Wrap Cleaning, Protection and Maintenance

So, you’ve decided to customize and protect your ride with a wrap. You might be asking yourself where to go from here. For that, we have answers. We already know your car means a lot to you — especially if you’ve purchased extra protection in the form of a film or a wrap.

Although wraps and protection films drastically cut down the amount of dust, grime and other undesirables that stick to your car, they also need cleaning from time to time. If you want your automobile in tip-top shape and your wrap or protection film to last as long as possible, it’s important to take the necessary precautions to keep it clean.

We know what you’re probably thinking — “I’ve just purchased a wrap for my car, and I thought the protection it offers would be enough. Now you’re telling me I have to do more work?” If this is you, don’t worry. Protection films and wraps are easier to clean than you might think. The type of wrap you purchase will depend on the type of maintenance involved. Below, we take a look at ways for you to clean, protect and maintain your wrapped automobile.

The Many Types of Wraps and Films

Whether you’ve already purchased a wrap for your car or you’re considering one, it’s always best to know your options. In fact, there are numerous types of wraps and protection films you can choose from. Some of the popular wraps drivers select are:

These are just some of the many wraps you can choose from. In addition to these wraps, a variety of other films also add a sense of flair to your vehicle. For instance, you can choose from:

There’s practically a film or a wrap available for any of your wants and needs. If you own a business or want to use your car for commercial purposes, you can use wraps as a form of self-promotion. As you can see, there are quite a bit of wraps and films to choose from. No matter the reason for your wrap or film, you’re certain to find what you’re looking for at Rvinyl.

The Importance of Cleaning

As humans, if we were to go several days without showering, we would eventually build up dirt on our bodies. Not only would this take longer to scrub off in the shower, but we would also be quite stinky. The same concept is true for automobiles — even those that wear paint protection films or wraps.

With proper cleaning and maintenance, you will extend the life of your wrap, and, by association, the life of your car. A clean, shiny ride also shows off a sense of pride. Just like our bodies, when our car looks great, it feels great.

Another reason it’s pertinent to take care of vinyl wrap or film routinely is cost. One of the biggest reasons to purchase a wrap or a paint protection film is to protect your vehicle. Films and wraps protect the paint job on your car from chips and scars from debris, rocks, insect stains, bird droppings and other substances that may kick up on your car during a drive. Films and wraps are far less costly than a new paint job. However, if you fail to give your wrap or film the upkeep it needs, you’ll find yourself having to replace the wrap or film within the span of just a few months.

How to Clean a Vinyl Wrap

If you’re unsure whether your vehicle is clean or dirty, it’s probably the latter. Whenever the car appears dirty, it needs an immediate wash. To begin the cleaning process, first, rinse off as much dirt and other substances as you can.

The safest and most recommended way to wash a wrapped car is by hand. Use a small amount of mild pH balanced detergent mixed with water. With a microfiber towel, work your way down from the top of the vehicle, gently scrubbing the surface.

After you have carefully washed your car, let it air dry. If you prefer, you can wipe it down by using a microfiber cloth. However, you must rub gently so as not to harm the protective film or wrap. If you decide to let your car air dry, search for spotting afterward and gently dab away those spots.

Some important notes to remember when you are washing your car that has a wrap of film covering it:

  • Always read the cleaning instructions included with the purchase of a wrap or film.
  • Apply light pressure when washing your car by hand.
  • Test detergents and other cleaning products on a small section of the vehicle before using on a larger section. This simple trick can prevent massive disasters.
  • Never use brushes that might harm your film or wrap.

Hand-washing your car is safer than automatic car washes that use hard brushes. Even though professional car wash usage has increased from 47 percent in 1994 to 72 percent in 2014, car washes continue to be risky for those with wrapped vehicles. Hand-washing your car remains the safest way to ensure your wrap or film keeps its quality.

By following these simple instructions, you will help keep your automobile and the wrap or film protected. These procedures will keep your car stylish on the road and let your film or wrap do its job as well.

Perhaps You Want to Pressure Wash Your Wrap

For those of you who might not be able to reach, scrub, bend or move like you used to, pressure-washing your vehicle might be the way to go. Although we highly recommend hand-washing your car, we understand some might not be able to do this. If you fall in this category and you have a pressure washer, consider this your lucky day.

However, if you choose the pressure washer route, there are several highly important things to remember. For starters, spraying at the wrong angle can be hazardous. Likewise, excessive spraying can be detrimental to your film or wrap. Some other important notes to make regarding pressure-washing a car sporting a film or wrap:

  • The water temperature must remain below 180 degrees.
  • The water pressure must not exceed 2,000 psi.
  • Keep the nozzle perpendicular to the film or wrap.
  • The nozzle of the pressure washer must remain at least one foot away from the vehicle at all times.

