Car Wrap Care Tips to Keep Your Wrap Looking Great

Here are the vehicle wrap care tips you need to know to keep your ride in top shape for years to come. 

So, you have just gotten your beautiful car wrap. However, to ensure the longevity of your wrap you need to care for it properly. We have come up with a list of tips we always give to our clients to keep their wraps looking great.

Cared for Car Wraps

car wrap care tips

Gloss Car Wraps

Gloss wraps that are well cared for typically last around 4 years. But can last anywhere up to 6 years. All our gloss car wraps come with a warranty of 3 years. 

We have seen well cared for wraps last up to 6 years.

Matte Car Wraps

Mate Wraps that are well cared for and typically last around 18 months.

Washing a wrapped vehicle

car-wrap-care-tips-with a bucket and sponge

The best way to wash your wrap

Is by hand with a sponge, with normal car wash detergent. 

Dirty Rain

In Melbourne, there is a lot of dirty rain. So it’s really important to actually wash your car. Often wrapped cars are driven as work vehicles and are not cared for as well as they should be. This is because they are driven by people who don’t own the car. So make sure your vehicle is washed regularly.

Pressure washers

You can use a pressure washer on your wrapped vehicle, but you need to stay at least half a meter away from the car. Note: do not shoot any of the final edges of the wraps. If you got too close and shot it on an angle, it could lift it.

Automatic car washes

You can take your wrapped vehicle through automatic car washes. Not the brush car washes (there are not many of these left anymore).  All automatic car washes that are touch free are fine to use on your wrapped vehicle. 

Self-service car washes

The ‘do it yourself’ style car washes are also fine to use on your wrapped vehicle. However, avoid using the brushes found here, they are often filled with residue from other cars (like sand, dirt and rocks) as they can end up scratching your wrap.

Note: If the brushes are clean, then they are fine to use. 

Washing Direction

Always wash away from the edge, not against the edge.


Never wash with harsh chemicals that are designed to get rid of lots of dirt. 

Cut and Polish

You cannot cut and polish a wrap.

Soft polish

You can put a soft polish on a gloss wrap (avoid all polish on a matte and satin finish). If you want to use a polish, we recommend any of the Armor All polish. Any of the ‘wax on wax off’ type polishes you can put on. They will help with repelling dirt and water from the vehicle.

Tip: It’s always a good idea to test an area underneath the vehicle first to see how it is going to react with the wrap.

car wrap care tips<br />
polish brand armor all

Armor All polish – It’s always a good idea to test an area underneath the vehicle first

Wrapped car care tips

wrapped car care tips

Parking your vehicle

Stay out of the sun 

For a wrap to last longer – If you can keep your vehicle out of the sun where possible. This could be parking in a garage rather than on the street where possible. However we understand that most wrapped vehicles are for work purporses, so there is no choice but to park them in the sun. 


As you would with an unwrapped vehicle, its important to avoid scratching your car. When a vehicle wrap is hot (eg in the sun) it can be easier to scratch than regular paint).

Biggest things to avoid on your wrap

Tree Sap

Tree sap can damage your car wrap, the same it would with paint. If sap falls on a car, it’s important to wash it off as soon as you notice it, to stop it bonding with the vehicle’s surface. Tree sap drops shrink over time, and as they shrink they create stress on your car’s finish.

Bird Poo

Due to bird poo’s acidic nature, it eats away at the finish of a wrapped vehicle, as it would do the same with pain, leaving etch marks and other damage. It’s important to wash it off as soon as you notice it, to avoid damage.

Petrol Drips

When filling up your vehicle with petrol if you drip any on your vehicle, be sure to wipe it off.

Preparing your vehicle for a wrap

Are you about to get your vehicle wrapped? Check out our pre-vinyl wrap tips.



Written by Cameron Gurnett, owner of CRG Designs. Cam has been designing vehicle signage, branding and wrapping cars in Melbourne over the last 15 years. 

Cam has worked on vehicles for brands such as; City Mazda Melbourne, Bob Jane T-Mart, Ray White, Cocobella, LJ Hooker and Metropolitan Plumbing + Electrical, Jim’s Plumbing. If you are interested in getting your vehicles wrapped, contact CRG Designs today. 


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We recognise the Traditional Country of the Boon Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation in Victoria and extends its respect to their Elders, past, present and emerging.

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