How to preserve vinyl without using an overlaminate

Overlaminating a wrap or a graphic is an excellent way to preserve the media.

A roll of laminating film

A roll of laminating film

After all, it protects the print from scratches and prevents any fading of the print from the sun’s rays.

Both film and liquid laminates serve the same function, however the applications differ. When applying laminate, ensure that you use a corresponding laminate for each type of printing vinyl.

It’s not recommended that you avoid using laminate as the added layer makes the original graphic more stable and durable.

Although boasting a selection of additional benefits which will ensure that the vinyl lasts longer and looks the part, your customers may just want to eliminate additional costs.

This is why we’ve come up with an explainer that explores two ways to preserve vinyl without using an overlaminate if your customers opt to not invest in one.

Vehicle wraps: Have a regular cleaning schedule

When your customers spot-clean debris and dirt as it touches their vehicles, they do not have to worry about subsequent problems. It is recommended that the vehicle be washed in its entirety at least once a week. If it looks dirty in-between washes, encourage your customers to wash it twice in one week.

Never use solvents, oven cleaner, kitchen and bathroom based cleaners, and engine degreaser to clean vehicle wrap. Any solvent-free car shampoo should work well to clean any dirt. Rinse the area with cool water after cleaning.

Additional tips include allowing the vehicle to air dry or dry it off with a microfibre cloth to avoid the vinyl lifting off of the vehicle or damage being sustained to it.

Window decals: Avoid direct contact with UV-rays

It’s recommended to put decals on a well-shaded part of a storefront, in which UV rays will not be in direct contact with the graphics. UV damages the media and causes fading, however, on some store fronts this is not always possible. In that instance, it is suggested that you select a polymeric film that is suitable for long-term outdoor use.

Polymeric vinyl uses better UV stabilisers and plasticisers than monomeric vinyl and usually has an outdoor durability of up to five years, so it is perfect for window graphics. Shop around for the best brands for the job.

You may also use a liquid polish to remove any stains on debris on the graphic(s).

Despite making use of other ways to care for the media, it is strongly recommended that an overlaminate is used to protect the print.

Ultimately, investing in a laminate is not only necessary, but is encouraged by our trusted sales staff.

“All digital prints, whether outdoor or indoor, should have a laminate on it to prevent fading and scratching of the media,” says our Durban Sales Manager, Trevor Govender.

Help your customers to select the best brands of vinyl available on the market. To view our selection of superior vinyl films, click here:

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