How to Remove Window Tint Without Any Headaches!

A Guide on how to remove window tint from LEXEN 2Ply Premium Carbon All Windows Precut Tint Kit

Image from Amazon

Just like anything in life, nothing lasts forever: not even your car’s window tint. If you’re starting to see signs of bubbling or what they call a “purple film” that means it’s time to change that window tint. We’ll teach you how to remove window tint the right way so you can avoid the headaches that come with improper removal.

When your window tint is starting to bubble, it can only get worse as the adhesive will continue to fail to hold it together. On the other hand, a purple film indicates that the non-metallic dyes of your window tint are breaking down, thus the change in color. Whichever problem you encounter, you’ll probably want to remove that ugly and faded window tint.

What Is Window Tinting?

speedfinal1-icon

Before learning how to remove window tint, it would be good to know a thing or two about window tints. Window tinting is the process of applying a transparent sheet of film to a vehicle’s windows by doing it from the inside. A window tint reduces the amount of the sun’s heat and radiation in the vehicle’s interior, making it relatively cooler and preventing exposure from ultraviolet light, which may cause the vehicle’s interior to fade or become damaged. 

LEXEN 2Ply Carbon All Windows PreCut Tint Kit - Great Heat Reduction

Image from Amazon

Window tinting also reduces headlight glare from oncoming cars and adds to the privacy and security of your vehicle. However, some people use window tint more for aesthetic rather than practical purposes.

A window tint’s film may vary in terms of darkness, thickness, and material. Window tinting is typically durable and can last up to more than ten years, depending on the quality of the film used. Most window tints also contain a scratch-resistant coating for added protection and durability. 

LEXEN 2Ply Carbon All Windows PreCut Tint Kit - Great Heat Reduction

Image from Amazon

Window tinting may be applied to windshields, rear side windows, front side windows, and wings. Each state has differing restrictions when it comes to the level of tint that may be used. Safety concerns may dictate that front windows be tinted less darkly as compared to back windows, depending on the regulations set by the state.

The Different Types of Window Tinting

speedfinal1-icon

There are various types of window tints available in the market, which differ in terms of quality, capability, and durability. Because of these differing qualities, some window tints may be easier to remove than others. But then again, the more durable the window tint, the lesser the chance of bubbling and fading. This might also be a good opportunity to think about which type of window tint will best replace your old and worn-out tint.

1. Dyed Film

This type of window tinting is the cheapest and typically comes in black. Dyed tint films are often used for appearance as opposed to functionality. This type of tinting usually appears opaque from the outside but still provides visibility from the inside. The dark tint gives you more privacy and security because it keeps items in your car out of sight. A dyed film contains a layer of dye between the adhesive layer and a protective polyester top coating. 

No products found.

Image from Amazon

A dyed film also absorbs the sun’s heat and prevents it from going into the vehicle’s interior. Constant air movement allows the heat to dissipate outward, keeping the interior of your car cooler. However, excessive exposure to harmful ultraviolet rays can cause the color to fade from black to purple. A dyed film can also delaminate faster than other types of window tinting and can form bubbles if not installed properly.

BDF NSN70 Window Film Transparent Ultra High Heat Rejection & UV Cut...

Image from Amazon

2. Fully Metalized Film

This type of window tinting costs more compared to dyed window tinting. A metalized window tint has metallic particles embedded in the material, which makes the film thicker. This type of window tinting is composed of three layers: an adhesive base layer that bonds to your car window, a treated layer blocks UV radiation, and a metalized layer darkens the glass and reflects sunlight and heat away from your car’s interior.

The metal particles also add to the durability of the glass and make it shatter-resistant while giving your windows a glossy appearance from the exterior. However, the metalized film can interfere with your radio, GPS, and mobile phone reception.

3. Hybrid Film

As the name suggests, a hybrid film contains a combination of dyed and metalized tints. A hybrid film is made up of an adhesive layer, a dyed and metalized layer, and a protective scrape-resistant top coat. These three layers are bonded together with a laminating adhesive. This mixture of dye and metalized tints allows the hybrid film to block off a significant amount of light while the metallic particles give it a dark and crisp appearance. 

Yellow 80% VLT Auto Window Tinting Film 20 Inch Wide x 10 Feet Long...

Image from Amazon

Because of its multiple functions, the hybrid film is considered as one of the best types of window tinting. It is capable of blocking heat without having to darken your glass as much as a dyed film would. A hybrid window tint does not disrupt reception and signals from electronics, has better durability, and costs less than full metalized film.

