Should I wax my car wrap? Good question. We all want our vehicles to look their best, but in most cases there’s little need to wax vinyl graphics, because they look great without polish. Adding a protective wax finish to paint may protect it from exposure, but it doesn’t always help vinyl — it may even damage it. In this PDF, Caring For Your Vehicle Graphics and Wraps, 3M explains:

  • Do not use any abrasive polishes or cutting compounds.
  • Do not use any polishing or wax products on matte or textured films.
  • If there is wax or waxy residue on the surface, remove with an all-purpose cleaner.

So, Should I Wax my Car Wrap? 

“Should you wax your wrap? Probably not, there are waxes created specifically for wraps. However, there is very little advantage to applying wax to a vinyl wrap, and a waxy build-up can create problems.” — The Do’s and Don’ts of Vehicle Graphics Maintenance

If your vehicle is a partial wrap or has decals, you’ll want to wax the exposed painted surfaces, but be careful to keep the wax away from the graphics and remove any build up from the edges. If wax does build up on the vinyl carefully remove it using soap and water with a nonabrasive cloth such as microfiber. Be especially careful not to lift the edges of the decal.

What about a spray wax? 

Some adhesive vinyl manufactures do recommend a spray wax for protection of the vinyl graphic, “Before using any new product on any wrap, be sure to test them in an inconspicuous area of the wrapped vehicle before using on the entire wrap. Using a spray wax to care for the wrap film is great for protecting the vinyl wrap from being damaged by environmental pollutants or seasonal airborne pollutants. Make sure the wax used does not contain petroleum distillates or abrasive components. Always test the wax in an inconspicuous area prior to waxing the whole wrap. Any wax residue can be removed with all-purpose cleaner.” — Avery Dennison Cleaning and Maintenance of Vehicle Wraps

“Should I wax my car wrap? Yes, as long as the wax does not contain petroleum distillates, which is found in many paste waxes. Products that are a combination of a waterless wash and wax are great options as long as the vehicle doesn’t have a matte finish and isn’t excessively dirty. Test the wax on an inconspicuous part of the vehicle first.” — Caring for your Wrap

So, be careful because even a spray wax can lead to damage of your graphic.

Two Benefits of Wrapping your Vehicle

Besides the advertising opportunities of fleet graphics there are two additional benefits of wrapping a vehicle; to protect the surface and to make it look its best. Both of these are accomplished without wax, so relax and enjoy your ride. Save the wax-on, wax-off routine for others. so, the answer to should I wax my car wrap is … probably not.

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We might even wax poetic about car wraps. It’s our thing. A well designed vehicle wrap is a work of art.

“TKO Graphix is a national fleet and vehicle graphics company specializing in commercial fleet graphics for the trucking industry, freight carriers, logistics companies and trailer manufacturers.” — TKO Graphix Product Page

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