Find out how to take care of a wrapped car. An article about what NOT to do if you want to preserve your vinyl wrapping in mint condition.
Personal and commercial vehicle wraps are the ultimate attention grabbers in traffic and one of the most effective visual marketing tools. Therefore, maintaining your film in good shape is a task that should not be neglected.
Car wrapping aftercare can be a little challenging sometimes, but it’s easy to accomplish when you do a little research.
If you just got your car wrapped and don’t know what to do to maintain it sleek-looking for a long time, take our friendly advice and do not make these mistakes:
MISTAKE #1. USING HARSH CHEMICALS
Regular car wash soaps are a definite no-no. The traditional car wash soaps are so potent, most of the time, they will fade the colors of your vinyl. Use a special soap for vinyl surfaces!
You can preserve any vinyl surface longer if you wash it with a special soap, and we will disclose some brand names for you.
One simple Google search will show you that The Chemical Guys make one of the most popular vinyl wrap washing solutions. Besides the regular soap for vinyl, they have a special soap for satin and matte finishes that will pull off the dirt and maintain the no-shine texture.
We also recommend the 3M® Car Wash Soap 39000 for any wrapped vehicle. This soap does not harm the wax protective layer, and it is concentrated, so it will last you a long time.
As an alternative, look-up Meguiar’s® Deep Crystal™ Car Wash, it is quite gentle and safe for both painted and vinyl wrapped surfaces.
MISTAKE #2. USING FIRM BRUSHES
Don’t bring your car to a drive-through car wash if you did not research it ahead of time.
Car wrapping aftercare will require a little research from your part. Only wash your wrapped vehicle in car-washes that do not use firm brushes. A sturdy brush will degrade your film, make it peel off, and scratch it.
Therefore, you should research a close-by automated or manual car wash that only uses sprays and soft cloth rags and sponges.
So, can you wash a wrapped car? Of course, you can. Bring it to a brushless car wash, and you should be safe.
Mistake #3. Parking your vehicle outside for a long time
Sun, rain, salt, pollution, snow are all bad for your car exterior, whether it is paint or vinyl.
The most affected areas are the roof, trunk, and hood. These areas are more susceptible to pollutants and UV rays. The sun is another “enemy”. It will bake in the vinyl and make it extremely hard to remove the vinyl off your vehicle.
First of all, try to park your car in a garage. If that is not your case, park your car in the shade, or a sheltered area. Secondly, you can use a cover for your car if you know you are not going to use your vehicle for an extended period.
Finally, to achieve a long wrap life, we recommend using products like Vinyl Guard & Protectants. The Chemical Guys have a detailer for glossy vinyl wrapped surfaces. Another good one comes from Renegade, it’s a Vinyl Guard Dressing that you can use both on the interior and exterior of your vehicle.
MISTAKE #4. GAS AND OIL SPILLS
The effects of Gas and Oil spills on your vinyl wrapped vehicle can lead to the degradation of your film.
Whenever the spill happens, make sure to use a soft towel or a paper towel to wipe off the oil until you can get your hands on a proper car wash liquid.
Also, a good trick would be to have an alcohol solution in your car made of one part alcohol and two parts water. This alcohol-based solution will be safe for your vinyl surfaces and will remove the harsh chemicals, the oils, and pollutants.
MISTAKE #5. USING WAXES AND POLISHES
Regular waxes and polishes will damage your film. Your car wrapping is going to look glossy by default.
Instead of using waxes and polishes, try using a special vinyl soap in combination with a vinyl Detailer and Protectant. Add a soft cloth wiping, and you should be good to go.
Your wrap will age better if you avoid products like waxes and polishes even though it may seem counterintuitive to do so.
Your fleet is a testament to your brand image and the quality of your services. So, make sure you do not disappoint your customers by showing up in a vehicle that does not look professional!