Window Tint : How to Remove it without Scratch
Window tint is a thin lamination film which can be pasted or installed either to the interior or exterior of glass surfaces in automobiles and boats and glass in homes or buildings.
In case tint is too dark or got scratched or discolored or got bubbly, user can easily remove it. It does not even need spending money. It can be done to both vehicle or home/building windows. You need not to spend hours scratching the tint away with a razor or blade and removing the adhesive! The easiest and least damaging method is using a steamer, so it becomes your best option for removal of the window tint.
You may even spray the windows with ammonia, cover them with garbage bags, and let the combined action of sun and ammonia dissolve the adhesive before peeling the tint away.
Methods to Remove Window Tint
- Using a Steamer
- Applying Ammonia
Method 1: Using a Steamer
Roll the vehicle window down 1⁄4 inch or 0.64 cm.
Open the vehicle door in order to access the interior of the tinted window. Crack the window just a little so as to reach the top to see the edge of the tint. Start with the windows in the doors first and later go for the rear window, especially when it has defrost features. This gives a chance to practice the technique of removing the tint more easily to ensure not to mess up the defrost lines.
Steam outside and inside of the windows both ways.
The handheld clothing steamer will work. Hold the steamer 1–2 inches (2.5–5.1 cm) away from the window. Steam the entire outside of the window first. Then, apply steam to the interior of the window. Work with long, sweeping motions from the top to the bottom. Do try to heat the pane of glass evenly. Steaming the outside helps heat up the window more easily for the adhesive to dissolve. You don’t require this for the rear window of the vehicle. It is also not required for the windows of the home that on on the second floor or above as these are not easily accessible.
In the absence of a steamer, you may opt for a hairdryer or heat gun to loosen the adhesive. It takes longer duration and is not that much effective. It may leave behind glue that you will be required to clean off, manually. Also, ensure not to heat the glass which may lead to breakage of the window pane.
Use a straight razor or blade to lift up one of the edge of the tint.
Carefully place a straight razor underneath the tint at one corner of the interior of the top of the window. It will make it easier to loosen the edge of the tint to peel off using a razor. In case you can’t get the corner of the tint to come up, You may apply more steam and try again over the same portion.
Glass is difficult to scratch, therefore, you can run a razor blade across the glass with a lubricant to remove the tint. You can use a razor blade to remove the sticky residue which is left behind after the tint is removed from the window. Another way to remove the sticky residue is that you may use a citrus-based cleaner.
Peel the tint off slowly while continuing to apply steam.
Work slowly on the windows to pull the tint down from the top of the window towards the bottom of the window pane. Keep applying steam. You must pay special attention to some stubborn spots. Do not try to pull the tint too quickly. It will tear the tint and make the job much more harder. Use the razor to lift the edge of the tint again to continue peeling it off.
Remove remaining adhesive with a commercial cleaner.
Mix 1 part commercial cleaner and 1 part water in a spray bottle. It will help you to easily apply it to the window. Spray it on liberally and scrub the glue spots with a non-scratch pad. Let the glass dry with the help of a paper towel. Use a clean microfiber cloth to wipe the door panels or window frame to remove any water left after the steaming process.
Repeat the process on each tinted window.
You can use the similar technique to remove the tint from each of the windows in vehicle or home. Keep the process slow and take time so that it may remove all of the tint from each window in a single piece.
Steam the back window of vehicle for 7 minutes before peeling the tint away.
In case you are working on a vehicle, place the steamer right up with the interior glass of the back window. You may need something to tie around the trigger to keep it going up or pop up the steamer. It will help it stay in place. Close the doors of the vehicle and let the steamer run for 7 or more minutes. Loosen the edge of one of the top corners. Slowly peel the tint away from the glass. Remain careful while doing this and try not to damage the defrost lines. Lower the seats or at least the remove headrests to get a better access to the rear window.
Method 2 : Applying Ammonia
Mask the door panels of the vehicle or the window frame in the home.
Cover the interior door panels or window frame with tarps or plastic sheeting and tape it in place to protect them from the ammonia. Never use newspaper or any other absorbent material because ammonia will soak through it. Ensure to cover all of the electrical components in the vehicle well like switches and speakers. The method works best on hot, sunny days because the heat from the sun helps the ammonia break down the adhesive holding the tint to the glass.
Cut black garbage bags to the size of the windows.
Put a black garbage bag over one of the windows and use a metallic marker to trace the outline. Cut it out and separate the bag so as to get two pieces: one for the interior of the window and one for the exterior. Repeat for each window. You require to cover the interior of the windows with garbage bags in case you are working on windows in the home and can not easily reach the exterior.
Apply soapy water to the exterior of the windows & place the garbage bags on top.
Fill a spray bottle with three-quarters of water. To it, add a squirt of dish soap. Rigorously, shake up the bottle and spray the exterior of each window. Put a garbage bag to the glass in order to cover it completely. The soapy water helps the garbage bag stick to the window.
Spray ammonia on the interior of the windows and cover them with the garbage bags.
Fill another spray bottle with ammonia. Spritz the interior of a window. It is fully saturated then press the garbage bag into place so as to cover the glass. The liquid must hold the plastic in place all on its own, but you could utilize masking tape to secure the bags in case it is necessary. Repeat for each window. In case, you do not want to use ammonia or don’t have with you, you can use a mixture of water and soap or baby shampoo on the interior of the windows, instead. Wear gloves and a mask or respirator when working with ammonia to protect the skin and lungs.
Let the ammonia soak in for 1-2 hours.
Give the sun, some time to heat up the glass, that will in turn, help the ammonia dissolve the adhesive holding the tint to the windows. It is best to do it in the middle of summer when it is really hot and sunny.
Remove the bags and peel the tint away.
Remove the garbage bags, then use a razor blade to peel one corner of the tint away from the window so that you can grip it firmly. Slowly and carefully, try to pull the tint away from the glass from one edge of the window to the other edge. You must work slowly so that the tint does not rip apart. In case of a ripping, slide the razor underneath the edge of the tint so that you can lift the edge up and continue removing it further.
Use ammonia and steel wool to remove glue stuck to the windows.
Once all the tint is off the window pane, you may spray the window with ammonia again. Scrub the window pane to remove any stuck-on adhesive with fine steel wool. Wipe away the debris and liquid with newspaper or any absorbent cloth. When adhesive doesn’t come off easily, you may use a razor to scrape it away. But remain careful that you might not damage the window. A large razor scraper can make the process easier, especially in case you are working on window panes of home or a building.