At Websticker we’ve specialized in custom bumper stickers and promotional stickers for almost 20 years, but still battle misconceptions about sticker adhesives daily. We sell a large number of custom car magnets and static decals even though they cost more and are displayed for shorter periods of time than a vinyl sticker. The reason is often that many customers or end users are still worried about the risk to vehicle paint jobs.
What You Need Hair dryer with hot air settings Razor blade or a box cutter (if removing from glass) Sturdy plastic card — could be a library card, credit card, frequent shopper card or ID Two clean rags or detailing towels Glass cleaning solution (if removing from glass) Tree sap remover solution Quick detailing spray
So you’re trying to sell your car and suddenly having that bumper sticker that says “Lost your cat? Look under my wheels” doesn’t seem like such a good selling point. It’s easy to remove bumper stickers without damaging the painted bumper underneath; all you need is a hairdryer or some spray lubricant.
We’ve all seen people with stickers scotch taped to the inside of their car windows. And just yesterday a woman buying magnets proclaimed, ‘I would NEVER put a sticker on my car’. While it’s fine to be aesthetically or philosophically opposed to stickers on your car, it is important for sticker buyers to know the facts. Custom printed stickers can be profitable products or strong, economical promotional tools for companies. Misconceptions about adhesives should not get in the way of maximizing the power and profitability of this medium.
5. Continue to push the plastic card — or razor blade — underneath the sticker until it completely breaks away from the car’s surface. It is completely normal for the sticker to break apart during this removal process.
Though many screen printed bumper stickers have utilized a “removable” adhesive since the 1960’s, persistent myths about bumper stickers damaging cars continue. Bumper stickers and euro car stickers have come a long way since the 1940’s when people tied cardboard signs to bumpers with wire. Today’s adhesive choices for custom printed stickers range from “super tac” to “static” and everything in between.
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Hold the hair dryer about 6″ from the sticker and blow heat directly on the sticker for a minute or two. Don’t hold it in one place — keep it moving back and forth, up and down, to evenly heat up the sticker.
Holding a heat gun or hair dryer in one place can cause damage by bubbling the paint. If the corner of the sticker does not start to lift, continue to heat the sticker. Hold heat gun 8″ – 12″ from sticker.
They get much hotter and work much faster than a hair dryer.
2. Plug in the hair dryer, turn the heat setting to hot and hold the hair dryer just a few inches above the sticker. Do not place the hair dryer directly on top of the sticker and the car’s paint.
Bumper stickers indirectly cause damage to paint. If you leave them on its not apparent but the process of removing them by solvent, razor blade, or heat gun or combination of them will hurt paint and depending on how long they were on, and what color paint is, you may find the paint that was covered isnt as faded as surrounding paint (sunbleached).
Yes, bumper sticker can damage paint. They were designed to put on chrome bumpers. They will not peak off cleanly. They may take paint with them, especially if you use strong chemicals to remove them. Even it they come off clean, the paint around the sticker will have faided more than the paint under the sticker. You will always be able to tell that there was a sticker there. Put it on the rear window.
Let the area cool once the sticker is off. Then clean off the remaining adhesive with an automotive adhesive cleaner such as PPG Ditzo DX 440. You may need to re-apply wax to the area. WD-40 also works, spray it on and let it sit a few minutes then wipe and rub.
Removing glue takes patience, and may require multiple applications of cleaner.
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Do not apply continuous heat with a heat gun to the sticker or you may melt both the sticker and the bumper skin (if not a metal or steel bumper). If the hair dryer is not working, you can rent a heat gun from a rent-all.
Be very careful not to put your hand or fingers in the path of the heat gun as it can burn you. Also, do not touch the barrel of the heat gun as these are not protected. Be very careful using razor blades on the paint.
Only use a blade to grab the corner. You don’t need a lot of Ditzo, just a small amount on a rag. Too much will begin to remove the paint.
