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Care and Maintenance

Proper care and maintenance of paint protection film will prolong the life of your Paint Protection Film and make it look great for years.  The higher end paint protection films are made of polyurethane material topped with a protective top coat gloss layer to protect and reduce surface tension against elements.  Like other automotive parts, the more often you wash and wax/seal the film the longer it last and maintain it's glossy finish. The following instructions should be followed to maintain your paint protection film.
After installation / curing process:


  • After installation, you may see a few water or gel bubbles under the film.  This is normal and will go away once the film has fully cured (up to 45 days dependent on temperature and humidity).  During the curing time, it is important to not press or touch the film.  This may cause the film to not cure properly to the surface of the vehicle.  So don’t touch!!!! We personally like to keep the vehicle in our bay and outside prior for an additional period of time prior to turning the vehicle over to the client to allow the film to "dry out".

  • Keep your vehicle in a cool shaded area such as a garage for at least 12 hours.  Any liquid under the film needs time to fully dry out without being exposed to direct sun light or direct heat.  If this is not done then the uncured moisture might create a small blister like appearance under the film.  If you notice this, the blisters will cure away over time once the liquid cools down again.  Keep it cool and you’ll have no problems. Should you have a air bubble just stop of the shop and we will address the issue.

  • Cosmetic imperfections, sometimes referred to as “disturbed adhesive”, are unavoidable and may make themselves evident as a result of the type of adhesives used in the film, installation technique necessary to apply the film, amount of stretch to apply the kit (more stretch implies increased installation difficulty). These disturbed areas should disappear as the film cures.

  • Do not wash or wax the car during the 48 hour curing period.  Applying pressure to the surface of the installed curing film can interrupt the curing process.  We want all moisture to dry out from the edges and under the film during curing time.  Minor variations observed in the material itself will clear up over time with exposure to the the warmth of the sun. After 48 hours feel free to wash and wax at your leisure.

  • Please remember this is Paint Protection, not Paint Perfection.  Xpel Protection takes the utmost care in the installation of your clear bra or full vehicle to make it as invisible as possible.  It is what "our" reputation is based on!  However, just like a beautiful sparkling diamond, if you examine it close enough, you will most likely find a few imperfections. There may be minute flaws in the film, or a spec of dust, sand grain, hair or fuzz that found its way under the film, or flaws in the paint (chip, indents etc.) that you didn’t notice previously and are magnified under the Paint Protection film. We have, on occasions during installation lifted the film and removed the flaw or replaced the film, this does not mean the installation will be perfect.  We take all precautions, nylon shirts, air filter cleaning system, Lint free cloths, vehicle lift system, pre-wash with pressure washer, compressed air and maintain bay cleanliness and lint roll our clothes prior to all installations.  There are times the flaw may go unnoticed until the film is set.  We are sure you will appreciate our high attention to detail, care and we, in turn, appreciate your reasonableness.

The following products have been tested as safe for use on our Paint Protection Films:

  • XPEL Sealant

  • Turtle Wax Ice (clear) Sealant

  • 3M Performance Finish Sealant               

  • Wolfgang Sealant

  • Meguiars NXT Tech Wax 2.0

  • Carr Bullet Proof Coating

  • Mother's CMX Ceramic Spray

  • Mckee's Spray Coating

  • Zymol Field Glaze

  • Zymol Cleaner Wax                    

  • Quartz/ceramic coatings/sprays

  • Meguiars Ultimate Quik Wax 


  • Dust and clean the film regularly to prevent dirt build up around the edges and to maintain its glossy finish.

  • Use professional grade automotive soaps with lubricity additives and a premium wash mitt to wash.

  • Always apply wax/sealants at 90 degrees across the films edge so you do not build up wax on the film edges.

  • When using a high-pressure water hose to wash, keep at least 48" away from your film's edges and surface, and do not spray directly at the edges.

  • This is very important!  Waxing/sealing the film regularly will keep the film’s finish glossy.  

  • Polymeric and/or acrylic sealants – offer the best protection and durability over simple waxes.  Apply at least every three months.

  • Use a automotive grade micro fiber detailing cloth to softly remove any wax build-up around the edges.

  • Always remove bugs and sap as soon as possible as you would your painted surfaces.

  • Ceramic/Nano/Glass coatings may be used on top of the films to add additional protection and increased hydrophobic properties.

Do NOT's

  • Do not use any abrasive cleaners and or scrubbers, sponges or paper towels.

  • Do not use a powder-based detergent or degreasers to clean your film.

  • Do not use clay or clay mitts to clean the surface of your film.

  • Do not use products with dyes, colored waxes, abrasive or hard-compound waxes and/or polishes.

  • Do not rub excessively or use excessive force when cleaning or drying especially when the surface is warm.

  • Do not use a high-speed power buffer or polishing equipment.

  • Do not wipe or scrub the film in direct sunlight or when the film is hot.

  • Do not use any harsh solvents (toluene/xylene/naptha/kerosene)

  • Do not use waxes/sealants with dyes and avoid products with petroleum distillates.  Anything that contains petroleum distillates is not good for film. The simplest method to determine if a product contains petroleum distillates is to check the MSDS of the product. The most concerning element is anything containing Petroleum distillates (paraffin wax).
    There are two types of petroleum distillates Kerosene (Paraffin) based and Naphtha based. Naphtha based PD's are fine the deadly ones to film are the Paraffin based ones. So how can you tell? Well typically you can’t, in most cases the only labeling requirement is to state Petroleum distillates on the label, not which type. The safe course of action therefore is to avoid ALL of them.  As an example, "Turtle Wax ICE" which contains PD's however, we KNOW these are Naphtha based and are fine on the film (indeed we have used this for about a year in tests with no adverse effects). In all other cases avoid utilizing this chemical makeup on films (anyone’s).

  • Do not use a high-pressure hose closer than 48" from the film’s surface.

  • Do not pick the Paint Protection Film's edges.  Once the material has lifted it will not lay back down properly.

  • Do not use your fingernail to remove wax or dust buildup along the film's edge.

  • Do not push wax/sealants into the films edge - always apply 90 degrees to the film's edge.

  • Always check your automotive/truck wash facilities for the use of harsh chemicals which may have the ability to damage the urethane films.  Many touch-less automated wash facilities rely on chemicals which lay (dwell) on your vehicle for a period of time to help loosen debris from the surface prior to being high pressure rinsed off.  Automated washing facilities do not take the place of regular hand/machine applied wax/sealants which offer long term protection for the Paint Protection Film.


Built to last. ULTIMATE PLUS is
backed by our comprehensive 10 year warranty, ensuring your vehicle looks its best for years to come.

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