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How to Clean and Protect Your Vinyl Wrap

You spent a lot of money on that wrap and want it to stand out. Part of its appeal is the way it looks when it’s nice and clean. This way, more of your target audience can see the ad when you are parked or driving through a specific neighborhood. Not only will this make your wrap look great while protecting the finish, but it can also help with aerodynamics and fuel economy.

If you don't have time to do this yourself, you can always take your wrap in for professional cleaning at a car wash. A little effort can go a long way to improving your audience reach, brand recognition, and overall ad impression with your target consumers.

Be sure to Wash Regularly.

Wash your truck regularly, even if you don't think it's dirty. The vinyl wrap needs to be kept clean and dry to protect the vinyl from UV damage. It's also essential to keep the wrap clean so that dirt doesn't scratch or scuff your new paint job.

Washing trucks is much easier than washing cars because you don't have to worry about removing all the salt and debris from winter roads. A quick wash with soap, water, and a soft cloth will do the trick if you are working on your own.

What about Automated Car Washes

You are more than welcome to run your vinyl truck wrap through an automated wrap as long as the system is designed for your vehicle size. Ensure the water temperature is below 180 degrees Fahrenheit and the pressure is under 2000 psi. If you can, try to use automated car washes with at least 1 foot of clearance between the side of your truck and the nozzle spraying.

Don’t be afraid to ask for wax explicitly designed for trucks with vinyl wraps (such as those from Scratch Doctor). A nano sealant is a good idea as well. This is applied after waxing and protects the paint underneath from UV rays and other damage. This will help keep your wrap looking newer for longer!

Should I use Pressure Washing?

Just like an automated car wash, you want pressure below 2000 psi and to stay a distance of at least 1 foot away from the side of your truck. If you can get a nozzle with a 40-degree wide-angle, then do so. This will help prevent any overpowered nozzles from tearing or ripping into your vinyl wrap.

How Do You Handle Difficult Containments?

Some contaminants are difficult to remove because they've been built up on your truck wraps over time. This includes:

  • Grit, sand, and dirt
  • Bird droppings
  • Tree sap
  • Tar and asphalt (from road construction)
  • Road salt and ice (from winter weather)

The easiest way to manage these items is by soaking the side of your vehicle first with hot, soapy water and then rinsing thoroughly before drying. There are specialized cleaners available on the market, but you need to avoid anything that will damage the vinyl wrap, like alcohol.

What about Fuel Spills?

The area around your fuel gap cap will likely have spray or overfill exposure. You want to wash any extra fuel that spills onto your vinyl wrap immediately, so it does not damage the artwork. Wash in soapy water and dry thoroughly so nothing is leftover to degrade the value of your vinyl wrap over time.

Store Indoors for Best Protection

When you’re not using your truck, it’s important to store the wrap indoors. This will protect it from UV damage and ensure that it stays clean. You should also take care when transporting a cargo-laden vehicle so that the truck wrap isn’t damaged by other items in a way that could lead to tearing or creasing of the vinyl material.


At Total Truck Branding, we work hard to create the best possible truck vinyl wraps for your business or personal use. This article will help you extend the lifespan of your wrap, so you get the widest customer exposure and most rewarding experience possible. If you have any questions about maintaining your truck wrap or are interested in creating a new branding experience, reach out to our expert team. We look forward to hearing from you soon!