It’s important to care for your vehicle when it has its factory paint, and it’s no different when your vehicle is vinyl wrapped. While car wraps are fairly easy to care for, they do require a bit of special love and attention to help them last as long as possible.

Basic care

The best way to care for your car wrap is to wash the vehicle by hand once a week or so, or more often if in a highly polluted or particularly dirty area. Use a gentle automotive detergent and a soft sponge to wash the warp, then rinse with clear water. If you like in an area with hard water, or if you want to minimize water spotting, use a chamois or squeegee to remove excess water before drying with a microfiber cloth.

If you’d like to pressure wash your wrapped vehicle, you can do so with a wide-angle spray pattern. Just keep the pressure under 2,00psi, the temperature below 140 degrees Fahrenheit, and the spray nozzle 12 inches or so away from the wrap’s edges. This will prevent heat damage and peeling edges.

In the event that spot cleaning is necessary, you can use isopropyl rubbing alcohol or Simple Green to clean small stains.

Tough stains

In the event of difficult stains like bird droppings, gas or fuel, insects, or tree sap, it’s important to clean the affected areas as soon as possible, lest they become harder to remove or possibly permanently damage the wrap. Keep a small kit of cleaning supplies in the trunk of your vehicle just in case.

Things to avoid

Under no circumstances should you ever use oil-based cleaners, solvents, kitchen, bathroom, or oven cleaner, orange oil, or engine degreaser.

It’s also important to avoid extended periods of exposure to direct sunlight or inclement weather. Whenever possible, park your vinyl-wrapped vehicle in a parking garage or under cover. In the event that it’s necessary to park in the open air (especially on a sunny day in Los Angeles), try to find a shady spot. This will help extend the lifespan of your car wrap.