Car tints generally has a lifespan of 10 years. But without proper maintenance and upkeep, it might not even reach its average lifespan.
To ensure its longevity and peak performance, and get what you paid for, you will have to do car tint maintenance the right way. If done right, you can ensure it reaches its average lifespan or perhaps even surpass it.
First off, let’s start with some general rules that you should follow for newly installed tint.
Rules to Follow for a Newly Installed Tint:
1. Don’t lower your windows for 3 days.
Working with window car tints involve a very sticky adhesive and a lot of soap. The adhesive backing is a strong adhesive that usually sets within minutes once the release liner is removed. To prolong its setting time to give more leeway during installation, it’s sprayed with soap and water solution.
Once the window car tint is in place, you will have to wait until the adhesive sets completely, usually within 3 days. Lowering your windows before this period will move the tint out of place, or worse, crumple it — making it unworkable.
Allow the window car tint to set undisturbed to avoid re-installation and damage. Not only it is a nuisance to re-install, but it’s more of a pain spending more on buying new tints.
2. Don’t clean your windows until after 3 days.
Again, cleaning your window without the tint settling first will move it out of place or crumple it. But what will prompt you to clean just right after installing your tint?
Though there will be some haziness and streaks of line in your window car tint, don’t attempt to clean it because that’s normal. Those are just soap and water inside the tint that will dry out once it sets.
3. Cleaning the windows after the tint sets by ammonia-based products is a big NO!
Ammonia-based cleaners have the effect of corroding the window car tint. Not only do you get a damaged tint, it will also void its warranty. If there are difficult stains to remove, you can use a solution of vinegar and water instead of ammonia-based cleaners.
The Right Way of Car Tint Maintenance:
1. Regularly clean your windows.
When we say regularly, it means once every 2 weeks or as part of your routine car wash. The purpose of which is prevent dirt build-up that can harden like a rock.
If you see some dirt build-ups, don’t you try to remove it by scrubbing aggressively? All of us do. Dirt like this have the tendency to scratch the tints if scrubbed hard enough. Which is why you should regularly clean your windows.
2. Use microfiber cloths when scrubbing your windows.
Even though window car tints have a scratch resistant film, it can only take a certain amount of scrubbing until permanent scratches appear.
Using a low quality cloth or just any rag cloth you found under the bed will do you no good. They are abrasive and have foreign materials inside them which can scratch the tint. More so if you scrub aggressively.
Therefore, as a scrubbing and cleaning tool, you should use a microfiber cloth. This cloth is made from polyesters which doesn’t have any abrasion properties.
3. Avoid direct sunlight right after cleaning.
In order to avoid cleaning a second time right after you just cleaned, place your car away from direct sunlight.
As some parts of your car is exposed to the sun while the others don’t, there will be uneven drying. The bad thing about uneven drying is it can leave behind permanent streak of lines and white stains from soap or cleaning product — forcing you to do another round of cleaning.
If you don’t adjust accordingly, the cycle will repeat again and again. This part is annoying and will surely take a huge portion of your time. What you should do is clean your car indoors. But if you don’t have any place indoors, you should cover it with car covers.
4. Applying more care when cleaning the window edges.
The edges of the windows contains the edges of the tint film as well. Cleaning it the same way the way you do at the center portion of the window might peel it off.
Apply more care when cleaning the edges because the tint film here is most vulnerable to peel-off.
The Wrong Way of Car Tint Maintenance:
1. Using ammonia-based cleaners.
Ammonia-based cleaners are corrosive for window car tints. Continued usage will result in premature peel-off and bubbling, forcing you to replace it with a new one.
Instead, opt for naturally safe ingredient cleaners such as vinegar, or soap and water solution to clean your car. Most ammonia-free cleaning products are suitable for cleaning tinted windows.
2. Using abrasive cleaning tools.
Abrasive cleaning tools such as rag cloths, paper towels, newspapers, or scourers can leave behind scratches in the surface of the tint. Avoid using such materials.
3. Using sharp objects when removing bubbles inside tint films.
Bubbles can be annoying which is why the impulsiveness of some car owners leave their window car tints damaged. Sometimes, without proper material, car owners like to squeeze them out using blades. This work is risky as it has the potential of leaving cuts in the tint. Instead, you should do the credit card trick to remove bubbles.
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