A worker applying Paint Protection Film on car's surface

If you’re finally getting a Paint Protection Film (PPF) applied to your vehicle, congratulations, as it’s one of the best protection you can give to your vehicle’s paint. With XPEL’s Car Paint Protection Film available at Bravo Protection, you can be assured of keeping your vehicle’s paint shielded from the damage caused by rock chips, bug splatter, acid rains, brake dust, bird droppings, and other external contaminants.

Now, the next step is to care for PPF. Many of you might wonder why the PPF needs care when it is a caring technique for your car’s paint. If you want your Car Paint Protection Film to last for the longest time possible and maximize its lifespan and prevent it from damaging, it’s important that you do not ignore the upkeep of the PPF. Simply put, caring for your Car Paint Protection Film ensures that you can enjoy its benefits for many years.

How do you wash your vehicle’s Car Paint Protection Film (also known as Clear Bra)? How can you avoid damaging or shortening the life of the Car Paint Protection Film, and what are the proper washing techniques? How can you maximize the longevity and appearance of your Car Paint Protection Film?

You should know several things when discussing the proper care of the Car Paint Protection Film. But we’ll start with one simple guideline that may surprise you: Generally, you should care for your Car Paint Protection Film in the same way as you care for your vehicle’s factory paint.

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Paint Protection Film (PPF)Remove tree-sap, bug-splatter, and bird droppings immediately

Such contaminants are acidic in nature and can do a lot of harm to the paint protection film if not removed quickly. Use warm water or a quick detailer spray. But always use them with a microfiber cloth to wipe off such contaminants. If you don’t remove these quickly enough, the acid can etch through the self-healing layer with the help of the heat produced by the car.

Use pH-neutral car care products

Make sure you or your car detailer always use pH-neutral products post-PPF application, and this ensures that the protective layer of your PPF doesn’t degrade after a wash. This way, your car also remains chemically protected.

Apply Ceramic Coating on top of Paint Protection Film

Applying a Ceramic Coating over the Car Paint Protection Film guarantees maximum protection & performance. You can also ask us to use a protective sealant of premium quality.

You can go for a clay bar treatment

Detailing clay helps remove tough water stains, bird droppings as well as stubborn insects. You can ask us to give a clay bar treatment after installing the Car Paint Protection Film.

Take it to a detailer periodically to inspect PPF and remove mineral deposits around the edges of the panels, logos, door jambs, and wheels.

Car Paint Protection Film Guidelines

XPEL Paint Protection Film Vs. 3M Paint Protection Film

  1. After installation, wait 48 hours to wash your car
  2. Remove all the stains and insects as soon as possible with XPEL Film Cleaner.
  3. You can remove stubborn stains with 99% isopropyl alcohol or lacquer thinner. Remember to keep these chemicals off the vehicle’s paint.
  4. Light scratches in your Car Protection Films will self-heal in 20-30 minutes at room temperature. If cold conditions persist, pour warm water (120°F) over the affected area to accelerate the process.
  5. Wipe down but only with a clean & dust-free soft microfiber drying towel.
  6. Use a soft detailing cloth to remove any wax build-up around the edges gently.
  7. Waxing the film isn’t such a bad idea, but make sure you are using a product that doesn’t contain Kerosene or Naphtha concentration over 5%. Also, never use a wax that contains dyes or Petroleum Distillates.

Avoid the following, or you will void your warranty

Paint Protection Film vs. Ceramic CoatingDon’t worry about bubbles that may appear

Due to the wet method used for installing PPF, some bubbles will naturally appear and disappear after a few days. Eventually, the moisture will evaporate through the PPF’s pores after two to three weeks.

Don’t use clay products to clean the surface of your film

it could catch the film in a certain way and lift it, deteriorating the PPF’s quality.

Don’t use a high-speed power buffer or polishing equipment

You can burn the film from the friction of the machine by doing this.

Don’t pick the film’s edges

Once the material lifts; it’ll not lay back down properly without damage.

Avoid using a pressure washer near the edges of the film

It’ll cause the film to lift and become damaged.

Don’t use any polish or wax after installing PPF

Always avoid polishes containing abrasives, petroleum, or solvents over the PPF. With time, these additives will break down polyurethane products, including the film’s topcoat, exposing the film’s pours, causing them to fill up with contaminates or dirt, limiting the longevity of the Clear Bra and causing the film to have discoloration or yellowing effect. If you think of wax, only use natural wax on the PPF. The use of abrasive products and solvents damages the self-healing layer of the Car Paint Protection Film and will remove the adhesive. They can also cause a haze to the film’s surface.

Take care of your Car Paint Protection Film and drive protected

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The key point to know about the paint protection film is that they aren’t “bullet-proof.” Even though XPEL PPFs don’t require much maintenance, you still need to care for your car. So, always avoid abrasive products, invest in high-quality washing gear, and wash your vehicle regularly to enjoy the “dealership” look for years.

If you want to know more about the history and technology behind Paint Protection Film, you check out our extensive range of blogs here. Also, learn more about Ceramic Coatings and using film and coatings together.

If you’re in St. Paul-Minneapolis and the surrounding areas, and you’re looking for long-term paint protection options, contact us today – we’d love to partner with you for the good of your car.

Please get in touch with Bravo Protection today for more information about paint protection films, ceramic coating, and their maintenance.


Are you ready to give your home or office the new facelift it deserves? With an easily accessible location in Minneapolis MN, our professional and well trained staff can make your vision a reality. All we need is a little more information about your project, including the design specifications, size, location, and budget. Schedule a consultation with us to get started!

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