Caring for vehicle wraps.

Pre-wrapping decoration of vehicles forty years ago?

Pre-wrapping decoration of vehicles forty years ago?

One evening a week or so ago, when I opened the door to the pizza delivery guy, I noticed his brightly wrapped Fiat 500.

It led to a conversation (how can you not be fascinated by this “artform”?) in which he told me that he didn’t have a car of his own but that his boss allowed him to drive the Fiat provided he kept it clean and shiny. I thought that sounded like a good win-win proposition – he has wheels and the boss has a mobile billboard. But no, apparently I was overlooking something.

Pizza Guy said that was not as cool as it sounded because he couldn’t just run the car through an automatic wash like any other vehicle. He said that the high-pressure hot water would damage the vinyl wrap. If true, this can be a major disadvantage in Calgary’s winter of filthy cars and freezing weather. Who would want to hand wash a car outdoors in sub-zero temperatures?

I wondered if Pizza Guy was right about this. I also wondered if the graphic shops issue car-wrap care and maintenance instructions to their customers. So I looked for good information and found it at that ever-reliable source, Sign Media Canada.

Here’s what Pizza Guy needs to know and what every graphic shop should be telling customers . . .  Hand wash with water. Pre-rinse and then wash gently with a mild detergent. Use a soft cloth and don’t scrub. Rinse with clean water and dab dry.

There are waterless products for cleaning wraps but Pizza Guy will have to be careful if he’s going to use these because the product he uses will depend upon whether his wrap is gloss film or matte. I’m not going to advise him on these – he should consult the shop that did the wrap.

Let’s hope Pizza Guy’s car was wrapped by a reputable shop and that it understands the concept of added value – such as nicely prepared care instructions.