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Indoor or Outdoor Banner Maintenance Tips

Indoor and outdoor banners generate tremendous awareness and offer an attractive ROI.

However, several things can cause them to look worn, wrinkled, or dated. Improper storage and care are two of the biggest reasons wrinkles and creases start to form.  At AlphaGraphics of Raleigh, many customers have asked us for tips on extending the life of their newly created banners. We decided to compile our tips into this blog post to help you keep your banners looking brand new. Read on to learn more about removing wrinkles from your banners and performing proper maintenance to ensure long service life.

Banner Wrinkle Removal

[caption id="attachment_1155" align="alignleft" width="300"]Banners Photo by Luke Zhang on Unsplash[/caption] There comes a time in the life of every indoor and outdoor banner when they don't look as good as they did brand new. These older-looking banners give off a very unprofessional look and feel, whether it's accumulated dirt or deep creases. They can cause people to intentionally avoid looking at them due to the blight. Banners are made out of heavy-duty vinyl that will accumulate wrinkles over time. For example, let's say that your Farmer's Market closes every year in September, and the large outdoor banner gets folded up and thrown into a storage closet.  Over the next few months, people add more stuff to the closet, and someone inevitably sets a heavy box on top of the carefully folded-up banner. Once you take the banner out of storage, you'll find that several deep creases have set in.  There are two main methods of banner wrinkle removal. The first can take several hours to several days. However, it's the safest. The second method takes much less time, but you run the risk of accidentally causing permanent damage to the banner.

Two Vinyl Banners Wrinkle Removing Methods

Before you get to work, lay the banner flat on a clean surface and gently wipe away any accumulated dirt or grime with a damp cloth. Avoid harsh household chemicals or cleaners as they can damage the vinyl material and letter. Once you've thoroughly cleaned the banner, gently wipe it dry with a clean cloth. 

The First Method

Vinyl banners are very susceptible to heat. As such, the safest way to get rid of the wrinkles is to locate an outdoor area that receives ample daily sunlight. Lay the banner out flat, add some light weights to the corners, and let the sunlight do its thing. The gentle warmth of the sun should remove most if not all wrinkles. The length of time that it will take depends on a few factors, such as banner size, amount, depth of wrinkles, and the sun's intensity. If your banner has started to curl up from being rolled up in storage, consider leaving it out for a few days to remove the "memory" of the vinyl. 

The Second Method

If you don't have the luxury of time and you need to remove the wrinkles as quickly as possible, grab a steam machine or hairdryer and get to work. Lay the banner out flat and follow the below tips:
  • Using a hairdryer or steam machine increases the risk of damage. Avoid heating one area for too long.
  • Begin by using the lowest heat or steam setting. If you do not see results, gradually increase all the way up to the medium setting.
  • Test your wrinkle removing method on a small corner patch. It won't be as big of a deal if you make a mistake since it's in the corner.
  • Don't allow direct heat to come in contact with the vinyl material. Keep the steamer or hairdryer as far away as possible. Consider using a buffer, such as a small folded t-shirt, to limit the amount of heat.
  • Keep in mind: too much heat = damaged banner

Avoid Irons!

While you may find a few guides on the internet that suggest using an iron—don't. Irons work great for cotton and other similar fabrics. They give off too much heat, and you run the real risk of permanently damaging the banner in just a fraction of a second.

Banner Storage Tips

There are a few things that you can do to help ensure the longevity of your banner when putting it into storage: Don't fold it—Folding causes wrinkles. Those wrinkles will increase in depth and intensity if someone sets something on top of a folded banner. Pull the banner out of storage every now and then—The vinyl banner material can have a bit of a "memory." If you keep it rolled up for too long, it could take a while for the material to go back to a flat shape. Consider taking the banner out of storage every quarter and laying it flat for a few hours to help prevent memory from setting into the material.

Banner Design and Creation in Raleigh

Following the above simple tips will help keep your banner looking as good as new for a long time. However, if you find that you're unable to rescue that heavily wrinkled banner, the experts at AlphaGraphics of Raleigh can help you design and create a brand new one. At AlphaGraphics of Raleigh, we're much more than a print shop—we're also marketing experts you can count on to help you when it comes time to market your business. To learn more about how AlphaGraphics of Downtown Raleigh can help with your content marketing needs, you may email us, request a quote, or call us at (919) 832-2828.

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