Sick of looking at the old car sticker that doesn’t look good anymore and want to get rid of it? Or looking to sell your car in the used market and want it in a neat condition without any stickers?
Well, removing a sticker from your car isn’t as easy as applying it! And if it’s an old sticker or decal, get ready to invest quite some time in removing the leftover adhesive.
You cannot just peel off the decal as it may damage the paintwork. So how to remove stickers from cars? This article covers some tested ways to remove stickers and decals safely without damaging the paint and any other car component.
Let’s get started.
Types of Car Stickers
It is essential to know about the types of car stickers/decals before you proceed with the removal process. Usually, most car stickers and decals have a similar removal process. However, some of them have a super-strong adhesive that doesn’t come off easily.
1. Clear Cling
These car stickers are designed to stick on the glass like windows and windshields. It’s a clear sticker with less adhesive and is easy to remove. The average life of a clear cling sticker is six months, and after that, it loses its grip, so you can peel it off.
2. Reflective Vinyl
The reflective vinyl stickers are the hardest to remove, as the adhesive can last up to 5 years. Folks use these stickers on the glass, bumpers, doors, and even the car’s hood.
3. Perforated Film
Designed to stick outside the windshield, these stickers don’t obstruct the view when someone sitting inside the car looks outside. The life of adhesive is around five years.
4. Permanent Adhesive
These are one of the stubborn car stickers and decals. The sticker leaves a visible stain of residue when removed and can easily last up to 7 years.
How to Remove Stickers from Cars
No matter what type of sticker and decal you are trying to remove, the below-mentioned steps will help you remove it safely without damaging the car’s paintwork.
Furthermore, I’ve classified the steps into several categories, so you can quickly understand how to remove the stickers and what items are required for the process.
How to Remove Stickers from Car’s Windows and Windshields?
Removing stickers from the glass is the easiest. However, cleaning the residual adhesive is not a piece of cake. Gather these items, and follow the steps one by one.
- A glass cleaning solution
- A dry microfiber cloth
- Label and sticker remover (recommended: Turtle Wax T-529 Label & Sticker Remover)
- Glass wax (quick-dry)
Step 1: Clean the Glass
Image Credit: ChemicalGuys
It would be great to clean the glass properly to get rid of dust and dirt. If not cleaned thoroughly, the dust can stick on the adhesive, and it can become even more stubborn.
Spray the cleaner all over the glass and clean it with a microfiber cloth.
Step 2: Apply the Sticker and Decal Remover
Apply the Turtle Wax T-529 Label & Sticker Remover) to the sticker carefully. Cover every corner of the decal to remove it quickly. Let the product sit for 1-2 minutes to dissolve the glue properly.
The product works well for removing clear clings and vinyl stickers.
Step 3: Peel It Off to Remove Stickers from Car Window
Now you can peel off the sticker gently. Or brush it with a microfiber cloth to remove the adhesive as well. If you see the glue residue, apply some more sticker remover on it, and wipe it off with the soft cloth.
Step 4: Buff with Wax
Apply some glass wax to the particular area to make the windshield shine. Take some wax on a sponge, and buff it in circular motions. Let it dry, and you are ready to go.
How to Remove Stickers from Car Paint without Damaging It?
Wondering how to remove stickers from car bumpers or paint? Usually, folks use permanent adhesive stickers or decals on the car paint because of its good grip, and that’s why it becomes hard to remove them without damaging the paint.
However, the approach I’ve mentioned will help you remove the sticker safely. You need the following items for this process:
Step 1: Clean the Surface and Heat the Sticker
Get the surface ready by cleaning it with water and a microfiber cloth. Now heat the sticker by keeping the hairdryer 2-3 inches away from the bumper or car’s surface.
Only focus on the sticker and do not heat the paint. Hoovering the hairdryer will help in even heating, and make sure to heat the corners so you can remove the sticker safely.
Step 2: Apply the Sticker Remover
Now spray some Turtle Wax T-529 Label & Sticker Remover) over the sticker. Heating it has already melted the glue, so using this solution will do the job even faster.
Spray it on the entire sticker, and make sure the solution doesn’t spill on the paint. You can even use masking tape to cover the sticker surrounds to protect them.
