Window tinting is a great way to enhance the aesthetics of a car and keeping you cool inside. However, sometimes you need to take off the window tint. It could be because you want to switch to a different type of tint (different color, transparency, quality) or your tint has just degraded over time.
Yes, tints can degrade with too much exposure to the sun. The most common symptoms of degraded window film are “bubble formation” and “purple film”. The bubbles on the film appear when the adhesive on the film starts breaking down and no longer able to hold it together. If you notice some bubbles, that means that more bubbles will soon start appearing all over the window tint.
The purple film is the result of non-metallic dyes in the film going bad and changing color.
In any case, you’d need to remove the window tints. You can get it done from a workshop but keep reading if you want to do it yourself at home. Most people who try to do it at home end up with sticky windows or keep scraping glass area for hours.
Let’s look at 5 different methods to quickly remove window tints:
Soak up the Sun and use Ammonia
Things Required: Ammonia Spray, Soap Spray, Garbage Bags, and Sunny Day
In this method, we are going to harness the power of sun to make our job easier. So, look at other methods if it’s too cloudy or cold in your area.
Step 1) Take big black garbage bags and cut them open so that it can cover the glass area. Spray soapy water on he glass and lay over the black garbage bags. They will help to absorb the heat from sunlight.
Step 2) move inside the car and mask the are surrounding glass with tarp or some other waterproof material. Now, spray the inside surface of the window film with Ammonia solution.
Step 3) Cover the inside area of the glass by laying over the black garbage bag sheet over the ammonia spray. Now you’ll have glass sandwiched between two black sheets.
Step 4) After letting the car sit in the sun for an hour or two, come back to do this final step. Carefully lift a corner of the window tint and peel off the entire tint in one go. If some adhesive residue is left after peeling of tints, scrap it with a blade. Many cars have defrosting wires embedded in the glass, so be mindful of that and don’t damage it with any sharp object.
Warning: Ammonia fumes can be harmful so it’s better to wear a mask while spraying it. Different people respond differently to ammonia fumes.
Use Fabric Steamer
If you have a fabric steamer at home then congratulations, you can follow this easier method to remove window film.
Things Required: Fabric Steamer, Glass Cleaner
Step 1) Prepare the steamer by plugging it in. Now, steam your windows directly where the tint is applied. After few minutes the adhesive will become loose.
Step 2) Peel the corner of the tint using a fingernail or a blade. Start pulling the tint and it’s come off easily.
Step 3) Clean the glass with a glass cleaner and a soft cloth to clean off the remaining adhesive on the glass.
Soap and Newspaper
Things Required: Soap Solution and Newspaper
Step 1) Spray soap solution over the window tint and cover it with newspapers. Leave it like this for an hour or so. Keep respraying soap solution over it every 15 minutes to keep the paper wet.
Step 2) After letting the film soak for about an hour, start peeling off the film. Use you fingernail or blade to start lifting the edge of the window tint. It should come off easily without leaving any sticky residue.
Hair Dryer method
Things Required: Hair Dryer, Glass cleaner, cloth, razor blade
Step 1) Just like the fabric steamer method, we’ll use hairdryer to heat up the window film. Put the hairdryer in the max setting and blow over the entire glass area for few minutes.
Step 2) Now, focus hot air on the edges of the window tint. While you do that, lift off the film edge and continue peeling it and blowing hot air over it. Finish it off by cleaning the glass with glass cleaner and a soft cloth.
Soap and Scrape
Things Required: Soap solution and razor blade
This method should be the last resort method if you have more time than resources. If you have to work on a small tint area, then soap and scrape method is alright, but I recommend using other methods if you’re working on the entire car.
Step 1) Start making cuts in the glass tint to make it into smaller sections.
Step 2) Peel the tint starting from the edges section by sections
Step 3) Use a razor blade to scrape off adhesive from the glass after wetting it with a soap solution.
Keep repeating these steps until all the tint comes off and the glass is cleaned properly.
The Final Detailing Touch:
Now, after using one of the above-mentioned methods for removing window tint, it’s time to get those windows all shiny again. If you notice carefully, you will see several patches of adhesive on the glass area. You need to clean it off using a good glass cleaner. And if the adhesive’s too strong then rub a little bit of kerosene or diesel on it. WD40 Spray or Goo Gone will also clean up the adhesive.
Frequently Asked Questions?
Can you remove window tint yourself?
Yes, you can surely remove window tints at home. Just follow any one of the five methods mentioned in the article above. I found using the fabric steamer method one of the easiest to remove tints.
Can you damage windows while removing tints?
When you’re handling a sharp razor you could potentially damage the glass. Use the blade gently and not aggressively over the glass. Some people have cut their defroster lines in the glass and also scratched the glass. We are using blade just to lift of corners of the tint and to scrape off the adhesive lightly.
How to clean leaftover tint adhesive?
after you’ve peeled off the tint, you might be left with patched of adhesive stuck onto the glass. You can clean it off using anything that will breakdown the adhesive. This includes: WD40, Kerosene, Diesel, Amonia spray, Isopropyl Alcohol, Goo Gone