What you need to know about caring for your vehicle graphics:
Now that your vehicle is wrapped to perfection, you are ready to hit the roads! What should you consider when caring for your vehicle graphics? Caring properly for your graphics can be tricky, but it is an important step to ensure longevity so that you get the most out of your investment.
Once your graphic installation is complete, we recommend that you keep a close eye on the graphics for those first few days. If there was an unseen problem, it is important to catch the issue quickly before it deteriorates and becomes worse. If you do experience any issues, bring your car back to the AGKC office and have our 3M Certified Vehicle Expert do a quick check up on the graphics and installation.
How Do I Wash My Car?
(Short Answer? Soft sponge, mild soap and a LOT of water!)
When it comes time to wash your vehicle graphics, we recommend that you do not take it through a car wash due to automated brushes and waxes that can damage the adhesive of your graphics. Hand washing is best when it comes to protecting your wrap.
Clean your vehicle from the top down, to wash any debris off of your vehicle. Stay away from brushes as they can dull the laminate and cause scratches. Also, make sure to use a non-abrasive cleaner without strong solvents and to fully rinse all soap off when finished. Allow the vehicle to air dry or pat dry with a soft cloth, avoiding areas with wrap seams.
Can I power wash?
Sometimes hand washing isn’t an option. In cases with fleets of several large trucks, power washing is a necessary evil but there are things that you can do to limit damage to your graphics.
- Avoid excessive pressure, no higher than 1200 psi.
- Keep the nozzle at least 12-18 inches away from the graphic.
- Make sure that the water temperature is below 180 degrees F.
- Keep the nozzle perpendicular to the graphics. (this will avoid lifting the edge of your graphics)
- Avoid brushes; again, brushes can cause scratches and dull the finish of the laminate.
- Avoid spraying at the wrap’s seams, which can weaken the edges of your graphics.
- Keep your spraying to a minimum, excessive spraying can cause failure points in your graphics.
Can I wax?
Typical waxes are popular with painted vehicles because they can be buffed to a shine, but this process will only damage and scrape your graphics. So yes, waxes can be used, but they should be used sparingly. Choosing a wax can be tricky because you must make sure that they are petroleum distillate free. We recommend using Turtle Wax Ice if you want to use a wax product.
Proper care of your vehicle graphics will ensure that your custom design will continue to look great for years to come!
If you have any questions regarding care for your vehicle wraps, give your AlphaGraphics KC team a call at 816-842-4200.
Thank you to Brantley Pest Control for choosing AGKC for your fleet wrapping needs!