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How to Extend the Life of Your Indoor or Outdoor Banners

Did you know that you can extend the life of your indoor or outdoor banners considerably by following a few easy steps?

Even if you have an older, wrinkled banner that’s been sitting in a closet for a few years—it’s possible to breathe new life into them. At AlphaGraphics of New Bern, we have received many customer inquiries about how to maintain their banners properly. We decided to write this blog post to pass on a few tips that will keep your banners looking as new as they did the day you picked them up from the printers. Read on to discover a few essential banner care tips and how to store them properly. 

Removing Wrinkling

[caption id="attachment_902" align="alignleft" width="200"]Photo by <a href=Redd on Unsplash " width="200" height="300" /> Photo by Redd on Unsplash[/caption] Eventually, your shiny new banner will get a few wrinkles as time passes. While you can technically let the wrinkles slide, it gives off an unprofessional appearance and naturally causes people to avert their gaze—nobody likes looking at blight. No matter how thick your vinyl is, wrinkles will eventually set it. For example, let’s say that your Little League team sells banner ad space on the outfield fences. After baseball season is over, you fold it up and store it in the equipment shed.  As the weeks go by, someone inevitably sets something heavy on top of the neatly folded banner, and when you come to take it out in the following spring, you find several heavy creases. The good news is that there are two main ways of getting rid of wrinkles. One is slower but has less chance of damaging the banner, while the other, quicker method can quickly destroy the banner in just a few minutes.

Removing Wrinkles from Vinyl Banners

Lay the banner flat on a clean surface, such as a table. Take a damp rag and gently wipe away any dirt or grime. Don’t use hard cleaners or detergents as they can easily damage the material. After you’ve performed a thorough cleaning, wipe the banner with a dry cloth. Once dry, you’re now ready to remove the wrinkles!

Method #1

This is the slowest but safest way to get rid of wrinkles. Find an outdoor area that receives ample sunlight. Lay the banner out flat and come back in a few hours. The power of the sun should have gotten rid of most wrinkles. However, if there are a few stubborn spots, consider leaving it out in the sun for a few days. The total length of time it will take varies on the size of the banner, the sun intensity (winter or summer sun?), and the depth and severity of the wrinkles. Laying the banner out flat for a few days can help remove the “memory” that some banner materials have when stored in a rolled-up fashion for long periods. If your banner has grommets, you can easily stretch it back into shape on a metal fence. Another method is to use light weights, such as milk jugs filled with water, to help stretch the banner back into shape.

Method #2

If you don’t have the time to wait a few hours or a few days for the sun to safely de-wrinkle your banner, you can attempt to use a hairdryer or handheld steaming machine to do the job. 
  • You can easily wind up damaging or destroying your banner using this method. However, if you don’t have a choice, then keep in mind the following tips:
  • Start with the lowest heat setting. If that doesn’t work, very carefully use the medium heat setting.
  • Avoid heating one patch of banner for too long regardless of the heat setting used. 
  • Consider testing on a small corner or non-essential part of the banner. This way, if you accidentally mess it up, it won’t have as big of an impact as it would if you accidentally burned some of the printed lettering.
  • Avoid having the heat come in direct contact with the vinyl banner material. Try to keep the hairdryer or steamer as far away as possible.
  • You can try adding a small buffer between the banner and the heat gun. A clean t-shirt should help reduce the intensity of the heat.

Don’t Use an Iron!

Avoid the temptation to use a clothes iron on the banner. Even though you use it to remove wrinkles from clothes, cotton is more receptive to high heat than vinyl banner material. You also may find a guide out there on the internet that suggest using an iron. Regardless of how good they say it works—high heat and pressure mean a damaged banner.

How to Store a Banner

Proper banner storage will allow you to extend the banner’s life and prevent wrinkles. Here are a few tips: Avoid folding—Folding a banner causes wrinkles along the folded lines. Even more so if someone sets something heavy on it while in storage. Pull the banner out every quarter—if you know you’ll be storing the banner for an extended period, set a reminder to take it out of storage every four months and lay it flat for a few days.  Avoid weights—weights will cause creases in your banner. Avoid moisture, light, and heat—heat can warp your banner, sunlight can cause the inks to fade over time, and humidity causes mold and mildew to form. Avoid these.

Banner Design and Creation in New Bern

If you follow the above tips, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to remove the wrinkles on your banner. However, if your banner refuses to come back to life, give the experts at AlphaGraphics of New Bern a call.  At AlphaGraphics of New Bern, we can help you design and create the perfect indoor or outdoor banner. To learn more about how AlphaGraphics of New Bern can produce and design your next project, you may email usrequest a quote, or call us at (252) 633-3199.

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