The Dos and Don’ts of Keeping Your Car Graphics Looking Great

Vinyl car graphics are made to stand up from harsh elements that may affect your decals’ performance life. However, they are not indestructible. You still need to ensure proper care and maintenance for vehicle wraps and graphics to last longer. It is important to prevent damage, peeling and chipping in keeping your vehicle graphics good as new. Here are some dos and don’ts that can help you preserve your graphics life span:


  • Wash your car graphics regularly. Spend at least 5 minutes daily to hand wash your graphics with soap and water. Rinse the debris off by spraying water. If you are using a new detergent, make sure to test it on a small area first to ensure it does not cause bleaching or smearing. To finish, rinse with water again and use a clean microfiber cloth to dry.
  • Apply polish. To add a layer of protection, make sure to apply a silicone or Teflon-based polish. You can also use wax on gloss vinyl graphics to protect it again harsh elements.
  • Keep your vehicle away from the sun. When you are not driving, make sure your vehicle is not under too much sun exposure. Keep it on a garage or any covered area. Also, cover your car with a cloth to keep it from acidic pollutants prevalent in metropolitan areas.


  • Don’t allow contaminants to sit on your graphics for long periods of time. Allowing fuel spills, tree saps, bird dropping and the morning dew to sit on your car graphics can quickly damage them. So, always spot clean them with hot water and a citrus-based cleanser.
  • Don’t run your vehicle under pressure washers. Automated car washes with brushes and pressure washers can chip and abrade your graphics. While brushless car washers are great, nothing beats hand washes.
  • Don’t apply carnauba-based wax. Carnauba-based waxes are abrasive polishes. They have cutting compounds that can damage your car graphics.
  • Don’t hold the nozzle of pressure washer at an angle to the edge of your vehicle graphic. This can cause peeling. To extend the life of your decals, hand wash them. You can also use low pressure and temperature, but keep the nozzle at least one foot away.

Caring for your vehicle graphics is easy if you just follow these guidelines. The effects of sun exposure, abrasions and other elements can be reduced with regular cleaning. To provide added UV protection, applying an approved wax after cleaning is a great idea, especially for horizontal areas.

Many factors affect the lifespan of vinyl wrap. Most of them are in your control. The graphics may last longer or shorter, depending on how you take care of them. If you are thinking about having a car wrap installed on your ride, you need to know the dos and don’ts of keeping your graphics looking great. Keep in mind that maintaining a clean wrap and protecting it with wax will help preserve digitally printed and pain replacement vinyl wraps.