Get the Most Out of Your Wrap: Tips for Cleaning & Maintaining Your Car Wrap
Mar 11, 2016
By Kathleen Seaman, Communications Specialist
Like any part of your vehicle, a wrap needs regular care and maintenance. It doesn’t take much, but the result is a longer-lasting, vibrant graphic. After consulting our graphic experts, here are a few tips to keep your wrap looking its best.
Whenever you notice dirt starting to build up, wash it off! If you allow dirt, debris, fuel spills, or contaminants like bird droppings or bug splatter to settle in, they‘ll not only be harder to remove, but they can also damage your wrap or coating. If you have especially difficult spots, soak them for several minutes with hot, soapy water, then rinse and dry. Weekly washing is recommended.
Stick to Hand Washing
Hand washing is definitely the recommended method of cleaning. Express car washes with brushes can be too harsh and causes edges to lift. Some experts say pressure washing is acceptable, but only undervery specific conditions — keep water pressure below 2000 PSI, keep water temperature below 180 degrees, use a spray nozzle with a 40 degree wide angle spray, and keep nozzle a foot away from and perpendicular to the graphic — otherwise, this type of washing can also cause graphics to lift. For quality control, hand washing provides the most assurance.
Take Care at the Seams
When washing your vehicles, be extra careful when you are cleaning near seams or where the wrap is cut. These areas are especially delicate.
Avoid Harsh, Abrasive Cleaning Materials
You should always use cleaning detergents that are wet and non-abrasive. Don’t use coarse brushes, which can scratch your graphic. Instead use a clean, soft cloth or sponge, and to prevent water spotting, use a silicone to squeegee to remove excess water and dry with clean, microfiber cloths and towels.
Wax with Caution
While some experts might say that car graphics can waxed with a high quality car wax, 3M, the leading manufacturer of commercial vehicle graphics, disagrees. According to its website, 3M does not recommend using wax or similar coatings on any of its vehicle graphic products.
Store Inside if Possible
Exposure to the elements— sun, rain, pollution, etc. — can cause wear on your wrap, so if you’re able, storing your car in a garage or even a shaded area can help extend the life of your wrap.
For more info on how to keep your car wrap looking brand new, consult any of PTN’s elite vehicle graphics vendors: BuildASign, SignZoo, Traffic Graffics and Unique Media Solutions.