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How to Take Stickers Off Your Car

car with a bunch of stickers on it

Stickers exist for a variety of ideas, political affiliations, brands, bands, and everything else under the sun. There are even ones out there that represent your child’s report card! Some stickers come attached to the car straight from the dealer, while others we put on ourselves. But when our ideas and favorite bands change, or our children finish school, there comes a time when we want to remove your bumper stickers.

Although it’s not quite as easy to take stickers off your car as it is to put them on, it doesn’t have to be a frustrating process. Here we have some cool tricks and, with a few household items, you can take bumper stickers off the body or the windows of your car in no time.

Method 1 of 2: Use a bucket of soapy water and tar remover

Materials Needed

  • Bucket of soapy water (preferably warm)
  • Plastic spatula (or any plastic card, such as a credit card)
  • Rag
  • Razor (to remove window stickers only)
  • Sponge
  • Tar remover
  • Window cleaner (to remove window stickers)

person cleaning off bumper

Step 1: Clean the sticker. Cleaning the sticker will make it easier to remove from your car.

Clean the sticker and the surrounding area of your car with soapy water and a sponge to remove any excess dirt and to soften the sticker (especially if it’s old and weathered).

If the sticker is on the window, substitute water with window cleaner if you wish.

person spraying tar remover

Step 2: Wipe any excess water. Wipe off any excess water with the rag, and then spray the sticker with a liberal amount of tar remover.

Let the tar remover soak into the sticker for about five minutes. Waiting will help break down the glue on the backside.

person prying corner of sticker with credit card

Step 3: Carefully pull up one of the corners of the sticker. If the sticker is on the body of your car, pry up one of the corners using the plastic spatula, or a plastic credit card or library card, or even your fingernail.

If the sticker is on the window, use a razor to carefully work to pry up one corner.

  • Warning: Take precaution and be very careful that you don’t cut yourself using a razor. Do not use the razor to remove a sticker on the car body. It will scratch the paint.

peeling sticker off by hand

Step 4: Peel off the sticker. Once you’ve pried up the corner with the plastic tool or razor, grab the corner with your hand and start to peel it off.

Remove as much of the sticker as you can. If needed, spray more tar remover and repeat the process until the sticker is completely removed.

person cleaning off area where sticker wa

Step 5: Clean the area. Clean the area where the sticker was previously located.

Use a sponge and soapy water or the window cleaner to remove any excess residue the sticker might leave behind.

After applying soap or cleaner, rinse off the area and then dry it off.

Method 2 of 2: Use a hairdryer and a plastic card

Materials needed

  • Clean wiping rag
  • Hair dryer (with hot settings)
  • Plastic card (credit card, ID, library card, etc.)
  • Razor (to remove window stickers only)
  • Surface cleaner
  • Window cleaner (to remove window stickers)

Step 1: Clean the sticker. Clean the sticker and the surrounding area of your car with the surface cleaner and rag to remove any excess dirt and to soften the sticker (especially if it’s old and weathered).

If the sticker is on the window, substitute surface cleaner for window cleaner.

person heating up sticker

Step 2: Use a hair dryer. Plug in the hair dryer and turn the heat setting to hot. Turn it on and hold it a few inches away from sticker.

Heat one side for about 30 seconds. The glue on the back of the sticker should start to melt.

Step 3: Peel off the sticker from the corner. After the sticker gets hot and pliable, turn off the hairdryer and set it aside. Use the plastic card or the razor (to remove window stickers only) to work at one corner of the sticker until it starts to peel off. Peel off as much of the sticker as you can.

  • Warning: Take precaution and be very careful not to cut yourself using the razor. Do not use the razor to remove a sticker on the car body. It will scratch the paint.

Step 4: Repeat steps as needed. Repeat Steps 2 and 3 as needed, using the hairdryer and plastic card or razor interchangeably until the sticker is completely removed.

Step 5: Clean the area. Clean the area with the surface cleaner or the window cleaner to remove any excess residue that the sticker might have left behind.

After cleaning off the area, rinse it off once more and then dry it off.

  • Tip: After every sticker and other piece of debris is removed from the exterior of a vehicle, it is a good idea to wax the paint. Wax protects and seals up paint, and makes it look better while being more durable. Materials that are used to remove adhesives can also thin the clear coat and remove any previously present wax from the paint.

In general, removing stickers from the inside and outside of a vehicle will usually increase its value. What this job does require is patience and a calm approach. It can be extremely tedious and frustrating, so if you find yourself on the verge of losing your cool, take a step back and breathe for a moment before continuing. With the sticker off, you can bring your car back to its original presentation and you can add new stickers as you’d like.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
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