What Grads of Auto Detailing Courses Should Know About Cars With Wrapping

professional automotive detailing

Wrapping gives drivers the chance to preserve the clean look of their car. Some people get very creative though, by placing an array of colorful designs on the bodywork. This can be done for practical reasons on a company vehicle, but many others see it as a fashion statement.

Auto detailing professionals should note that properly maintaining this wrapping provides its own challenges, so let’s take a closer look at what it’s all about:

The Difference Between Vinyl & Foil Wrapping

Matte vinyl wrapping is commonly used to improve the general look of the bodywork, and can be an alternative to re-painting. There may be scratches and scuffs on the outside which polish can’t fully overcome, so wrapping is a chance to start over. This method is also popular for company car decals, which have become like moving billboards on streets.

Foil wrapping is a trend which will have a growing impact on professional automotive detailing. This has seen far more bright designs and colors applied to vehicles, and is growing in popularity all over the planet. As the name might suggest, foil wrapping tends to give cars a shiny surface. This often catches the eye of police, who may deem that the reflective bodywork is distracting other drivers on particularly bright days.

The Right Way to Clean Wrapping During an Auto Detailing Career

Matte wrappings are much more common, which means that they’re the ones you’ll most likely encounter during your career. They usually only last around 10 years, and must be given special treatment throughout. Auto detailing professionals know that wrapped vehicles should be hand washed at least once per week, using a soft cloth and specialist matte car wash soap. Polishing or wax products shouldn’t be used on matte films, and waxy residue can be removed with an all-purpose cleaner.

Spot cleaning is sometimes needed to remove bird droppings, insects, and other tough stains, but don’t forget to dry the wrapping too! A clean microfiber towel will remove the contaminants and any excess moisture from the surface. Abrasive brush car washes should be avoided, and pressure washers must be kept below 2,000 psi and less than 140 degrees Fahrenheit to make sure the wrapping stays fresh.

The Tricks to Repairing Damaged Wrapping on a Vehicle

Soap and a sponge isn’t enough when a wrapping has suffered more significant damage. However, there are some easy ways to fix the problem. Some matte wraps, like 3M and XPEL, are self-healing meaning that cuts to the wrapping can usually be fixed by applying a heat gun 6-12 inches from the surface. Warm sunshine can also serve a similar purpose in healing such scars.

Unlike the original bodywork, the wrapping can be easily replaced with a clean version if it is beyond repair. Failure to properly maintain wrapping can see it become brown or rust colored. This could eventually cause damage to the original bodywork, so making sure that the affected wrapping panel is replaced is the best course of action.

Maintain beautiful cars during an auto detailing career.

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