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Decal Maintenance 101: Keeping Your Car Decals Looking Vibrant and Fresh

Car getting prepped for decal

Car decals are a fantastic way to showcase your personality, advertise your business, or support a cause. However, like any other part of your vehicle, decals require proper care and maintenance to stay in top shape. If you neglect them, they may fade, peel, or crack, essentially losing their visual appeal. To help you avoid this, we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide on decal maintenance. Follow these tips to keep your car decals looking vibrant and fresh for years to come.

Cleaning Car Decals: Do’s and Don’ts


Use Mild Soap:

  • Choose a mild soap that doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals or abrasives. A simple dish soap mixed with water usually does the trick.

Soft Cloth or Sponge:

  • Use a soft cloth or sponge to gently clean the surface of the decal. Scrubbing too hard may scratch or damage the decal.

Rinse Well:

  • Make sure to thoroughly rinse the soap off the decal and the surrounding area. Soap residue can cause the decal to peel over time.


Pressure Wash:

  • Never use a high-pressure washer to clean your decals, as it can cause the edges to lift or potentially rip the material.

Scouring Pads:

  • These can scratch the surface of your decal and make it lose its luster.

Hot Water:

  • Hot water can weaken the adhesive holding your decal in place. Always opt for cold or lukewarm water when cleaning.

Protecting Against Fading

UV Protection:

  • Sunlight can cause decals to fade over time. Look for UV-protectant sprays specifically designed for car decals. These create an invisible layer that helps protect the colors from fading.

Park in Shade:

  • As much as possible, park your car in the shade or indoors to reduce exposure to direct sunlight.


  • Use a wax that is safe for decals to provide an extra layer of protection. However, make sure to read the manufacturer’s guidelines as not all decals can be waxed.

Addressing Wear and Tear

Regular Inspections:

  • Periodically inspect your decals for any signs of wear and tear like peeling edges, cracks, or fading.

Edge Sealing:

  • If the edges start to lift, you can apply edge seal tape. Make sure the area is clean and dry before application.

Minor Repairs:

  • For small cracks or chips, a clear adhesive can sometimes fix the problem. However, this is often a temporary solution.


  • If a decal is showing major signs of wear, it may be time to replace it. Peeling or cracking decals not only look bad, but they can also damage the paint beneath them.


Car decals can be a great way to personalize your vehicle, but they require a bit of care to maintain their original vibrancy and appeal. By following these simple cleaning, protection, and repair tips, you can ensure that your decals remain a bright and fresh-looking feature of your car for years to come.