Do you have a vinyl wrap or plan to get one soon? Then the last thing you want to do is mess up your investment!
That’s right, if you’ve taken the time, effort, and expense to get your vehicle wrap designed and expertly installed, you want it to LAST.
That’s why we spoke to the experts to get you all the most important info about how to care for a vinyl wrapped car. Because we know you want your vinyl wrap to last for years. Read on!
What’s The Difference Between Vinyl Wrapping And Car Paint?
Vinyl wrapping is a process where a vinyl film is applied to the surface of a vehicle. The vinyl film can be printed with any design, including custom colors and patterns. Unlike paint, vinyl wraps can be easily removed without damaging the underlying paint job.
Additionally, applying a vinyl wrap is typically much more affordable than a paint job. It’s useful whether you’re looking to change the look of your car or advertise a business.
But a vinyl wrap is only as good as its maintenance! That’s why it’s important to use proper care techniques for your vehicle wrap.
What Is A Vinyl Car Wrap?
Vinyl car wraps are made from a durable PVC film that conforms to the contours of your vehicle. The film is then trimmed and smoothed before being sealed with a clear protective layer.
Vinyl car wraps are an increasingly popular way to customize the look of your vehicle without permanently changing its color or paint job. However, because they’re temporary, they can be prone to damage. Tree sap, bird droppings, and other difficult stains can damage your vehicle wrap, shortening its lifespan.
Vinyl Car Wrap Technology
Vinyl car wraps have come a long way in recent years, thanks to advances in printing and materials technology. Today’s vinyl car wraps are available in a wide range of colors and textures, from high-gloss to matte finishes.
And thanks to new printing techniques, it’s now possible to create custom designs that can be printed onto the vinyl film. So whether you want a safe, temporary way to change the color of your car, or your want an elaborate design, a vehicle wrap can be customized and will fit your needs.
Preparing To Wrap Your Car
If you’re thinking of getting a vinyl car wrap, the first step is to find a reputable installer who has experience working with this type of material. Once you’ve found an installer you trust, they will need to clean and prep your vehicle’s surface before applying the vinyl wrap.
While you can certainly take your vehicle to a car wash, the detailing necessary for a vinyl wrap installation is a bit more specialized. This process is important to ensure that the wrap adheres properly and doesn’t cause any damage to your paint job.
How Often Should I Wash My Vehicle Wrap?
You should wash your vinyl car wrap regularly, just as you would wash the paint job on your car. However, while some people are accustomed to rolling through the car wash weekly, we recommend you only wash your vehicle wrap every other week or every few weeks.
In the interim, you can spot clean problems caused by tree sap, bird droppings, or bugs.
Use a mild soap and water solution and avoid using any harsh chemicals or abrasives. It’s also important to dry your car completely after washing, as moisture can cause the vinyl wrap to loosen.
Wash A Wrapped Vehicle Using The Two Bucket Method
One of the best ways to wash a car wrap is using the two bucket method. This involves filling one bucket with soapy water and another with clean water for rinsing. Dip a soft sponge or cloth into the soapy water and use it to gently scrub the surface of the vinyl wrap.
Rinse off the soap with clean water from the other bucket. Repeat this process until the entire wrap is clean. This hand wash is preferable to taking your vehicle to a car wash.
Can Car Wax Be Applied To Car Wraps?
Yes, you can use car wax on a vinyl car wrap. However, it’s important to use a wax that is specifically designed for use on vinyl vehicle wrap surfaces. This will help protect the wrap from UV damage and keep it looking shiny and new.
Additionally, you can ask your installer about special protective coatings for vinyl wraps. Some more expensive vinyl wrap materials come with these added layers of protection.
What Happens When You Spill Gasoline Or Oil On A Vinyl Wrap?
If you spill gasoline or oil on your vinyl car wrap, it’s important to clean it off as soon as possible. Use a soft cloth or sponge dipped in soapy water to gently scrub the affected area.
Rinse off the soap with clean water and dry your car completely. If the stain persists, you may need to use a mild solvent such as rubbing alcohol.
How Do I Clean Bird Droppings, Insects, Tree Sap, Or Other Difficult Stains?
If you have tough stains on your vinyl car wrap, you can use a soft cloth or sponge dipped in soapy water to gently scrub the affected area. Rinse off the soap with clean water and dry your car completely.
Never pressure wash these areas, as you may tear the vinyl. Make sure the spray nozzle on your hose is adjusted to low pressure before you use it. If you notice a new stain, use a wet paper towel or napkin to clean it off before it dries, if possible.
Scan the entire car regularly for any such stained areas so you can address the problem right away.
Is An Automatic Car Wash Good Or Bad For Car Wraps?
Automatic car washes are generally safe for vinyl car wraps. However, it’s important to avoid high-pressure sprays, which can damage the wrap. If possible, choose a car wash that uses soft brushes instead of hard ones.
If you aren’t completely sure what chemicals are used, it’s best to avoid the car wash. Even automated brushless car wash services often use pressure washing that could damage or remove vinyl lettering or wraps.
Hand washing and drying is always the safest method to clean a wrapped vehicle.
Tips For Caring For Your Car Wrapper
Here are some tips for taking care of your vinyl car wrap:
– Wash it regularly with a mild soap and water solution.
– Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasives.
– Dry your car completely with a clean microfiber cloth after washing to prevent moisture damage.
– Use a wax specifically designed for use on vinyl surfaces.
– If you spill gasoline or oil, clean it off immediately.
– Gently scrub tough stains with soapy water or a mild solvent such as rubbing alcohol.
– Choose a car wash that uses soft brushes instead of hard ones.
– Take care when parking next to walls or other vehicles to avoid scratches.
– Park in the shade whenever possible to prevent UV damage, or use a cloth car cover.
– Avoid driving in extreme weather conditions, as this can damage the wrap.
Why Extra Care For A Car Wrap Is Essential?
A vinyl car wrap is an investment that can protect your paint job and make your car look great. With proper care, it will last for many years. By following the tips above, you can keep your car wrap looking like new for years to come.
Looking for more information about car wraps? Check out our resources and blog for tons of helpful information and tips!