How to Care For and Clean Your Vehicle Wrap

We cringe when we see a wrap that isn’t taken care of. 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 vinyl - but if you do, you can multiply the life of your wrap.

Care for your wrap like you would any fine paint finish by using high-quality products designed specifically for vinyl care. Like the rest of your vehicle, your wrap requires regular cleaning and maintenance. Washing your wrap regularly and keeping it away from potential pollutants will result in a longer-lasting, more vibrantly colorful wrap.

Below are cleaning and maintenance procedures that will help keep your wrap looking its best and will allow you to get the full life out of your investment.

The Do’s

    1. Keep it clean – any time dirt starts collecting it’s best to get it washed off. Keep a microfiber (or three) in your trunk.
    2. Hand wash once per week with mild detergent and clean water using a soft microfiber sponge or cloth. After rinsing, minimize water spotting by using a silicone squeegee or microfiber to remove water. Dry with a clean microfiber cloth.
    3. Test any cleaner on a small area before using on larger areas.
    4. Help protect your investment by using a wash/polish. If you have your vehicle professionally detailed make sure they use a wax that is safe for vinyl.
    5. Let your wrap air dry or dry it with a microfiber cloth, rather than using high-powered air blowers.

The Don’ts

    1. Do not allow corrosive substances to remain in contact with your vinyl, make sure to clean any spills as soon as possible. Water almost always contains some trace amounts of minerals like calcium or iron, salt or air pollution. The longer they sit, the more they bond and wear away at your wrap or clear coat.
    2. Do not use automatic car washes that use bristles or high-pressure water sprayers. If you purchase a wrap from Car Wrap City, doing so can result in your warranty being voided.
    3. Do not use a buffer when applying wax/polish to your wrap.
    4. Do not use standard wax/polish on any matte or textured finish. The chemicals in most standard wax products can eat away at vinyl.
    5. Do not use rear windshield wipers or rear defrosters on perforated window graphics unless absolutely necessary. Do not roll down any window that has perforated window graphics, as this can damage your graphics.


How do I spot clean my 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 at the gas station. 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.

Is it bad to park my wrapped vehicle in the sun or outdoors?

It’s best to park your car in a covered area like a garage or under a shelter. Over time, continual exposure to sunlight, rain, smog and pollutants can degrade the wrap on the roof, trunk lid and hood. Pollutants collect on these flat areas and are intensified by UV ray exposure. So, look for shade when parking outside for an extended amount of time.

What products should I use when cleaning my wrap?

At both our Carrollton and Sherman locations, Car Wrap City offers a variety of wrap care products manufactured by Croftgate USA that will clean, seal and protect your wrap as well as take care of the rest of your vehicle’s needs (tires, paint, etc.). All of the products we carry are waterless which makes spot cleaning on the go incredibly easy.

One of those products that we highly recommend is Wrap Care: After Care - JP because it is specifically designed to clean and add a protective coating to vinyl wraps. This particular product is for gloss wraps, which include all full print, textured (carbon/brushed metallic, for example) and chrome wraps. We also sell After Care JP-Matte for matte finishes. These products are also environmentally friendly. They do not contain petroleum and have low VOCs, so they are really safe to work with.

When a car leaves the shop it looks superbly glossy and clean. But natural wear and tear from Mother Nature and chemicals from the road can cause the wrap to look dull and dirty over time. Once the dirt builds up on the lamination, it’s almost impossible to get out.


To prevent this, every two weeks spray After Care - JP on your car wrap and use a microfiber towel to thoroughly and methodically clean the surface. This will deeply clean the vinyl and get all the dirt and oil off the surface. The spray leaves a wax-like coating on the surface, which gives off a nice gloss and shine and keeps dirt and oil from building back up on the material, which is critically important. If you use this on a regular basis, your wraps will continue to look brand new and the color will stay vibrant.

Never Ever.

There are a few products you should never use on your wrap, including: engine degreaser, oven cleaner, oil-based solvents, kitchen and bathroom cleaners, orange oil, or solvents.

September 15, 2014