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How to Clean & Maintain Paint Protection Film

Installing paint protection film is a smart and efficient way for drivers in the Valley to invest in the resale value of their vehicle while enjoying a beautifully maintained paint job. It’s no wonder why Arizona drivers equip their cars with protection film. However, unless you keep up with properly cleaning and maintaining your vehicle’s protective film, you won’t see the long-lasting results you want.

The Dos and Don’ts of Cleaning A Car’s Paint Protection Film

When it comes to cleaning your paint protection film, there are a handful of dos and don’ts to remember. And everything starts with a proper car-washing technique.


  • Immediately remove bird droppings, bug splatters, and tree sap.

You want to make sure you remove as much debris as possible before touching your car with a wash mitt or other wash equipment. Doing this will make sure you won’t damage the paint protection film. Debris can also be the cause of bubbles in your car window tinting.

  • Use a premium sealant if your protection film does not have a ceramic coating.

Of course, car paint protection is very important. For maximum protection, apply a ceramic coating on top of your clear paint protection film. If that’s not an option, make sure you still use a premium protective sealant.

  • Avoid the edges of the film and stay at least 36 inches away from the film’s surface) when using a pressure washer.

For Paint Protection Films, you want to.stay a good distance from the film while using a pressure washer. You don’t want to get high pressure under the paint protection film, which can cause the edges to lift.

  • Wash your vehicle regularly!

A lot of people think when a car has a protective film or a ceramic coating that you don’t need to wash your car regularly. This is not true. Maintaining your car stays very important. Everything starts with a proper and frequent washing of the exterior of your car.


Don’ts of Cleaning Your Car’s Protective Film:

  • Don’t wash your vehicle for 7 days after application.

You need to give both Paint Protection Film and a Ceramic Coating time to fully cure on your vehicle. Be patient and wait a bit, so you don’t interfere with this process.

  • Don’t wipe your paint protection film while it’s dry.

The surface needs to be hydrated. 

  • Don’t use wax on your Paint Protection Film

The application of wax can result in build up along the paint protection film edges, which can become unsightly.

  • Don’t let your car air dry

Letting your car air dry will leave watermarks on the paint protection film. You don’t want this to happen after you’ve spent time and effort to clean it. You could use a waffle-weave towel or an air-blower for this.

  • Don’t apply aggressive chemicals or aggressive force.

Treat your car with the respect it deserves. Always be gentle with protective film and coatings. Furthermore, be sure to keep aggressive chemicals off your protection film or coating. These can cause damage and shorten the lifespan of either product.

  • Don’t wash your vehicle in direct sunlight or while the paint is hot.

Washing your car in direct sunlight can evaporate the water rather quickly. This can leave the possibility of water-spotting on your car and its paint protection film. The heat can also be bad for the car wash chemical and reduce its effectiveness.

  • Don’t use a power buffer, polishing equipment, or clay products.

For some people this is obvious, but it’s good to mention here just to be sure.

Maintaining Your Vehicle’s Clear Paint Protection Film

Paint Protection Film Hyundai Tucson car Clear Bra Paint Protection Film
Hyundai Tucson Clear Bra Paint Protection

You’ll see the best results from your paint protection film if you commit to maintaining its condition, keeping in mind the tips below. It’s good to realize paint protection film is not indestructible. So you should always take good care of your car and its protective film,

  • Dust and wax your film on a regular basis with non-abrasive waxes and polishes like Carnuma or Teflon-based to prevent dirt buildup and maintain the finish.
  • Regularly wash your car using a liquid-based car soap, extremely soft sponge, and microfiber or chamois drying towels.
  • Use a small toothpick to gently remove wax buildup on the film’s edges.

By keeping up with these simple tasks, you’ll keep your paint job looking good for years to come. For more tips, check out other SmartFilm blog articles.

Contact Smartfilm AZ and Schedule Your Paint Protection Film Installation Today!

Protect your car’s paint job against our harsh desert climate! Paint protection film is an easy, no-hassle way to preserve your car. Give us a call to set up your installation and learn more about the services we offer our Valley customers!

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