We suggest not washing your car OR leaving it in the rain in the first 5 days after installation, the adhesive has moisture in it that is still evaporating between the vinyl and your paint that needs to dry so it can adhere to the paint correctly. The use of shampoos will deter the edges from setting correctly. After the initial 5 days, it is recommended to wash your wrap weekly using the suggestions below.
The film will settle from regular driving and being exposed to sunlight. During the initial curing period, you may notice some bubbles or a slight haze in the film, but that is temporary and not a concern. This generally takes 1-3 weeks depending on how you use/park the vehicle.
Once the film has cured, you are able to wash the car as normal. However, we recommended hand washing or self-service car washes instead of automated car washes. The brushes in automatic car washes may damage the vinyl or compromise the vinyl resulting in peeling or scratches. We suggest using PH-neutral car care products.
When you encounter bug splatter, tree sap, or bird droppings you should remove them immediately. The best way to remove the bug splatter is by using pressurized water from 3 feet away, the best way to remove bird dropping is by pouring warm water on the area; leave to soften then gently use a microfiber cloth only to wipe off. If left on; the acids in the dropping will imprint through the vinyl, this imprint combined with the ambient heat produced by the car may intensify the process. Do not use rough scrubbing or abrasive tools, which will scratch the film. Wash and rinse off all residue immediately.
If you regularly use polish or wax your car there are some restrictions on what you can use on the film. Polishes that have abrasives may not be used on the film nor products that contain Petroleum or Solvents, these products can damage the film and if solvents are used will remove the adhesive.
Do not use abrasive or resin-based products as they can cause a haze on the surface of the film.
4th Dimension Wraps & Graphics work with the best high-quality brands, and we stand behind using cleaning methods as suggested by the manufacturer, such as Avery Dennison and 3M.
Using these maintenance and cleaning tips will help preserve the premium look and longevity of your vehicle wrap. Infrequent or improper maintenance can lead to premature degradation of the color of your wrap and lower the expected life of the film. Vinyl wraps may be run through car washes. Touch less car washes are the best for graphic care. Use of brush car washes (depending upon the frequency and quality of brush) may cause dulling/scratching/lifting edge of the graphics.
Store Indoors or Under Cover Whenever Possible
Vinyl graphics (just like paint) are degraded by prolonged exposure to sun and atmospheric pollutants, particularly on horizontal surfaces such as hood, trunk lids and roof. Whenever possible, store in a garage or at least in a shaded area during the day. At night protect the car from dew or rain, which may contain acidic pollutants (a common problem in many large metropolitan areas). Consider using a cloth car cover at night when a garage is unavailable your graphics start to discolor or turn brown, immediately remove the graphics from the vehicle to avoid staining the underlying paint.
If the vehicle is not overly dirty, this is the most effective and safest method.
Waterless wash products can help maintain the gloss level and lifespan of the film. Before using any new product on your wrap, be sure to test them in an inconspicuous area of the vehicle. We recommend using a standard cleaner from Avery Dennison, Supreme Wrapping™ Film Care that we can obtain for you if you would like.
Hand wash extremely dirty vehicles first and follow up with a waterless wash using the following steps:
We get it. You are busy and life doesn't always allow for waterless or handwashing.
Although hand washing is the preferred cleaning method, pressure washing may be used under these conditions:
NOTE: Excessive spraying at the incorrect angle may create failure points, resulting in the wrap lifting at the edges.
An automatic car wash that uses brushes is not recommended. Brushes may scratch the wrap or catch the wrap’s edge and create a failure point.
There isn't a whole lot that an entire industry can collectively agree to, but the negative impact of automatic car washes on your Vinyl Wrap or even regular Car Paint would be the one for us.
It is better to avoid washing your car altogether than risk the damage that may occur with the brushes, chemicals and other potential hazards.