Can Road Salt and Deicers Damage a Vehicle Wrap?

If you’ve recently had a car wrap installed or are thinking about visiting our body shop for vehicle wraps in NJ, you might have some questions about how people should care for their cars after vinyl wraps have been applied. In particular, you may be wondering: how do the deicer and rock salt products used during winter weather affect car wraps? Read on to learn if road salt and deicing chemicals can affect your vehicle graphics or other wrap details.

How Rock Salt Affects Car Wraps

Because rock salt, also called road salt, needs to be harsh and gritty enough to provide grip and melt ice on roadways, you might make the assumption that salt can harm car wraps. While extended scrubbing of your car while rock salt is still present on bumpers or body panels can cause paint scratches, this is also true about road grime, rust damage, and other issues. The rock salt itself is not any more harmful to your car wrap than standard road conditions. That said, however, always safely wash off or wipe away rock salt before scrubbing your car so that you can protect your vehicle wrap. This is still best practice even before you start looking for places to get your car wrapped since grainy products can scrape away the ceramic coating on your existing paint job. Be especially careful in areas where you have existing vehicle damage or in areas where you see exposed bare metal.

How Deicer Affects Car Wraps

Now that you know how to minimize the risk of salt damage to vehicle wraps, what’s the deal with deicer? The products used in deicers are often harsh chemicals, so can they harm your car wrap? This answer is somewhat more complicated. The deicer products used on the highway are usually the same degree of “safe” as rock salt; that is, with the proper auto care, you should be in the clear when it comes to your car wrap and deicer. However, some commercially available deicers are much harsher, and sometimes consumers do not follow all instructions or dilute them to the degree specified on the bottle. In this case, a deicer product could harm your wrap.

Protecting Your Vehicle

While deicer and road salt don’t usually harm vehicle wraps by themselves, there are a few key ways you can protect your vehicle, such as…

  • Only visit touchless car washes. Bristles at standard car washes can damage your vinyl wrap.
  • Avoid harsh chemical cleaners when washing your vehicle. Use mild car soap to wash your car, and do not use high-pressure hoses without the proper training.
  • Clean off bird droppings as soon as possible. The acid in them can damage your vinyl wrap — or even the paint job underneath.
  • Remove snow on your car’s body using a soft broom, brush, or cloth rather than an ice-scraper. Ice scrapers are okay for the windows, but they can seriously scratch up vinyl wraps or existing paint.

Go “Full Throttle” Today

If you’re looking for places to get your car wrapped, get in touch with Full Throttle Wraps today! Our expert technicians can give your car a total makeover, help advertise your growing business, or more. Contact us now; we’re looking forward to hearing from you.