All Fingers & Thumbs Again? How To Remove Adhesive From A Car

Adhesive From A Car

If you were born before the 80’s you are not part of an extremely info and entrepreneurial generation. It is tough admitting this – even with two or three jobs and then some. It would seem the Gen-Y is probably the reason bloggers survive – they consume tons of information. Plus they digest it very well.

Many young people today are making money right in college – decent money. One of the schemes they use is car advertising. With car wraps, the procedure is so fast and the returns can be quite impressive. The only problem is how to remove adhesive from a car without making a mess.

There are many websites and companies paying good commission to have a wrap with an enticing offer do the running round for them each day. It also adds value to your business (say deliveries) when customers learn you are not doing the ads free.

There is also the vehicle enthusiast intent on customizing their super charged Japanese racing machine. That is not forgetting the collector spending a small fortune to wrap that 60’s classic in pure gold. Regardless of your intention, you should never be embarrassed just for not knowing how to remove adhesive from a car.

Here is a video to get you started

Take Your Car Pole Dancing - What You Will Need

This simple post on how to remove adhesive from a car comes owing to significant interest on the subject arising from nightmarish removal of car wraps/stickers.

It’s not the colors, it’s not the digital design, it’s not the opacity and intricacy of the motifs – it’s not any one aspect wraps are just cool.

The prepping for that perfect finish ensures adhesive bonds perfectly. Good requires lamination to protect the paint beneath and ensure perfect removal.

Here is a short list of what you will need to remove the wrap:

1. Multi Speed Hair​ Dryer

2. Box Cutter or Razor Blade

3. Tough Plastic Card – Old Credit Card

4. Glass Cleaning Solution

5. Tree Sap Removing Solution

6. Quick Detailing/Polishing Spray

7. Soft Rags

Step-By- Step Instructions

Step 1 – Remove All Dirt Round The Sticker Or Edges Of The Wrap

 Remove All Dirt Round The Sticker Or Edges Of The Wrap

The preparation for wraps or even stickers requires all polish, dirt and alcohol used in cleaning is removed completely. Do the same prior to removing the sticker or wrap. Or best results ensure the car is washed thoroughly and left to dry.

Step 2 – Plug In The Dryer And Warm The Adhesive

Plug in the dryer and using the hot setting warm the adhesive by gently going over the sticker – just a few inches (6”). Do not place the dryer directly over the sticker; too close and the sticker will melt making the removal process even more difficult.

Plug In The Dryer

Step 3 – Form A Path With The Dryer

While using the dryer your goal is to form a path to remove the sticker. The best removal requires you work from the center towards the edges.

Work a few seconds around a central spot then begin to move slowly to the edges. You want to prep the edge last – just before you jump to Step 4.

Step 4 – Using The Tough Card Gently Raise The Edge And Begin To Peel Moving Inward

Using the tough card

The edge is now warm and the adhesive is loose, using the card raise the edge and begin peeling gently. Do not use your nails or the box cutter as the softened sticker could tear causing you to work with thin strips.

Do your best to work with large sections when peeling back the sticker. It may take time but the results are always worth the effort.

If your sticker is on glass or the bumper, at times the plastic card will not be enough because the bonding is different. In this case, use the box cutter or even your nails to find an edge and gently begin peeling.

As the sticker reaches the boundary of your central point, stop peeling and use your dryer once more to warm a new central section of the sticker.

Depending on the size of the sticker you will keep repeating Steps 2-3 until you complete one section or remove the sticker altogether. As you advance with the removal, it is normal for the sticker to come apart or tear.

This is owing to creases, weather, and should not be a reason for alarm just keep working to ensure the sticker comes off – peels off rather than scratches off.

Step 5 - Cleaning The Adhesive Residue

Cleaning the adhesive residue

Once the car is sticker free, it’s time to remove any adhesive residue. Using a tree sap remover solution is helpful. Spray or apply the solution and let it sit one minute then begin cleaning with your rag.

Depending on the adhesive strength, you may need to do this more than once. If the sticker ran over glass or metal, (bumper, etc.) try the glass cleaner and sap remover. In practice, it’s easier to scrape off on glass so feel free to try the back of the box cutter.

Step 6 – Polish/Detail The Car

Some people recommend doing this immediately after one section is done – others when the entire job is done.

It is not clear whether this is about restoring an even tone or just allowing one to get by with patch jobs. Feel free to share your opinion on this in the comments.


Removing adhesive

Removing adhesive and the stickers/wraps from vehicles can be very messy. So much so that many skeptics use these “fails” as fuel against the use of wraps.

Car wraps are just awesome, there is no going round that. The detail, the cost, the speed are just too much weight in their favor to disregard – why be a wet blanket? Just learn how to remove adhesive from a car instead.

With the proper equipment and solvents, it has been proven the procedure is not that difficult. Share your own story, surprises, and more in the comments.

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