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Can You Car Wash a Wrapped Car?


A wrap is a large vinyl graphic used in wrapping a car’s original paint. You can use a wrap to give your car different designs that range from the logo of your business or your favorite cartoon. Before wrapping your car, a question you need to consider is can you car wash a wrapped car?

The answer is yes, you can wash a wrapped car. However, there are steps you need to take to maintain the wrapped car’s quality.

This article explains how you can wash your wrapped car without ruining the wrap.

How To Wash Wrapped Car Without Ruining The Wrap

Car wrapping allows you to give your car a new look without changing the paint. Your car exterior can be completely or partially covered with a vinyl film. These vinyl films can be designed to have different colors, designs, and styles. 

Washing Wrapped Car

Wrapped cars are popular amongst businesses who use them to advertise on vehicles. The fact that it’s easy to put on and remove without affecting the original paint also makes it popular.

Wrapping a car doesn’t stop you from washing it. However, you have to deploy some level of care in ensuring you don’t ruin the quality of the wrap.

Below are ways to ensure the integrity of your car wrap when washing it.

Use Soft Clothes

Although the vinyl films are strong and not easily susceptible to damage, you still need to maintain a level of care when washing it. Your choice of washing cloth should be a soft one such as wool or soft cotton.

A rough cloth can scratch the design and it can also leave marks. Rough brushes can also scratch the surface and expose it to wear and tear. Vinyl films aren’t hard to clean, so a soft cloth should do the job.


Use Wrapped Car Cleaning Solutions

Most car wash soap contains ammonia and other strong chemicals that can fade the wrap. Traditional car wash soap can also weaken the wrap and make it susceptible to wear and tear.

To wash your wrapped car, you should use a cleaning solution specifically made for wrapped cars. This will ensure that the wrap maintains its texture, design, and color. The goal is to effectively clean the wrap without compromising its brightness and strength, hence you should use a wrapped car wash soap.

Alternatively, you can use waterless car wrap wash liquid. This will eliminate the possibility of the wrap getting swollen and breaking due to watermarks. Additionally, the waterless car wrap wash will effectively break down the dirt and make it easier to clean off leaving a shiny result.

Avoid Buffing

A cloth shine job seems like a harmless thing to do to your car wrap, however, it’s not. Buffing can cause scratches to the wrap, thereby leaving marks that can ruin your car’s aesthetics.

Use Stain Removal For Wrapped Car

The car wrap can get stained by Bird droppings, tree debris, oils, finger stains, are stains that you. To clean this stain, you shouldn’t use traditional car stain remover because they can harm the car wrap. Instead, use a stain removal specific for car wraps.

Alternatively, use one portion of isopropyl in two portions of water to clean the stain. The trick is to first test the solution on a small inconspicuous part of the wrap to see the effect before using it on the larger surface. This way, you won’t ruin the wrap while attempting to clean it. 

Use Polish And Wax For Wrapped Cars

Waxing your car wrap to give it a shiny and bright look is a nice way to maintain its beauty. However, when waxing your car wrap, use wax specifically made for wrapped cars.

Car wraps have a metallic and glossy look, so a wax for wrapped cars will enhance their beauty and give them a shiny look.

Park In A Cool Spot

Long exposure to heat can damage the wrap and lead to wrinkles and breakage when you clean it. Heat makes the wrap malleable to wear and tear, so you should avoid putting pressure on the wrap when it’s hot.

To keep your wrapped car in a fine situation, you should park it in a dry and cool spot.

military camouflage pattern wrap car parked

Use The Two Bucket Method

When washing your wrapped car, you should use a two bucket method to avoid weakening the car wrap. Additionally, you can use grit guards to remove grits that get stuck to the washing cloth.

If your car is very dirty and washing it with your hand won’t get the job done, then you can use a pressure washer. However, you should maintain a below 2000 PSI and also ensure you use the 40-degree nozzle.

How Often Should You Clean Your Vehicle Wrap?

The fear of ruining the wrap shouldn’t stop you from washing your car as often as you should. You should wash your car whenever it gets dirty because allowing the dirt to stay long on the wrap will make it more difficult to remove.

For stains that can go hard such as bird droppings, bug splatters, mud, and tree sap, you can spray a wrapped car stain removal on the stain and leave it to loosen. After which you can wash it off with a wrapped car wash.

If you’re using water to wash your car, washing it frequently might leave watermarks on the wrap and also fewer wrinkles. To keep your wrapped car clean regularly, you can opt for a waterless car wrap wash.


Wrapped cars are popular for their customization capacity. You can use car wraps to give your car different colors, styles, and patterns without changing your car paint.

Car wraps are strong and durable, however, when not you fail to properly maintain it, it can gradually begin to lose its quality. Washing your wrapped car with the wrong washcloth and cleaning solution can lead to fading and cracks. Therefore you should ensure you use wrapped car cleaning solutions to maintain your car’s integrity.

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