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Vehicle Wraps

How to care for a wrapped vehicle

A vehicle wrap is a great way to change the appearance of a car or truck. It is important to take proper care of the wrap in order to keep it looking as good as new. In this article, we asked the experts for their best tips and tricks to care for a wrapped vehicle.

Let’s dive into multiple ways of caring for a wrapped vehicle:

Hand washing a wrapped vehicle

Debris, dust, and dirt are all inevitably going to build up on the vehicle wrap over time. When they do, cleaning the wrap properly is the best way to remove them. Most experts agree that hand washing is the best option when it comes to cleaning a car or trucked that is wrapped.

How to hand wash a vehicle wrap:

  1. Wipe all the dirt and contaminants with a wet cloth or water spray— make sure to use a non-abrasive detergent; otherwise, it can affect the vibrance in wrapping appearance. The use of an automotive sponge or soft cloth will assist the cleaning process.
  2. Once cleaned with water, use the silicon squeegee to wipe out water— it will protect from water stains on the wrapping
  3. Finally, use a microfiber cloth to finish up the cleaning process

How frequently should washing be carried out?

Washing a wrapped vehicle at least once a week is generally a good rule of thumb. If your vehicle has exposure to extra dirt, debris, or chemicals, washing it more than once a week may be necessary.

Which materials are best for vehicle wrap care?

Sometimes water and soap are not enough for certain stains such as bug splatters, tree sap, bird droppings, and others. In these situations, it is important to never use a scrubbing material as it can deteriorate the appearance of your wrapping. Instead, use 3M® Citrus Base Cleaner, denatured alcohol, Meguiar’s Gold Class™ Bug, and Stain Remover, or add one part of the water in two parts of isopropyl alcohol. These materials will make it easy to get rid of unwanted stains.

Never use an automated car wash

It may be tempting to take a wrapped vehicle through an automated carwash (think of those usually found by gas stations). However, doing this can be devastating to a wrapped vehicle. Using any kind of brush is a big no, as they can damage the wrapping while inducing unwanted scratches in it.

Controlled Pressure Washing

Pressure washing is another way of cleaning your wrapped vehicle as long as pressure conditions stay within limits. Pressure above certain limits can detach the wrapper while compromising on the aesthetics of your vehicle. These are a few conditions that must be maintained:

  • Keep pressure below 14MPa or 2000 Psi
  • Keep the temperature below 80C or 180F
  • 40-degree wide-angle spray pattern should be maintained from the spray nozzle
  • The nozzle should be kept at least one foot away from the main surface while keeping it perpendicular to the graphics— if some angle is formed, it will detach the graphics from the car surface
how to care for a vehicle wrap
Proper care for a wrapped vehicle will keep it looking good as new!

The Bottom Line

In our opinion, hand washing is the best way to take care of a vehicle wrap. Hand washing offers detailed cleaning while ensuring the safety of your car and graphics installed over it. If the vehicle wrap is damaged during cleaning, it is vital to get it to a professional vehicle wrap company as soon as possible.

From designing custom wraps to creating graphics, building signs to visualizing banners, everything is done under one roof. Colorado Signs & Wraps offers cost-effective solutions for all your vehicle wrapping needs, including designing, installing, restoration, and assisting the advertising process in the Denver Metro Area.

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