Removing Decals, Stripes & Window Tint
Updated April 15, 2009
Window Tint Removal
If you want to remove Decals or striping this is the tool. It scuffs off the applique without damaging the paint. Use it in a buffer or a drill. You can get the wheel at a professional auto paint store.
3M™ Stripe Off Wheel 07499, 4 in x 5/8 in
Solid wheel designed for removal of vinyl striping tapes, decals, graphics and double sided molding tapes. Use on tools with 4,000 RPM. M.O.S.-optimum speed is 2,000 RPM plus or minus 200.
Window Tint Removal
- Warm sunny day
- Large plastic garbage bag
- Undiluted Ammonia
- Windex (a glass cleaner)
- Paper towels
- Fine steel wool
- Razor blades
- Slotted Screwdrivers
- Phillips Screwdrivers
Tips: The difficult thing about removing tint is that most film is constructed of two layers of tinted polyester. When you try to peel the film off the glass, the top layer will usually pull right off leaving the second layer behind. This second layer will not peel off, it will just flake and tear like a price tag.
- To over come separation between layers you must soften the adhesive so that both layers peel at the same time. This is very important, if you peel the just the top layer, you may as well just use razor blades as there is no way to peel the second layer off without picking at it for a few hours. You MUST try to peel both layers at once.
- First, clear the window of any obstructions, like the brake light, speaker covers etc.
- Next cut open the garbage bag so that it will be big enough to cover the entire window. Spray some water on the outside of the back window and the lay plastic bag over the glass. Cut away excess plastic so that it is now roughly the same shape as the glass.
- Next, lay a tarp over rear deck and seat, spray ammonia liberally on the inside of the back window. (Ammonia is very strong, I suggest you hold your breath during this step) and cover ammonia soaked tint with the plastic bag so that it won't evaporate.
- Park the car with rear window facing the sun for about an hour. The film should now be ready to peel.
- When you are ready to start peeling, leave the plastic in place so the ammonia wont dry. Get the peeling started with a razor blade in a corner where there are no defroster lines. Try to peel film off in one piece. If the ammonia dries as you peel, the glue will get hard again, so spray a bit of ammonia on the area as you peel.
- Once the film is peeled you will need to scrub the adhesive off with ammonia and fine 0000 steel wool.
- Mop up scrubbed areas with paper towels before they dry. Finish up with window cleaner and paper towels.
NOTE: You are more than likely to damage one or more of your defroster lines, when this happens, the cut line will not work anymore. Some cars have radio antennas mounted alongside the defrosters made of the same material. If you damage these, your radio antenna will not work! Be careful! Taking it to a tint shop to be done greatly increases the odds of saving the lines, but even a tint shop can not promise to save your lines, sometimes the film is just to far gone.
Removing tint from side windows
Soaking is not nessesary here. You may want to use a simple razor blade holder. Cut a notch onto the upper area of the film so that you have a piece to pull. Try to peel the film, it will probably come off in two or three pieces.
Spray the remaining adhesive with soapy water, and scrape the adhesive off with a razor blade, avoiding the edges of the glass until last to keep the blade sharp. You may need to use a few blades as they dull quickly. Finish up with window cleaner and paper towels. Inspect for missed glue (its clear and hard to see)