Car stickers can either be cosmetic or law-required. Whatever their purpose may be, the day will come when it’s time for them to go. Mandatory inspection stickers, which are commonly slapped on the windshield and need to be changed every year, can be a real pain to remove. Same goes for car decals, which due to changes in trends and tastes, may not be fashionable to let them—pardon the pun—stick around.
Putting on stickers on a car is an effortless job but removing them is another story. It can be harder than you think, especially if you don’t really know what you’re doing. In this article, we’ll tell you a trick or two to remove stickers on windows, windshields and bumpers where they are commonly located.
But before we go to the specifics, here’s a protip: It is easier to remove stickers after a car wash.
- Window cleaner or glass cleaning solution – Generously spray glass cleaner on the sticker. Let it soak for a couple of minutes. Once the sticker becomes soft, start chipping away. Begin at the edges by using a razor blade or a box cutter, then proceed by carefully pulling up the entire sticker. To remove sticker residue from glass, simply spray your glass cleaner again and wipe the residue with a piece of cloth. A good cleaner is key to pulling the job off with much ease, so opt for high-quality glass cleaners.
- Rubbing alcohol – If you want a cheaper option, go for rubbing alcohol. The procedure is roughly the same with that of using glass cleaner. The only difference is the amount of time to accomplish the task. It’s also best to use a microfiber towel when taking out those nasty sticker remnants.
- Ice – A less popular hack that’s still worth a try! See, cold temperature is an effective alternative to solvents. Ice can cool off and harden the sticker’s adhesive, making it easy to peel off. Just put an ice pack over the sticker and wait for it to get soaked. Chip and pull the sticker away with a razor and that’s it!
The downside, however, is that sticker residue will not be removed entirely. For this, you might need extra scrubbing using a thin blade and cloth.
- Adhesive remover – Car experts suggest that using adhesive removers is the best way to get stickers off glass. As the name suggests, they are specifically meant to counter stubborn sticky substances. An adhesive remover follows a specific formula that removes residue without harming the surface, which makes it perfect for windshields. Not all adhesive removers come cheap, though, so you need to allot budget if you want to get rid of those car stickers fast.
The steps in using an adhesive remover are similar to the processes mentioned earlier (spray, soak, strip off, scour)—only this time, everything will be easier and quicker.
Get Rid of Bumper Stickers without Ruining the Car Paint
Now when it comes to bumper stickers, there’s an unlikely method that is tried and tested: the hair dryer method. This technique works best on stickers that are not fixed on glass. Note: a hair dryer is more ideal than a heat gun as the latter can destroy your car paint.
Step 1: Have your vehicle cleaned. You can either have professionals wash it for you or simply home-wash it. What’s important is to free your car from dirt. If you have few stickers on your car, just clean the area where your stickers are.
Step 2: Prepare your hair dryer by running it for a while. Reminder: use a hair dryer with hot air mode. The hot air from the hair dryer has the right amount of heat to soften adhesives without ruining your car paint. Keep your hair dryer a few inches away from the sticker and work starting from the center outward.
Step 3: Use a sturdy plastic card or squeegee to start scraping the edges of the sticker. Bear in mind to use a thin and blunt material when doing this (e.g., rulers and business cards). Avoid sharp and pointy objects to prevent damaging your car paint. If scraping the sticker proves difficult, reheat the sticker using the hair dryer.
Step 4: If the sticker is heated properly, the plastic card will easily slide under it. Do a back-and-forth motion using the plastic card (or your fingertips) to peel off the sticker.
Step 5: Once the sticker is removed, you can apply an adhesive remover or detailing spray to eliminate adhesive residue.