Knowing basic vinyl vehicle graphics care has become essential because vehicle graphics have become an integral part of modern branding. Vehicle wraps cost $.77 per thousand impressions. That’s far less per impression than traditional forms of advertising. However, making a poor impression might be worse than none at all. The cleanliness and condition of vehicle graphics say much about an organization. Here’s a basic guide to adhesive vinyl vehicle graphics care to protect your investment.

Don’t wash your car or truck with automated brushes

Stay clear of automated brush car washes. Brushes can damage the edges, scratch the vinyl, and ruin graphics. And even if they don’t scratch the vinyl the brushes can remove finishes that protect the graphics from UV rays, toxic chemicals, and more. “Over lamination of adhesive vinyl graphics protects the design from harmful UV rays, acid dew, and road debris. Laminating the material is recommended by most manufacturers.” — Why Do Vehicle Graphics Fade?

Keep it clean

Road salts, acidic residue, oils, and other chemicals can damage adhesive vinyl by causing it to fade, change color, or lose elasticity and eventually bubble or tear. Things that stick to the surface, such as tree sap or bird droppings, can be especially harmful. Use hot soapy water, or for stubborn stains, a power washer. However, keep it under 2000 PSI, and 180 F. And don’t hold the nozzle at an angle to the decal where it may loosen the edges. Always spray at a 90-degree angle. Fuels spills, whether diesel or gas, should be wiped clean as soon as they occur; fuel left on adhesive vinyl can damage it irrevocably. Will Road Salt Damage My Vehicle Graphics?

Be careful with wax and polish

Most waxes and polishes are okay, but it’s a good idea to test a small unseen area before applying either to the entire surface. Avoid any wax or polish that contains abrasives. Be careful when buffing especially when using an electric buffer. Too much pressure or buffing at a poor angle to the edges and seams can damage the graphics. Should I Wax My Vehicle Wrap? 

Vinyl Vehicle Graphics Care Matters

Vinyl graphics aren’t cheap. Done right, they market your company in a positive light. However, when vehicle graphics are uncared for they reflect poorly on your business. Vehicle Graphics: A Bad Message is Worse than No Message.

“Companies are beginning to understand they shouldn’t only identify their vehicles with a company name and vehicle number, but they should also advertise on the vehicle. A vehicle or trailer is a rolling billboard. Organizations that continue to limit vehicle graphics to identification, and not advertisement, are missing what may be the lowest cost per impression advertising available.” —  You’re Driving Your Best Advertising–Use it.

By taking the time to learn about basic vinyl vehicle graphics care of your fleet vehicles, and then following through with a maintenance plan and schedule, you can protect your investment as well as your reputation.

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TKO Graphix is a national fleet and vehicle graphics company helping customers since 1985. We provide full-service graphic design, digital printing, screen printing, graphics installation, and removal of large format graphics.

We’re a fleet and vehicle graphics company and since 1985, we’ve been helping businesses, large and small, brand their fleet of tractor-trailers, service trucks and company vehicles. Whether you have a fleet of thousands or a few vehicles, we are here to lead you through the vehicle branding process.

TKO Graphix is a Certified 3M™ MCS™ Warranty graphics manufacturer. Our installation crews are 3M Certified and are employees of TKO Graphix, not sub-contractors.

If you’d like to learn more and get a free quote, contact us today.