Caring For Banners
Get the most out of your promotional banners with proper care and maintenance. There are several factors that contribute banner longevity, including where and how you use it, as well as how it is cleaned and stored. Unfortunately, poor storage or cleaning practices can cause premature deterioration of otherwise high quality banners.
Here are some tips for keeping your banner in good condition:
Handling: Hands should be completely clean before handling banners, this includes avoiding the use of hand cream, which can stain or leave behind a residue that attracts dust and dirt. If necessary, wear gloves during the banner installation and take-down processes.
Installation: When installing your banner, avoid over-stretching the material. Stretching causes material strain, particularly in the case of outdoor banners that are exposed to strong winds. Over time, strain contributes to fading and creates a shoddy appearance. Try using bungee cords to tie banners, as these offer a combination of strength and elasticity that can help reduce strain.
Cleaning: Banners will eventually get dirty, even when displayed indoors. Unfortunately, some methods used to clean banners deteriorate both the lettering and the banner material itself, so it’s important to choose cleaning products and techniques carefully.
Appropriate methods of cleaning a banner depend on the banner material:
- To clean a vinyl banner, gently wipe it down with a soft, damp cloth with no cleaning solution. Don’t use a microfiber or abrasive cloth, as these will damage the banner. If you need additional cleaning power, mix up a mild soap and water solution to use with your soft cloth. Do not use abrasive cleaners or cleaners containing ammonia or solvents.
- Laundering fabric banners contributes to fading and a change in banner shape, so these banners should almost always be reserved for indoor use where they are less likely to become soiled by pollution and the elements. When feasible, use dry methods of cleaning fabric banners. For example, you can use painters or masking tape to remove surface dust from the banner. Pre-treat stains before laundering the banner with a mild detergent in cold water. Using hot or warm water can cause a fabric banner to shrink. If the banner is very large, a home washing machine may not be appropriate, and you’ll have to take the banner to a commercial cleaner for laundering.
Storage: Banners should always be rolled, not folded, for storage. Folding creates creases, which can be difficult to remove. If you clean a banner before storing it, ensure that the banner is completely dry before rolling. Dampness can cause the banner to mildew. If you are storing a vinyl banner, chose a climate controlled storage area, as extreme temperatures will damage the banner.
Final word: In some cases it may make more business sense to invest in a sign than a banner, particularly for signage that is always on display. Pay attention to the amount of time spent on maintaining your banners, as well as how often you end up replacing them. Frequent maintenance and replacement may be an indication that it’s time to graduate to conventional signage.