Having your vehicle’s windows tinted has several advantages. Not only will it protect passengers from glare and heat from the sun, but it provides more privacy. Unfortunately, window tint has a limited lifespan and can start to look bad if it stays up too long. You can certainly remove it yourself, but without knowing how to do it properly, the situation can turn messy and sticky with a quickness.
Signs Window Tint Needs to Go
The most common reason drivers remove tint is bubbling. Window tint bubbles when the adhesive loses its stick and not only does it look terrible, there’s no way to remedy the issue. You may want to remove the tint where it bubbles but suppress the urge. Doing this will leave an unattractive mashup of holes and splotches on your windows.
Another sign your tint has run its course is discoloration. If it has turned purplish, this usually means it can no longer block UV rays, and the problem is degenerative, so ignoring it isn’t an option.
It’s possible neither of these issues has occurred and you simply want tint-free windows. That is of course your right. Regardless of the reason, if you want to remove window tint yourself, here are a few tried and true ways to make it happen.
A steady supply of concentrated heat will remove tint’s adhesive, making it easier to peel. The easiest method involves a hair dryer. First, hold the hair dryer a couple of inches from the window and blow it on high until you can feel the edges of tint loosen. Continue angling the air to hit where the window and tint meet and peel as the glue loses its grip. Use a towel to clean up excess glue and clean the windows after all tint has been peeled away.
A garment steamer used as a heat and moisture source also works well for removing window tint. Use the steamer much like you would a hair dryer and peel the tint away using the same methods described above.
The sun’s rays–with some chemical help–will do the trick, as well. Note: Cover the car’s interior with protective covering for this method.
First, spray the outside of the window with soapy water and cover it with a plastic garbage bag cut to fit the window. Smooth the garbage bag over the window until it’s smooth. Now, spray the inside of the window with ammonia, protecting your eyes and nose with a mask. Cover the inside window like you did the outside (with a garbage bag smoothed on its surface), and let your car sit out in the sun for at least 20 minutes. After the time has elapsed, you should be able to peel the window tint away as described in the previous methods.