4. Carbon Film

If you’re looking for a matte black finish for your windows, then carbon window tinting might be a better choice. A carbon film contains hundreds of micro-layers of polymer and carbon which block infrared light and prevent it from reaching the interior. This is especially beneficial for leather seats and other upholstery material which are prone to fading. 

LEXEN 2Ply Carbon All Windows PreCut Tint Kit - Great Heat Reduction

Image from Amazon

The micro-layers also keep the temperature a lot cooler in your car so your air conditioning (or heating system) doesn’t have to work too hard. A carbon film does not contain metallic particles which can interrupt electronic signals nor does it fade over time. Carbon film window tinting is relatively long-lasting and durable.

5. Ceramic Film

HOHOFILM 4Mil Car Window Film 70% VLT Nano Ceramic Auto Tint Film...

Image from Amazon

Ceramic window tinting has the highest quality but is also the most expensive among all types of window tinting. Ceramic particles are non-conductive and non-metallic yet are very efficient when it comes to reflecting and reducing the sun’s heat and UV rays. This reflection and absorption of high levels of light make ceramic film glare-free while still allowing optical clarity and maximum visibility. 

Ceramic film is also shatter-proof and fade-resistant. The absence of metallic particles also makes ceramic film ideal for vehicle owners who use their GPS, radio, and mobile phones a lot as it does not disrupt electronic signals. However, ceramic films do not provide the same amount of darkness and privacy as dyed and carbon window tints do.

Is Window Tinting Permanent?

speedfinal1-icon

Window tinting is not permanent and may be removed at any time. However, removing window tint requires breaking down the adhesive so it can take about 30 minutes to several hours, depending on the condition, quality, and age of the film.

How to Remove Window Tint With These 5 Options

speedfinal1-icon

The first rule of how to remove window tint is NOT to remove it by peeling alone lest you end up with a sticky mess of adhesive that’s going to take even longer to scrape off. Depending on your location, there are several options you can choose from in removing a bubbled-up or faded window tint. Here are the different methods you can use.

1. Ammonia and Sunlight

JAMES AUSTIN CO 52 Clear Ammonia Colorless Multi-Purpose Cleaner...

If you live in a location where sunny days are typical, then this is probably the best method to use.

What You Need

  • Black garbage bags cut into the shape of your car windows
  • Tarp to cover all inside surfaces
  • Face mask
  • Safety goggles
  • Latex or vinyl gloves
  • Undiluted ammonia in a spray bottle
  • Glass cleaner
  • Razor blade
  • Spray bottle with soapy water
  • Super-fine steel wool
  • Paper towel or dry clean cloth

How to Do It

Park your car under the sun, as you will need the heat to do the job. Keep the other windows and car doors open to release the noxious fumes from the ammonia.

Spray the exterior of your window with soapy water, then cover with one of the window-shaped garbage bags. Smooth out the plastic garbage bag until flat. Cover all inside surfaces near the windows with a tarp, ensuring that they’re thoroughly protected. These include your speakers and rear light as well as upholstered surfaces.

Wear a face mask, latex or vinyl gloves, and safety goggles to avoid inhaling the fumes from the ammonia and to protect your eyes and skin from the over-spray. Spray the entire surface of the window from the interior with undiluted ammonia. After spraying, cover the inside window with another garbage bag.

Leave the garbage bags on the window for about an hour to allow the tint’s adhesive to soften. The ammonia and heat combined will break down the adhesive to make peeling off the tint a lot easier. After an hour, start peeling off the old film by gently lifting a corner with a razor blade or your fingernail. Try to do the peeling in one go, if possible. Keep the film soft by spraying with more undiluted ammonia as you work your way to peeling the whole thing off. If you’re doing the rear window shield, make sure to go around the window defroster lines carefully.

After peeling off the film completely, use the undiluted ammonia alongside the super-fine steel wool to remove any remaining adhesive on your window’s interior. Wipe with a dry paper towel after the adhesive has been taken out completely. Remove the garbage bag from the other side of the window and spray the outer window with glass cleaner before drying with a paper towel or a clean cloth.

2. Steam

URPOWER Garment Steamer 130ml Portable 7 in 1 Handheld Fabric Steamer...

If you live in a location where sunny days are typical, then this is probably the best method to use.

