Caring for your Vehicle Graphics

Washing Guideline

By installing vehicle graphics, you have turned your company’s vehicles into advertising machines. Delivery vehicles make 16 million visual impressions each year, according to the American Trucking Association, making vehicle graphics a smart advertising investment for any company. Vehicle wraps aren’t meant to be installed and forgotten. Like the rest of your vehicle, your vehicle wrap requires regular cleaning and maintenance. For longer-lasting, vibrant color, wash your wrap on a regular basis and keep your vehicle away from possible pollutants. If you don’t take proper care of it, it may and probably will dry, crack and fade. At Relic Sign Company, we want to ensure all 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 wrap and if you do, you can ensure the life of your investment.

Waxing your vehicle at least once every 3 months will help keep your wrap protected from the elements. Hand wax your vehicle. Do not use a buffer. The wax we suggest you use is Turtle Wax Ice. If you have a detail shop wax your vehicle make sure the wax they use is safe for vinyl.

The Do’s

Keep your vehicle clean. The best way to wash your vehicle is by hand with a sponge or soft, non-abrasive cloth and mild soapy water (solvent and alcohol free). Test any cleaner on a small area before using on larger areas. Never put a nozzle directly on your wrap or against a seam. The vinyl could rip or tear.

The next best method would be a “touch free” car wash; skipping the heated drying process. Just be aware that some car washes may use excessive pressure in their sprays—be careful. Stubborn contaminants that remain can be safely removed with mineral spirits, Use Simple Green or isopropyl rubbing alcohol to spot clean isolated stains. Never take your vehicle through an automatic car wash with bristles. The bristles will damage your vinyl wrap.

After rinsing, minimize water spotting by using a silicone squeegee or a clean microfiber cloth to remove water, or air dry.

Avoid parking under trees for long periods of time. Sap from certain trees can damage your investment and ruin your wrap.

The Don’ts

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.

Do not use automatic car washes that use bristles or high-pressure water sprayers. Do not use a buffer when applying wax/polish to your wrap. Do not use standard wax/polish on any matte or textured finish. The chemicals in most standard wax products can eat away at vinyl.

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. However, we only use Perf on rear or back windows.

Never, EVER use any of the following cleaning products on your wrap: Solvents, Oil based cleaners, Kitchen & Bathroom Cleaners, Oven cleaner, Orange Oil or Engine Degreaser.

Minor Vinyl Repair During the life of the graphics, you may experience some minor lifting of the vinyl in certain small areas. Do not worry. You can easily fix this by applying 3M Primer 94 (available by calling us) and carefully pressing back into place.

What should I expect my graphics to look like in a few years? You can expect your vehicle graphic to look good for at least 7 years vertical and 2 horizontal., depending on climate. Perforated window vinyl has a 1-year durability. This means it will remain an effective marketing tool during this time without abnormal image fading, discoloration, cracking or peeling. The vinyl will adhere to the vehicle’s surface and will be removable using heat. Some degradation of 3M Products and Finished Graphics over time is considered normal wear. 3M warrants that the graphics will be in commercially-acceptable service condition from normal viewing distances.

Window Graphics The vinyl that is applied to the windows is called perforated window vinyl. We laminate this perforated to allow you to see better on a rainy day and to help with longevity. In order to properly care for your perforated window vinyl: do not use heating or defrosting elements, do not use your windshield wipers, do not open or roll down the windows (however we only Perf rear or back windows). To help protect and preserve window Perf it should be waxed as well.

Relic Sign Company will pass along to you the 3M or Avery Warranty on the vehicle graphics which range from 5-9 years. Our warranty on installation services is limited to one year.

Questions? Give us a call

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