Car Wrap After Care

Care for your car wrap like you would any fine paint finish.

Most wraps are easy to care for. Almost all wraps can be washed with soap and water just like a normal car. Some colors like matte and satin need to be washed with a soft scrub only. We offer a number of polishes and special cleaners for every car wrap.

Atlanta Custom Wraps offers a detail service for our customers. 

Wash Regularly

  • Wash whenever the car appears dirty. Contaminants allowed to remain on the graphic may be more difficult to remove during cleaning.
  • Rinse off as much dirt and grit as possible with a spray of water.
  •  See “Difficult Contaminants”  for spot cleaning bird droppings, tar, etc.
  • Use a wet, non-abrasive detergent and a soft, clean cloth or sponge. ACW has any cleaners you may need
  • Rinse thoroughly with clean water. To reduce water spotting, immediately use a silicone squeegee to remove water and finish with a clean microfiber cloth.

 *** IMPORTANT NOTE: It is not recommended to use wax or other similar products.

Automated Car Washes

Vinyl wraps may be run through car washes. Touch less car washes are the best for vinyl care. Use of brush car washes (depending upon the frequency and quality of brush) may cause dulling/scratching/lifting edge of the graphics.

Pressure Washing

Although hand washing is the preferred cleaning method, pressure washing may be used under these conditions.  

  • Ensure the water pressure is kept below 2000 psi (14 MPa).
  • Keep water temperature below 180 °F (80 °C).
  • Use a spray nozzle with a 40 degree wide angle spray pattern.
  • Keep the nozzle at least 1 foot (300 mm) away from and perpendicular (at 90 degrees) to the graphic.

***IMPORTANT NOTE: Holding the nozzle of a pressure washer at an angle to the vinyl may lift the edges of the film.

Difficult Contaminants

Soften difficult contaminants such as bug splatter, bird droppings, tree sap and similar contaminants by soaking them for several minutes with very hot, soapy water. Rinse thoroughly and dry.

If further cleaning is needed, test one of these products in an inconspicuous area to ensure no damage to the graphics: Meguiar’s Gold Class™ Bug and Tar Remover or 3M™ Citrus Base Cleaner. Isopropyl alcohol (IPA) (two parts IPA to 1 part water) or denatured alcohol may also help.

Spot clean the contaminants. Do not use rough scrubbing or abrasive tools, which will scratch the film. Wash and rinse off all residue immediately.

Fuel Spills

Wipe off immediately to avoid degrading the vinyl and adhesive. Then wash, rinse and dry as in “Wash Regularly” as soon as possible.

Film Restoration

The following restoration recommendations will help keep your vehicle wraps looking their best.

  • Do no use any abrasive polishes or cutting compounds.
  • Do not use any polishing or wax products on matte or textured films.
  • Use if there is wax or wax residue on the surface, remove with an all-purpose cleaner.

***IMPORTANT NOTICE: Do not allow cleaning solution to soak and immediately rinse with clear water.

Store Indoors or Under Cover Whenever Possible

Vinyl graphics (just like paint) are degraded by prolonged exposure to sun and atmospheric pollutants, particularly on the horizontal surfaces such as hood, trunk lid and roof.

Whenever possible, store in a garage or at least in a shaded area during the day. At night protect the car from dew or rain, which may contain acidic pollutants (a common problem in many large metropolitan areas).

When a garage is not available, consider using a cloth car cover at night. If your vinyl starts to discolor or turn brown, immediately remove the vinyl from the vehicle to avoid staining the underlying paint.