How to Remove Stickers, Window Tint and Shoe Polish
Often when our auto glass replacement and windshield repair technicians are working on someone’s vehicle they are asked how to remove a Park or Transportation sticker, window tint film, shoe polish or some other type of permanent marker that some used car lot or teenage prankster has applied to the auto glass.
Regardless if this has been done to the outside or on the inside where there are no rear defroster lines, there is one process that works best. But, if this has been done on the inside where there are fragile rear defroster lines it’s a bit trickier.
No Defroster Lines
There is nothing that works better than a single edge razor blade, some glass cleaner and a little elbow grease. Most good quality glass cleaners are safe on a variety of surfaces so even if you get a little over spray on surrounding surfaces, usually won’t do them any harm. If you are concerned try a small amount on an area that is not in plain view.
Spray a generous amount of glass cleaner on the decal, sticker or other material to be removed. Hold the razor blade at a 45 degree angle or less to the glass and with a sliding downward motion (kind of like filleting a fish) slide the razor blade from the top down.
With sticker and decals, start at a corner and once enough is removed you may be able to grab the corner and pull up slightly to ease the process. Keep applying glass cleaner as you go so the adhesive won’t re-stick. Once it is removed, if there is still a residue, repeat the process.
The razor blade should not make any noise on the glass. If you hear a noise, decrease the angle of the blade to the glass, or get a new razor blade.
Glass With Defroster Lines
It’s best to start on a part of the decal that is not in direct contact with the defroster lines. If you’re lucky, you can start at one corner and peel it down slowly. It also helps if you spray it with glass cleaner while applying outward and downward pulling pressure. If it starts to splinter, start over again at the point of the tear using only your fingernail, or a plastic single edge razor blade that be purchased at your local hardware store.
Once you have the paper or film removed, more than likely you will still have some adhesive that is still in contact with the glass. To remove this sticky residue purchase the finest steel wool you can find, usually 0000 or 00000. Test it on a small area first to make sure it doesn’t scratch the glass.
While continuing to lubricate the back window with window cleaner or a spray bottle filled with water and a few drops of dish soap added for lubrication, wipe the adhesive with the steel wool until the glass feels slippery and not tacky. Finish by cleaning the entire window with a rag or soft paper towel.