For car enthusiasts who like to keep their vehicles in good condition, paint protection film is a great way to preserve a pristine appearance.
However, when gunk (usually from wax application) and dirt accumulate in PPF edges, it can be unsightly, especially for PPF on a white car, since the contaminants can be very obvious.
If this, unfortunately, happened to your car’s PPF, carefully follow these easy steps on how to clean PPF edges using toothpicks, q-tips, and other affordable tools, and your car will look great again with no more contaminants.
Table of Contents
Ways to Clean PPF Edges
1. Toothpicks and Q-Tips Method
Gunk and dirt under PPF edges can be removed using toothpicks and Q-Tips. But be very careful, and don’t apply too much force when you clean paint protection film edges with them.
1. Gently Break up the Gunk and Dirt Under the PPF Edges With Toothpicks.
Using short strokes, gently run a toothpick back and forth along the film edges to remove the buildup. Avoid pushing the toothpick too hard, as this could cause PPF peeling.
2. Gently Rub off The Residues With Alcohol-Soaked Q-Tips.
After breaking up the built-up gunk and dirt, the next thing to do is to dissolve and rub off the residue with alcohol-soaked Q-Tips or cotton swabs.
- Soak a cotton swab with 30% strength isopropyl alcohol.
- If you only have isopropyl alcohol with a higher strength, like 70% or 99%, just dilute
- Gently rub off the residue from the edges with the cotton swab.
- Avoid rubbing aggressively to not damage the film and paintwork.
3. Wipe Down the Edges With a Microfiber Towel.
Once you’re done removing the build-up, give the edges a good wiping with a microfiber towel to remove any leftover alcohol.
2. One-Inch Paint Brush Method
A one-inch, soft paintbrush of high quality, like from Wooster and Purdy for example, would work well in cleaning PPF edges without causing damage or scratches.
1. Stiffen the Bristles With Electrical Tape.
Using electrical tape, wrap half of the paint brush’s bristles, exposing only half an inch of the tips. This will help stiffen the bristles to better remove the contaminants in the edges.
2. Brush the Dirty Edges With An All-Purpose Cleaner.
Spray an all-purpose cleaner on the bristles, and brush off the contaminants from the edges. Give the film a wipe with a clean cloth once finished.
3. Plastic Razor or Fingernail Method
Another thing you can use to pick the contaminants out of the PPF edges is a plastic razor, but you must wrap it with a microfiber towel and be careful in handling it. You can also use just your fingernails.
1. Spray a Microfiber Towel With Alcohol.
Alcohol must be carefully applied using a microfiber towel. Too much of it can damage the paintwork and cause the PPF to peel.
Use 30% strength alcohol or dilute your product as recommended above.
2. Wrap the Towel Around the Plastic Razor or Your Fingernail.
Whether you’re using a plastic razor or just your fingernail, you must cover it with a microfiber towel. This measure will avoid causing damage or scratches.
3. Gently Push the Microfiber Towel-Wrapped Plastic Razor Through the Edges.
Remove the contaminants under the edges by gently pushing the plastic razor and towel through them. Don’t apply too much force so that the edges won’t lift.
4. What to Do When the PPF Edges Are Lifted
If you noticed that the PPF edges are lifted and not sticking anymore, don’t worry, as it can easily be fixed in two ways:
1. PPF Edge Glue Method
You can use the glue for PPF to make the edges stick again.
- Go to the PPF shop to purchase the glue from them, which typically comes in a mini jar.
- Reapply the glue on the lifted edges.
2. Heat Gun or Hair Dryer Method
You can heat-seal the PPF edges with a heat gun or hair dryer to make them stick to the car exterior.
- Heat the edges with a heat gun or hair dryer. Just don’t get it too close to the PPF for you to be able to touch it.
- Firmly press the edges down on the car exterior.
Contaminant buildup in the PPF edges can ruin a car’s overall appearance. Thankfully, how to clean PPF edges isn’t a complicated process that requires professional attention.
Just be careful not to lift the film. But if the material, unfortunately, gets lifted, you can fix it with a specialized glue, heat gun, or hair dryer.