Can you wash a wrapped car?


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Yes, you can wash a wrapped car, but there are some guidelines to follow to ensure you don’t damage the wrap.

Dos and don’ts of washing a wrapped car


  • Do Hand Wash: Use a soft, clean sponge or cloth and a gentle automotive detergent.
  • Do Use Cool or Lukewarm Water: Hot water could affect the wrap’s adhesive.
  • Do Dry Thoroughly: Use a soft towel or a silicone squeegee to avoid water spots and prevent water from working its way under the wrap.
  • Do Clean Regularly: Regular cleaning helps maintain the wrap’s look and longevity.
  • Do Be Gentle: Treat the wrap carefully to prevent scratches and damage.
  • Do Follow Specific Instructions: Always follow the specific care instructions provided by the wrap manufacturer or installer.


  • Don’t Use Abrasive Tools or Detergents: These can scratch or damage the wrap.
  • Don’t Use High-Pressure Water Systems: These could potentially lift the edges of the wrap.
  • Don’t Use Automatic Car Washes: The brushes and pressure can damage the wrap.
  • Don’t Wax or Polish the Wrap: These can cause discoloration or damage to the wrap.
  • Don’t Ignore Dirt or Stains: Leaving contaminants can degrade the wrap over time.
  • Don’t Apply Harsh Chemicals: They can damage the wrap and its adhesive. Always test any cleaning solution on a small, hidden area first to ensure it won’t cause damage.

5-step guide to washing a wrapped car

Step 1

Gather Your Supplies – Collect everything you’ll need to wash your wrapped car. This includes a bucket, automotive soap or detergent, a soft sponge or microfiber wash mitt, and a hose with a sprayer. Avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive tools.

Step 2

Rinse the Car – Start by rinsing the car with cool or lukewarm water to remove any loose dirt or debris. This is an important step to avoid scratching the wrap when you wash it. If you’re using a hose, make sure it’s on a gentle setting to avoid high pressure that could damage the wrap.

Step 3

Hand Wash – Fill your bucket with water and add the recommended amount of automotive soap. Use the sponge or wash mitt to gently wash the car. Start at the top and work your way down, washing one section at a time. Be gentle around the edges and seams of the wrap to avoid lifting or damaging it.

Step 4

Rinse and Repeat – After you’ve washed a section, rinse it thoroughly to remove all soap. If the car is very dirty, you might need to wash and rinse each section more than once. Continue this process until you’ve washed the entire car.

Step 5

Dry Thoroughly – Once the car is clean, it’s important to dry it thoroughly. Use a soft, clean towel or a silicone squeegee to gently remove water. Make sure to dry around the edges and seams of the wrap to prevent water from getting underneath it.


Can I take my wrapped car through a car wash?

While it’s possible, it’s generally not recommended. Automatic car washes, especially those with brushes, can potentially damage the wrap. High-pressure washes could cause the wrap’s edges to lift.

Can I use regular car soap to wash my wrapped car?

Yes, you can use regular car soap, but it should be a mild one. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners as they can scratch or damage the wrap.

Can I wax my wrapped car?

No, it’s not recommended to wax a wrapped car. Wax can build up along the edges and seams of the wrap and cause discoloration or damage.

Do I need to use a special kind of cloth or sponge to wash my wrapped car?

Use a soft, non-abrasive sponge or cloth to wash your wrapped car. Microfiber cloths or wash mitts are a good choice because they’re soft and won’t scratch the wrap.

Can I pressure wash my wrapped car?

It’s not recommended to pressure wash a wrapped car. High pressure can cause the wrap to lift at the edges. If you do choose to use a pressure washer, keep it at a low setting and hold the nozzle at least a foot away from the car.

What should I do if a stain doesn’t come off?

If a stain doesn’t come off with regular washing, it’s best to contact a professional. They can advise you on the best way to remove the stain without damaging the wrap.

Final thoughts 💭

Wrapped cars can be washed, but it’s important to take specific precautions to prevent damaging the wrap. Hand washing with a soft, non-abrasive sponge or cloth and mild automotive soap is the recommended method. The water used should be cool or lukewarm, and the car should be dried thoroughly after washing.

High-pressure water systems, abrasive cleaners, wax, and polish should be avoided as they can damage the wrap. Regular cleaning is recommended to maintain the wrap’s appearance and longevity. However, automatic car washes and pressure washing systems should be used with caution, as they could potentially cause damage.

Specific care instructions provided by the wrap manufacturer or installer should always be followed. If unsure about any aspect of caring for your wrapped car, especially regarding stubborn stains, it’s best to consult with a professional to avoid causing any damage.

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