Even a vinyl banner needs a little love once in a while! Vinyl is a type of heavy-duty plastic material. Manufacturers use vinyl in everything from car seat covers to furniture, clothing, and of course, vinyl banners. Vinyl is a very popular material, due in large part to its tough durability and resistance to soil, water, and dirt.
If maintained properly, a custom banner made from vinyl can be reused and will last for many years. Unfortunately, poor storage or cleaning practices can cause premature deterioration of otherwise high-quality vinyl banners. These tips can help you to properly clean and maintain your vinyl banner, keeping it in the best possible condition
Making Your Vinyl Banner Clean and Shiny
Any custom banner will eventually get dirty. A great advantage of using a vinyl banner is that you can clean it much more easily than you could a cloth or paper or cardboard banner. In fact, you can’t clean custom banners made from cardboard or other paper products at all without damaging them. You can wash a fabric banner in the washing machine, or use water and detergent. However, you run the risk of damaging, fading or ruining the material.
If your vinyl banner is out in the elements 24 hours a day, you should give it a good cleaning once every 3 months. For those kept in storage, you should clean it at least once per year, or after every other use. To thoroughly clean a vinyl banner, you need a mild soap, a sponge or mop, and water. Do not use harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners, as this will damage your vinyl banner. Solvents such as paint thinner, acetone, alcohol, gasoline are also a big no-no.
Wet your custom banner with water and gently use your sponge (or mop if the vinyl banner is large) to wipe away any excess dirt. You can rub any heavily soiled areas to remove more stubborn stains. Rinse your vinyl banner with clean water. Finally, let it air dry completely before storing or re-hanging your banner back up.
Rolling Away Your Custom Banner
When preparing to store your custom banner, make sure to roll it up. Do not fold the banner in order to store it. Folding your custom banner will cause it to crease or crumple up. You may not be able to remove the creases from the vinyl banner. This is especially true if you leave the banner folded in storage for a long time.
A vinyl banner with graphics applied to the surface should always be rolled up with the letters facing out. By rolling the vinyl banner up this way, you will prevent the vinyl lettering from losing its adhesion and possibly cause lifting. On the other hand, digitally printed vinyl banners should always be rolled with the face on the inside. This will protect and prevent fading on the vinyl surface. Always store your custom banner at room temperature.
Store Your Vinyl Banner Properly to Keep it New
If you plan to store your vinyl banner for a long time, it is a good idea to use a storage tube to protect your vinyl banner. Make sure the storage tube has a lining to protect it from damage or fading within the tube. Make sure your custom banner is completely dry before you roll it up. Any dampness will contribute to mildew growth
Another bane of vinyl banners is heat. It is not a good idea to store a vinyl banner in or near a source of constant heat. This includes the heat and light of the sun, or also close to a heating vent or furnace. The heat will cause the vinyl banner to deteriorate and become brittle. High heat might cause the ink on the vinyl banner to lift or stick to itself. That is why it is important that you store your custom banner in a cool, dry location.
Preparing Your Custom Banner for Hanging
Before you hang your vinyl banner, it’s a good idea to smooth it out from any wrinkles it may accumulate. A good idea for smoothing out wrinkles is to lay it open in the sun for a half hour prior to use. The heat from the sun with smooth out most of the wrinkles on its own.
If you are unable to lay it out in the sun, you can also use a hair dryer, or an iron and a wet cloth. Take extra special care when using hot items on your vinyl banner. Although vinyl is a resilient material, it is susceptible to extreme heat, like that from an iron. For that reason, it is especially important to make sure anything extremely hot, like the bottom of an iron, does not come in direct contact with the vinyl material. Just like any other plastic, a vinyl banner will burn and melt under extreme temperatures. If something like an iron does touch it, the banner may become damaged beyond repair. To be safe, always use a wet cloth, or check the temperature of your hair dryer before using it on the banner.
A Well Maintained Quality Vinyl Banner Will Last for Years
Keeping your banner clean puts out a good impression of you and your business. There are several factors that contribute to banner longevity. These not only include how you clean and store the custom banner, but also where and how you use it. However, with a good quality vinyl banner and a little care and proper maintenance and storage, you can keep your message proudly on display for years to come.