6. Once the sticker is removed, you can repeat steps 1-4 to remove any sticky residue or remnants. Tree sap remover also works great. Just apply a few drops onto a clean rag or detailing cloth and scrub away. If there’s sticky residue on your car’s glass, use the razor blade to gently scrape it away.
CARS.COM — Bumper stickers on cars can symbolize just about anything under the sun. They can show support for a certain political candidate, identify you as a proud parent of an honor student or the fact that you just love that one special dog breed. Others are required by local laws, like city stickers. Some even come attached to your new car straight from the dealer.
Peel back an edge of the bumper sticker using your fingers or a razor.
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7. When that part of the car is completely clear of any sticker and its residue, polish it off with some glass cleaner or quick detailing spray.
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Remember, to fold the edge of the sticker all the way over and pull slowly in the opposite direction by the corner, not up. The hair dryer/heat gun is only used to make the adhesive pliable after being hardened on your bumper for so long.
Removable adhesives on stickers have been offered for almost 50 years but still people are willing to pay more, in some cases double, for the piece of mind that the material will definitely come off a car without damage. Adding to the general misconception of damaging adhesives are cheap paper stickers that can be difficult to remove and do leave glue residue. When buying custom bumper stickers, stickers, labels or decals it is important to verify that the material, adhesive and print quality are suitable for your purposes. Make it clear how long you want stickers to hold up outside and how difficult, or easy, they should be to remove. Then get a guarantee that the proper product is delivered.
Spray lubricant such as WD-40 or Triflow into the now exposed part of the bumper sticker. This should release the seal of the bumper sticker and allow you to continue peeling.
3. Keep the hair dryer over the center area for a few seconds, making sure the air coming out is hot and then slowly begin to move it around the rest of the sticker. You want to heat the edges of the sticker last so you can prep for the next step.
4. After you’ve let the sticker heat up, use the plastic card at an angle to gently scrape up the glue under the sticker. You can also try using your fingertips to peel it up. If the surface area is hot enough, you will be able to slide the plastic card under the sticker’s edge and begin to peel it and the adhesive away.
Peel back a corner using your fingernail (or razor blade to grab the edge only). Do not pull directly up. Pull back, folding the corner over against the face of sticker.
Warning: Do not use a box cutter or razor blade on your car’s paint; it will cause damage. On glass you will be able to apply a bit heavier pressure, if needed, to remove the sticker.
Español: remover calcomanías del parachoques, Deutsch: Einen Aufkleber von der Stoßstange entfernen, Português: Remover Adesivos de Automóveis, Italiano: Rimuovere gli Adesivi dal Paraurti dell’Auto, Русский: удалить наклейки с бампера
Bumper stickers do not damage paint, but if you remove one, what you use to remove the glue residue might damage paint. Most solvents that remove glue are going to at least dull the finish.
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*While we hope to help, Cars.com is not responsible for any damage that may occur to your vehicle by following the steps above.
And, if you are having trouble getting an old vinyl sticker off a car? Before you get out the paint thinner, sandpaper, razor blade, or other specialized removal product I’d suggest using a blow dryer and heating up the sticker. The heat will soften the adhesive and will be the best bet for peeling the sticker off in one piece.
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Repeating step 2 and step 3 a few more times may make a cumbersome presidential campaign sticker that’s been on your bumper since the last time your party won easier to remove. You can also try moving the plastic card or razor blade back and forth while you slide it under the sticker’s surface to peel it up. If you’re removing a sticker from your car’s glass, use the box cutter or razor blade at a slight angle.
In addition to the photos and step-by-step instructions above, check out the video for more on how to remove stickers below.
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Continue spraying and peeling till the bumper sticker is completely removed.
Pull slowly by the corner of the sticker in the opposite direction and continue to apply heat as needed.
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While removing stickers isn’t as easy as putting them on, we have some advice that should make the job a little less sticky, for you and your car’s paint.
But political campaigns and straight A’s end at some point, and those city stickers and decals need to be replaced every year. How do you safely remove them?
1. Ensure that the sticker and the surrounding area are free of dirt. Doing this removal process works best after a car wash.