Tips for do-it-yourself window tint removal


So the story goes you buy your dream car, it’s perfect and everything you’ve ever wanted. It’s shiny, strong and vibrant. But there’s one thing that doesn’t seem right. It’s the only thing you don’t love about your new vehicle. The window tint is too dark or maybe just doesn’t fit with the décor of your car. You wish you could remove it but taking it to a shop is too expensive and time consuming. This article is a do-it-yourself guide for window tint removal. It offers step by step tips for easy and quick car window tint removal.

First let’s start with the tools you’ll need. A spray bottle filled with water, 2 TBL spoons of any kind of dish washing detergent, I like lemon scented soap for an added sense of freshness, a 1 or 2 inch scraper blade found at any local hardware store. Be sure to always use a new blade as old blades can scratch the window glass. You will also need a very fine steel wool sold in hardware stores or your local supermarket. This wool will be used to remove any remaining adhesive from the tint removal. Make sure that you get the finest wool possible because course wool may cause scratches and always test a small area first just to be positive that you’re not scratching the window. We want your windows to be tint-less as well as scratch-less! The last thing you’ll need is a large black trash bag. This will be used for soaking film off of the rear windows.

Ok, let’s get started by removing the tint from the side windows. Be sure to do the removal of your window tint in a shaded area. The sun only makes the glue stick more to the tint hence making your task that much harder. Tint removal is a relatively simple assignment. It takes patience and time but then again what doesn’t? And you want it done right so take your time and you will absolutely get the results you desire.

First try to pick at the tint from a corner of the window. You should be able to peel at least a little piece away from the glass. Then use your scraper blade to easily peel the remaining tint away. It might take a little finessing. Once you get the film starting to peel it may come off in one large piece or in small strips. Continue using the blade for assistance in removing all of the film. After the entire film is removed use your spray bottle filled with water and detergent to soak the window. Then slide the scraper along the glass to scoop up any loose glue. Remember to keep spraying the window to saturate it with water. Also clean your scraper blade each time you run it over the glass. Wipe it with a paper towel or a rag to remove any glue stuck to it. The object is to remove all of the glue from the glass. Be warned, this can be a messy process. If there is any leftover glue on the glass once you finish scraping, you can use the fine steel wool to remove the adhesive.

Now let’s tackle the back window tint removal. This process can be a little more challenging. Due to the defrosters located on the rear window you can’t use the scraper blade to remove the tint. If you use the scraper it will damage the defrosters. Instead you need to be sure the tint is removed in small strips rather than one large piece. This is where your large black trash bag comes in handy. The best way to make sure your window tint comes off in small strips is to steam it. First take your trash bag, cut it so down two sides so it becomes a large plastic sheet and is no longer in the shape of a bag. Then cut the sheet to fit the size of your rear window. Saturate the window tint with your water, detergent combo and place the plastic sheet over the tint. This should all be done from the inside of your car if you haven’t realized that yet. In this scenario the sun will work in your favor. The hotter the back tint gets the easier the removal will be. Leave the bag covering your tint for about 15 minutes then try to pull a corner away from the window. If the tint doesn’t come off easily leave it soaking in the sun for a little bit longer. Then continue trying to pull the film away. There is a possibility of the tint delaminating which means coming off one layer at a time and the rest of the tint gets stuck on the window. If this happens try to resteam the tint and try picking it off again. Sometimes if the tint has been on your cars window for a long time delamination occurs. If resteaming doesn’t help then you’ll need to bring your car to a professional. After the tint is off you may spray the window with water and use the wool to scrub off the remaining adhesive. Be sure not to use scraper blade because you will damage the defrosters. Some people suggest using a little bit of pure ammonia to help take off the remaining adhesive but I prefer simply soap and water.

After all of the glue and tint is removed feel free to clean the window with a window cleaner like windex and some paper towels for an extra clean feeling. And then look back and revel in your clean, clear and tint less window!

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