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5 Mistakes to Avoid When Washing a Vinyl Car Wrap

If you have recently wrapped your vehicle, you may be wondering how to clean and care for your new vinyl wrap. While vinyl is a highly durable material, it cannot be cleaned in the same way as paint. As a leading provider of partial and full vehicle wraps for all types of vehicles, the team at Wrap Guys America knows how important proper care is for every vinyl wrap. That is why our team has put together a list of 5 mistakes to avoid when washing a vinyl car wrap to help you keep your wrap looking great without damaging it.

mistakes when washing a vinyl wrap


Read about 3 tips to maximize the life of your car wrap.

5 Common Mistakes When Cleaning a Vinyl Car Wrap

When cleaning your car wrap, it is crucial to avoid the following mistakes:

1. Using a Car Wash

While car washes are convenient and can save you time, they are not the best choice for wrapped vehicles. Most car washes utilize high-pressure sprays and other elements that can damage your wrap or cause the edges to peel. When it is time to clean your wrap, the best way to do so is by hand with a bucket of soapy water and a soft sponge.

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2. Using High-Pressure Wash

Pressure washers can be used to clean a wrapped vehicle, though it is crucial to exercise caution when doing so. When pressure washing a vinyl wrap, make sure that the water pressure does not exceed 2000 psi (14 MPa) or 180 °F (80 °C). When spraying, keep the sprayer at least 1 foot away from the vehicle and maintain a perpendicular angle to ensure great results while minimizing the risk of damage.

Learn some simple tips for maintaining your vehicle wrap.

3. Using the Wrong Cleaning Products

Certain cleaning products can compromise the quality of your vinyl wrap and cause fading or other forms of damage. When cleaning your wrap, it is important to avoid the following types of products:

  • Cleaners with an oil base
  • Kitchen and bathroom cleaners
  • Oven cleaner
  • Engine degreaser
  • Solvents

When cleaning your wrap, it is recommended to use waterless wash products, isopropyl alcohol diluted in water, or warm soapy water.

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4. Letting Stains Dry

Stains of all sizes should be wiped away as soon as you notice them. Leaving them to sit for too long on your wrap can cause permanent damage. Hardened stains like bird droppings, flattened insects, and tree sap become more difficult to remove over time and can cause rips or other forms of damage when attempting to remove them. If a difficult substance has been left on your wrap for a long period of time, you can soak the affected area in hot soapy water to soften the stain and attempt to gently remove it with a sponge.

5. Waxing, Polishing, and Buffing

One of the biggest mistakes when caring for a vinyl wrap is attempting to use wax or polishing products on it. If you attempt to polish, buff, or wax your vinyl wrap, you will cause it to age faster and scratch it. Your vinyl wrap can be glossy, matte, or metallic based on your preferences, but this finish cannot be changed after the wrap has been installed.

To learn more about vehicle wrap care or to discuss the details of your project, get in touch with the team at Wrap Guys America. We can be reached through our online contact form and will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding our services.

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You need a vehicle wrap designed for getting your business noticed and generating leads. Let the pros at Wrap Guys help. Let's chat! 1-360-329-5413

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