Just like maintaining the paintwork of your car, the vinyl wrap of your vehicle also needs special care and attention. If you don’t take proper precautions, you might damage the vinyl or even the paintwork underneath.
In this article, we’ll show you how to clean a wrapped car properly.
How Often Should You Clean Your Car Wrap?
As a rule of thumb, you should clean your wrapped car in a similar way to a car with a normal paint job. Clean your car as often as you need to. This is typically when it appears dirty.
It’s important to remember that the longer you will leave stains on the wrap surface, the more difficult it is to remove the stains.
Similar to normal paint, acidic stains, such as bird droppings, tree sap, or road tar, can damage the vinyl very quickly.
When you add sunshine to the mix, you will have a tough job removing the dirt without discoloration of the vinyl wrap.
How To Clean Your Wrapped Car
Before cleaning your car wrap, make sure to check if there are any signs of mold or mildew growth. If you see these signs, you should immediately contact a professional cleaner for assistance.
Most wraps come with instructions on how to wash them. But if not, here are some basic steps.
Hand Wash Your Vinyl Wrapped Vehicle
The first step is to hand wash your car. Use warm water and soap. Make sure to rinse thoroughly.
Use a soft brush or sponge to scrub the vinyl wrap. Don’t use too much pressure or any abrasive brushes because this could damage the finish.
When using soap or non-abrasive detergent, make sure that you wash your car with clean water to get any soap residue off.
For tough stains, it’s best not to use any harsh chemicals. Instead, try leaving the hot, soapy water on for a few minutes.
You can also try using denatured alcohol which will help loosen the worst grime and stains.
As you don’t want any unsightly watermarks, you need to make sure that you dry your car thoroughly.
The best way to do this is by using a clean microfiber cloth. This will absorb excess moisture from the vinyl wrap surface, without leaving any marks or streaks.
Remember, when it’s sunny, then the water on the surface will evaporate much faster and you need to wash and dry almost at the same time.
Can You Pressure Wash Your Wrapped Car?
Yes, you can! However, be careful not to overdo it.
Too high pressure can cause scratches, which may end up being permanent. It can also damage the vinyl wrap surface.
To avoid damaging your wrap, follow these tips:
- Avoid washing your car in direct sunlight. This will dry the vinyl surface too quickly and leaves.
- Start at low pressure and gradually increase the pressure until you reach the desired level. The best water pressure for cleaning your wrapped car with a pressure washer is below 2000 psi / 14 MPa.
- Make sure you use water not warmer than 180 degrees Fahrenheit.
- It’s best to use a spray nozzle at a distance of around 1 foot.
- Angle the nozzle at 90 degrees so that the water doesn’t hit the vinyl directly. This helps to prevent any scratches.
Can You Take Your Wrapped Car To A Car Wash?
Yes! It is perfectly fine to take your wrapped vehicle to a car wash.
However, it’s best to take your car through a touchless car wash without brushes or bristles. This will help reduce the risk of scratching the vinyl wrap.
You can also ask the car wash staff to do an extra rinse cycle. This will help remove any remaining soap from the vinyl wrap. If you ever wondered if you need to tip car wash attendants, read this article.
What To Avoid When Cleaning Your Wrapped Car?
It’s important to look after your vinyl car wrap properly to ensure it lasts as long as possible.
Here are some tips on what to avoid when cleaning your wrapped car.
Don’t Use Chemicals Or Abrasives
Using chemicals or abrasives such as scrubbers or bristle brushes can scratch the vinyl and even the paintwork underneath the vinyl wrap.
This can lead to peeling and cracking of the paintwork.
Do not use any chemical cleaners such as ammonia, bleach, or other similar substances. These can leave behind harmful residues and can stain the vinyl wrap.
Don’t Clean In Direct Sunlight
If you’re planning to clean your wrapped car in direct sunlight, then you should know that the heat can accelerate the drying process and may cause cracks in the vinyl wrap.
Try to wash your car during the early morning hours or in the shade.
Where To Park Your Wrapped Car?
When parking your wrapped car, make sure that you park it away from the sun.
Also, if you have a garage, then you should park your car inside. This is ideal because it protects the car’s wrap from tree sap, bug splatter, and sunlight.
All these things can pollute the car’s surface and may damage it.
What To Do When Your Wrap Is Rusty?
Rusty vinyl wrap is very common. It happens due to many reasons including exposure to moisture, UV rays, temperature changes, and humidity.
This can also happen due to pollutants in the air. When you leave your car outside for prolonged periods of time, and you don’t clean it regularly, then your car surface may get rusty.
Unfortunately, there is little you can do to remove the rust. If you spot any brown spots that could be rust, then it’s best to remove the wrap and apply a new wrap.
However, you may be able to just replace the wrap panel where the rust occurs.
Wrapping your car is a great way to protect it from the elements and keep it looking good. However, it’s important to maintain your wrapped car properly to prolong its life.
In this article, we’ve covered all the steps required to care for your wrapped car. We hope that you found this guide useful.