How to Maintain Paint Protection Film? 7 Easy Tips

Installing a Paint Protection Film (PPF) or Clear Bra to protect your car’s exterior is amongst the best ways to ensure that its paint doesn’t lose its sparkle and remains shiny new. 

So, it’s great if you’ve already gone ahead and installed a paint protection film as it’ll protect your car’s paint from contaminants, pollution, and other damages. But now that you’ve chosen it, you need to maintain it and take care of it.

How do you wash a car with a Paint Protection Film? What are the proper washing techniques? How can you avoid damaging your Paint Protection Film or shortening its life? What is the best way to maximize the appearance & longevity of your paint protection?

There are several things to note when discussing how to maintain paint protection film, but we will start with a simple guideline that may surprise you. Generally, you care for your Paint Protection Film the same way you care for your vehicle’s factory paint.

Let’s get started by taking a look at a few tips to keep your vehicle in mint condition:

DO THE FOLLOWING IMMEDIATELY AFTER INSTALLATION

The following points are the most crucial part of Paint Protection Film care as it’s still curing. Any blunder might hinder this process or damage the film. So:

  • Don’t press any bubbles formed under the film. After getting PPF installed from Bravo Protection, we use a setting solution that may create watery bubbles underneath the film. Remember, you should not press the bubbles as this is part of the curing process, and they’ll dissipate within 2-3 weeks after installation. 
  • Don’t wax or wash your car for the first seven days after the PPF installation. Why? Because the moisture between the paint surface and the paint protection film is not yet settled and is still evaporating. Plus, the film has not yet adhered to the surface well, and keep in mind that any disturbance might interfere with the curing process.
  • Don’t drive your car the 1st week after installation (if possible). It reduces any chance of messing up the healing process. After the first week after installation, you can carry out more film maintenance practices discussed later.

XPEL PAINT PROTECTION FILM MAINTENANCE

With XPEL’s best-in-class PPF, you’ll notice that even though you still need to wash your vehicle regularly, it doesn’t get as dirty as before.

  • BECOME A SMART CLEANER

In an ideal situation, you should forget about commercial car washes after installing the film. Yes, it won’t be easy, but you need to if you want the coating to last longer. If you have difficulty avoiding commercial car washes, you can at least try visiting them less frequently. You can also try the following:

  • Remove dead bugs and dirt droppings immediately to avoid getting permanent stains on the film.
  • Use 99% isopropyl alcohol or lacquer thinner for extra tough spots
  • Always apply car wash soap with a clean microfiber mitt.
  • Try soaking hard-to-clean spots with soap for a few minutes.
  • Dry the coating with a microfiber towel.
  • Never use brushes, paper products, or terry cloth to clean your coated vehicle. These products can dull the surface or even damage it in some cases.
  • Dirt tends to build up in the film’s edges, so pay special attention to it.
  • Do not use any abrasive materials at all.

 

 

  • DON’T TOUCH THE FILM AFTER INSTALLATION

It may take at least 48 hours (or more) to settle and cure the protection film. Avoid touching the film for at least a week after installation. But keep in mind that low temperatures along with high humidity can delay the curing process.

  • DON’T WASH YOUR CAR WITHIN 7 DAYS OF APPLICATION.

Don’t wash your car when the film is still settling & curing. It would be best to give Paint Protection Film time to cure your vehicle thoroughly. If you wash or agitate the surface right after installation, it can inhibit the curing process.

Experts suggest that you shouldn’t even drive in it within 7 days of application. However, if driving is necessary for you in this period, be careful about putting pressure on the coating to help prevent problems with the curing process.

  • REMOVE BIRD DROPPINGS, BUG SPLATTER, AND OTHER NATURAL CONTAMINANTS IMMEDIATELY

One of the fast things you can do to keep your paint protection film protecting your vehicle and looking great is immediately removing contaminants, including bird droppings, oil splatter, and mud. Leaving contaminants on your car can result in the film getting stained or degrading.

