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Can a Car Window Tint Be Removed?

can-car-window-tint-be-removed

A few days ago I tinted the windows of my car. Car window tint is a great way to add a bit of color and style without spending a lot of money, and it’s also a great way to keep your car cooler in the summer months.

tinted car window

But a thought popped up on my mind instantly is car window tint removable? So I researched a bit and found this:

Can a Car Window Tint Be Removed?

A Car window tint can be removed. There are three methods of removing the tint. Method One- Using a streamer. Method Two- Using a hairdryer. Method Three- Use ammonia or soap and water. Another option is the scraping method.

Why pay extra money for window tint removal when you can do it yourself just as effectively as a professional? If you’re hesitating about where to start, I am here to guide you with the best methods for removing window tint.

Reasons For Window Tint Removal

There are several reasons for window tint removal, you can simply want to replace for the decoration of your car or remove it altogether.

It’s a good idea to understand why and when you may want to remove your window tint. It can be both aesthetic and practical purposes.

Bubbling

The tint film of the car window will start bubbling over time. The adhesive that is applied to the window becomes heated because of the sun.

The heat breaks down the adhesive, as the sun strikes the window tint for years. As a result, it becomes less sticky, detaches itself from the window, and causes air bubbles.

Bubbling film looks horrible and there’s no way to fix it. The first instinct you will have maybe is to peel off the bubble, but this can leave a mess of glue and tint chunks.

Discoloration

Both silver tint and green tint become discolored over time because of the UV ray from the sun.

When the tint becomes discolored it also loses the ability to protect the car from the sun. It’s better to replace than have a discolored tint.

Other window tints show a purplish shade and if so then is better to consider replacing it. As the tint’s ability to block UV rays loses with the discoloration, replacing them is more than just an aesthetic issue. 

Because of the breakdown of non-metallic dyes, discoloration happens and cannot be repaired. Heat is an effective way to deal with this problem.

How To Remove Car Window Tint

Car window tint can protect the interior of your car from the sun. It can keep your car cool in the summer season.  Window tints provide a little bit of extra protection and security.

​However, window tints become discolored or bubbly over time, and high-quality window tint removal on your car can be costly.

You can remove window tint by yourself by following some inexpensive methods.

You can apply heat to melt the adhesive or peel off the tint with ammonia or soapy water. These are easy and effective ways to remove car window tint.

​ If you don’t know how to do it, here are the best methods for removing window tint.

Hairdryer Or Heat Gun

Using a hairdryer is an easy way to remove tint or car decals. It works equally well with a heat gun. It can get a little messy though. Pick a corner and start the process.

  • You need to hold the hairdryer about two inches from the window.  Run it on high until the glue melts. If the glue melt enough you will be able to pry the edge up with your fingernail.
  • Hold the dryer at an angle.  It will flow heat where the film and window meet. Try to slowly peel off as the glue softens.
  • Use a clean towel to rub the adhesive away. Keep using your hairdryer to soften the adhesive if needed.
  • When the glue is fully removed, wash off the car windows with a glass cleaner.
remove car window tint

Steamer

Perhaps grabbing a fabric steamer is the best way to remove window tint. If you steam the window for several minutes, you’ll be able to melt the window tint glue and the corner of the tint will come right off.

  • The first thing, you need to do is roll down the top edge of your car window a small amount so the window tint cover becomes visible.
  • The steamer should be a couple of inches away from the window. The entire outside of the window needs to be steamed thoroughly, make sure to steam the edges of the window tint. This will help the adhesive to melt more than only steam the inside of the car window.
  • Until the window is evenly and thoroughly steamed apply the same method to the inside of the window. Once steamed, carefully use a razor to lift the corner of the window tint. Apply more steam to further loosen the glue if the edges of the window don’t easily come off.
  • When the edges are peeled off, you will be able to remove the rest of the tint by slowly peeling it off with your fingernails. Start peeling from the top of the window to the bottom. Continue to apply steam at the places, where the tint is particularly sticky. It will be easier to peel off.
remove car window tint 2

Solar Peeling With Soapy Solution Or Ammonia

The first step you can take is choosing a warm, sunny day to make your job easier. Cut two black plastic garbage bags to the shape of your window, a spray bottle of soapy water, a tarp, and a spray bottle of ammonia.

