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How to safely remove stickers from your car’s glass parts

Because you don’t want to scuff the glass in the process

Removing stickers without prep work could leave residue behind. PHOTO BY MIGGI SOLIDUM

Maybe your license plates just came in and you wish to clean up your car’s appearance by removing those now-useless conduction stickers. Or did you wake up this morning and realize how tasteless those decals you had slapped on your windshield and/or windows from five years ago look and now want them gone? No judgment on those who like to attach stickers to their vehicle’s glass parts (although, I must say, they may impede your field of vision). This piece is just a simple guide on how to safely remove them, especially if they just won’t simply peel off cleanly.

Allow the adhesive remover to soak the decal (or residue) for at least a minute. PHOTOS BY MANSKEE NASCIMENTO

The process of removing stickers from automotive glass isn’t rocket science, but let’s make sure safety is always considered. Never use kerosene, gasoline, thinner or any highly flammable/volatile substances to do the job. These liquids can also cause damage to rubber, plastic or paint.

Our market has an assortment of effective and affordable products that could easily help you remove even the stickiest of decals from glass. You can either order them online or visit a reputable automotive supply shop and just ask for a sticker-remover solution.

Work the scraper methodically to ensure every bit of adhesive is removed. PHOTOS BY MANSKEE NASCIMENTO

I’ve used a number of products like WD-40, Goo Gone and just about every single off-the-shelf item available here. They all seem to work pretty well, and you just need to follow some simple steps for a clean outcome. You’ll need:

  • a couple of clean microfiber towels
  • glass cleaner
  • sticker or adhesive remover
  • a plastic scraper or card
  • a clean rag

Begin by cleaning the surface with glass cleaner, and wipe off until spotless and dry. This should eliminate abrasive dirt that can scratch the glass surface as you attempt to scrape off the sticker and the residual adhesive.

Be sure to clean the area once the sticker is removed. PHOTOS BY MANSKEE NASCIMENTO

At first, you can try peeling off the label with your fingernail or scraper. However, older stickers can prove to be much more difficult with this typical approach. The next step is to spray the sticker-remover solution on and directly around the sticker. Let the product work for you by letting it soak the sticker for a minute or two. Use a clean rag to wipe off excess solution dripping down the glass panel, or just place it at the base (if possible) to catch drippings.

After the solution has begun to do its thing, you can now start scraping away with a plastic scraper. If the adhesive is stubborn, keep pushing bit by bit. Feel free to add more solution as you move along. For safety reasons and to avoid damaging the glass, I don’t recommend using a razor blade (even though some detailers use it). I’ve seen quite a few mishaps already with someone either getting hurt or accidentally scratching the glass itself.

The author recommends these off-the-shelf sticker removers. SCREENSHOTS FROM LAZADA

If budget is really tight, you can try a solution of dishwashing liquid diluted in warm distilled water (one part soap and 10 parts water). Then just follow the above method.

Once the sticker and the residual adhesive have been completely removed, spray the area with glass cleaner and wipe until squeaky clean. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as seeing sticker-free windshields and windows.

Manskee Nascimento

Manskee is a music-loving petrolhead who specializes in car care. He finds peace in long drives to and from his home in La Union.