By following these rules extra carefully, you can care for your vehicle wrap and keep it clean. Pressure washing does take a little bit of skill, so be prepared to reference our list and keep your pressure washer on the appropriate settings. For instance, if you fail to hold the nozzle at the correct angle, you might cause the edges of the film to lift. After all, you don’t want to ruin your newly purchased film or wrap because you didn’t do enough research regarding protection and maintenance.

Specific Rules for Cleaning and Protecting Matte Wraps

When it comes to cleaning matte or textured wraps and films, there are a few exceptions. For one, you should never apply wax to matte films unless you no longer want a matte or textured finish. If you use wax on a matte wrap, the wax will fill in the texture. When this happens, glossy splotches begin to appear. If you’ve chosen a matte wrap for your ride, we can assume you enjoy a flat finish, instead of a shiny one.

Alternative methods for washing your car with a matte or textured wrap:

  • Use hot water and soap to help remove those stubborn dirt spots.

To reiterate — it’s critical to never use wax or polishing products on a matte or textured wrap. In doing so, you will ruin your wrap or film. Due to the texture of a matte finish, there’s no method to the way you clean. Wash any way you like. We suggest using a microfiber towel to wipe away the water once you’ve finished cleaning.

The Do's and Don’ts

As with many things in life, when it comes to cleaning and protecting your car, there are some do's and don’ts. From careful cleaning to proper storage, awareness is the first step. Let’s examine a few other concepts to be aware of when cleaning your wrap or film.

For difficult spots that take a lot of work to get out, such as bird droppings and insect stains, it’s best to clean and remove those immediately. Just like a dirty dish in the sink, the longer the stain sits there, the harder it will be to wash off. If you accidentally spill gas on your car, immediately wipe it off. Once you have removed the spill, quickly wash the affected area.

Sun damage is always important to remember. If you keep your automobile out in the sun for prolonged amounts of time, your film or wrap will begin to degrade faster than usual. The same is true for all elements. In fact, we recommend keeping your wrapped car in a garage and out of the elements when you’re not driving. UV light can be quite harmful, so remember to keep your car covered as much as possible.

Worst-Case Scenario

If you fail to clean and protect your vehicle wrap properly, it will begin to turn brown. When this happens, it’s important to remove the film immediately. If you neglect to remove the wrap, you could jeopardize your car's paint job. You purchased the film to protect the paint on your vehicle, and the last thing you want is for your film to harm your car because you failed to clean it regularly and properly.

Although wraps and protective films are quite resilient, we understand sometimes the unthinkable happens. If the absolute worst-case scenario happens to your film or wrap, whether it’s during the cleaning process or through no fault of your own, you can rest assured knowing the extra protection films and wraps provide means you’re in for an easy fix.

That’s right. Because you took the time to protect your vehicle with a film or wrap in the first place, you won’t have to worry about repairs costing an arm and a leg. In fact, replacing a film or a wrap is easy and much cheaper than a brand new paint job. That’s why, at Rvinyl, we proudly offer a large variety of wraps and films for drivers.

When it comes to owning an automobile, you can expect to get a few bruises along the way. However, you shouldn’t keep your prized possession locked away for no one to see. After all, you want to show off your dream car to your friends and family — and even fellow drivers on the road as you pass by.

From scratches to scrapes, no one has control over what life brings us — or our cars. However, by using wraps or films as an extra layer of protection and knowing how to properly take care of them through the use of cleaning and maintenance, you can minimize any damage that comes your way.

Where to Find the Tools to Help Protect Your Car Films and Wraps

When you choose Rvinyl for all your car protection needs, you’ll have access to a wide array of paint protection films, wraps and more. On top of that, we also offer numerous wrap aftercare products that are certain to help you maintain a healthy, beautiful surface for your automobile. With our products, you can keep your car in top-notch shape.

For DIY lovers and those seeking to customize their ride, our variety of wraps gives you plenty of options to choose from. With unique personalization, your vehicle will be one of a kind. At Rvinyl.com, Inc., our goal is to ensure that you get quality materials at competitive prices. Preserve your ride today with a wrap or a film.

On top of our large selection of products, we’re also pleased with the fact that we have a strong reputation for providing excellent service. In fact, we have more than 100,000 positive reviews on eBay. Some of the other reasons why customers choose us are:

  • All our products come with a three-year warranty against peeling, fading and cracking.
  • We replace defective films.
  • At a discount, we also replace botched film installations.
  • When installers submit photos, we offer product rebates.
  • We provide free shipping on orders over $59 in the U.S.

As you can see, there are many reasons you should choose Rvinyl. From products to prices and everything in between, we’ll help you protect a wrapped car and customize your ride — all at a fantastic price. By protecting your car with a wrap or film now, as well as learning how to properly clean and maintain wraps or films, you’ll not only gain peace of mind, you’ll be the star of the show each time you hit the road.