  • Spray the outside of the window with soapy water made from the dish soap. Cover the window with one of the bags, and smooth it out until it’s flat.
  • To protect all the interior surfaces cover them with a tarp.
  • Thoroughly spray ammonia on the inside of the window. Make sure to wear a protective mask to avoid inhaling the fumes. Cover the window with the second garbage bag before the ammonia dries.
  • Before removing the bags let the window bake in the sunlight for 20 minutes.
  • Dig up a corner of the film. Try to peel off the corner of the tint gently. Spray with ammonia if needs to keep it moist.
  • Gently use a non-metallic scraper to remove the leftover tint.
remove car window tint 3

You can use the cleanup methods below to get rid of the adhesive residue-

How To Take Off The Window Tint

Every removal process involves taking off car window tints by using sharp objects. You need to take extra care to avoid scratching the glass while using any type of blade. Use non-metallic scrapers on plastic windows.

A knife or razor blade will work better than a plastic blade but there’s a huge risk that the steel wool will damage the glass. So it’s better not to use metallic scrapers.

Newspaper And Soapy Water

Old newspapers can be used for window tint removal or you can use paper towels as well. You have to wet the tint film with hot, soapy water. After that cover the window tints with newspapers or paper towels. The window should be soaked in the sun for at least an hour.  Apply more soapy water every 20 minutes. Apply adhesive remover or nail polish remover to clean the remaining adhesive.

Try to scrape away the tint using long strokes carefully. If you are unable to remove the film easily, soak for another half an hour.

Peel And Soak

Peel and soak is the slowest method among all removal processes. But this can be the best choice for small areas of window tint. Cut an edge carefully by using a razor blade and try to peel off the film. You don’t need to worry about messy edges.

When the film is peeled off fully, apply soapy water to the small area and scrape away the remaining adhesive. Clean the window with glass cleaner if necessary.

How To Remove Window Tint Glue

Now, you need to know how to remove the window tint glue when the tints are gone. So let’s discuss how to get rid of the adhesive residue-

Alcohol

Using alcohol is one of the cheapest and most effective solutions for removing tint glue. 90% isopropyl alcohol can make quick work on the adhesive residue.

Put some alcohol on a microfiber cloth rag and use it to get rid of smaller spots. For larger surfaces spray alcohol and wipe with the microfiber rag. Use this method in a well-ventilated area and avoid breathing the fumes.

Alcohol is also helpful for removing oily residue from the inside windshield or rear window.

Nail Polish Remover

Using nail polish remover is a surprisingly useful solution. Pour nail polish remover into a microfiber cloth with some elbow grease to remove the glue. This process needs some additional effort, the method will buff your windows to a beautiful sheen.

Scrubbing

You can use hot soapy water and a car ice scraper to remove the adhesive residue. It is a safe method. You can clean the car’s interior too with this method.

Longevity Of Window Tinting

Window tint film will deteriorate in course of time. It will take a few years to deteriorate. Exactly how long tints will last depends on how you maintain them and the warranty provided by the manufacturer. There are several factors that determine the longevity of window tint-

  • Window location: If the tinted window sees more exposure to sunlight consistently, it will deteriorate faster.
  • Interior vs. exterior tint films: Interior films will last longer as they are not that much exposed to sunlight than the exterior as exterior films are exposed to the sunlight more.  On the other hand, interior window tint films enjoy a controlled environment.
  • Cleaning and maintenance: Cleaning and maintenance can boost the longevity of your car window tint. If you make sure to clean and maintain your window films according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, they will last long.
  • Warranty: If you have a warranty, you don’t need to worry about longevity!. Often manufacturer provides a warranty on window tint films. As an example, the home window tint has a lifetime warranty. The commercial window films have 10 or 15 years of warranty. These are helpful to determine the effective lifespan and replace the film.

How To Take Care Of Car Window Tint

According to Auto Super Shield, aftercare can boost the lifespan of new window tint films. If you want your window tint to last long you need to take care of them.

Let me give you some tips on caring for car window tint-

  • After the installation of tint film, leave the window up for 48 hours. 48 hours are necessary for the tint to adhere to the glass.  If you keep the window up for this time it will not peel away when the window is rolled down.
  • After 48 hours, when the window is set and the tints have adhered to the glass, wipe the windows down with a non-ammonia cleaner or with a cleaner specifically formulated for tinted windows.
  • You may notice bubbles appear and these are normal for the first few days after tinting the windows. Tints can appear cloudy, hazy, and has water pockets. If the film dries out fully, these will disappear.  If you still can see these after drying out the film contact the dealer from whom you bought the window tint!

Conclusion

In this article, I have discussed several ways of car window tint removal. Car window tint removal is not an easy task, but it definitely can be done. By following the right steps and using the right equipment, you can successfully remove any type of car window tint. If you follow the instructions given in the article, you can get your window tint removal done without any hassle. If you try it yourself, do share your experience with me!

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