.
We get a lot of questions about caring for the wraps we install, so we’ve compiled our best advice right here for you.
Wash Your Wrap Often & Be Careful At Automated Washes
While old-fashioned hand washing is the best way to keep your wrap clean, you can run it through a drive-thru car wash.
Just make sure the automated wash you choose is brushless. Brush washes can scratch the film and even cause the edges to lift and start peeling away.
A car wash that uses water spray and no brushes should be safe for most wraps.
If your vehicle is exposed to a lot of dirt and pollutants, wash it about once a week. If your vehicle wrap is only exposed to normal conditions, you can wash it a little less frequently and follow your usual cleaning schedule (unless, of course, you don’t have one!).
Use an Appropriate Cleaner
If you’re hand washing, a mild detergent and water solution should be powerful enough to clean your vehicle without causing damage.
Avoid cleaners with abrasive components and strong solvents or alcohols as these can damage the graphics. A pH balance between 3 and 11 is ideal.
Skip the wax option at the automated wash. Many car waxes contain petroleum distillate that can cause damage. If you know for a fact that the wash uses a wax without this ingredient, it’s okay and even beneficial to wax the wrap.
Matte film should never be waxed because the texture will get filled in, which causes shiny spots that ruin the effect. Instead, spot clean with a 50/50 mix of isopropyl alcohol and water or a hot, soapy water solution for extra cleaning power.
Use a Soft Cloth or Sponge
Avoid abrasive cleaners and cleaning tools. Just like you shouldn’t run your car through an automated brush wash, you should avoid using brushes on your wrap.
Use a soft, clean cloth or sponge. If you drop it while you’re washing, grab a new one. Dirt is actually made up of microscopic particles, sand and stone that can abrade the surface of your wrap.
Spot Cleaning: Bird Poo, Bug Splatter, Tree Sap & Other Tough Stains
Instead of trying to scrub these stains away, which can damage and wrinkle the film, try to soften them first by soaking the area in hot, soapy water and rinsing with clean water.
If you decide a harsher cleaning agent is required, test it in an unnoticeable area first to see how it will affect the graphics.
If you have more specific questions about how you can clean your wrap, or any other questions related to vinyl film, contact Team Acme today and let us know how we can help!