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  • Removing car emblems, or debadging, is something that vehicle owners do to give their rides a sleeker, cleaner look.
  • Before you can remove your car emblems, you’ll have to prep your vehicle, which includes cleaning the area around the car emblem, inspecting each badge you plan to remove, and reading up on the debadging process.
  • Some of the tools you’ll need to remove your car’s badges include an adhesive remover, a microfiber cloth or sponge, wax, and hot water.

Removing car emblems, or debadging, is something that vehicle owners do to give their rides a sleeker, cleaner look. It’s also handy if you have a shiny new badge you want to install to spruce up an older vehicle. That being said, the process can be a little tricky, so here are a few tips you can use to make it easier:

Prepping Your Vehicle

Preparing your vehicle is an important part of the process. You’ll want to make sure the area around the car emblem is clean before you work, otherwise, you’ll risk scratching the paint as you work. Wash and dry the areas well before you begin your work.

Also, inspect each badge you plan to remove. Find out how many badges you’ll need to work on and how they’re attached to the vehicle. Some vehicles still use bolt-in badges, and the steps for removing those are very different from adhesive-type emblems.

On your end, be sure to read up on the process before you begin. You can expect to take around 10 to 30 minutes to remove and clean up each badge, so go in knowing how much time you need to commit.

Tools You’ll Need

Before you start removing a car’s badges, you’ll want to have the tools you need on hand. You’ll need a couple of other things depending on the method you plan to use, but keep these general tools close by:

Hot Water or a Steamer

Applying heat via steam and hot water is a great way to loosen the adhesive that holds the badge to your vehicle. This’ll make it easier to pry off later. You can direct the steam to the area by holding the hot water underneath the badge and blocking it in with a microfiber cloth. Alternatively, if you’re using a steamer, steam directly onto the badge. A hairdryer on its hottest setting is also an option for this step.

Hot water will also be needed after steaming to further melt the adhesive. Make sure this water is very hot but not boiling.

Adhesive Remover

After you’ve removed the vehicle’s emblem, you’ll need to get rid of any remaining adhesive on the vehicle’s body. An adhesive remover is very good for this and is much more effective than rubbing at the spot with soapy water. A little goes a long way, so just dab it on your sponge or microfiber cloth and get to work.

You can also use adhesive remover in place of hot water to soften the adhesive. However, keep in mind that adhesive remover can damage your vehicle’s clear coat, so try not to apply it too liberally.

Microfiber Cloth or Sponge

You can choose to use a microfiber cloth or sponge to apply the adhesive remover and get rid of the remaining adhesive. As we discussed earlier, a microfiber cloth also helps with trapping steam. Be sure to take care when using the rough side of the sponge though. It may make the work go faster, but it has a higher likelihood of scratching your paint.


We recommend washing and waxing the area after you’ve removed your car’s badge to protect it from the weather. Be sure the area is completely dry before applying the wax, and use a circular motion when applying it on the vehicle’s body.

How To Debadge a Car

There are two main techniques for removing a car emblem, both of which can be rather risky for your ride. The key is to go slow and take your time, whichever technique you choose to use.

Using Dental Floss or Fishing Line

Using dental floss or fishing line is the safest of the options, but it also takes a long time. That said, it’s easier to avoid scratching your vehicle’s paint job if you use these bits of string instead of a scraper.

For this technique, once you’ve slipped the floss or line between the emblem and the vehicle body, use a sawing motion to pry the emblem away. You can soak the floss in adhesive remover to make this a little easier.

Using a Heat Gun

For the heat gun method, remember to keep your heat gun at its lowest setting. Make sure it’s always several inches away from the vehicle and don’t let it linger on any specific area for more than a few seconds. The heat gun is dangerous for your vehicle’s paint job as it risks melting the paint off.

You can use a plastic putty knife to test the adhesive’s softness. As soon as the adhesive feels gummy, you should be able to scrape it off. Make sure to wait until the area is cool before applying your adhesive remover and wax.

Using a Scraper

If you want to go straight at the emblem with a scraper or even a credit card, you can as long as the adhesive is soft enough. That being said, take care not to scratch the paint, as any sort of hard scraping will inevitably lead to scratching if you’re not careful.

Now that you know some tips on how to remove car badges, you can see that it’s often a tricky and time-consuming endeavor. But the shiny end result can definitely be worth it. Follow these tips to make the process as painless as possible.

About The Authors
Written By Automotive and Tech Writers

The Research Team is composed of experienced automotive and tech writers working with (ASE)-certified automobile technicians and automotive journalists to bring up-to-date, helpful information to car owners in the US. Guided by's thorough editorial process, our team strives to produce guides and resources DIYers and casual car owners can trust.

Reviewed By Automotive Features Reviewer at

Lisa Conant grew up in Canada around a solid contingency of gear heads and DIY motor enthusiasts. She is an eclectic writer with a varied repertoire in the automotive industry, including research pieces with a focus on daily drivers and recreational vehicles. Lisa has written for Car Bibles and The Drive.

Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.

File Under : Car Body , DIY
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