Oh no...
May 26, 2009 8:11 PM   Subscribe

My college sticker cooked onto my rear windshield. Please help.

It is one of those long, clear stickers with the name of the school in all caps. I put it in my back windshield when I graduated and, after five years of living in Kansas, the heat has begun to bake the letters and turn them brown. I tried to peel off what I could, but half the letters are left and it just looks awful. What is the best way to get this off without causing any damage? Thank you.
posted by melangell to Grab Bag (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Goof off and\or a razor blade (the kind that fit in a utility knife.)
posted by sanko at 8:16 PM on May 26, 2009

I bought a van several years ago that had a Department of Defense sticker baked on like this. I got rid of it with a sharp razor blade and application of cooking oil to the sticker as I worked. If defrosters are underneath that might call for a different plan, though.
posted by crapmatic at 8:21 PM on May 26, 2009

Response by poster: Actually, that is a concern because I do have defrosters in that windshield.
posted by melangell at 8:27 PM on May 26, 2009

posted by sweetkid at 8:30 PM on May 26, 2009

I've always had luck with Goo Gone for sticker-related maladies.
posted by aliasless at 8:34 PM on May 26, 2009

Careful work with a chisel-tipped exacto knife (third blade from the left in this kit on amazon), followed by cooking oil to remove residue, would probably do the trick. The narrow blade would allow you to work between the defroster elements.
posted by pmbuko at 8:34 PM on May 26, 2009

I just peeled off two aging stickers from my windshield with the help of a blow dryer and a razor blade. Heating up the sticky stuff really made the job easier.
posted by chez shoes at 8:48 PM on May 26, 2009

Dab a bit of gasoline on a little area and see how that works. It should soften the old sticker into goo and let you wipe off the sticker without damaging the defroster.
posted by Flashman at 8:59 PM on May 26, 2009

Places like Pep Boys and Autozone sell a product called "Brakekleen," "Brake Clean," "Brake and Parts Cleaner," or some variation thereof. It's designed to be used to clean tough grease and brake-dust from auto parts, but we use it for EVERYTHING around the shop.
Careful, it's not safe for painted surfaces (at all!) but it's great for annihilating adhesives. It works better than any goo-gone, goof-off stuff.
I would NOT use a razor on your rear glass. Any small nick can mess up your defroster, depending on its design.

Step 1: Apply concentrated heat, via blow drier or heat gun, to the sticker.
Step 2: Peel a corner of the sticker back a little bit and apply some brake-clean between the sticker and the glass where you've peeled it back.
Step 3: Continue heating, peeling a little, and applying Brakeclean to the remaining portions of the stickers.
Step 4: By the time you've finished prepping your stickers, the first one will have had a chance to soak and will come off much more easily.
Step 5: Once you've peeled the stickers off, use a cloth (NOT paper) towel and some more Brakeclean to lift the sticky residue off the glass. A paper towel will disintegrate but a cloth rag has enough integrity that it can safely abrade the adhesive.
I do NOT recommend any kind of razor blade, green-scrubbing pad, or steel wool in this case. Glass is easily scratched and the defroster adds an element of delicacy. I have, however, used razors for side or front glass sticker removal in the past with lots of success.

Roll your windows down before spraying Brakeclean in the car. You don't want to end up with dain bramage.
posted by Jon-o at 4:15 AM on May 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

Nthing hair dryer. High concentrated heat plus something as simple as a Magic Eraser should avoid doing any windshield/defroster damage while removing the sticky remnants.
posted by lexfri at 4:36 AM on May 27, 2009

Best answer: Perhaps this tutorial from a veteran window tinter can help. It's quite different from any of the advice given so far in this thread and addresses the defroster lines. It is about removing window tint film but that stuff is probably even more aggressively stuck than is your sticker.

Good luck.
posted by bz at 8:31 AM on May 27, 2009

Brakleen is good, but I'd start out with a rag soaked with hot water to try to loosen what you can. If you are able, let it soak on the area. WD40 also works fairly well as an adhesive remover.
posted by wongcorgi at 11:34 AM on May 27, 2009

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