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Can Car Wraps Be Waxed? How to Do It and Things to Consider

Whether you want your car to make a lasting impression or simply need it to stand out in long lines of Los Angeles traffic, getting it a showroom shine is the easiest way to boost its aesthetic value. 


But given that you can’t get a new paint job every week, this dream of a striking shine often feels far from reality. That’s where car waxing comes as a viable solution. When coupled with polishing, it allows your car to get the glossy look you need while also giving it a protective coating.


However, the process doesn’t seem so straightforward when you have a car wrap installed. Since a car wrap is an exterior coating over your vehicle’s paint job, it cannot be polished. 


This makes it difficult to determine if you can wax your car wrap for added protection or sheen. With that being said, it’s not impossible to find out if you can wax a car wrap safely. 


To answer this question: Yes, you can wax a car wrap. But you need to be careful with the approach in order to get the desired results.


Things to Remember While Waxing a Car Wrap?


First things first, it’s important to determine that waxing a car wrap requires immense care from your end. Instead of grabbing a tub of car wax and smearing it over your car wrap, you need to be wary of a few factors. 


This includes but is not limited to your car wrap’s type and its condition. The type of car wax you use also remains crucial to the end result. 


Determine the Type of Your Car Wrap

If your car wrap is low quality or doesn’t have a smooth finish, applying car wax to it could actually damage it further. The wax could get stuck over small dips and bumps, or simply create a smudged look that is nothing but weary to the eye.


But a car wrap doesn’t have to be low quality to be at risk of a wax job gone bad. Even high quality car wraps that have a matte finish can get damaged by car wax. Since these car wraps are not built for a glossy finish to begin with, car wax negatively affects their overall aesthetic instead of successfully changing it to a completely opposite direction. 


This is why, it is crucial that you use car wax on high quality vinyl wraps which sport a glossy finish from the get go. Otherwise, it doesn’t provide you with the results you desire. This is a crucial point to understand, as using car wax on a wrap type other than gloss finish only proves to be a waste of your time and money.


Consider the Condition of Your Car Wrap

Another major factor is your car wrap’s condition. If you are using car wax on a gloss wrap that is damaged with scratches and scuffs, then it gives the wax plenty of nooks and crannies to get stuck in. 


This causes the car wax to project a haphazard and damaged look on your car wrap, which is enough to make you think that your wrap job was better left alone. Whoever wants to drive with a patchwork of wax and vinyl in Los Angeles, anyway? No one in their right mind, that’s who.


BMW M4 wrapped gloss grey (5)

BMW M4 wrapped in gloss grey by StickerCity

On the other hand, using car wax on a smooth gloss car wrap that’s also in pristine condition allows you to get the most out of your car wax job. This brings out the vinyl’s shine, provides it with an additional coating, and lets you achieve that elusive showroom look with ease. 


Be Careful About the Type of Your Car Wax

Another factor that plays a major role is the type of car wax itself. While most car waxes come with the promise of a glossy sheen, not all of them are created the same. Some waxes are made from ingredients that pose no damage to a paint job but are highly harmful to a car wrap’s vinyl material. 


This is why, you should make sure that your chosen car wax contains no abrasives or ingredients that could damage the shiny coating of your gloss car wrap. You can easily find these waxes online or discuss your options with your mechanic in Los Angeles


An unrelated but highly beneficial tip: If you remain unsure or nervous about the type of car wax to buy, you can use a detailer spray instead. These products are different from car waxes, but they still provide your car with a glossy sheen. The best part? They can also work on car wraps with a chrome or satin finish. 


How to Wax Your Car Wrap


Now that you have these best practices in mind, it will be easier for you to learn how to wax your gloss car wrap all by yourself. 


The process is simple to execute, especially when you know what you are doing.


  1. Make sure that your car wrap doesn’t have any scratches or scuffs. If you find any such marks on your wrap, consult an auto body professional to see if they can be smoothed out through heat-induced treatments.


  1. Choose a car wax that’s purpose-built for vinyl wraps with a gloss finish. For instance, if you use a 3M vinyl, you can use the 3M Perfect-It Show Car Paste Wax 39526


  1. Clean your car wrap using its regular washcloth to make sure it’s clear of any contaminants and external elements. 


  1. Apply a little of the car wax to a small area to see its effects. If you don’t like the results, it’s best to drop the application right there and then. This prevents any bigger regrets and ensures that you are confident in the end result.


  1. Follow the application instructions and be careful in the process. Take your time to ensure that the wax is spread evenly through your car wrap. 


  1. Remove any excess wax by using a regular wash cloth. Do not use an abrasive fabric.


That’s about it. 


As long as you follow the given instructions to a T, you will be able to wax your car wrap in a quick and painless way. 


Don’t Have the Time? Leave It to a Professional


If you don’t have much time on your hands, then it’s better not to complete the waxing job in a hurry. In case you can’t free up your schedule, you can simply reach out to a professional auto body expert or detailer in Los Angeles to wax your car wrap for you. 


This makes sure that you can get your car wrap waxed with targeted precision. As a result, you can achieve your goals of giving your car wrap extra sheen and protection through a simple process.

For more info, here’s a link to our car wrapping service. Did you enjoy this article? Check out our blog. Have questions? Contact us.