If contaminants are not coming off quickly with a regular wipe down, use XPEL’s paint protection film cleaner. If this doesn’t work, you can use Isopropyl alcohol. If you use isopropyl alcohol for a hard-to-remove stain, be sure not to touch any paint not covered with paint protection film.

  • HOW TO HANDLE LIGHT SCRATCHES?

One of the most important reasons why your car needs paint protection is preventing scratches. XPEL’s Stealth and Ultimate Plus paint protection films and some others have a self-healing property. So not only will your paint be protected, the paint protection film will heal itself after the need arises.

If you want to remove a scratch on your paint protection film, remember it has self-healing abilities. All you have to do is leave your vehicle in the sun for between 25-30 minutes. The sun’s heat will cause your PPF to return to its original shape and fill in any scratches. 

Pour some hot water over the scratch to speed this process. The water should be 120° F only, so it’s a good option if it’s chilly outside and your car will not get warm enough in the sun to activate the self-healing properties of your paint protection film.

  • THINK ABOUT DETAILING CLAY

Many people use detailing clay to make the paint feel smooth & sleek by removing overspray, contaminates, and brake and rail dust. Another excellent idea is to routinely remove anything that doesn’t belong on your paint protection film. But it’s tough to get them all with the usual measures. If the PPF feels like there’s grit when you rub your fingertips on it, you can bring it to an experienced paint protection film detailer for claying.

  1. WARNING – DON’T TRY PRESSURE WASHING

To prevent the film from starting lifting away from your vehicle’s paint, it is in your best interest not to use any high-pressure water source on your car, including a pressure washer. If you can’t avoid pressure washing, keep it a safe distance away from your paint protection film. And don’t let the spray touch any of the edges. The water can push up under the film’s edges and peel it away from the paint surface.

Also, try investing in high-quality cleaning products and avoiding low-quality car wash soap as it might contain harsh chemicals that can make the coating dull or damage the film. Go with shampoos with lubrication additives, and always buy microfiber mitts designed explicitly for auto care.

If you decide to wax the film, ensure that it doesn’t contain over 5% Kerosene or Naphtha, and avoid waxes with dyes. You can go with XPEL’s maintenance products for its films. However, some other car maintenance shampoos, soaps & wax can do an excellent job as well.

 

APART FROM THE MAINTENANCE TIPS DISCUSSED ABOVE, HERE ARE A FEW MORE PPF CARE TIPS:

  • Apply wax every 3 to 6 months
  • Avoid pressure washers with extremely high PSI
  • Never pick the film’s edges
  • Remember not to use powered buffers or polishing equipment on the PPF
  • After washing your car too much, use a clean microfiber towel to dry it, which prevents water spots
  • Don’t wipe or clean it in direct sunlight or when the film is hot
  • Don’t use dyed sealants as they’ll make it dull, and try to avoid powder detergents 
  • Try not to use petroleum or resin-based products as they will damage the PPF’s surface
  • Always use PH neutral products on the Paint Protection Film
  • Always prefer hand detailing to avoid damage to the film

IF YOU STILL HAVEN’T INSTALLED PAINT PROTECTION FILM OR CLEAR BRA FILM FOR YOUR VEHICLE – CONTACT BRAVO PROTECTION PRODUCTS NOW

All cars are precious for their owners and deserve the best treatment and care for durability and retain their elegant and sleek look. The most effective way to protect your vehicle is by installing a PPF or Paint Protective Film on your entire vehicle. A PPF or Clear Bra film will help prevent damage to your paint caused by UV rays, rock debris, bird-dropping, and acid rain, among other substances.

To learn more about Paint Protection Film or other products or to get one installed, contact us. Bravo Protection Products is a well-known brand in the greater Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, so we never compromise on quality. And if you still have questions, call us on 952-476-7025 or email us at info@bravoprotection.com; we’ll be glad to offer our expertise.