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Below you'll find instructions for applying/installing all vinyl decals I design. Before printing this page, you need to select the type of decal below.


You'll need a few materials before you get started. Rubbing alcohol or "Armor All Auto Glass Cleaner," a clean empty water spray bottle, Palmolive or store-brand liquid dishwashing soap (do not use Dawn because it is too soapy), scissors, and some towels.

**For reflective vinyl, do not use water, because it has a different adhesive from the other types of vinyl that doesn't respond well to getting wet on the sticky side.**

Let's Get Prepared:

The surface you're applying the decal to needs to be absolutely spotlessly clean. You will need to remove the wax or other coating in that area if you are applying the decal to a painted area. If applying to glass, it still needs to be cleaned the same way. If applying to leather or plastic on the interior, the same rules go, but use less water on the leather. You have to remove any greasy residue from interior cleaners, sweat, or dirt from the leather or plastic.

Mix up some soapy water with the Palmolive soap (I do recommend Dawn on the painted surfaces only if you have a particularly dirty car or waxy build up and already have Dawn dish washing soap) and use a sponge and thoroughly clean that area. These type of soaps will help remove the wax as well as dirt. Rinse the area and dry it with a towel. Rinse again if necessary and dry.

If applying the decal to a painted surface, take a paper towel and the rubbing alcohol and rub it around on the painted surface to further remove any residue from wax or soap. Let it evaporate. The Auto Glass Cleaner can probably be used instead of alcohol on painted surfaces, perhaps even better than the alcohol.

If applying the decal to an interior plastic or leather surface, take a paper towel and rubbing alcohol and clean that surface several times with the alcohol. You must get all of the grease off of the seat or plastic or the decal will not stick. Let the alcohol evaporate completely.

If applying the decal to glass, use the Armor All Auto Glass Cleaner instead. If you use rubbing alcohol, it can temporarily (potentially permanently--I don't know) cause a foggy chemical-damaged appearance to your glass, which is very frightening to say the least. If you scrub hard with soap and water, you can correct this error should you encounter it, but it's best to avoid trying alcohol on the glass. Let the Auto Glass Cleaner evaporate off the surface.

Take your clean water spray bottle and fill it halfway full of water. Put a single drop of Palmolive soap in the bottle. Then fill the bottle up all the way with water and give it a single shake. You want it somewhat mixed, not frothy and bubbly, so no more than one shake.

Let's Get Started--Choose The Type of Decal You're Installing:

Depending on the decal you had designed, it may or may not have application tape on top of the vinyl. If there's something that looks like tissue paper covering your decal, that's application tape. Don't remove it before trying to install your vinyl, as it's there to help you, not just there to protect the decal during shipping!

Caring For and Cleaning the Vinyl Decals:

No special maintenance is needed, but when washing your car, don't scrub the vinyl or put a power washer at the car wash too close or you risk removing it. Whenever I wash my car at the car wash, I only spray the windshield banners from several feet back. If I'm standing close by, I simply wash the banners without squeezing the trigger. When drying the decals, just be gentle so you don't peel one up.

Over time, sharply pointed corners (due to the design) may peel up from washing the car or simply driving it and the wind blowing at 70 mph on the decal. This only really happens in areas of drag, such as the windshield. There's no real way of preventing that besides getting the decal applied really well initially and being careful when power washing the car. After a long highway trip, you might make sure your decals are still firmly applied.

You shouldn't use wax on your decals, but it doesn't seem to really hurt them to have wax on them. It's just not necessary.