At Harbor Wraps, we love fitting our customers’ vehicles with amazing wraps that reflect their unique personality or help promote their business. One of the most common questions we get asked is how to care for a vehicle that has a wrap so it stays in excellent condition for as long as possible. Below, we’ll review the basics of caring for a vehicle wrap, including best practices for washing your vehicle and things to avoid.
Washing Your Car
- Use Waterless Wash When Possible. Use waterless wash products when there is not a significant amount of dirt or grime present. Be sure you test the product on a small, inconspicuous area to ensure that it will not damage the vehicle wrap. To avoid excessive dirt buildup, it’s recommended that you use a waterless wash every 2 weeks.
- Hand Wash Instructions. If there is a significant amount of dirt and grime on your vehicle, hand washing is the recommended method for getting it clean.
- Step 1: Pre-rinse the vehicle with a gentle stream of water to remove as much debris as possible and avoid scratching the wrap.
- Step 2: Use a mild soap that has no strong soluble solutions, alcohol, or abrasive elements and that has a pH between 5 and 9. Use either a microfiber cloth or a synthetic or natural sponge to gently wash your vehicle, starting at the top and working your way down. Avoid using excessive pressure or scrubbing, as this may damage the wrap.
- Step 3: Rise again with a gentle stream of water, starting from the top and working down.
- Step 4: Allow the vehicle to air dry. You can use a squeegee to remove any water droplets and prevent water spots, or gently wipe it with a microfiber cloth if needed.
- Waxing: If you know you want to wax your vehicle, choosing a waterless wash product that’s a combination of wash and wax is ideal. Waxing with a product that does not contain petroleum distillates is okay, as long as your wrap does not have a matte finish. Wax products can fill in the texture of a matte wrap and cause shiny spots, so it is best to avoid using wax products on that particular type of wrap.
- For Tough Spots: It’s best to remove contaminants like bird droppings, bug spatter, sap, or other tough spots as soon as possible to avoid damaging the wrap. Soak the spot with hot water and mild soap, and then rinse the area. If necessary, you can use isopropyl alcohol and a non-abrasive rag, but anything stronger than mild soap should be spot tested to ensure it will not damage the wrap.