Life expectancy of a car wrap and how you can extend it.
Wraps are more delicate than regular vehicle paint so they require extra care to help keep them looking like new. If you are used to properly caring for a painted vehicle, you may need to avoid some of the products you currently use. Follow these tips to help extend the life of your vehicle wrap.
Hand Wash Vehicle Only
If you are used to going through a drive-up car wash you may want to break this habit now. Vinyl car wraps are delicate and the amount of pressure the jets use in these types of car washes can actually lift the wrap from your vehicle! These car washes also use harsh cleansers and brushes which can cause scratches to appear on your wrap or even fade the color and design. When washing your wrapped vehicle, we recommend hand-washing your vehicle gently and often. When hand washing, you want to use soft cloths, gentle cleansers, and avoid any oil-based products and waxes. Not waxing your vehicle may sound counterproductive, but using any type of wax on a vinyl wrap can actually shorten the lifespan of it so it is best to avoid this step altogether. A quick wipe down to dry any wet spots should be the final step of your wash.
Remove Stains Quickly and Effectively
Now that you understand how to wash your vehicle wrap, how often should you actually be washing it? We recommend you wash your wrap every 1-2 weeks for upkeep, but if you experience a harsh stain we recommend you take care of it right away. Heat and UV rays can bake a stain into the vinyl so if you experience something like a bird dropping or squashed insect you will want to get this removed as soon as possible. You will want to start by soaking the area with warm soapy water. Next, use a soft microfiber cloth to gently buff the stain out. You may have to repeat this process a few times to get your desired result. The last step would be to give your vehicle a thorough rinse once the stain is removed and a quick dry. If you can’t get to a stain right away, don’t panic. These stains will not completely destroy your wrap, but getting them removed as quickly as possible will only help prolong the life of it.
Keep Your Car In a Shady Spot
A big part of keeping your vehicle wrap looking new is being able to be proactive rather than reactive. When you are driving around it is nearly impossible to control the environment, but when it comes to parking we are able to have a little more control. After you get your vehicle wrapped, get into the habit of always parking in the shade. This may be something you already do, especially if you live in Texas, but this habit can actually be extremely beneficial to your wrap. Even if you do not have any noticeable stains, the sun can bake all sorts of environmental pollutants right into the wrap which can shorten the life of the wrap. Parking and keeping your vehicle in a shady spot when not in use will help alleviate the amount of time the sun has to bake the vinyl and can help prevent potential stains. Although, you may want to check the trees for birds before parking under one.