Can I Get My Car Washed After Windows Have Been Tinted?

You've decided to get your car windows tinted.

Good for you…

What a wise move as window film has lots of benefits…

You have your appointment scheduled for Saturday, but you need to have answered a few questions before your windows are tinted.

Let's Go Over the Benefits…

Window tinting refers to applying a thin laminate layer of film to the inside of a vehicle’s glass windows and is available in a variety of shades.

Window film reduces glare from the sun’s rays. Window film also works great at filtering out the sun’s damaging skin cancer-causing rays.

It also reduces the glare from another car’s headlights. And we all know how annoying and distracting that can be.

And we all know that window film comes in a variety of shades to add aesthetic appeal to your car, which makes your vehicle look stylish and can help with privacy, and security.

Car with window tint

Should I Wash My Car Before Tinting My Windows

Although it’s unnecessary for you, the vehicle owner, to wash your car windows before having window film professionally installed. It would make installing the film much quicker if your windows and car were clean.

Go ahead and vacuum your car seats and floor of dog hair or other debris or have it detailed before installing your film. Then there will be less chance of dog hairs getting trapped between your glass and your film.

Prep – means to clean the windows inside and out and remove any loose dirt before installing the window film. The film installer will prep the windows before applying the film. So, if you have already cleaned your windows, your wait time on the installation day will be a lot less.

Go ahead and remove any belongings from the car that don’t need to be there. The installer will need to move around inside your vehicle, having to twist his body as he reaches for the corners of the windows. So, remove any items like children’s car seats, clothing, or containers so he can move around and do his job without fear of squashing or breaking anything.   

How Long Does It Take to Tint Windows?

Graph Tech Computer Cut Machine

The timeframe it takes to tint your car windows depends upon your vehicle’s make, model, and year.

Applying window film to every window can take somewhere in the range of two to four hours. A standard four-door sedan takes around two hours. Tint your two front windows only, which will take about thirty to forty minutes.

The shade of film you have selected is placed on our computer cut machine. Then the film is cut to the exact dimensions of your vehicle’s windows.

The installer will then apply the film on your vehicle windows one at a time. They will utilize a squeegee or similar tool to remove all wrinkles, bubbles, and soapy water used during the application of the film.

The process of installing the film takes time. Window film is flat, and your automobile windows are curved, so it takes time for the window film installer to gently and carefully sculpt the film to fit the curvature of the glass.

A full-sized SUV has seven to nine windows, so the installation on window film will last much longer, roughly four to five hours.

What You Need to Do to Protect Your Window Film

The following are a couple of suggestions you might want to consider after having your windows tinted.

Depending on where you live and your climate, some vehicles may retain moisture that looks like tiny bubbles caught between the window film and the vehicle’s glass.

Relax – this is nothing to worry about. The window film installer will use a unique tool to squeeze the moisture trapped between the film and the glass.

Bubbles – you might notice tiny bubbles when you walk around and admire your vehicle with its new tinted windows.

The moisture (soapy water) should evaporate in a couple of days. These bubbles could disappear within a couple of hours if you live in a hot climate like California, Arizona, etc. Or it might take three-seven days in the Summer.

* Window film installation requires soapy water. The moisture allows the film to be placed into position on the glass during installation. The soapy water also triggers the adhesive, so the film sticks to the glass.

In the winter, when the weather is much colder, the drying process can take longer. Allow up to ten days before giving your tint shop a call if moisture bubbles remain.

All things being equal, allow the film to dry. Do not attempt to eliminate the air pockets (bubbles) yourself. If you have any concerns after a week has passed, contact your window film installer, and they will correct the issue.

Try Not to Lower Your Windows After Having Them Tinted

We realize you’ll have the desire to lower your windows. It’s like an automatic reaction when you sit inside your car. Do not lower your windows for at least three days, as it can cause the film to slide or crease on the top edge if it is not completely dry.

Most professional window film installers will place the film to the top edge of the window’s glass. That means no unsightly gap at the top of your window.

Placing film at the top of the window gives the illusion that the glass is dyed—an aesthetic look that’s more appealing than an unsightly gap.

So, keep your windows up until the installer has permitted you to roll them down.

If you need a reminder not to roll your windows down, apply colored masking tape over your window switch.

We will now address the central question: –

Can You Wash Your Car After Getting Windows Tinted?

Indeed, you can wash your vehicle after getting your windows tinted.

The window film is installed on the inside glass so washing the exterior of your car is not a problem.

Some tint shops will offer the service of washing your car after you have had window film installed. They will take extra care of your vehicle if your exterior paint is black. 

Just make sure you do not wash or wipe down your film on the inside of your vehicle until it is completely dry.

Applying any pressure on the glass could cause the film to slide until the adhesive layer has had time to dry thoroughly.

When it Comes Time to Cleaning Your Tinted Car Windows

Make sure you use an ammonia-free window cleaner and a soft cloth that will not scratch your film or glass. I recommend using a microfiber towel to remove the dirt and clean the glass.

To wash your car’s exterior, you can wash and detail it at home or take it to your local professional car wash.  

Most professional car washes use ammonia-free glass cleaners, so you have nothing to worry about.

A man cleaning a window of a blue car with microfiber cloth at sunset. Manual car washing concept

If you have any questions about window film installation, please give us a call, or stop by one of our locations.  

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