You’ve made it through the process of designing and displaying a custom vinyl banner for your brand or business. You’ve realized the benefits over the past few months, but the season is past and it’s time to take it down. Before you throw it in the back corner of a storage closet until next year, take a second to learn how to properly look after your magnificent banner and preserve it for years to come.
How often should I wash my vinyl banner?
Think of it like washing your car. There’s no set interval to wash a banner since it depends completely on where the vinyl banner is set up and the weather. Vinyl banners are commonly used as outdoor advertisements, so during wet weather, signs are sprayed by dirt and other grime. When this dries, it can leave unsightly streaks. Dry weather may also lead to a slow build-up of dust and dirt. Fortunately, both mud and dust are easily washed off. To keep your custom vinyl banners looking clean and vibrant, wash it when it begins to look dirty.
If your vinyl sign only comes out at certain times of the year, wash it at least once before putting it up for display and again before storing it. This care will help it last longer and keep its vivid color.
What should I use to clean my vinyl banner?
Harsh detergents and bleach can cause the colors of a vinyl banner to fade. If you are using these to clean your graphic banners - stop.
Cold water and a mild soap is the safest option. Also, avoid scrubbing a vinyl banner with a stiff brush or sponge. These can scratch and wear the vinyl material. Your best friend for cleaning will be a microfiber cloth or soft towel.
How can I remove stains from my vinyl banner?
Cold water and soft soaps do the job when it comes to mud and dirt, but if something more volatile lands on your sign, you’ll need something more powerful. Household fabric stain removers should be up to the challenge. For best results, follow these steps to remove stains from your vinyl banner:
Apply a small amount of your chosen stain remover to the corner of the vinyl in an inconspicuous spot to check how it will react to the vinyl. Watch for signs of discoloration or other changes in the material.
If your chosen cleaner does not cause damage to the vinyl, you can proceed with treating the stain from the backside of your vinyl banner.
Dab it onto the stained section.
Rinse well with clean water.
Note: Solvents such as gasoline, alcohol, and paint thinner will smear the ink printing causing irreversible damage to your vinyl graphic.
Cleaning Tips and Tricks
Paper towels might seem as gentle as a soft cloth, but they are actually more abrasive and can damage vinyl printing.
If your sign is small enough, cleaning can be done easily and simply in the washing machine. Just make sure to use gentle soap, not a strong detergent.
Do not dry clean your fabric graphic.
Do not place your graphic in the dryer. Let air dry.
Where should I store my vinyl banner?
Many banners, such as temporary sale signs or advertisements, banners used only at sporting events, rodeos, or seasonal signs, need to be stored properly when not in use. If stored the right way, your banners shouldn’t lose any of their vibrancy or customer appeal. Hot temperatures (above 80 degrees) and damp conditions are the most damaging conditions to avoid.
One of the most common storage mistakes occurs when well-meaning individuals wash the vinyl sign and then store it before it has thoroughly dried out. A little bit of patience here can go a long way to mitigating mold and keeping your banner odor-free. Be sure your banner is thoroughly dried before you put it away.
How should I fold my vinyl banner for storage?
Folding a vinyl graphic is a big no-no. The folds will create creases that can be impossible to remove. Furthermore, folding causes ink to ink contact where the display side of the banner is in contact with itself. Ink to ink contact can lead to the ink sticking and blurring.
Fortunately, there is a simple method to avoid both creases and ink to ink contact: rolling. Make sure the banner is flat. Starting at one end, roll it up just like you would an inflatable camping mat, an ancient scroll, or a sushi roll.
Storage tips and tricks
If you still have the box the vinyl banner was delivered in, this is the ideal storage container. Many manufacturers deliver banners with paper film. This film can also be reused on the ink side to protect your graphic further.
It might be tempting to wrap a rubber band or two around your banner once you roll it up. Please don’t do this, as it can leave an indentation when the banner is unrolled.
If your banner happens to become wrinkled, don’t shy away from ironing it. As long as you do not iron directly on the ink, and you insulate it with a damp cloth, ironing can be an excellent way to flatten out creases and wrinkles.
Do you have a problem with your vinyl banner that we didn’t answer? Or would you like to find out more about having a custom vinyl banner printed for your business. Contact the experienced team at Craftsmen Industries. We design and distribute vinyl banners of all shapes and sizes and can help you find the solution you’re looking for.