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How to Remove Window Tint

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Authored by Rodney Southern in Automotive
Published on 09-09-2009

We all have had those times when we had to remove a price tag from something and only the top portion of the tag peels off. That gunky, gooey mess of glue that you end up having to scrape with your fingernails or a razor blade is the reason that removing window tint is so difficult. The difference is, with window tint it is super sticky, and very resistant to come off. Removing old window tint from your car windows is a challenge at best, but there are some methods that can do it easier than with your fingernails and razor blades.

The best method to remove window tint is to use the natural power of the sun. This method demands that you have a sunny day to work with, so pick your timing wisely. Park your car with the window tinted portion facing the sun. Next, you will want to take two large black trash bags and cut them into the shape of your window. On the outside of the window, you will want to wash the window with warm, soapy water. Rinse the window, and then use the moisture to attach the bag to the window. Smooth out all wrinkles in the bag.

On the inside of the window, you are going to do the same thing, except you will want to then soak the trash bag with undiluted ammonia. Take the trash bag and use the moisture to attach it to the window on the inside. Be careful of the fumes from the ammonia as it is known to make some people sick. Have the other windows down for ventilation and make sure that you wear a mask if possible. Also, make sure you lay some type of protection down to cover anything that might be damaged by the ammonia such as speakers, door frames, etc.

Once you have done this process, you will want to let the film heat up under the sun. The black trash bags will speed this process and keep the ammonia working on the window tint while it heats. This will then loosen both layers of the window tint, and make it easier to peel off the window.

When you go to peel the window tint, you will want to try to peel it all in one big layer. This is not always possible depending on the age and condition of the tint. Still, it should come off easier than if you simply try to peel it straight off without ammonia.

If you have any residue left over after peeling the window tint, then you should use a very fine steel wool to remove it from the window. In a pinch you can also use a razor blade but this is more time consuming and you have to be careful to not cut yourself. This glue residue can be very difficult at times, so you have to take great care to not get impatient. If you are working on the back or front windows, you may have antenna wires or defrost lines that can be damaged by removing window tint. Keep this in mind especially if you are going the route of using razor blades. The slightest nick on an antenna wire will render it useless.

Removing window tint is rather easy if you take the time to do it right. With a little attention to detail and plenty of patience, you can do a bang up job yourself.

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