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"The Ultimate Guide to Maintaining Your New Vinyl Car Wrap for Long-Lasting Results"

A illustration of a bucket of soapy water and a sponge sitting in it

Welcome back to another fun article! I hope you find this article informative and helpful in maintaining your new vinyl car wrap! (1 real life story ahead)

Likely this was a big investment for your company and its brand or maybe you went wild and splurged on yourself and spicy-upped your ride! No matter what you decided to get wrapped I want to provide you with the tools to keep your investment in top shape and get the most bang for your buck. Click here to skip to the bottom for the cliff notes.

Wrap is an imperfect product, as much as that hurts to say, it will never (at least that I can see) fully replace paint. There are steps to take and things to avoid once the investment is made. With a wrap you should hand wash instead of taking it through the car wash or using a power washer. That means a bucket of water some nice mild car soap and a nice sponge or softheaded brush. While washing you should be aware of your edges and be as gentle as possible. It would be best to do this every few weeks or once a month to ensure the best longevity for your wrap.

Why not a car wash? Car washes tend to use high pressure water or very aggressive brushes as a method to clean your car. This overtime adds a layer of risk to your investment. It may not fail on the first go round or even the second or even the sixteenth but after some time you WILL see a failure!

A happy man grinning with colorful bubbles floating around him

Which leads us to our story - There was once a client who invested in a part wrap for his company. He was provided the information in this article of the dos/don'ts for best results. About a year and a half after his initial purchase he calls us and states that the bottom of his wrap is failing and he doesn't understand why. I schedule time to meet with him to check it out. Instantly I noticed the failure was in the same spot on both sides of the cab, lifting/flaking/splitting- but the rest of the wrap was fairing well. I ask him how often he takes it to the car wash. He proudly claims at least 3 times a week and he has a membership at the local car wash. He tells me that he always goes through the automated one because it blasts the dirt really well. What had happened was overtime that high pressure blasts in the same spot over and over again, 3x a week had literally torn up the edge of the wrap. Vinyl itself isn't that thick and ultimately it is just a glorified sticker. It finally gave up the ghost on those edges. We were able to trim back&reseal the edges of the wrap.

Your power washer will do the same things, overtime that high pressure water gets under the edges and starts to lift up your vinyl. Even the best installed wrap in the world will not hold up to being pressure washed over time.

That was some of the don'ts- lets talk about the DOS! Do hand wash your wrap, and DO apply a wrap aftercare product. There are so many on the market ultimately you can't go wrong. Many are spray on and wipe off. Epicenter Graphics provides this service 1 time yearly for all of our full wrapped customers if they choose to take advantage of this service. Most do opt to buy their own bottles. Epicenter has a top 3 : Avery Dennison Supreme Care Sealant (we have this in the shop most often), Croftgate Wrap Sealant,(this one was formulated by the best known installer of all time) & Chemical Guys Wrap Detailer. There are people who opt to get the wrap ceramic coated which is another option. Please just do your due diligence, not all ceramic coating is the same.

A goofy looking pigeon standing on suspicious brown material

Lastly lets talk about God's wonderful creatures and wildlife. Acid in bird poop is quite corrosive. It has been known to eat through the laminate of a wrap and into the print layer. If some graceful pigeon decides to drop you a gift it is best to get that off as soon as possible. This goes for leaves and plants as well. Leaving any of these more acidic elements on your wrap can discolor or ruin your investment.

Quick List of Dos/Donts

1.) DO hand wash your wrap w/ a mild car wash soap & a soft brush/sponge

2.) DON'T use a power washer or the car wash (High pressure water + Vinyl = not friends)

3.) DO be careful of your edges while washing

4.) DO Use a wrap aftercare product designed for wraps

5.) DON'T leave bird poop/plants on the wrap for extended periods of time

& If you feel like it you may ceramic coat the wrap - just do your research and have a reputable shop do the coating

Wraps can provide you impactful branding, a good ROI and brand recognition for a great value. If steps are taken you could see an above average lifespan which just means that you get to enjoy your investment for even longer.

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