Stickers are placed on vehicles for many different reasons. Some use them to declare their support or disdain for certain groups or world issues. Others are proud parents who want to show the world what a great student they have raised. Still some may just want to display their favorite bands, their love for a specific dog breed, or just want to give others a laugh with some goofy quip. You may have them pre-applied when you purchase from a dealer or are required to have one required by local laws.
Regardless of the reason, more than likely you will want to know how to how to remove stickers from car surface areas. You may buy a vehicle used and there is a sticker you want to disappear or maybe it’s your car you are taking in for a trade-in. This article will give you some methods on how to remove stickers from car surfaces so that you do not damage the area below it.
Things You Will Need
The following is a list of items to collect before you begin the sticker removal process.
Gather all necessary items so that you are prepared and can get through these steps faster and easier.
- A hair dryer or Heat Gun
- A flat razor blade if the surface you are removing the sticker from is glass
- A stiff plastic card such as an old credit card or library card
- A few soft shop towels
- Glass cleaner for glass surface sticker removal
- Tree sap remover solution such as this Tree Zap found on Amazon
- Detailing Spray such as this Adam’s Detail Spray
Step 1: Preliminary Cleaning
The first thing you should do when going through the process of learning how to remove stickers from car surface areas is to make sure the area around, and the sticker itself, is clean and free of debris. A great way to easily accomplish this is to do the sticker removal process after a thorough car wash.
Step 2: Using the Dryer
Plug in the hair dryer (be sure to keep any electrical cords away from any wetness or puddles from cleaning the sticker and area.) Set the dryer to a hot setting and hover it a couple inches above the sticker surface. Do not place the hair dryer too close or right up against the sticker. This may damage the paint below.
Step 3: Continuing with the Dryer
Wait until you feel the sticker begin to warm after several seconds. Then, begin to slowly move the hair dryer back and forth over the entire surface of the sticker up to its edges. Be sure to heat the edges last as preparation for the next step in the process of how to remove stickers from car surface areas.
Step 4: Bring out the Sturdy Plastic Card
Many sticker removal kits include a solution along with a plastic scraper and towel. If you do not purchase a kit, your old credit card or library card comes in handy. Once the sticker has heated up, take the plastic scraper or card. Use it gently to scrape and pull up the edges of the sticker. Certain stickers comprised of certain materials can actually be safely pulled up using your fingertips. If the sticker has been heated well, you should easily be able to peel the sticker away.
Some stickers are more stubborn and might necessitate having to reheat and peel a few times. You can also use a slow sawing motion as you peel it.
If you are removing the sticker from glass, a razor blade held at an angle will work better and you will be able to use more pressure without the worry of scratching anything.
Step 5: Finishing up the Removal
Continue to push farther and farther under the sticker until it is fully removed. It is normal for an old sticker to come apart in pieces during the removal.
You can now heat up any residue left behind and gently use the plastic card to scrape it away or the razor blade if it is on the glass. The tree sap remover comes in handy during this step as well. Follow the manufacturer label directions. Apply a few drops to the included cloth or a soft shop towel and rub back and forth until the residue rubs away.
Step 6: Final Clean up
After you have cleaned away the residue, the final step of the how to remove stickers from car surface areas process is to clean the area once more. First, use your finger to feel the spot. Ensure there is no more stickiness left behind from the sticker residue. Take your glass cleaner and give it a thorough cleaning (for window surfaces). Was the sticker on your bumper or a painted area? In this case, detailing spray is a safe cleaner to use to give it a good final cleaning. These products usually have a wax coat or sealant that will help protect the newly cleaned area.
Often times a sticker can paint a picture of the driver in the vehicle. However, once the car is traded in or sold, those stickers likely will not pertain to the new driver. Thus, knowing how to remove stickers from car surface areas safely is a good process to learn. Trying to remove a sticker can cause damage to painted surfaces if done incorrectly. This article gives you a simple and safe way to get that spot clean and sticker free.