Can a Wrapped Car Go Through a Carwash?

25 Jun 2020 Vinyl Wraps

If you have just purchased a vinyl vehicle wrap, the last thing you will want to do is cause damage to it. That is why it is important to find out whether or not a wrapped car can go through a carwash before running your vehicle through one. In order to help you clean your car properly without causing damage to the vinyl wrap, the team from Wrap Guys has put together some helpful car wrap cleaning information.

Cleaning Car Wraps with a Carwash

Wrapped vehicles can be run through a carwash; however, it is important to make sure that the carwash uses a touchless system, as using a brush carwash may cause damage to the vehicle graphic, such as dulling, scratching, and lifting the edges of the vinyl. Pressure washers can also be used to clean car wraps, as long as the following conditions are met:

  • The water pressure is kept below 2000 psi
  • The water temperature is kept below 80 degrees Celsius
  • The pressure washer uses a spray nozzle with a 40-degree wide angle spray pattern
  • The nozzle is kept at least one foot away from and is used at a 90-degree angle to the vinyl graphic

Handwashing a Vinyl Wrapped Vehicle

While wrapped vehicles can be cleaned with a carwash or pressure washer, hand washing is the preferred method for cleaning a car wrap. Make sure to wash your vehicle on a regular basis or at least whenever the vehicle appears dirty, as leaving contaminants on the car wrap for long periods of time can make them more difficult to remove. In order to properly wash your vinyl vehicle wrap, follow these simple steps:

  1. Rinse the graphic with water using the spray nozzle attachment on a garden hose
  2. Mix together water and a mild carwash detergent into a clean bucket
  3. Soak a sponge with the water and soap mixture
  4. Clean the graphic by starting at the top and working your way down to allow the dirty, contaminated water to run downward
  5. Rinse the graphic with clean water using the hose
  6. Allow the graphic to air dry or dry it with a microfibre cloth
  7. Once dry, apply a silicone or Teflon based polish designed for vinyl vehicle wraps for added protection

How to Remove Difficult Contaminants

If your vinyl wrap has difficult contaminates on it—bird droppings, tree sap, etc.—you can soften them by soaking them with very hot, soapy water for several minutes before rinsing the spot thoroughly and letting it completely dry. When cleaning contaminants off of your vehicle wrap, make sure to avoid using rough scrubbing or abrasive tools, as they will scratch the film.

In the event that you spill gasoline on your vinyl vehicle wrap, make sure to wipe it off immediately in order to prevent the vinyl and adhesive from degrading. Once you have wiped up the spill, you should wash, rinse, and dry the spot using the simple steps listed above.

Vinyl Restoration Tips

If you would like to keep your car wrap looking its best for as long as possible, it is important to avoid using any abrasive polishes or cutting compounds. Vehicle wraps that have a matte or textured film should also not be subjected to any polishes or wax products, and any wax or waxy residue that ends up on the wrap should be removed with an all-purpose cleaner.

If you would like to learn more about whether or not a wrapped car can go through a carwash, or if you are interested in one of their vehicle wrap services, please contact Wrap Guys at 604-996-6389 or by filling out a contact form on their website.