How to Care For and Clean Your Boat Wrap

Don't be intimidated by the vinyl - it's actually a lot easier to keep a wrap looking new than a paint or gelcoat finish. Boat wrap care is easy. But if your wrap is dried, cracking or fading, you aren’t taking care of it properly! Our policy at Car Wrap City is to ensure all of our customers walk out of our doors satisfied and fully educated about caring for wraps. It doesn’t take much to properly care for a wrap - but if you do, you can multiply the life of your wrap.

Below are cleaning and maintenance tips that will help keep your wrap looking its best and will allow you to get the most out of your investment. Take this info on the go by downloading our Boat Wrap Care Instructions Sheet.

The Do’s

  1. Keep it clean – whenever dirt starts collecting, it’s best to wash it off as soon as possible.
  2. Remove as much dirt and dust as possible by spraying it with water, then clean with a mild soapy water solution.
  3. Test all cleaning products on a small area before using on larger areas.
  4. Rinse thoroughly with water immediately after the use of cleaning products. Avoid water spotting by drying with a silicone squeegee and microfiber cloth.
  5. Maintain the wrap’s finish by using a waterless wash or spray wax. If you have your boat detailed, make sure a wax that is safe for vinyl is used.
  6. Take precaution when transporting and hauling your wrapped boat in and out of the water. Add a protective layer between the wrap and lifts. Remember that straps and buckles can damage the wrap.

The Don’ts

  1. Do not allow corrosive substances (like fuel) to remain in contact with the vinyl. The longer they sit, the more damage they will do.
  2. High-pressure sprayers can lift the edge of your wrap and force water underneath. We recommend hand washing, however if you must pressure wash, keep the pressure under 2000 psi and avoid the waterline and vinyl edges.
  3. Do not use stiff/hard brushes or buffers on your wrap as this can cause lifting, discoloration and scratches.
  4. Do not use standard wax/polish on any matte, satin or textured finish. The chemicals in most standard wax products can eat away at vinyl.
  5. Do not over-tighten your boat cover without protection near the buckles and other concerning areas. Before securing it, place foam or cloth between the cover and the wrap where wearing is a concern.

Failure to properly maintain your wrap can void the warranty on your investment. Car Wrap City offers a variety of wrap care products manufactured in the USA that will clean, seal and protect your wrap. All the products we carry are waterless which makes spot cleaning on the go incredibly easy. Stop by one of our locations or give us a call to find out how to get your wrap care products today.


How do I spot clean my boat wrap?

Spot clean small, isolated stains using isopropyl rubbing alcohol. Avoid using tire dressing to spot clean, as it can splash and stain the wrap. Rinse with cool water after cleaning and make sure not to wipe the wrap when it’s hot as this can distort the vinyl and cause wrinkling.

If you spill gas or fuel on you wrap, wipe it off as soon as possible with a towel or paper towel (gently!). Hand wash the area thoroughly once able – if you let the spill stay on the wrap too long, it will damage the vinyl.

Soak tough stains with warm, soapy water to loosen contaminants. For more stubborn stains, like tree sap, use denatured alcohol, or two parts isopropyl alcohol to one part water. Make sure to test any solutions you plan to use on stains on a small area that isn’t noticeable. Do not use solvents or oil based cleaning products on your wrap.

I damaged my wrap! What do I do now?

We store all wrap designs on file just for this purpose - don't sweat it. Repairing a damaged wrap is a simple process that won't keep you off the water for long. We will carefully remove the damaged area/panel and apply a patch printed from your original design file, so the graphics and colors will line up like a puzzle piece. There will be seams, but they will barely be visible to the untrained eye.

Is my boat wrap reversible?

As long as the original surface was in good condition when the vinyl was applied, boat wraps can be fully reversed with no damage to the original paint. We require extra paperwork when folks bring us vehicles or boats with low-quality or aged paint, so you'll know ahead of time if you can anticipate any issues at removal time! Removing a boat wrap can be quite the undertaking, especially if the vinyl is old, has been washed with the wrong chemicals and/or has been left out to bake in the sun too often, but it is doable. We're happy to help with removals! Pricing is based on the size of the boat and the condition of the wrap. 

Should I be concerned about fading?

Believe it or not, paint is more prone to fading than vinyl. We use what we believe to be the best vinyl available (vinyl made by 3M and Avery Dennison) and take protecting our wraps a step further by adding a high-quality laminate. Our wraps are warrantied by the manufacturer for up to five years against fading, although solid colors do have better fade-resistance properties than metallic colors.

Have a question we didn't answer here? Contact us and let us know! We'll be happy to answer your question personally.

October 11, 2016