Paint Protection Film After-Care Guide

Table of Contents

Paint protection film (PPF) is a fantastic way to preserve the aesthetic appeal and value of your vehicle. However, proper care is essential to ensure the longevity and effectiveness of the film. In this article, we will provide a detailed guide on how to care for your vehicle after a PPF installation, including immediate and long-term steps, as well as do’s and don’ts to keep in mind.

Immediate Steps

  1. Allow the film to cure: After the PPF installation, it’s crucial to let the film cure properly. This process usually takes about 48-72 hours, depending on the type of film and the environment. Avoid exposing your vehicle to moisture or extreme temperatures during this period.
  2. Avoid washing the vehicle: It’s essential not to wash your vehicle for at least one week after the installation. This allows the film to adhere to the paint and prevent any issues with the bonding process.

Long Term Steps

  1. Regular washing: Wash your vehicle regularly to remove dirt, dust, and other contaminants that can accumulate on the surface of the PPF. Use a gentle, pH-neutral soap and a soft sponge or microfiber mitt to avoid scratching the film.
  2. Hand wash or wand wash: Stick to hand washing or wand washing, as automatic car washes can damage the film. Avoid high-pressure washers or using abrasive materials. Avoid using a pressure washer or high-pressure water source near the edges of the film, as it can cause the film to lift and/or become damaged. If you opt for a wand wash or pressure washer, stand at least 5 feet away from the film, and always avoid pointing it directly at any of the edges of the film.
  3. Use a dedicated PPF cleaner: Occasionally use a dedicated PPF cleaner to remove stubborn stains and contaminants. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and avoid using harsh chemicals. Specialized PPF cleaner is available for purchase at our shop. 
  4. Wax and sealants: Apply wax or sealants to the PPF every 6 months. This will help maintain the film’s shine and protect it from environmental factors. Ensure you use a PPF-compatible product like XPEL Ceramic Booster to avoid damaging the film and preserve high gloss (if you have Ultimate PLUS or Ultimate FUSION PPF).
  5. Stains: Remove insect or other stains as soon as possible with a PPF film cleaner. Stubborn stains can be removed with 99% isopropyl alcohol. Take care to keep these chemicals off the vehicle’s paint.
  6. Scratches: Light scratches in the film will self-heal in 20-30 minutes at room temperature. In colder conditions, or to accelerate the process, pour warm water (120°F) over the affected area.
  7. Contaminants: Detailing Clay can be used to remove contaminants that are on the film.

Do's and Don'ts


  • Inspect the film regularly for signs of damage or wear.
  • Address any bubbling, peeling, or discoloration that occurs after the first month of the installation as soon as possible. Consult with your PPF installer for repair or replacement.
  • Use a microfiber towel to dry your vehicle after washing, as it is gentle and will not scratch the film.
  • Remove bird droppings, bug splatter, and tree sap as soon as possible, as these can stain the film.


  • Use abrasive materials, such as brushes, scouring pads, or paper towels on the film.
  • Apply stickers or decals directly on the PPF.
  • Use strong solvents, such as acetone, paint thinners, or heavy-duty degreasers on the film.
  • Attempt to repair or remove the film yourself. Always consult with your PPF installer.
  • Use an automatic car wash.
  • Point a wand / pressure washer directly at the edges of the film.
  • Stand closer than 5 feet when using a wand / pressure washer.

Supplementary PPF Appointment Information

  • Regular inspections: Schedule regular inspections with your PPF installer to ensure the film is in good condition and to address any issues promptly.
  • Warranty: Keep a record of your PPF installation and warranty information, as this will be helpful if you need repairs or replacements in the future.
  • Follow-up appointments: Some PPF installers recommend follow-up appointments after the initial installation to ensure proper curing and adhesion. Check with your installer if this is necessary.


Proper care and maintenance are essential to ensure the longevity and effectiveness of your paint protection film. By following the guidelines mentioned above, you will be able to enjoy the benefits of PPF for years to come. Remember to consult with your PPF installer for any concerns or questions you may have regarding the care of your vehicle’s film.

Ready to take the next step?

  1. Get a free quote: If you’re considering protecting your home, office, or vehicle with world-class protection film, enhanced aesthetics with vinyl wraps, nano-ceramic coating, or window film, click here to request a free quote. Just answer a few quick questions and get an instant quote within minutes!
  2. Work at Tap And Wrap: We’re always on the lookout for talented, skilled, and hardworking people that are committed to delivering top-notch results. If you or someone you know is considering a career in PPF, vinyl wraps, window tinting, or ceramic coating, check out our Careers page here.

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