The Best Way To Remove The Window Tint on a Any Car
Steam is hands-down, the easiest way to remove window tint from your car without ruining defroster lines or spending needless hours scraping glue off the glass.
Removing window tint can be a terrible experience. If you get fed up and decide to just start peeling it off, you're going to have an awful time. Heat from a hair dryer helps, but hot steam trumps all, I promise.
How window tint works
Tint is made up of one or more layers of treated polyester (plastic). One side will have a scratch-resistant coating and the other will have a layer of adhesive that will bond to glass.
The layers can be designed to filter light with differing combinations of these goals:
- Reduce interior temperatures (infrared light)
- Reduce glare
- Reduce damaging effects on skin, eyes, and interior trim (ultraviolet light)
- Increase privacy
- Change vehicle appearance
- Some increased safety by holding shattered glass together
The sticky adhesive used on window tint is pressure sensitive. When the protective layer is removed, the sticky surface will adhere to whatever it touches. When applied - installers will use a solution of water and soap to prevent immediate adhesion so that the tint can be shaped and positioned. The solution evaporates over a few weeks, leaving the adhesive behind.
Over time, the adhesive can change color, loose UV light resistance, and eventually fail to adhere to the glass.
Choose a Starting Point
Find a loose edge or corner. If you don't have any, use a fresh razor to start an edge. Get under the tint by holding it flat against the glass and sliding it under the tint.
Razor blades have an increased chance of scratching glass if they are dull, damaged, or if you use just the corner to cut. So keep them clean, new, and the entire cutting edge flat against the surface.
Steam the Window
Turn the steamer to it's maximum setting and use it to heat a section of the tint about 10 inches around your starting point.
The steam can be very hot, so be cautious to prevent burning your skin.
Peel Back the Tint
Continue to steam the area around where you're working. It loosens the adhesive and keeps you from having to do a ton of extra work cleaning up the adhesive.
If the tint starts to strip into pieces or the adhesive isn't staying on the film as it peels, apply more heated steam and slow down.
Begin peeling the tint back. Pull it back at an extreme angle so that the tint is basically folded flat against the glass as it peels away.
Clean The Glass
Remove remaining adhesive (which should be very very little) by heating it up and using the razor (again, flat against the surface) to pull it up.
Alternatively you can probably just use windex and clean it off with the rest of the residue.