Common Mistakes to Avoid When Maintaining Van Wraps

clean van wrap
Vehicle Wraps

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Maintaining Van Wraps

Van wraps are a fantastic way to advertise your business while on the move. They provide a mobile billboard that attracts attention and showcases your brand. However, maintaining these wraps properly is essential to ensure their longevity and effectiveness. Here are some common mistakes to avoid when maintaining van wraps.

1. Neglecting Regular Cleaning

One of the biggest mistakes is failing to clean your van wrap regularly. Dirt, grime, and pollutants can accumulate on the surface, leading to a dull appearance and potential damage over time. To avoid this, wash your van wrap every two weeks using a mild detergent and water. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive scrubbers, as these can damage the wrap’s surface.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Maintaining Van Wraps

2. Using Improper Cleaning Tools

Using the wrong cleaning tools can cause more harm than good. Avoid high-pressure washers, as the intense water pressure can peel or lift the edges of the wrap. Instead, opt for a soft sponge or cloth. Additionally, NEVER use solvents or alcohol-based cleaners, as they can break down the adhesive and fade the colors.

clean van wraps

3. Ignoring Environmental Factors

Environmental factors such as extreme temperatures, UV exposure, and moisture can significantly impact the lifespan of your van wrap. Parking your vehicle in the shade or indoors can protect the wrap from harmful UV rays and prevent premature fading. During winter, ensure your van is parked in a garage to avoid damage from ice and snow.

4. Overlooking Minor Damages

Small tears, scratches, or lifting edges can quickly escalate into major issues if not addressed promptly. Regularly inspect your van wrap for any signs of damage. If you notice any problems, have them repaired by a professional as soon as possible. This proactive approach can prevent further deterioration and extend the life of your wrap.

5. Using Automated Car Washes

While automated car washes are convenient, they can be detrimental to van wraps. The brushes and high-pressure jets can cause lifting, tearing, and other damage. Instead, hand wash your van to ensure gentle and thorough cleaning. If you must use a car wash, opt for a touchless one that uses only water and soap without physical contact.

For fully wrapped cars, one or two automatic car washes may not have a noticeable impact because the edges of the film are not exposed. However, for partially-wrapped vehicles, there is a risk of the wrap lifting and peeling. Since van wraps are costly and difficult to replace, we recommend avoiding automatic car wash services to extend the lifespan of the film.

6. Not Addressing Stains Promptly

Certain substances like bird droppings, tree sap, and road tar can cause stains that are difficult to remove if not addressed immediately. As soon as you notice a stain, clean it off with a gentle detergent and water. Quick action can prevent permanent discoloration and preserve the vibrant look of your wrap.

car wrap stains

Of course, even if you are careful when cleaning your vehicle, if the quality of the film itself is not good, then even if you are careful about the maintenance, there will be problems. For commercial van films, ACME only chooses high-quality materials such as 3M vinyl film, which is durable, waterproof, and scratch-resistant. We also can provide a 3M MCS warranty(3 to 7 years) for the vehicle wraps.

Check more about our Custom Van Wrap Options.


Maintaining a van wrap requires attention to detail and adherence to best practices. By avoiding these common mistakes, you can ensure your wrap remains vibrant, attractive, and effective for years. Regular cleaning, using the right tools, protecting against environmental factors, and following manufacturer guidelines are all crucial steps in preserving your investment. Remember, a well-maintained van wrap not only protects your branding but also conveys professionalism and care to your customers.