Three ways to cleanly remove window films from car windows
When buying Window films, you don’t usually consider how to easily to remove them, if so need be. And there really is no reason, as removing old window films is pretty easy. Below we have listed three good ways to remove old window films.
1. Call a window tinting company and reserve an appointment for removal.
This the easiest way to remove the old sun protection films. Tape and tinting shops usually handle removals for 30-60€/hour.
This is an easy technique to remove window films from your car. You hardly need to use a razor blade or a knife to scrape of the film, so there is hardly any extra work or mess. You do, however, need to invest around 25€ for a steam cleaner (which although will pay itself back, even if you just use it for cleaning the car seats).
Alternatively you can use a heat gun instead of a steam cleaner, but we have found that the steam cleaner is easier.
- Steam cleaner
- Extension cord
- Water bottle (to fill up the steam cleaner)
- Sinol (or any other solvent that removes the glue remains from the window. Mere soap-water solution is enough for certain adhesives)Take note that a steam cleaner may produce steam up tp 135 degrees hot, which can, if wrongly directed, cause burns. So be careful!
How to do it
Turn on the steam cleaner and start heating up the window films you want to remove. Heat up the entire window film (holding the cleaner approximately 5 to 15cm off the window), after that start heating the film from one corner. When heating the film, the adhesive will start to melt and no longer hold. Start the removal by pulling the film away from the corner, simultaneously blowing steam under the film. Continue until the film is completely removed.
NB! You shouldn’t pull the film directly away from the window, as there is a minimal risk, that the window may break due to heat and pressure. Slowly pull the film diagonally from one corner towards the other. Too quick a pull may only remove the upper layer of the film and leave the hardest, lower glue layer on the window.
After the film has come off, there are often small traces of glue remaining. Easiest way to remove them is by rubbing them with a wipe dipped in Sinol. Heating the glue up with steam cleaner also helps it to come off. If the wipe, solvent and steaming isn’t enough, rest of the glue can be removed by scraping them with a razor blade.
3. Razor blade and rubbing
NB! Be careful when removing film from a heated rear window. The heating strips on the window are very delicate, and may easily break if cut with a razor blade. So be careful when using a razor blade or knife on top of the stripes.
- Razor blades (stainless steel)
- Llumar Dirt-Off/Sinol
How to do it
Start by cutting the film to be removed into sections. This makes the removal easier, if the films are stuck hard on the window. Remove the film by slowly pulling it off section by section. Don’t pull the film away from the window, but e.g. if you start removing the section of the film from up, pull the section downwards.
This way a substantially lesser amount of stress is inflicted on the window.
After the removing the film, some nasty adhesive residue is probably left on the window. Removing it takes more time than removing the film itself. Start of by spreading Llumar Dirt-Off or Sinol all over the window with a wipe. Next, start scraping the residue off with a razor blade, or other knife of your choice.
If there is a lot of work to do here, you may use up several razor blades. So make sure to get a few extras. Stainless steel blades last longer. However, even they dull, after scraping a few windows, to an unusable shape.
After scraping of the adhesive, take a clean wipe and and put Llumar Dirt-Off or Sinol on it. Then use the wetted wipe to rub the window one final time to remove the last traces of glue.
There is no reason to worry beforehand about the possibility of removing Window films, as removing them is easy, especially if you’re ready to invest a few euros on a steam cleaner. Another way is to scrape the glue off with a razor blade.
Its important to swap the razor blade for a new one as soon as it gets dull. A sharp blade removes the glue easier, and you do not have to apply as much pressure on the glass, which could scratch it.
When using a razor blade, you need to be careful when working close to the heating stripes on the rear window. They get damaged really easily, so its better to clean them (and the areas immediately adjacent) using only a wipe with Llumar Dirt-Off or Sinol. Even just pulling the film off may, in the worst case scenario, break the heating elements of the rear window.
Last but not least, remember that the slower you pull of the film from the window, the better. The slower you pull it off, the less glue residue is left on the window.