How To Remove Window Tint From Cars?

Car window tint is an excellent way if you want privacy or protect yourself from the sun. Because it uses adhesive to stay stuck to the window, it can degrade after a period. Then comes the issue of removing it.

You can use a steamer or ammonia to remove the window tint all by yourself. The motive is to loosen the adhesive and peel the tint off of the window. It’s a pretty straightforward task to do if you know your way around.

To learn details about removing window tints from cars, keep on reading.

Related: Are Tinted Windows Legal

4 Effective Ways To Remove Window Tint From Cars

As I’ve mentioned, you can remove the tint using several ways. I’ve included the quickest, safest, and easiest way of doing it. Let’s get started.

1. The Steamer Method

If you own a fabric steamer, removing window tint shouldn’t be an issue. It doesn’t take much time and is comparatively more straightforward.

  1. Things You’ll Need
  • Fabric steamer
  • Straight razor
  • Protective gloves
  • Commercial cleaner
  1. Step By Step Process
Methods of removing window ting visual 1
  1. Expose The Tint Edge

Start with the front windows. Roll down the window about ¼ inches so that you can access the tint edge.

The reason why you should start with the front windows is that you get to practice first. The back windows may have to defrost line that needs extra care.

  1. Steam The Window

You’ll have to steam both sides of the window. Start steaming the window from the outside. It helps loosen the glue. Make sure you hold the steamer 1 to 2 inches away from the window.

Use slow and long motions to steam the whole surface evenly. Start from the top and end at the bottom. Make sure you’ve gone through the whole window evenly.

Now, steam the window from the inside using the same way. If it becomes too difficult to steam the rear windows from the outside, you can skip this step. Even though it eases the process, it’s not compulsory.

  1. Lift The Tint Edge

Take a straight razor and place it beneath the tint edge at the top corner. Lift the upper corner tint edge using a straight razor. If it’s not lifting comfortably, use more steam.

Don’t be afraid to use a razor because glass isn’t so easily scratched. You can also use the blade for scratching off any glue residue once you’ve removed the tint.

  1. Peel Off The Tint

Hold the lifted edge with one hand and start peeling it off. If there are any difficulties or resistance, use the steamer while peeling. Remember to wear your safety gloves to prevent your hands from burning.

Peel off the tint from top to bottom. Use steady motion, or you’ll end up tearing the tint. In case you do tear the tint, use the razor again to lift the edge.

  1. Remove Remaining Adhesive

Once you’ve successfully removed the tint, chances are, there will be glue residue from the tint. Take a spray bottle and mix a commercial cleaner with water using 1:1 proportions.  

Spray it on the window and scrub it clean if there’s any glue remaining. Use a non-scratch pad. Wipe the window clean using a cloth or paper towel.

If the door panel or window frame got any water from the steamer, use a microfiber cloth to wipe them clean.

  1. Repeat The Process

Repeat the same way to remove the tints from the back windows. As I said before, you have to be extra careful to avoid any damage to the defrost lines.

It’s wise to lower the back seat so that you can get easy access to the window. Don’t rush, and take your time with the steamer before you can peel off the tint from the rear windows.

2. The Ammonia Method

This method will work better if it’s a sunny day. The sun helps ammonia to loosen the glue which allows you to remove the tint.

  1. Things You’ll Need
  • Liquid soap and water
  • Garbage bag
  • Ammonia
  • Plastic wrapper
  • Straight razor
  • Steel Wool
  • Protective gloves and mask
  1. Step By Step Process
Methods of removing window ting visual 2
  1. Protect The Door Panels

Cover the door panels using plastic wrappers. Tape them in place to prevent ammonia from accessing them. Cover the electrical parts, too, if there’s a possibility of ammonia reaching them.

Avoid using clothes or newspapers that can soak the ammonia.

  1. Cut A Garbage Bag

Take a garbage bag and hold it over the window. Outline the window shape and cut it. Separate the bag so that you have two parts of the bag.

  1. Safety Measures

Ammonia is a harsh chemical and can harm your skin and lungs. Remember to wear protective gloves and a mask before using ammonia.

  1. Spray The Windows

Spray the outside of the window using a mixture of liquid soap and water. Then place one part of the garbage bag over the window. The soap should hold it. If it doesn’t, tape it.

Now, spray the inside of the window with ammonia. Cover the window with the other part of the garbage bag. In case you don’t have ammonia, you can use soap and water on both sides. But ammonia works better.

  1. Let It Sit

Keep your car somewhere so the sunlight can reach the window. Wait for 1 or 2 hours before jumping to the next step. The heat from the sun will help the ammonia to dissolve the glue.

  1. Remove The Tint

Remove the garbage bag from both sides. Use a straight razor to pull the edge of the tint. Peel the tint, starting from the edge.

Use steady hands to avoid tearing the tint. If you tear it, use the razor to pull the edge again.

  1. Remove The Residue

Once you’ve peeled the tint, spray some more ammonia and wipe it using steel wool. If there’s any debris remaining, use newspaper to wipe the window.

3. The Hairdryer Method

Almost everyone owns a hairdryer. You can do it with the things you have at home. However, it requires time and patience.

