Vinyl Wrap Cleaning & Care

Everything you need to know about caring for your new Vinyl Wrap

A Comprehensive Guide

to Vinyl Wrap Cleaning & Care

What to do when Cleaning/caring for your newly installed wrap

  • Wash applied vinyl graphics with a blend of clean water and a mild care wash or detergent such as Dawn, Joy, or Ivory.
  • Test any cleaning solution on a small section of the vinyl graphic before using.
  • Always read the warning labels on car care products for proper safety instructions.
  • Rinse the vehicle with clean water after washing with a soapy water blend.
  • Allow the vehicle to air dry or use a microfiber cloth for drying.

What  NOT   to Do When cleaning/caring for your newly installed wrap

What are the cleaning and care practices to avoid for maintaining a new vinyl wrap?

  • Using an automated car wash will void the warranty.
  • Avoid prolonged contact with fuels; clean spills promptly to prevent vinyl failure.
  • Do not use automated car washes, truck washes with caustic cleaners, or fine/narrow-tip pressure washers.
  • Refrain from applying wax or polish to vinyl graphics.
  • Avoid mechanical brush washing, as it can damage the vinyl.

Can I use a Pressure Washer when cleaning my wrapped vehicle?

  • Repeated pressure washing can cause vinyl graphics to lift or degrade over time.
  • When pressure washing, use specific settings and angles to minimize damage.
  • Avoid using turbo pressure nozzles when pressure washing applied vehicle graphics.

How to Properly Hand-Wash Vinyl Vehicle Graphics

  • Rinse the graphic with water.
  • Mix water and mild car wash detergent in a clean bucket.
  • Clean the graphic with a non-abrasive sponge, starting from the top and working down.
  • Rinse with clean water and air dry or use a microfiber cloth.
  • Optionally, apply a silicone or Teflon-based polish for added protection.

How to spot clean wrap?

If you have insects, road tar or something stuck on your wrap you can use Simple Green or 2:1 isopropyl alcohol (70%) and water in a spray bottle to spot clean individual stains. Make sure to use gentle circular motion when wiping off the stain. After removing the spot stain rinse the area with cool water. Avoid wiping the wrap or drying the car when it’s hot. Wiping the car when it is hot may cause the material to distort or wrinkle.

Can I Park my Vehicle Outdoors for Long Periods?

Excessive amounts of time under the sun or other outdoor elements (rain, smog, debris, and road pollutants from passing cars) can degrade the wrap on the roof, trunk lid and hood. These horizontal areas are a magnet for pollutants, which are intensified by UV ray exposure. Try your best to park your car in a garage or under a canopy or shelter. If you must park it outside for prolonged periods, look for shady parking areas.

Can I  use a pressure washer on my Vehicle Wrap?

If you want to pressure wash your wrapped vehicle, keep the pressure below 2,000 psi. Use a spray nozzle with a 40-60 degree wide angle spray and keep water temperature between 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep the spray nozzle at least 16 inches away from the vehicle. Getting too close with the nozzle can cause peeling and lifted edges. 

How do I get my vinyl wrap to shine again?

3M is a major supplier of vinyl and vinyl polishing products. You can speak with us about products offered by each supplier depending on the material used for the wrap. Chemical Guys’ innovative Wrap Detailer is formulated to efficiently remove dirt, dust, road grime, bird droppings, road tar, and light stains that accumulate while driving on vinyl-wrapped surfaces. The sprayable detailer is gentle and won’t cause any swirls or scratches, making it ideal for cleaning and protecting OEM and aftermarket films, wraps, and graphics on all types of vehicles. With Wrap Detailer, you can maintain the appearance and longevity of your vinyl-wrapped surfaces effortlessly.

Filling up at the gas station and spilled some fuel on your wrap?

Wipe off the fuel from the vehicle as soon as possible. Spot clean the area if possible. Leaving the fuel on too long can degrade your wrap.  Gas Stations have paper towels for windshield cleaning squeegees that you can use for a simple wipe with some water, that should spare you time until you get home to do a proper spot clean.

What cleaning products should I avoid using to clean my wrap?

Oil-based cleaners, Solvents, Orange Oil, Degreasers, and Household Cleaners. 

Can I Use Automated Carwashes with a wrap vehicle?

Use of an automated carwash voids the warranty of a vinyl wrap. A professionally installed vinyl wrap can endure daily wear and tear, thanks to its quality material and expert installation. With proper maintenance like mild detergent cleaning and avoiding harsh chemicals, a vinyl wrap can maintain its appearance for 3-7 years or more. Storing the vehicle in a garage or covered area when not in use shields it from UV rays and extreme weather, prolonging its lifespan. Regular inspections help catch any issues early, ensuring the wrap looks its best for years.

Why is my vehicle wrap turning brown?

Wraps turn brown due to prolonged exposure to pollutants in the air. This is typically a result of neglect and failure to follow the Post Wrap Care Instructions given to you post installation of your wrap. If your wrap is starting to brown or discolor the wrap should be removed from your vehicle to prevent further damage to the paint. Replacing your wrap every 2-3 years can keep your vehicle looking great and saving your car from damage. Material in horizontal areas are exposed to alot of sunlight and tend to degrade quicker than vertical areas of the vehicle. If the vehicle wrap material has started to degrade it will become much harder for vinyl wrap installers to remove in the future for another wrap to be applied or to just remove the wrap. Washing the vehicle with a light soap and water every 1-2 weeks can help to prolong the longevity of your wrap. Customers can also apply a Silicone or Polymer (non-Carnuba) based wax to your vehicle wrap every two months for extra protection against environmental pollutants. Talk with Vortex Wraps about Wax options and where to order.

How often should i wash my vehicle?

Cleaning your wrapped vehicle will depend on various factors, such as the environment in which you drive, weather conditions, and how often your vehicle gets exposed to dirt, dust, or other contaminants.

As a general guideline, it is recommended to clean your wrapped vehicle at least once every two weeks, regardless of visible dirt. Regular maintenance helps prevent the buildup of grime and debris that can gradually affect the wrap’s appearance and longevity.

How to clean your vehicles perforated window graphics

  • Minimize the use of the rear windshield wiper to prevent scratching.
  • Use rear defroster sparingly to extend the lifespan of the perforated window film.
  • Avoid rolling windows with graphics to prevent scratching.
  • Do not use an ice scraper on windows covered with vinyl, especially perforated window film, as it can damage the graphics.

Proper Care of Storefront Perforated Window Graphics.

  • Wash graphics with a blend of clean water and a mild car wash or detergent.
  • Test any cleaning solution on a small section of the vinyl graphic before using.
  • Always read the warning labels on car care products for proper safety instructions.
  • Rinse windows with clean water after washing with a soapy water blend.