Tip Sheet

How to remove stickers from your windshield and windows

How to remove car stickers
PHOTO: Shutterstock

Conduction or vehicle registration stickers can be a pain in the bum to remove when the time comes to dispose of them. Even the ornamental decals you‘ve accumulated through the years from joining all sorts of car clubs or making your ride look like a wannabe race car will expire, depending on how much you’ve matured as an enthusiast—or the stickers themselves looking too faded to be display-worthy.

Before you chisel away or do something that could permanently scar your glass bits, allow us to share a safe, simple, and effective hack to remove car stickers.

Tools for the job are as follows:

  • A thin, hard plastic spatula/scraper/expired credit card
  • Glass cleaner
  • Any petrol-based spray or liquid product such as WD-40, label/sticker remover or petroleum ether
  • A few microfiber towels

1) Clean the surrounding area.

Begin by cleaning the glass surrounding the sticker with glass cleaner and wipe to dry with a microfiber towel. This takes away dust or abrasive debris from the surface prior to removing.

2) With your spatula or plastic card, scrape off the sticker starting at the edge.

Do this until you create a flap big enough to grab with your fingers. Usually, automotive stickers, especially your LTO stickers, are highly adhesive, so take your time as you peel. It is best to get the whole thing off in one go than having it break off in pieces.

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3) Remove the adhesive residue.

As expected, there will be adhesive residue left on the glass surface that can look real ugly when not completely removed as it attracts dust and dirt. You can either spray WD-40 or sticker remover on the affected area and let it soak before you scrape it off with the spatula. It should come off fairly easily.

4) Dealing with stickers attached to the interior side of your windshield and windows? Be extra careful.

You can follow steps one through three, but take extra care when the surface is covered with automotive tint and/or working on the rear windshield with the heating element. When using petroleum products to loosen stickers and dissolve adhesive residue, it is best to soak your towel, test on an inconspicuous spot at a corner to check for adverse reactions to your tint, and apply directly onto the sticker to avoid making a mess or possibly causing damage or stains to your vehicle’s interior materials. Do consider covering areas like your dash or side panels to protect from spillage.

Note: Others would use a flat razor to scrape off stickers. It may have worked for some, but there is always that risk of cutting your glass. I have had an instance with such a mishap and wouldn’t want that to happen to anyone else.

5) Do a final clean-up.

Always finish the job with glass cleaner and microfiber towels for a squeaky clean and clear finish.

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