A vinyl wrap for your car is a great way to add a custom design without ruining the paint underneath. When well-maintained, they’re also durable enough to withstand everything from bird droppings to solar damage.

At Sun Control of Minnesota, we specialize in installing 3M vehicle wrap and paint protection film. In this post, we’re sharing tips for maintaining your vehicle wrap. With the right products and a little hard work, you can keep your vehicle wrap looking great longer.

What Does a Vinyl Vehicle Wrap Do?

A vinyl vehicle wrap can completely transform the overall outlook of your car. The 3M vinyl wrap goes directly over your car’s paint for a brand new look without damaging the car’s original paint.

It also serves as an added layer of protection for your car. The vinyl wrap protects your car’s original paint from harsh weather conditions.

Tips for Maintaining Your Vehicle Wrap

Here are a few tips to help you maintain your vehicle wrap and increase its lifespan.

Washing Your Vehicle

A car with a vinyl wrap should be cleaned regularly. Be sure to rinse contaminants and dirt regularly. The longer you leave these on your vinyl wrap, the more difficult they may be to remove.

Try to rinse what you can use as a water spray. When soap is needed, you can wash with non-abrasive detergent and a clean, soft sponge or washcloth and then rinse as thoroughly as possible using clean water. After cleaning, use a squeegee to clear off excess water before drying the surface with a gentle microfiber cloth.

Hand washing is preferred to pressure washing. However, pressure washing can be applied if the water pressure is less than 180° F and 2000 psi. Maintain a 40° angle spray while keeping the nozzle a minimum of a foot away from graphics at a perpendicular angle. However, use caution around graphics as these can lift under the pressure of a nozzle.

It’s perfectly safe to run your vehicle wrap through an automatic car wash. However, touchless car washes are safest if your vehicle wrap includes graphics, as the brushes can cause the graphics to lift, dull, or become scratched. Avoid using coatings like wax over the vinyl wrap.

Store Indoors or Under Covers

Leaving your car outdoors with the 3M vinyl wrap on can affect its quality. The wrap may degrade due to the harsh environmental conditions, air pollution, and direct exposure to harmful UV rays. In addition, you should also protect the vinyl wrap from dew and rain, which contain acidic elements from the atmosphere that can harm the wrap.

So, you have to be careful and park your car in the garage. If a garage is not available, simply cover the vehicle with a cloth to keep your 3M Vinyl wrap safe.

One important point to note is that if the wrap begins to show discoloration or brown spots, you should contact a professional to remove the vinyl from your car. Otherwise, it can damage the underlying original paint as well.

Avoid Spilling Fuel on Your Wrap

You need to be vigilant when handling fuel near your vehicle wrap. If it accidentally spills, wash the area immediately. Simply handwash the wrap with soap and warm water. Remember that the 3M vinyl wrap will degrade if you do not clean the fuel spill in time.

Cleaning Difficult Contaminants

Specific contaminants like these can be challenging to remove from vinyl wraps:

  • Bird droppings
  • Bug splatter
  • Tree sap
  • Food and beverage

To remove these and other difficult-to-remove contaminants from your vehicle wrap, use hot, soapy water to soak them thoroughly for several minutes. Avoid using any abrasive materials on the wrap as this may cause damage. If fuel is spilled on your vinyl wrap, rinse it off immediately as it could also degrade the wrap.

How Often Should I Wash My Vehicle Wrap?

Just like everything else, vinyl wraps require maintenance as well. You should wash your vehicle wrap regularly to get rid of any contaminants which can potentially damage it.

How Long Does a Wrap Last on a Car?

It all depends on the maintenance. If you take proper care of your vinyl wrap and properly follow all the safety guidelines, it can easily last for 5 to 7 years on your car. On the other hand, the quality of the vinyl wrap matters too. A poor-quality wrap will not last for a long time.

What Is the Product to Use for Spot Cleaning a Wrap?

For spot cleaning, experts recommend going with waterless cleaning products, like isopropyl rubbing alcohol. Next, rinse the area with cold water and wipe it clean with a soft towel to remove spot stains from your vehicle wrap.

However, you should ensure that the car's surface is not warm before spot cleaning as it can damage the vinyl. Always let your car cool off before cleaning and do it under a shade or in the garage. This will help protect the vinyl wrap from any discoloration.

Order Your Twin Cities Custom Vinyl Wrap Installation

Is it time for a new vinyl wrap on your vehicle or fleet? We’ve got you covered at Sun Control. Call us at 651.490.1060 to schedule your custom vinyl wrap installation, or contact us online to find out about car window tinting, paint protection film service, and more