If your vehicle has tinted windows, eventually that tint will begin to degrade. Furthermore, if the tint was applied improperly, it can quickly develop problems that can interfere with your ability to see while driving. In both situations, it’s in your best interest to completely remove the window tint. But is it possible to do that without damaging your vehicle’s windows or making a huge mess?
Fortunately, the answer is yes. There are a few different ways you can remove your window tint safely, and the experts at Advanced Auto Glass explain how to do it below.
When Should You Consider Removing Your Window Tint?
Before we explain the different methods you can use to safely remove your window tint, let’s go over a few of the most common reasons why you might need to remove it.
- Bubbling. When (or if) your window tint develops bubbles, you should definitely consider getting rid of it. Bubbling tint not only looks terrible, but it also presents a potential safety hazard since it interferes with your ability to see while driving. Bubbling tint is typically easy to remove since the problem is caused by a failure of the adhesive that holds the tint to the windows.
- Discoloration. The older your window tint gets, the more likely it is to develop areas of discoloration. When discoloration forms, the tint no longer protects the interior of your vehicle from damaging UV rays. If you notice your tint turning purple or any other color, it’s time to remove it and have new tint applied. Discolored tint can be somewhat challenging to remove if its adhesive is still intact.
- Aesthetics. Even if your tint is in perfect condition, you may decide you no longer need or want it. If that’s the case, the adhesive will still be very strong, which can make removing it a challenge.
The safest and most effective method for removing your window tint depends on the strength of the tint’s adhesive. Below, we’ll go over which removal method is best suited to each of the above situations.
Remove the Tint With Heat: Use a Heat Gun or Hair Dryer
Removing your window tint with heat is an easy way to get the job done, but depending on the integrity of the tint’s adhesive, this method can get a little messy. Here’s how to do it:
- Pick a corner of the tint where you’d like to begin the removal process.
- Hold a heat gun or hair dryer approximately two inches from the surface of the tint and turn the heat to the highest setting. When the tint adhesive begins to melt, pry the corner of the tint upward with your fingers.
- Continue holding the heat gun or hair dryer about two inches from the tint and angle the stream of heat in the direction you’re pulling the tint away from the window. Continue peeling away the tint as the adhesive melts.
- After you’ve removed the tinted film, use a clean towel to rub away any remaining adhesive on the auto glass.
- After removing the glue, wash the window with a glass cleaner designed specifically for auto glass.
Steam Removal: Remove Window Tint With a Steam Cleaner
One of the easiest and safest methods to remove degraded or unwanted window tint is to use a standard household steam cleaner. To get the job done, simply steam the tint for several minutes, which will gradually loosen the adhesive that holds it to the window.
As the glue melts, you can easily pull the tint away from the auto glass with just your fingers. As with the heat removal method, be sure to thoroughly clean the vehicle windows with an auto glass cleaner after you remove the tinted film.
Scrape the Tint Away: Safe Removal Methods
Scraping tint off your vehicle windows should be a last resort. This removal method poses the highest risk of auto glass damage, so you must exercise extreme caution if you take this route. Please note that if you do attempt to scrape off your window tint, you should avoid using metal blades or other scraping tools at all costs.
Here are two safe ways you can scrape tinted film off your vehicle windows:
- Spray, soak, and peel. This is the slowest method of removing window tint, so keep that in mind if you’re in a hurry. It’s also best suited for small windows or limited-problem areas. To get the job done, carefully peel away a corner of the tinted film, and spray the adhesive underneath with soapy water. Scrape the glue away with a plastic tool, and continue applying soapy water and scraping until all the adhesive is gone. Finish the job by cleaning the glass with an auto glass cleaner.
- Newspaper soak. This unconventional tint removal method also takes a while to complete, but with some diligence, you can successfully (and safely!) remove your tinted window film. To get the job done, thoroughly wet the vehicle windows with hot, soapy water and immediately cover them with old newspapers.
Continue applying more hot, soapy water every 20 minutes and allow the window to soak beneath the newspapers in the sun for a minimum of one hour. You should be able to scrape the tint away with a plastic scraper tool after the one-hour soak is complete.
If you run into any trouble areas, apply more soap and water and allow the window to continue soaking before re-attempting to scrape the film off. After you successfully remove the film, wash the window with an auto glass cleaner.
Need Help Removing Window Tint?
If you need help removing your old window tint, our team at Advanced Auto Glass is here to serve you. We specialize in comprehensive auto glass repair and replacement and have proudly served the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex since 1989. To learn more or schedule an appointment, call us today at (817) 595-3200 in Fort Worth or (817) 596-7676 in Weatherford. You can also contact us online to get started.