What You Need

  • Fabric or clothing steamer
  • 2 gallons of distilled water (and salt, if needed)
  • Long extension cord
  • Adhesive remover
  • Paper towel or dry clean cloth
  • Plastic tarp or garbage bags
  • Old towel
  • Razor blade or utility knife

How to Do It

Use the fabric or clothing steamer per the instructions provided. Fill the steamer with distilled water (and salt, if necessary). Cover the interior of your car’s window with the plastic tarp or garbage bags and then place an old towel on top. Steam the entire window from the inside with the fabric or clothing steamer.

Exercise caution while doing this so as not to burn yourself with the steam. The hot steam will cause the adhesive to melt, making the tint or film peel off easily. Using a razor blade or utility knife, work on the edge of the tint until it starts to peel off. Do this while steaming the window continuously. After completely removing the tint, spray the interior of your window with the adhesive remover to take out the remaining glue and then wipe it clean with a dry paper towel or clean cloth.

3. Heat

Remington D3190 Damage Protection Hair Dryer with Ceramic + Ionic +...

This method is similar to the steam method, only it uses heat instead of steam. You can also use a heat gun, but a hairdryer is more convenient and readily available.

What You Need

  • Hairdryer
  • Paper towels or clean cloth
  • Glass cleaner
  • Old but clean towel
  • Razor blade or utility knife

How to Do It

Set the hairdryer on high and hold it approximately two inches away from the corner of the window before turning on. The corner is the best spot to start working on because you will be able to pry the tint with your fingernail or a razor blade. While in the midst of blowing hot air from the hairdryer, slowly start peeling off the film. Rub off the remaining adhesive with a clean towel firmly while applying heat on the adhesive to soften it further.

When all the film and remaining adhesive have been removed, clean your window with a glass cleaner and wipe dry with a paper towel or clean cloth.

4. Soapy Detergent Water and Newspapers

This method is pretty simple and won’t release noxious fumes in the air.

What You Need

  • Sponge
  • Spray bottle of soapy detergent water
  • Old newspapers
  • Plastic tarp or garbage bags to cover interior
  • Razor blade
  • Adhesive remover
  • Paper towel or dry clean cloth

How to Do It

Cover the interior of your car’s window with a plastic tarp or garbage bags to protect them from getting wet. Spray the entire inner window with soapy detergent water and then cover with an old newspaper. Leave the newspaper for about an hour while keeping the paper moist with soapy water every 20 minutes. The soapy water will soften the adhesive so scraping and peeling will be effortless.

After an hour, start scraping the top layer of the tint film with long strokes. If the top layer doesn’t come off in long strips, spray some more soapy water for another half hour while still rubbing the razor blade over the tint. Do this until all the film comes off. Use an adhesive remover if some glue residue remains on the glass. Wipe clean with a paper towel or dry clean cloth.

5. The Soak and Scrape Method

If none of the other methods work, soaking and scraping can be an option, although this method can be a bit time-consuming.

What You Need

  • Razor blade or utility knife
  • Spray bottle with soapy water
  • Glass cleaner
  • Plastic tarp or garbage bags to cover interior
  • Paper towel or dry clean cloth

How to Do It

With a plastic tarp or garbage bag, cover the interior of your car to protect it from the spray. Using a razor blade or utility knife, create a tab from the tint by making a small cut on the film. Pull the tab and start peeling the tint. This will probably cause some tearing or might separate the tint into several pieces.

Spray the leftover adhesive from the peeled off tint with soapy water and start scraping the glue off until it is completely removed. Do the same for other areas, until all the film has been peeled and the leftover adhesive scraped off. Spray the now-exposed window with glass cleaner and then wipe with a paper towel or a dry clean cloth.

Conclusion

speedfinal1-icon

Knowing how to remove window tint on your own can spare you from spending a few hundred bucks to have them removed by a professional. However, there are important things that you need to keep in mind when doing the removal on your own. Do not use a razor scraper when working on a rear window defroster grid or the antenna grid as doing so will damage the grid. You wouldn’t want to lose your defroster or radio reception just because you have to remove your tint!

You may also need to use a combination of methods on how to remove window tint, depending on what works best for you. For example, if the window tint or film does not come off as a whole piece, you can try doing the soak and scrape method for the smaller pieces that were left behind.

The steps involved in how to remove window tint are pretty simple and straightforward. Just make sure to exercise safety precautions!

Shares
Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments

Leave a Reply: