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Indoor and Outdoor Banner Care 101

Banners are some of the most powerful signage options that allow you to get your message out to as many people as possible. They’re wind and weather-resistant, durable, and come in many sizes and shapes. It’s no wonder why banners are one of the most popular signage choices out there. From promoting sponsors of Little League baseball games to letting the community know about an upcoming outdoor event, banners are versatile and create a great first impression. One of the biggest benefits of an indoor or outdoor banner is its longevity. Provided that you perform basic maintenance and take care of them, they will last you for a very long time. Read on to learn more about how to properly care for your indoor or outdoor banners.


Due to the nature of banners, they can become creased or wrinkled over time. This presents a very unprofessional look and causes people to focus more on the eyesore than the actual message itself. Certain types of banners, such as block-out banners, prevent light from shining through to the other side. Regardless of the thickness of vinyl, it will eventually incur wrinkles from either wear and tear or improper storage. For example, let’s say that your church group puts on a Harvest Festival once a year. After the event is over, you take down the outdoor banner and carefully fold it into a square. You then store it on a shelf, and over a few months, a couple of heavy boxes find their way on top of it. When you take the banner out for next year’s Harvest Festival, you might notice some pretty deep wrinkles have set in. However, all is not lost! Whether your banners are wrinkled due to improper storage or from months of usage, there is a way to get those creases out!

How to Remove Wrinkles from Vinyl Banners 

Before starting the wrinkle removing process, you should first take a damp cloth (no detergent or other harsh chemicals) and gently wipe any dirt or debris off. After cleaning, take a dry cloth and make sure that you get all of the moisture off. There are two basic methods to removing creases from an indoor or outdoor vinyl banner: The Best, Easiest, But Slowest Way—Take the banner and lay it completely flat on a clean outdoor surface and use the heat of the sun to remove the wrinkles. Of course, if it’s the middle of winter or the storm season, this probably won’t be the ideal option. Over the course of a few hours (or a few days), the heat from the sun will naturally remove the wrinkles. How long depends entirely on the size of your banner, the intensity of the sun, and the severity of the wrinkling. If you rolled up the banner instead of folding it for storage, there’s a good chance that the vinyl will have some “memory” when you unfurl it. This presents an additional challenge that you can easily overcome. If possible, try to stretch out the banner as much as possible. For example, if your banner has grommets, consider stretching it out on a wall or fence. To help speed up the process, you can use extremely light weights such as a small bottle filled with water to increase the tension. The Quickest but Potentially Dangerous Way—If you’re pressed for time, and you absolutely can’t wait a few hours to a few days for the sun to do its thing, you can always use a hairdryer, heat gun, or handheld steaming device to get rid of the wrinkles. This is not the ideal way, and you can inadvertently wind up damaging your banner beyond repair if you accidentally use too much heat. There are a few tips that you should consider before attempting this method:
  • Always use the lowest heat setting first. If that doesn’t do the job, carefully use a medium heat setting.
  • Do not under any circumstance allow the heat to directly come in contact with the vinyl banner material, and it can and will melt or warp it.
  • Don’t apply heat to one area for too long—this advice also applies to the low heat setting. Remember, artificial heat = potential for damage.
  • Test out your wrinkle removing method on one of the corners of the banner before going gung-ho on the entire thing.
  • If you prefer to err on the side of caution, consider adding a buffer between the heat gun and the banner, such as a piece of cloth. This can help reduce the overall heat in any given area.

Why You Shouldn’t Use an Iron

  By now, you’re probably thinking that you can beat the system by using an iron. After all, it’s how we remove wrinkles from our clothing, right? There are many guides out there on the internet, and several recommend using an ordinary household iron to get wrinkles out of a banner. Despite the “expert advice” that you find on the internet, keep in mind that too much heat and pressure can irreversibly warp and damage your banner. Irons pose too great of a risk and should not be used.

Storing Your Banners

Properly storing your banner can help prevent wrinkles and curling of the sides. Consider the following when storing your indoor or outdoor banners: Don’t fold them—Folding induces wrinkles and creases, especially if someone sets a heavy object on them for a period of time. Take the banner out of storage every now and then—If you’re planning on storing your banner for an extended period, consider adding a calendar reminder every four months to take the banner out and lay it flat. This will help prevent creases from occurring. Don’t add weight—When you add weight on top of a banner, it can cause creases to form. Avoid light, heat, and moisture—Moisture can cause mildew to form, heat can warp or damage the banner, and sunlight can cause the inks to fade quicker. Banner Design and Creation in Alexandria and Arlington Properly caring for your banner will help extend its lifespan and ensure years of service. At AlphaGraphics of Alexandria and Arlington, we’re more than just a sign shop—we specialize in and offer a full suite of marketing and printing services for our clients. Over the years, we’ve helped countless Alexandria and Arlington businesses, individuals, and organizations create amazing and impactful banners. If you’d like to learn more about our copywriting services, give us a call at (703) 549-2432 or contact us on our website.    

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