Tinted windows on your car can be great for various reasons. They provide a much cooler cabin, privacy, and it usually makes your car look much better.
Unfortunately, window tint has a lifespan, and sometimes you need to replace it. But how do you remove it without damaging the window or making a mess?
In this article, I will talk about the reasons for removing the window tint film, four different methods to remove it, and how to remove excessive glue afterward.
4 Reasons to remove your window tint
There may be many different reasons you want to remove your car window glue, and it’s not always because it’s getting old. Here are 4 common reasons why you might need to remove window tint.
1. Bubbling or damages
The most common reason you would want to remove the window film is because of bubbles or other film damage. With time, sun, heat, and cold, the film will start to come loose. You might see bubbles in the film, or other kinds of damage caused by natural wear and tear.
There could also be a reason that you don’t want tinted windows anymore. Maybe you think your car’s cabin gets too dark while driving in the night, or you do not like the look of it.
3. Legal Reasons
In many countries, it is actually not legal to have tinted windows, especially the front windows. Maybe you got stopped by the police or have a yearly inspection that needs you to remove the window tint.
After some years, especially if you have a cheaper window film installed, the film will get discolored and look bad. You will often notice this by the film turns to a blue, green, or red color, which is especially visible in the sun.
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4 Methods To Remove Window Tint
So let’s get on how to actually remove the film when you have decided to remove it.
You can use four different methods to remove the film, and some are better than others. However, it is your decision which method feels suitable for you.
1. Heat Gun or Hair Dryer
The first and best method, if you ask me, is to use heat, then remove the film. This is a very straightforward method, and it will not leave any glue left behind if you do it properly.
Heat the film with a heat gun or hairdryer until the glue loosens up. Once it is hot enough, you should be able to peel the film off; if you pull up a corner, it should come off easily.
It is recommended to heat from the outside of the window. This way, the glue will melt before the film. If you apply heat directly to the film itself, it may stretch when you pull it instead of coming off cleanly, and you might end up having to pull it off in pieces, instead of all at once.
Be careful not to burn yourself, and do not overheat the window, as doing so can actually cause the glass to crack.
2. Solar Peel
The same basic principle applies here, except that you will do it without a heat gun.
As you may know, your car can be super-hot when it has been standing in the sun for a while. If you do not own a heat gun and do not want to spend any money on buying one, you can actually use the sun’s heat to do about the same thing.
Just let the car stand in the sun for some hours, then pull the film off the window. The quality of the film matters, here. If the film is of really high quality, it may be difficult to remove using only the sun’s heat, and it could leave a lot of glue behind.
Overall, this method will leave some glue behind, which you will need to remove afterward. Excess glue can still be removed, though, and you will find out how to do this later on in this article.
3. Steam Cleaning
Did you know that you can remove window tint with a steam cleaner? This method is much less well-known, but no less effective. The heat from the steam heats the glue, making it very easy to remove from the film.
Just pull a small corner of the film and start to steam the glue underneath the film directly, while gently pulling at the film. This is a very effective method that will not leave any glue left behind. The only catch is that you need a steam cleaner to do it.
Steam cleaners can be pretty expensive, but if you have one at home, you should absolutely use it in this case. I prefer this method over the heat gun method, believe it or not.
4. Scraphing Method
The last method here is to use a scraper to remove the film. This will be slower than the other methods, but it is definitely a useful option.
It is recommended to use a scraper and not a knife for this method. Just pull a little corner of the film and start to “cut off” the glue from the window. You can also combine this with the 2nd method of letting your car stand in the sun for a while.
This may leave some glue behind, though, though this shouldn’t be a problem since you already have the scraper to remove the film.
Be careful with the scraper, though! You don’t want to press the edge of the scraper against the window, as it may scratch up the glass.
How to Remove Stuck Window Tint Glue
After you have removed the film from all of your car windows, you might notice a lot of glue left behind, depending on the method you were using.
This is totally fine, and easily remedied. Here are four different methods you can use to remove the excess glue left on the windows.
1. Goo Gone Sticker Remover
The most effective method I have found of removing excessive glue is to use the Goo Gone sticker remover. Just apply this to the glue and let it sit for a while, then scrape the glue off. It should come off very easily and without much effort.
You can also scrape off the film without any sticker remover if you have a super sharp scraper. Just make sure that you do not make any scratches on the window. The scraper should be very sharp, and you should avoid pressing the edge against the window glass.
Alcohol is actually quite effective at removing window tint glue, and it can be a good alternative if you do not want to go through the hassle of ordering Goo Gone sticker remover. Your 50-year-old whiskey might not be the optimal choice here, but a 90 percent isopropyl alcohol can do the job very well.
Just apply it to the glue and then remove it with a scraper or towel afterward.
4. Nail Polish Remover
Nail polish remover is actually very effective against window tint film glue, and it has the advantage of being something many people have sitting around at home. Just apply it to the window and then take a cloth or something similar to remove it. You can also use a scraper to remove it afterward effectively.