If you’re thinking about investing in fleet graphics or even a full wrap on your car, truck or van you’re probably wondering what it takes to maintain and care for them. Wonder no more – here’s a handy list of what to do and what to avoid to help you care for vinyl vehicle graphics and keep them looking great!
Hand wash your car/truck/van whenever possible. Use a blend of mild (non-abrasive) car wash detergent and clean water
Test any cleaning solution on a small section of the vinyl graphic before using on the entire vehicle
Thoroughly rinse away soapy water with clean water to avoid build up of detergents / contaminants
Let the vehicle air dry or dry off with a microfiber cloth
Use only a brushless automatic car wash if you are not able to hand wash your vehicle
Soften difficult contaminants like bug splatter, bird droppings and tree sap by soaking them for several minutes with very hot, soapy water. If needed, a blend of two parts isopropyl alcohol to one part water may also help. Spot clean the contaminants but do not use rough scrubbing or abrasive tools which will scratch the graphics. Wash and rinse off all residue immediately.
Remember – just like paint your vehicle graphics will degrade with prolonged exposure to sun and contaminants in the atmosphere. You want to show off your graphics, but when you’re not out there getting noticed it’s best to park your vehicle indoors or in a shady area.
In rare cases, acidic pollution can cause the vinyl to discolor / turn brown. If this occurs, bring your vehicle in to SGS right away so we can remove the vinyl and help avoid staining of the underlying paint.
- Allow fuels to stay in contact with the vinyl for extended periods of time. Clean all spills as soon as possible.
- Use mechanical brush washing. Brushes can cause vinyl graphics to chip or peel around the edges or scratch the surface. They can also cause the graphic to fade and dull the appearance of the laminate.
- Use wax on your vehicle graphics if possible. Many waxes require heavy buffing which can scratch your graphics. And wax can melt at high temperatures and cause dirt to stick to the vinyl and/or create greasy-looking stains.
- Pressure wash your car/truck/van unless you have no other practical option. If you do need to pressure wash, stay below 2000psi, keep water temperature below 80 degrees, use a 40+ degree wide angle spray pattern, keep the nozzle at least 12 inches from the graphic and NEVER use a turbo nozzle!
Any other questions? Contact the team at SGS! We’ll be happy to talk to you about keeping your ride looking fresh. You can reach us at 360-635-5556 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Better yet – bring your car, truck or van and come visit us in person!
Need graphics for your car? Let’s talk about that too!