Vinyl Basics & Care


Vinyl Basics

It is important to remember that each and every car and vinyl wrap is different. Vehicle vinyl wraps are typically printed on sheets of cast or calendared vinyl. The primary difference between the two vinyl types is durability. Cast vinyl is best for long-term use (4 to 7 years), while calendared vinyl is appropriate for a flat surface and short-terms wraps (3 to 5 years). Charleston Wraps uses cast vinyl for all vehicle wraps. Longevity will decrease with poor storage and care.

Vinyl will protect the original vehicle paint and can be easily removed by a professional. Unlike repainting, a vinyl wrap will not affect the current value of the car or its potential resale value. Vinyl comes in a variety of prefabricated finishes and textures, including matte, satin, gloss, metallic, brushed metal, sparkle, color shift, chrome, and carbon fiber. Custom colors and designs can also be created by using digital printing techniques.


Properly prepping your vehicle before installation is a very important part of vehicle wrapping.

Pre-Prep Instructions
Vinyl is very thin and flexible to allow it to conform to the contours of your vehicle, but that means it also conforms to any imperfections, such as scratches, dents, or cracks. Vinyl will adhere to rust as well and will lose adhesion when the rust falls off. If needed, your vehicle surface should be repaired and primed before installation.

Washing your vehicle before you drop it off for installation is also important and will reduce installation time. If possible, handwash the vehicle and remove any wax or coatings before dropping the vehicle off for installation.


Wait at least (2) two to (3) three days
before washing your vehicle.

Service Warranty
Along with manufacturer warranties, Charleston Wraps offers a (1) one-year Service Warranty on our work.


Professional products for vinyl care are available at many automotive parts stores and online.
What NOT To Use
The following cleaning products should NOT be used: solvents, oil-based cleaners, kitchen cleaners, orange oil, or engine degreasers.


Hand washing is the preferred method of care for your vehicle wrap.
How To Wash Your Car

Pre-rinse your vehicle with a spray nozzle and keep the nozzle at a 90 degree angle. Use a wet non-abrasive soap or detergent and apply with a clean cloth or sponge. Avoid harsh scrubbing. Rinse with clean water and dry with a clean microfiber cloth or towel. To reduce water spots, use a silicone squeegee before you towel dry.


Touch-free car washes can be used and the preferred automated car wash.

What's Not Recommended
Brush car washes are not recommended and may cause scratches or lifting of the vinyl’s edges.


Although not the preferred cleaning method, pressure washing may be used.
Aggressive pressure washing can damage the vinyl or lift the vinyl’s edges. The water pressure should be below 2000psi and the temperature below 180 degrees Farenheit. The spray nozzle should have a 40 degree wide angle spray pattern and be kept at a 90 angle while spraying. Spraying at an angle other than 90 degrees increases the likelihood of lifted edges. Stand back at least 12 inches (1’) while spraying.


What if sap, bird droppings, bug splatter, or another contaminant gets on your vinyl wrap.
Soaking Instructions
Soak the affected area with hot soapy water and let the mixture sit until the contaminant softens enough for removal. Do not allow the mixture to dry.


Avoid applying wax and other similar coatings to your vehicle wrap.
About Paint Protection Film
Paint Protection Film (PPF or Clear Bra) and Ceramic Coating can be applied to enhance the look and life of your vehicle wrap.


Vinyl wraps (just like paint) are degraded by prolonged exposure to sun and pollutants.
Preferred Storage Options
Whenever possible, store the vehicle in a garage or a shaded area during the day. If overhead covering is not available, consider using a cloth car cover.

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