Step 3: Remove the Adhesive
The biggest problem with permanent adhesive and vinyl stickers is the stubborn glue. Even after using the solution, you’ll see some glue sticking over the paint.
Apply some Goo Gone Adhesive Remover Spray Gel, and let it sit for 1-2 minutes. Now wipe it off using a microfiber towel. If you still see the glue, repeat the process, and keep the spray gel for slightly longer.
Step 4: Restore the Surface
How to Remove Stickers from Car Interiors?
Removing the stickers from car interiors is a bit different from removing them from paint and glass. As most interior elements like the dashboard have leather elements, applying sticker remover can lead to discoloration issues.
Step 1: Prepare the Surface
Heating with a hairdryer is not the best practice when it comes to removing stickers from the car interiors. So, use some lukewarm water to melt down the adhesive. This process works well if you have applied the sticker on a plastic or leather dashboard.
Step 2: Remove Old Sticker from Car by Scraping it Off
Now use the sticker peeler and try to lift one corner of the sticker. Using a plastic scraper would be great as it helps you avoid scratching the beautiful interiors.
Once you see the sticker coming off, peel it off gently.
Step 3: Clean the Surface
Dab the microfiber cloth in warm water, and clean the adhesive residue. You can even use interior leather polish to make the surface shine as if there was no sticker at all.
How To Apply Car Decals, So They Are Easier to Remove?
Applying a car decal or sticker is not as easy as you think. The inappropriate application makes the sticker look bad, and it becomes loose from the corners. Also, the dust mixes with the glue and damages the paint.
Here’s the right way to apply decals so that you can remove them whenever required and without any issues.
Step 1: Clean the Area
Whether you are looking to apply the decal on the glass or bumper, clean it properly. Spray some cleaning solution, and rub the surface with a microfiber cloth.
It would be great to apply the decal in your garage as there is less dust as compared to the roads.
Step 2: Choose the Right Decal
Applying the right type of decal will help you remove it easily. If you go for clear cling or perforated film, you’ll hardly spend five minutes removing them.
However, if you want the sticker to last longer, choose permanent adhesive, but only use a good-quality sticker that belongs to a decent brand. Cheap stickers have poor glue, which is difficult to remove.
Step 3: Use Wet Method
Make a solution of 95% water and 5% soap solution, and mix it well. Spray it on the area, and then apply the decal.
The sticker won’t settle down right away, so you can reposition it easily. Moreover, this solution undermines the power of the glue, and that’s how you can safely remove the sticker from your car.
Q1: Does Washing the Car too often help Remove Stickers?
A: Nope! Washing off the car doesn’t help in removing the stickers. I’ve seen people using good-quality windshield washer fluids to remove stickers and decals from glass, but this doesn’t help at all.
Q2: Should I Remove Factory Decals from my Car?
A: I don’t recommend removing factory decals, as they help the mechanic understand the vehicle’s make, which is important for finding spare parts.
Also, these decals contain other essential info about the car, such as chassis and engine numbers, so you should not remove them.
Q3: How do you Remove Stickers from a Back Window with a Defrost Line across It?
A: It is essential to remove stickers from the defrost lines if you want them to defog the windshield quickly and effectively. Spray some sticker remover over the sticker, and remove it gently.
Don’t use a scraper as it can damage the defrost line.
Q4: Can you use WD-40 to Remove Adhesive from the Car? Is it Safe?
A: Yes, WD-40 is safe, but you should use it carefully. Make sure it doesn’t spill over the car’s paint and plastic parts that don’t have the adhesive. Using masking tape will help you remove the sticker easily using WD-40 spray.
Q5: How do you Remove Decal Glue from Car Paint?
A: Cleaning the residual decal adhesive is easy. Spray some rubbing alcohol or glue removing solution, and let it melt the glue. Next, wipe the residue using a microfiber cloth, and buff the surface with wax to make it shine.
Removing stickers and decals from a car is not that hard, but it calls for the right technique and patience. Follow the methods depending on the type of sticker.
In case you are still not able to get the sticker off, it would be great to get in touch with a local car paint shop. Sometimes the glue becomes hard due to high heat/dust and becomes unremovable.
Lastly, don’t be too rough as you may end up damaging the paint or the car. Follow all steps gently, and you can take off those stickers.
Last update on 2023-01-07 at 11:15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API