How to Clean and Care for Your Vinyl Wrap

Once you have made the investment of wrapping your vehicle, the last thing you want to do is see it end up cracked or faded. Fortunately, if you abide by some easy do’s and don’ts, you can keep your vehicle wrap looking fresh and new for longer. It’s actually very easy to care for vehicle wrap and is well worth the effort (and saved money) in the long run. There are specially designed products for vinyl care so be sure to use only these high quality items.


Simple Do’s for Proper Vehicle Wrap Care


  • Expect that your vinyl graphics will get dirty with all that time on the road and be prepared. The easiest way for fast spot cleaning is using a microfiber cloth. This material is soft, won’t scratch, and can easily remove dirt or mud from the vinyl. If you service people’s homes, remember that this is often your potential client’s first impression of you so be sure to clean it up as often as you can.
  • Many find the best results by washing the vehicle weekly. A mild detergent will do the trick and won’t cause harm to the wrap. Just as with a regular hand car wash, you will want to dry the vehicle after to reduce water spots. You can use a microfiber cloth or, if you prefer, you can use a silicone squeegee wipe away any water.
  • If you decide to have your vehicle professionally cleaned, make sure that the wax and wash they are using is safe for vinyl. At SmartWrap, we prefer The Chemical Guys Wrap Detailer as a full washing and waxing system for glossy vinyl wraps.
  • When using a new cleaner, test a small area first to make sure it won’t have any ill effect on the vinyl.
  • Avoid high-powered dryers like those in drive-thru car washes, these have a chance to lift the edges of your wrap.

Simple Don’ts for Proper Vehicle Wrap Care


  • Stay away from automatic car washes. The whole process can damage the vinyl, especially the bristles and high pressure water spraying.
  • When applying wax to the vehicle, don’t use a buffer. This can scratch and damage the vinyl.
  • Generally, most types of wax will eat away at vinyl. For this reason, be sure to make sure you get a specific wax that is safe for your vehicle wrap. Most waxes from The Chemical Guys are going to be safe for vinyl as long as it is in a plastic container.
  • If your windows have perforated graphic, avoid rolling down the windows and don’t use rear windshield wipers or rear defrosters unless you have no other option. This can end up stripping away any ink that is on the window vinyl as the chemicals in wiper fluid is corrosive to ink!

Other simple care tips include parking in a garage or covered parking spot and cleaning anything that could potentially stain regular paint (fuel or bird droppings) right away. Your vehicle wrap will last for miles and miles as long as you take the proper precautions seriously and only use products that are safe for vinyl.



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