When you return from your holiday, you will most likely have a toll sticker or decal on your car. Perhaps you are the proud owner of a rock band sticker or something else which you have now outgrown. Whichever one you have and want to remove, they all share something in common: removing them is often a real pain and could even damage the paint on your car. Here are some tips and tricks to get rid of those pesky stickers.
What are typical stickers made of?
There really is a way to remove every kind of sticker. If you know exactly which adhesive you are dealing with, removing it is child’s play. Unfortunately, it’s hard to know the exact composition. Therefore it is a good idea to take a look at this topic once so that you can develop an appropriate strategy. Most bumper stickers use a plastic-type paper as a backing material. This is important because they often come into contact with the elements. Conventional printing paper would be unusable within a few days. The adhesive is then applied to the backing material
Sticker removal tips
1. Remove stickers at warm temperatures
The colder the temperatures, the more difficult stickers are to remove. It is best to wait for a warm and sunny day before removing the stickers from your car, or remove them when the car is in a warm garage. The temperature should be at least 20 degrees. In the case of high-quality stickers or films that are not older than 5 years, then removing them by hand should be possible without any problems
2. Use a hair dryer
If removal by hand is not readily possible, a simple hair dryer can also be used to help. To do this, hold the hair dryer briefly against the area of the sticker to be removed and slowly begin to remove the sticker by hand. Work slowly with the hair dryer and make sure that the adhesive areas do not heat up too much so that the paint is not unnecessarily stressed. As a rule of thumb, the paint should only be heated to such an extent that it can be touched without any problems.
3. Remove slowly and at a sharp angle.
Stickers should be removed in one piece if possible so that they do not tear when removed. Therefore, stickers should be removed as slowly, evenly, and at as sharp an angle as possible. Pointed and angular edges of stickers are usually easier to remove than straight or round edges. It is best to start peeling there.
4. Foil eraser for the drill
Another practical way to remove stickers from the car are foil eraser attachments for the drill or cordless screwdrivers. These also easily remove older and stubborn stickers from windows or car paint. The stickers are simply rubbed away with the erasers, it is important to note that they create a lot of dust and the erasers also wear out quickly. Due to the high wear and the resulting dust, it makes sense to use the eraser attachments only for individual small stickers, especially since large films can usually be removed very well with a hair dryer. Another advantage of foil erasers is that any adhesive residue is also removed.
5. Glass scraper for windows
You can also use glass scrapers to remove stickers from window panes. What would leave scratches on the car paint is possible to do on the window panes without any problems. In combination with a hairdryer, even the most stubborn stickers should be able to be removed.
6. Dissolve adhesive residues with tar and resin remover.
It is not uncommon for stubborn adhesive residue to remain on sensitive paintwork when stickers are removed. With very old stickers, it is often the edges where adhesive residue is deposited. Depending on the composition of the adhesive, most adhesive residues can be removed very well with tar and resin remover (DISPLAY). To do this, take a fresh microfibre cloth and rub the solution onto the affected areas with it. If not all adhesive residues come off immediately, simply let the solution work on the adhesive residues for a few minutes and then try to rub the residues away again.
Most of sticker removal products you can buy work on the principle of solvents. They work quite well and are also fast, but not exactly cheap. You should budget between £6-£10 for a small can and that usually doesn’t go very far. In addition, not all of the products on offer are suitable for cars because they are harmful to the paintwork. Look carefully at the product description and application instructions before buying.
No matter which option you decided on, after you have removed the sticker you should give the area a final cleaning. You can use water and a soft cloth or a dirt eraser. Often the area where old stickers were located seem to become noticeable later. This is due to the paint fading outside the formerly stickered areas. A nice polish will fix that up and when you look closely, the adhesive will no longer be noticeable.