How To Remove Window Tint (4 Easy Ways with Guide)

How To Remove Window Tint

Unfortunately, like everything else on your vehicle, the window tint comes with a lifespan, and so at some point, you might have to remove and replace it. Also, in some instances, you will just feel like taking out that particular window tint and replacing it with something better.

You can always take your vehicle to a professional to remove the tint, but this is something quite simple, and you hence do not have to pay someone to do it for you.

There are different ways of removing window tint and the right one for you will depend on the tint type that you have on your vehicle. Here are some of the easiest window tint removal methods that almost anyone can hack.

Best Ways to Remove Window Tint

While some vehicles will come with windows that have a factory tint dye, many will have a tint film glued on the window with some kind of adhesives, which means it is removable.

And although it is often possible to peel off the tint with your hands, this often leaves a sticky mess. But here are a few ways to remove window tint without making a mess.

1. Scrape and Wash

Scrape and Wash

If you are dealing with one or a couple of windows or just a small area, this method will be perfect. It is also quick and easy and will not leave any sticky mess behind. But, the only downside is that you tend to get tired quickly since some elbow grease is required when scraping off the tint.

What You Need

  • Razorblade or small knife
  • Glass cleaner
  • A tub of soapy water
  • A spray bottle

Step by Step Directions

Step 1: Lift a Corner

The first step when using this method is to lift a corner because this will expose enough tint film to give you a point to hold when peeling it off.

Using a razor blade or a small sharp knife, make a small cut in one corner of the film to create a tab that will allow you to lift off the tint film from the window.

Step 2: Peel Off the Tint Film

Next, you should firmly grasp the corner on the window tint that you cut and then peel it off from the window slowly.

In most instances, it will peel off in a single piece very easily, but in case it does not, you simply need to repeat the lifting and peeling process on the other pieces or sections of the film until you remove all of it.

Step 3: Spray Soapy Mixture

With the tint film peeled off, the next step is to make a soapy mixture and spray it on the window, which is meant to remove then adhesive still clinging on the window. And make sure you spray the mixture generously to cover the window completely.

Step 4: Scrape of Adhesive

Now you can scrape off the adhesive from the glass using a razor blade or knife, but you also need to be careful to ensure you do not cut your hand accidentally. As you are scraping off the adhesive, the soapy water will dry out, and so you need to spray more to ensure the window remains moist.

Step 5: Clean the Window

The last step is to give your window a thorough cleanup. Here you will need a glass cleaner and some paper towels, but make sure that all the adhesive is completely removed before you get to this last step.

2. Soak with Newspapers and Scrape

Soak with Newspapers and Scrape

This method is similar to the scrape and wash one above, but it will not require as much elbow grease which makes it even easier. Also, this window tint removal method will allow you to recycle those old newspapers that you have no use for.

What You Need

  • Old newspapers
  • Razorblade/knife
  • Dish soap
  • Glass cleaner
  • Sponge
  • Paper towels

Step by Step Directions

Step 1: Make a Soapy Mix

Start by making the soapy water by mixing some warm water with dish soap in a bowl, and you should stir it to make it as soapy as possible and produce lots of foam. There are no exact proportions here, but you should make the mixture soapier than what you often use to wash dishes.

Step 2: Apply Mixture and Newspapers

The next step is to apply your soapy mixture on the window tint generously and ensure you cover it well. Once the soapy mixture is applied thoroughly, you should then cover it with the old newspapers.

Leave the newspapers and soapy water to set for around an hour, and make sure that you keep soaking the outside of the newspapers with more soapy water as they dry out.

Step 3: Pill off Newspapers and Tint

Now you can peel off the newspapers and tint from the window. And to do this, you only need to cut a small corner of the tint film and simply peel it back to remove it. Because of all the soaking, it will be much easier to peel off than in the first method above.

Step 4: Clean the Window

In case the tint does not come out in one piece, you should rub off any remaining pieces with the knife or blade and it will come off easily. Once this is done, you should then clean the window using the glass cleaner and paper towels.

3. Using Hairdryer or Heat Gun

Using Hairdryer or Heat Gun

Heating the window tint is another effective method that you can use to remove it, and if you have a heat gun or hairdryer, it will cost almost nothing, and hence also making it one of the most cost-effective options. 

But, things can also get a little messy with this method, and so you need to have lots of paper towels nearby.

What You Need

  • Hairdryer or heat gun
  • Glass cleaner
  • Razorblade or knife
  • Paper towels

Step by Step Directions

Step 1: Heat Window Tint

Power up the hairdryer and set the temperature to high and then hold it around 2 inches from the tinted window and heat it until you can pry the film using a razor blade or your finger.

Step 2: Peel-Off Tint

The next step is to pull out the film slowly but steadily, but continue blowing the hairdryer while holding it at 2 inches from the window. And as you are peeling, try to direct the hot air stream to where the tint film meets the glass.

Step 3: Rub-Off Adhesive

Once you pull out the tint film, there will still be some adhesive remaining on the window and you need to rub it off with a clean towel. Some adhesive types can be a little hard to rub off, but heating them with the hairdryer should make things easier for you.

Step 4: Clean the Window

Like with the other methods above, the last step is to clean the window, and here you will only need paper towels and a glass cleaner.

4. Ammonia and Sun

Ammonia and Sun

While ammonia and sun might sound like an unusual way of removing window tint, this is still quite an effective method and easy for anyone to use. Better yet, the ammonia will leave your windows with a highly pleasant shine. But, you will need to wear a mask to ensure you do not inhale the toxic fumes.

What You Need

  • Undiluted ammonia
  • Razorblade
  • Soapy water
  • Spray bottle
  • Fine steel wools
  • Soft cloth
  • Hot, sunny day

Step by Step Directions

Step 1: Park Car under Direct Sun

When using this method, the first step is to park your vehicle somewhere you are sure it will be under the direct sun as the sun plays a vital role in the tint removal.

Step 2: Apply Soapy Water

Next, you need to make the soapy water by mixing dish soap with water and then apply it on your windows. You should then apply a piece of plastic on the window over the soapy water.

Step 3: Spray Ammonia

Now spray the ammonia on the inside section of the window with the tint, and make sure you spray generous amounts of it and adequately to cover the window. Also, keep the doors open as you do this to ensure maximum ventilation. Once this is done, cover then ammonia with a black plastic piece and let the plastic sit out on the sun for an hour or more.

Step 4: Peel Tint

After one hour, you should remove the plastic pieces and then pry one corner of the tint film with a razor blade or with your finger. You can then simply peel off the tint, which should be easy if the ammonia and sun do the job correctly.

Step 5: Clean Window

The last step is to give your window a thorough clean up. And here you will often need to use fine steel wool and some of the remaining ammonia as the adhesive is quite problematic. But be careful when using steel wool to ensure you do not end up leaving the window with unsightly scratches.

You should then wipe off any debris left and then wipe down the window with glass cleaner and paper towels.

Conclusion

With a good window tint, you get maximum protection from the sun's glare, and you can also keep your vehicle's interior more private.

But, no matter how good your window tints are, like everything else in the vehicle, they do not last infinitely, and so you will have to remove them at some point.

Window tint removal is one of those things that you can do yourself at home without having to use any professional service, and in many instances, it will also cost almost nothing because chances are you already have everything you need at home.

From heating the film with a hairdryer and heat gun to soaking with newspaper and even using ammonia and heat from the sun, there are countless methods that you can use to get rid of that old tint film.


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