Car Culture

Five Easy Sticker Removal Steps

November 11, 2016
If you’re like me, you get a lot of joy out of reading humorous bumper stickers in traffic. I have a select few decals that I have put on my own car, but the thought of eventually having to take them off always deters me from wanting to put them on in the first place. Whether you are needing to remove a sticker because it has gotten old, you’ve gotten tired of it, or it came on a car you just bought… they’re a pain to take off. From personal experience and research, I’ve compiled some tips to help the pesky removal process of those decals become less painful! Step 1
  • You want to start off by making sure the surrounding area of the sticker is clean. So go ahead and use this as an excuse to get a car wash, or just spot clean the general area of the sticker.
Step 2
  • Grab a hair dryer from your bathroom to use its heat to your advantage. Hold the dryer a few inches above the sticker and evenly aim the air over the entirety of the sticker, going over the edges last. Blowing this hot air over the sticker will help to jumpstart the process and make the removal easier, just make sure not to put the dryer directly on top your sticker and car, especially if the sticker is on your car’s paint.
  • OR if you don’t have a hair dryer on hand, start your removal process with some adhesive remover such as Goo Gone. (However, depending on how stubborn your decal is, I think the hair drying method works better.)
Step 3
  • After you’ve let the decal heat up or soak, use either a razor blade, box cutter, or plastic card, such as an old gift card, to gently start scraping the sticker off. The surface might be hot enough to where you could simply peel the sticker off. But, start in a corner and use your scraping tool to get under the sticker: (I’ve found it works best if you go at it from a slight angle.) Plastic cards generally are the safest option, do not use a  razor blade or box cutter if removing a decal from on your car’s paint.
  • This is where your patience will be tested. Continue to scrape away until all pieces of the sticker have come off. It’s normal for the sticker to break off in different pieces, but if you can peel it all off in one piece, jackpot!
Step 4
  • Once the sticker has been removed, you’ll probably notice some remnants of adhesive still present. Here are some different resources I’ve found useful in removing that annoying residue! Grab a clean rag and find out which one works best for you!

– Rubbing alcohol

– Goo gone (again)

– Tree sap remover

– Continue to scrape

  • Note: Using paper towels here sometimes ends up sticking to the left over adhesive, leaving you with more of a mess than you started with! So, use an old towel/rag/washcloth.
Step 5
  • You’ve finally removed it all! Clean up all traces of the old sticker on your car by polishing off the spot with some glass cleaner or detailing spray, and you’re home free!

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