Taking care of your vehicle graphics and wraps is key in keeping it looking it’s best and lasting several years. It’s really not much different than caring for a new, top quality paint job on your car. Vinyl manufacturers such as 3M and Oracal have some great information that you should take a look at. Here are some simple items that we think are important:
- Wash – Dirt and grime left on your vehicle graphics will become more and more difficult to remove. Even just a quick rinsing with water is better than leaving it sit dirty.
- Be gentle – Hand washing with a soft sponge or cloth, along with mild dish washing soap is the best for your vinyl graphics. And stay away from car washes that use brushes and/or aggressive power washing nozzles. If using a power wash, avoid hot water and turn down the psi to avoid lifting the film, also keep the nozzle at least 12-18 inches from the surface.
- Soak – For stubborn things like tree sap, bugs, and bird droppings – try soaking the area with hot soapy water for several minutes. 3M also recommends Meguire’s Gold Class Bug and Tar Remover, Isopropyl alcohol (diluted 2:1 with water), or denatured alcohol.
- Fuel – Wipe off fuel spills immediately to prevent degrading the vinyl and adhesive.
- Shade – We get plenty of sunshine here in Fort Collins, and just like paint, your wrap vinyl and graphics will fade over time when left out in the sun. This is especially true for the horizontal surfaces such as the hood, roof, and trunk. Storing it in a garage is the best way to preserve the vibrant colors in your car wrap.
- Wax (maybe) – You can use a non-abrasive car wax on a gloss laminated wrap, however most manufacturers do not recommend them for a luster or matte laminate. Make sure it’s in liquid form and non-abrasive.
Fort Collins vehicle graphics and wraps are exploding in popularity – make sure you take care of your new “mobile advertising machine” to make sure you get maximum use out of it. The wrap advertising on your vehicle will pay for itself many times over!