How to remove stickers from car windows? A question that surfaces once you see that old or damaged sticker you have to get rid of.
You are bound to have at least one sticker while you own the car. It may be there because it’s obligatory, for safety reasons, or just for aesthetic purposes.
In this article, we’ll show you some of the easiest and simple ways to do this. Most of these methods don’t take much time and demand minimal accessories or equipment.
If you’re not in the mood for reading, you have a video tutorial at the end of this article or you can watch it on our YouTube channel.
1. WARM WATER
This method is worth the mention since it’s the easiest and fastest to apply.
But it’s also perhaps the least effective method.
Use a bowl with warm water (not hot but warm) and spill it over the sticker a couple of times.
If the sticker is on the inside of the passenger cabin, use a cloth or paper towel and rub the sticker with water.
You can also use a spray dispenser to soak the sticker.
Seldom does this work, but if you see that the sticker is not that old it may be worth the try.
2. SOAPY WATER
Take a bowl with warm water and mix it with some soap (best use liquid soap).
Another, maybe better option is to use dishwashing detergent as it has better dissolving properties.
Mix until you get a layer of foam on top of the water. Best apply it on the sticker while the water is still warm.
Use a cloth or paper towel and dab the soapy water onto the sticker. Repeat that a couple of times.
If the sticker adhesive isn’t that „hardcore“, you may be able to peel the sticker off.
Again, this mostly works for stickers that aren’t on the glass for a long time or with a weaker adhesive.
3. BAKING SODA MIXED WITH COOKING OIL
Using this mixture has the best effect after you peel the sticker off. It’s good at removing the adhesive residue on the glass.
Make a mixture of equal parts of baking soda and cooking oil. Apply the mixture on the adhesive and wait about half an hour for it to react.
After that, take a cloth or paper towel and rub everything off.
The good side of this method is that this mixture is easy to make, harmless, and is quite efficient against leftover adhesive.
4. HAIR DRYER
With the hairdryer, the point is to soften the sticker and adhesive with heat.
Keep the nozzle of the hairdryer as close to the sticker as possible and go around it for a couple of minutes. Maybe even more, if it’s cold outside.
First, peel off the sticker and then additionally heat up the adhesive residue.
After that, scrape the adhesive off using some of the lower-mentioned methods.
Freeze some water inside a smaller plastic bag to get a pouch of ice that you can rub and lean on the sticker.
A good alternative is a gel pack used for heating or cooling injuries, like in the picture.
The idea is to freeze the sticker and adhesive and make it easier to remove. You’ll have to keep the ice on the sticker for a couple of minutes and then attempt to take it off.
Not one of my favorite methods since the sticker tends to become brittle. It starts to chip making it harder to peel off. The good side is that the adhesive, when frozen up, is much easier to remove.
6. WD-40 SPRAY
When talking about how to remove stickers from car windows, this is a popular, easy, and very effective method, at least from my own experience.
With this method, the best way is to first peel the sticker off as much as possible and then spray WD 40 on what’s left on the glass.
After that wait for a couple of minutes for the spray to react.
When everything is OK, you should be able to rub off the leftover adhesive and sticker.
If you want to see one more hack with the WD-40 spray and does it work, click here to read a separate article on that topic.
7. PAINT THINNER OR NAIL POLISH CLEANER
With paint thinner, you’ll need some protective gloves and a face mask although the standard thinner isn’t that aggressive.
Regarding nail polish, you won’t need any protection if you don’t mind the odor.
Whatever you use, make sure to protect the area around the sticker so the thinner doesn’t get in contact with, for instance, the paint, plastic, or else.
Best use a cloth or a cotton pad for application. Rub the sticker over a couple of times.
After that, try to peel it off and once you do, apply thinner or nail polish on what’s leftover from the sticker.
Using paint thinner or nail polish is very good when mentioning how to remove stickers from car windows.
Especially, for stickers that have been on the glass for a long time and when any of the previously mentioned methods don’t work.
8. ADHESIVE CLEANER
Adhesive cleaners aka sticker removers are made specifically for the task of removing stickers and adhesives from glass or other surfaces.
This makes it perhaps the most efficient method if it’s available.
They mostly come in form of a spray or liquid.
For most adhesive cleaners, you just have to spray the sticker and wait for some time. After that, you just peel off the sticker and clean the leftover adhesive with a cloth.
Very convenient, but also the most expensive method as you have to buy the cleaner.
9. RAZOR BLADE
The razor blade is used to scrape off the sticker and adhesive from the glass.
This is a good method for when the sticker is old and hardened up to the point that it chips instead of peels off.
Of course, when using a razor blade, you have to be cautious to avoid cutting yourself or scratching the glass.
You can make some kind of handle for the blade, but it’s much better to buy a razor blade scraper made for this purpose.
It has a nice anatomic handle that will both be more effective when scraping and at the same time, protect your hands.
Also, make sure to scrape the glass under the right angle. Best hold the razor blade at a 45-degree angle position. Otherwise, the glass can be scratched leaving a nasty mark permanently.
So, the point is to scrape, not cut. Scrape gently and don’t push the razor blade too much.
Doing it like this should successfully remove the sticker and adhesive completely.
10. ICE SCRAPER OR OLD CREDIT CARD
For the last method for how to remove stickers from car windows, you can use a simple plastic ice scraper or an old credit card.
The principle is the same as with the razor. The difference is that it’s somewhat less efficient but there’s also less chance of damaging the glass.
I like to use the ice scraper from the car since most of them have a nice firm plastic edge.
It helps to lift one side of the sticker which makes it easier to grab and peel off and after that to scrape off the leftover adhesive.
Using a credit card is a bit more complicated as it has no handle and the edge isn’t that sharp. Nevertheless, it will do the job, especially with weaker adhesives and stickers.
When removing stickers from car windows, best combine some of these methods.
Sometimes you’ll have to in order to get the best results.
For instance, soften the sticker and adhesive first with water, WD-40 spray, adhesive cleaner, or else and then use a scraper or old credit card to get the rest off.
Once more, make sure to be safe, especially when using chemicals or the razor blade.
Also, if you’re going to put another sticker in place of the old one, make sure to thoroughly clean the glass. If you’ve used, for instance, WD-40 it will leave a greasy residue and the sticker will not stick on properly.
In the end, one more method that is perhaps the most effective and that is prevention!
All of us tend to leave stickers on the glass for years and it’s no wonder that they’re very hard to take off.
Best replace or take off the sticker within a year or less. If you do so, taking it off in the future should be much easier and less time-consuming.
Written by: Sibin Spasojevic
Former car technician, life-long car and DIY enthusiast, author for Despairrepair.com
HOW TO REMOVE STICKERS FROM CAR WINDOWS? YOUTUBE VIDEO