How To Care for Your Vehicle Wrap

Vinyl Wrap Maintenance

If you’ve just had a vinyl wrap installed on your vehicle, congratulations! You made a great decision. A vinyl wrap can add personality and protection to your car, and it’s sure to turn heads. However, like the rest of your vehicle, your vinyl wrap requires regular cleaning and maintenance to look its best. In this maintenance post, we’ll provide some answers to common questions about how to wash, maintain, and protect your vehicle wrap. So read on for tips on keeping your wrap looking new for years to come.

Keep Your Wrap Clean

Just like you have to clean and maintain your regular vehicles regularly, it’s essential to wash your vinyl wrap regularly. Dirt and contaminants can be difficult to remove if left on the surface for an extended period of time. So be sure to rinse off as much dirt and grit as possible with a spray of water before proceeding with the full wash.

Vehicle Wash Frequency

The frequency with which you’ll need to wash your car will depend on how often it’s driven and the environment in which it’s used. However, we generally recommend washing your wrap whenever it appears dirty, especially if it’s been left for an extended period of time. By following these simple tips, you can help keep your vehicle wrap looking brand new for years to come!

Wash regularly.

  • Wash whenever the car appears dirty. Contaminants that remain on the graphic may be more difficult to remove during cleaning.
  • Rinse off as much dirt and grit as possible with a spray of water.
  • See below for spot cleaning of bird droppings, tar, etc.
  • Use a wet, non-abrasive detergent such as Meguiar’s NXT Generation Car Wash Soap 39000 or Deep Crystal Car Wash and a soft, clean cloth or sponge.
  • Rinse thoroughly with clean water. To reduce water spotting, immediately use a silicone squeegee and microfiber towel to remove excess water.

Using the Right Tools To Clean Your Wrap

First things first, you should only use a soft brush or microfiber cloth to clean your vinyl wrap. This is because stiff brushes and other abrasive materials may scratch the material if misused. In fact, most experts recommend using warm water with a car soap detergent such as Meguiar’s NXT Generation Car Wash or Deep Crystal Car Wash. You can also use a wet, non-abrasive sponge to apply the detergent and then rinse it off with clean water. Just be sure to avoid using any harsh chemicals or solvents that could damage your wrap.

Pressure Washing

In these cases, pressure washing may be used even though handwashing is the preferred cleaning technique.

• Ensure that the pressure is kept at or below 2000 psi.

• Water temperature should be kept below 180°F.

• Use a spray nozzle with a 40-degree wide-angle spray pattern.

• Make sure the nozzle is at least 1 foot away from and perpendicular (at 90 degrees) to the vinyl wrap.

Removing Bird Droppings, Tar, or Other Harsh Contaminants

If you encounter any harsh contaminants on your vinyl wrap, there are a few specific steps you can take to remove them. For bird droppings, for example, start by spraying the area with water to loosen up the droppings. Then use a very soft brush or microfiber cloth to gently scrub the area, applying fresh soap and water as needed. You can also use a specific product like Meguiar’s Gold Class™ Bug and Tar Remover or 3M™ Citrus Base Cleaner. Isopropyl alcohol (IPA) (two parts IPA to one part water) or denatured alcohol may also help.

Using Automated Car Washes

Although they may be cleaned in a car wash, we highly discourage doing so if possible. If you do, we recommend using touchless car washes, which are the best for graphic upkeep.

Brush car washes may dull, scratch, or lift the graphic’s edge. See Graphic Care for information on how to maintain your graphics.

Waxing Your Vinyl Wrap

While waxing is unnecessary, it can help protect your wrap from the elements. If you decide to wax your car, we recommend using a product like Meguiar’s NXT Generation Tech Wax or Deep Crystal Paint Cleaner/Wax. Just read the instructions carefully and avoid getting any wax on the vinyl itself.

Cleaning up Gasoline or Oil Spills on Your Wrap

If you happen to drip gasoline at the pump or get oil on the wrap while changing your oil, you should wipe it off immediately. These substances can damage the material and adhesive over time if left on too long. Once you have wiped up as much of the gasoline or oil as possible, wash, rinse and dry your wrap with a microfiber towel just like usual.

Finally, remember that accidents happen no matter how careful you are, so don’t beat yourself up if something does spill on your wrap. If the damage is minimal, chances are it will be barely noticeable. And if the problem is more severe and affects the look of your car for any reason, the team at Limitless Wraps is always happy to help!

If you have any further questions about how to wash and maintain a vinyl wrap, please contact your local San Antonio or Austin wrap experts at (210) 465-7066 or contact us online. We’re here to help!


Schedule your in-person Consultation/Price Quote at our Shop

Already have a Price Quote? Schedule your Service Online