It’s a little surprising to hear about car wraps not being cared for properly especially when it is used for business advertising. To ensure that it will stand the test of time, a car wrap needs to be maintained. Infrequent, incorrect or lack of maintenance can lead to the car wrap degrading prematurely.

Regular maintenance will not only make the wrap last longer; it also makes the vehicle a more effective advertising medium.

How to Clean Your Wrap

The best way we recommend is to do it the old fashioned way—by hand and with the use of water and mild detergent or a dedicated car wash product. The detergent should be free from any abrasive components and should have a pH balance of 3 to 11.

Use a sponge or soft cloth to clean the wrap. If there is no other way to clean the vehicle, then automatic washing with just spray is also acceptable. You don’t need to wax it especially if the wax contains petroleum distillate as it can damage the car wrap. Automated brush wash is also not acceptable as it can cause scratches on the wrap.

You may also hand wash the wrap just like you do with your painted car. First, you need to rinse it with clean water. Doing so will help you avoid scratching the wrap on accident. Use a mild detergent with water solution but avoid unnecessary scrubbing.

When finished, rinse the wrap thoroughly with clean water. Dab it dry or allow it to dry on its own.

If using a pressure washer, follow the guidelines below:

  • Keep the water temperature below 180 degrees Fahrenheit or 80 degrees Celsius.
  • Water pressure should be below 1200 psi.
  • The nozzle should be at least 12 inches away from the edges of the wrap.
  • The nozzle should also be placed perpendicular to the graphics to avoid accidentally lifting the edges.
  • The nozzle you use should have a 40 degree wide angle spray pattern
  • Avoid excessive pressure or spraying in wrong angles using your pressure washer as it can damage the graphics and create failure points.

If you do cannot use a pressure washer, a waterless washer is also a good option. It can help you maintain the wrap’s gloss level as well as the performance of the film. If the vehicle is not very dirty, using a waterless washer is your best bet. However, if the waterless wash contains wax, you cannot use it on a matte wrap as it will leave glossy spots that are not good to look at.

If the vehicle is very dirty, we recommend that you wash it by hand first, and then go with a waterless wash for finishing touches. If the contaminants are too difficult to remove, use hot, soapy water to clean it, and then rinse thoroughly.

For more information on vehicle wraps contact www.carwraps.com and we will be more than happy to answer your questions!