How to Care for Your Vinyl Boat Wrap
Care for your marine wrap is much like you would take care of a fine paint finish. However, please read the following considerations and suggestions on how to best care for your vinyl wrap.
Using high quality products designed specifically for boat care and these cleaning and maintenance procedures will help keep your boat wraps looking their best.
- Wash regularly
- Wash whenever the boat appears dirty. Contaminants allowed to remain on the vinyl wrap may be more difficult to remove during cleaning.
- Rinse off as much dirt and grit as possible with a spray of water.
- See item 4, Difficult contaminants, for spot cleaning bird droppings, tar, etc.
- Use a wet, non-abrasive detergent such as 3MTM Car Wash Soap 39000 or Meguiar’s NXT Generation® Car Wash or Deep Crystal® Car Wash and a soft, clean cloth or sponge.
- Rinse thoroughly with clean water. To reduce water spotting, immediately use a silicone squeegee to remove water and finish with a clean microfiber cloth.
- Use VViViD SHIELD Post-Wrap Gloss Shield/Enhancer. This provides added protection for the vinyl film, much like a polish would for a gelcoat or marine paint, helping protect the film from UV and water spotting.
- Don’t’ use stiff or harsh brushes
- Stiff brushes are not recommended as they can abrade the film and cause edges to lift or chip, as well as dulling the film’s appearance.
- Pressure washing
- Although hand washing is the preferred cleaning method, pressure washing may be used under these conditions.
- Ensure the water pressure is kept below 2000 psi (14 MPa).
- Keep water temperature below 80°C (180°F).
- Use a spray nozzle with a 40 degree wide angle spray pattern.
- Keep the nozzle at least 1 foot (300 mm) away from and perpendicular (at 90 degrees) to the graphic.
- Holding the nozzle of a pressure washer at an angle to the graphic may lift the edges of the film.
- Difficult contaminants
- Soften difficult contaminants such as bug splatter, bird droppings, tree sap and similar contaminants by soaking them for several minutes with very hot, soapy water. Rinse thoroughly and dry. If further cleaning is needed, test one of these products in an inconspicuous area to ensure no damage to the wrap film:
- Meguiar’s Gold ClassTM Bug and Tar Remover or
- 3MTM Citrus Base Cleaner.
- Isopropyl alcohol (IPA) (two parts IPA to 1 part water) or denatured alcohol may also help.
- Spot clean the contaminants. Do not use rough scrubbing or abrasive tools, which will scratch the film. Wash and rinse off all residue immediately.
- DO NOT USE HARSH CHEMICALS SUCH AS ACETONE!
- Fuel spills
- Wipe off immediately to avoid degrading the vinyl and adhesive. Then wash, rinse and dry as in Item 1 as soon as possible.
- Store under cover whenever possible
- Wrap films (just like paint) are degraded by prolonged exposure to sun and atmospheric pollutants, particularly on the horizontal surfaces. Whenever possible, store under a cover during the day. At night, protect the boat from dew or rain, which may contain acidic pollutants (a common problem in many large metropolitan areas). When under cover storage is not available, consider using a cloth car cover at night. If your wrap film starts to discolor or turn brown (which is caused by acidic pollution), immediately have a professional remove the wrap film from the boat to avoid staining the underlying paint or gelcoat.
- Film restoration
- The following restoration recommendations will help keep your boat wrap looking it’s best.
- Do not use any abrasive polishes or cutting compounds.
- Do not use any polishing or wax products on matte or textured films.
- Use if there is wax or wax residue on the surface, remove with an all-purpose cleaner.
- Table 1 shows some available products to help restore your vehicle wrap. Before using, al ways test and approve in an inconspicuous area.
INFORMATION COURTESY OF 3M GRAPHICS
For complete information about 3M products and warranties, please go to: www.3Mgraphics.com