  1. Things You’ll Need
  • Hairdryer
  • Razor Blade
  • Paper Towels
  • Glass Cleaner
  • Cloth
  1. Step By Step Process
Methods of removing window ting visual 3
  1. Blow Air With Your Dryer

Turn your hairdryer on while keeping the setting at high. Roll down the window a bit, exposing the tinted edge.

Blow air on edge. Keep the dryer at least two inches away from the window. Keep the air blowing for about 30 seconds.

  1. Lift The Tint Edge And Peel Off

Use a razor blade to lift the tint edge. If it’s not lifting comfortably, blow some more air on it. Hold the lifted edge with your hand and slowly peel the tint.

Keep the dryer running, maintaining the same distance as before. Keep peeling the tint. Slowly keep going to avoid tearing the tint.

  1. Remove Remaining Adhesive

  If you see any adhesive remaining on the window, you can use your blow dryer to melt the glue and then rub it off using paper towels. Once all the adhesive has been removed, spray glass cleaner on the window. Wipe the glass clean using a cloth, and you’re done. 

4. The Soap And Newspaper Method

One of the easiest ways to remove window tints from cars is using soap and newspaper. The elements are conveniently available near at hand, and the process is pretty straightforward too.

  1. Things You’ll Need
  • Container
  • Dish soap
  • Water
  • Glass cleaner
  • Paper towels
  • Newspaper
  • Razorblade
  • Sponge
  1. Step By Step Process
Methods of removing window ting visual 4
  1. Make Your Mixture

Take a container and fill it with warm water. Add dish soap to the water and create a mixture. You won’t have to maintain exact measurements. Just make sure to use more soap than you would use to wash your dishes.

  1. Apply The Mixture To The Window

Take a sponge and soak it in the mixture. Apply the mixture to the window using the soaked sponge. Make sure you’re applying a generous amount. It’s important to dissolve the glue.

You won’t have to apply on both sides. Only soaking the tinted side is enough.

  1. Cover With Newspaper

Use the newspapers to cover the soapy windows. You’ll have to let the mixture sit for about an hour. The soap help weaken the adhesive so that you can peel it off without much difficulty.

The newspaper may get dry in between. You’ll have to apply the soapy water again when it does. It’s better to soak the newspapers from the outside every 20 minutes.

  1. Peel Off The Newspapers

Take a razor blade to lift one upper corner of the newspaper. Peel the newspapers off using steady hands. The tint should come off with them.

When using this method, there’s a possibility that there will be tint remains left. You’ll have to use your razor blade to peel them off. It’s a messy method, but the elements are easy to get. 

Cautions To Follow

Follow a few cautions while removing window tints from cars. These tips are both for your and your car’s safety.

  • Avoid lifting the tint edge using your fingernail. You can get hurt.
  • While using a heat method (steamer, hairdryer), wear gloves to avoid burning your hand.
  • Use ammonia very carefully. Cover your hands and mouth using protective gloves and a mask.
  • Avoid applying heat with a steamer or a hairdryer by holding them too close to the window.
  • If you’re not comfortable with any of these DIY methods, go to a professional to remove or replace your window tint.
  • Be careful not to cut yourself while using a razor blade.
  • Don’t be in a rush and take your time with the process.

Probable Reasons For Removing Window Tint

You can experience a few annoying things that can lead you to remove your window tint. It’s a great car accessory, but there’s no alternative to removing your tint when bubbling or discoloration occurs.

  • Aesthetic Purposes

Many people don’t prefer having window tints on their cars. It’s prevalent among car users. However, they don’t like the idea of going through the process of removing it because the undamaged tint features strong adhesive.

Using heat to melt the adhesive works excellently when you want to remove your undamaged window tint.

  • Bubbling

Window tints are supposed to be exposed to the sun to protect you. An adhesive is used to stick the tint to the wind. When the sun’s heat structs the tint, the adhesive becomes weak.

Weakened adhesive means the tint will detach from the window. It causes tiny air bubbles to appear in different places that lead you to remove the tint.

  • Discoloration

After some time, the tint loses color due to the sunlight. It happens with both silver and green window tints. When the color fades or discolors, it loses the ability to protect you from UV rays.

Discoloration defeats the purpose of a tint, which is why you should replace or remove it.

Cost Of Removing Window Tint From Cars

Even though removing window tint by yourself is an economical choice, some people don’t want to go through it. If you don’t want to do it yourself for some reason, you can expect to pay $25 to $50 per window to remove the tint.

Cost Of Tinting Car Windows

After removing your damaged window tint, you’ll have to replace it with new ones. Car window tinting cost widely vary depending on the number of windows, size of the windows, tint type, and vehicle type. The cost can be somewhere between $99 to $850.

Bottom Line

That wasn’t hard now, was it? A little knowledge goes a long way. Knowing how to remove window tints from cars can save you money and time. You won’t have to ask for professional help, and you can do it using the materials you have at home. Word of caution, don’t ignore the safety measures. As unnecessary as they sound, you can easily get hurt with the ingredients and tools you’ll be using. There’s no harm in following a few safety measures.

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