VINYL CARE GUIDE
BY Shopify API |
Vehicle wraps are not meant to be installed and forgotten. Without maintaining your wrap you will leave it susceptible to the elements, which can result in premature fading, burns, peeling, among other issues.
To achieve the maximum lifespan of your vinyl wrap you will need to properly care for it. Please note vinyl wrap is not like car paint and is not meant to be left on your vehicle for an extended period (3-5 years). Based on the condition of your wrap it can become harder to remove after an extended period, leaving the wrap cracking, fading and among other issues. Please see here for more information about vinyl wrap lifespans.
With the right ceramic coating and proper application you can provide extra protection for your wrap. Ceramic coating provides a layer of protection for your vehicle wrap, just as a clear coat does for car paint. The thin coating blocks harmful UV rays from reaching the surface, while also preventing other contaminants such as bird droppings, minerals, and insects from penetrating the vinyl wrap pores. Without a ceramic coating your vinyl is completely exposed to the elements, leaving it vulnerable to stains, burns, and fading.
While ceramic coatings are proven to increase the lifespan of vinyl color and longevity, there is a wide variety of products on the market. It is important to ensure your chosen ceramic coating is safe for vinyl wrap and that you or your technician reapply the ceramic coating as often as needed. Ceramic coating lifespans can range from a few months to several years. You may need to apply multiple coats over time to achieve the best results. Professional installation is highly recommended.
Waxes are not recommended for vinyl wrap as they do not provide the UV protection necessary to maintain the material. Additionally, some car waxes may have chemicals that can damage the vinyl. A ceramic coating is the best choice for providing additional protection.
SAFE PARKING CONDITIONS
It is recommended to park your car in a garage, shaded area, or to consider using a safe car cover. Excessive amounts of sun exposure combined with other outdoor elements can degrade your wrap.
Vertical facing surfaces such as the hood and roof are magnets for pollutant build up which is intensified by UV ray exposure. UV rays dry out various materials, vinyl wrap and paint being among them. Overexposure will cause structural failure within the vinyl wrap, creating excessive drying. This drying in turn will create oxidization, fading, cracking, and peeling.
Other elements that affect and lower the lifespan of vinyl wrap:
• Bird droppings and insects Debris, smog, pollen (pollen’s acidic nature is activated by water, which over time can permeate into the pores of vinyl wrap and paint)
• Morning dew or rain (water can be acidic and collects pollutants that are left behind on the surface after the water evaporates)
• Salt on the roads (areas where is snows), salt in the air (coastal regions)
• Ashes (alkaline level of ashes are most active once wet, therefore it is best to clean the ash off with compressed air)
For stains such as bird droppings and others, clean them immediately. Letting anything sit for too long will make it harder to remove and may permanently damage or stain the wrap. Wash your car on a regular basis to prevent stains from setting in.
WASHING YOUR WRAP
Wash your wrap once a week or more often if your vehicle is exposed to a lot of dirt or airborne pollutants. You should hand wash your vehicle wrap using a good premium automotive car wash soap. Always use a wash mitt to wash your wrap. We recommend the two-bucket wash system for effective cleaning without contamination. Rinse the wrap with clear water after washing. To minimize water spotting, avoid washing your vehicle under direct sunlight. Dry with a clean microfiber cloth.
WASHING YOUR WRAP
DRIVE-THROUGH CAR WASHES
It is advised not to take your vehicle through an automated car wash. The brushes used in many automated car washes may lift the vinyl or cause abrasions to the surface. Additionally, the cleaning chemicals used inside these washes are not vinyl safe. These unsafe chemicals have proven to be too harsh on vinyl wrap and can cause issues. You may not be able to see the initial damage to your vinyl wrap right away, but continuous use of unsafe and harsh cleaning chemicals will degrade your wrap over time and cut the lifespan of the film.
Even a touchless automated car wash could degrade your vinyl with unsafe chemicals. The machine’s high-pressure jets can potentially cause peeling and lifted edges. Hand washing, with the proper vinyl safe cleaning products, is the preferred method for washing your vinyl wrapped vehicle.
WASHING YOUR WRAP
If you want to pressure wash your wrap, keep it below 2000 psi. Use a spray nozzle with a 40 degree wide angle spray pattern and keep water temperature below 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep the spray nozzle a safe distance away from edges to prevent the wrap from lifting.
SPOT CLEANING / OTHER DIFFICULT STAINS
You can consider using a mixture of two parts 70% isopropyl rubbing alcohol to one part water to spot clean isolated stains. Rinse the area with cool water after cleaning. Avoid wiping the wrap under direct sunlight or when the wrap is hot as the material can get distorted and wrinkled. Always test these solutions on a small area that is not easily noticeable to ensure the cleaner will not harm the wrap. Do not use solvents, oil-based cleaning products, or products with carnauba wax.
Wipe off fuel spills immediately, then hand wash the affected area. Letting the spill stay on the wrap too long will degrade the vinyl. A quick wipe with a wet towel will clean the fuel affected area decently enough until you can get home to do a more thorough job.
CLEANING PRODUCTS TO AVOID
Never, under any circumstances use any of the following cleaning products on your wrap.
• Products with Carnauba Wax
• Oil-based cleaners
• Kitchen & Bathroom / Oven Cleaners
• Orange Oil
• Engine Degreaser
If you follow the instructions listed above you can expect to get the most out of your vinyl wrap. Maintenance is key to retaining a vibrant color and pristine finish. For any further questions on vinyl wrap care don’t hesitate to contact us. Our team will be happy to guide you in the right direction.