The do’s and don’ts of cleaning applied vinyl vehicle graphics

The Do’s


- Wash applied vinyl graphics with a blend of mild car wash detergent and clean water
- Test any cleaning solution on a small section of the vinyl graphic before using
- Always read the warning labels on car care products for proper safety instructions
- Once you’ve washed the vehicle with a soapy water blend, rinse with clean water
- Either let the vehicle air dry or dry off with microfiber cloth

The Don’ts

- Do not allow fuels to stay in contact with the vinyl for extended periods of time
- Clean all spills as soon as possible
- Do not apply carnauba-based wax over vinyl graphics
- Do not wash with a mechanical brush
- Brushes can cause vinyl graphics to chip or peel around the edges and scratch the surface
- They can also cause the graphic to fade, and dull the appearance of the over laminate

Concerns about pressure washing vinyl vehicle graphics
Pressure washing should only be used when all other cleaning methods have been exhausted. Keep the following in mind while performing this type of cleaning...

- Pressure washing can cause the vinyl graphics to lift around the edges and peel away from the vehicle
- Over time, pressure washing can degrade the face film causing the graphic to lose it’s luster, fade, crack and even chip away from the substrate

Please consider the following to help prolong the life of the applied vehicle graphic when choosing to pressure wash: (Based on vertical application)
- Water Temperature...72°F+/-5°F • Spray nozzle opening...40° wide pattern
- Spray angle...45°
- Angle of graphic...90° (vertical)
- Distance from graphic...15”
- Water pressure...<= 800 PSI
- Length of time...30 sec.

Use extreme care when aiming the water spray toward the edge of the vinyl graphic. Sharp spray angles can cause the vinyl graphic to lift from the vehicle. Absolutely under no circumstances should a turbo pressure nozzle be used when pressure washing applied vehicle graphics.

Absolutely under no circumstances should a turbo pressure nozzle be used when pressure washing applied vehicle graphics.

How to remove difficult pollutants or debris from applied vehicle graphics
When normal cleaning procedures don’t work to remove difficult debris from your applied vehicle graphics, try the following:

- Spot clean the area with Isopropyl Alcohol and a microfiber rag
- Moisten a rag with a citrus-based cleaner and naphtha and wipe down the problem areas. Immediately after using the citrus cleaner and naptha rinse the area with water and soap.

How to properly hand wash vinyl vehicle graphics
Supplies Needed:
- Garden hose with standard spray nozzle attachment
- Clean bucket
- Mild car wash detergent
- Soft cotton or microfiber sponge
- Dry microfiber clothes
1. Rinse away the graphic with water to wash away any loose sediments, dust, or dirt using your garden hose with spray nozzle attachment
2. Mix together water and mild car wash detergent into your bucket (Make sure the bucket is free of dirt and small rocks as these will scratch your car and or vinyl graphics)
3. Soak your sponge with the water and soap mixture
4. Clean the graphic starting from the top working down to the bottom
5. This will allow the dirty contaminated water to run downward
6. Rinse the graphic with clean water using the hose with spray nozzle attachment
7. Once the graphic is rinsed off with water, allow it to air dry. You may also use a microfiber cloth to dry down the graphic
8. Once dry, for added protection, you may apply a silicone or Teflon based polish designed for vinyl vehicle graphics (Read and follow product manufacturers’ directions and suggestions for frequency)

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