How to Clean Vinyl Decals

by Mel Frank
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safety decal image by Greg Pickens from

You can find vinyl decals on cars and machinery, as well as areas of the home and office. These are basically thick stickers that strongly adhere to a surface, requiring little work to maintain. Using the wrong cleaning products, however, will scratch, fade and potentially break apart the adhesive that holds the sticker in place.

Step 1

Moisten a paper towel with water and add a drop of liquid dish soap to the paper towel. The mild detergent will safely clean and remove grease and residue without harming or discoloring the decal.

Step 2

Wipe the damp paper towel over the vinyl decal, using small circular movements.

Step 3

Wipe once more with a dry paper towel to remove any leftover soap or residue.

Step 4

Buff decals with heavy residue using a piece of fine-grain steel wool. Again, buff in small circular motions to buff away residue effectively.

Step 5

Wipe the area once more with a damp paper towel to remove any lifted residue.

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