Please help me remove the 16 old decal/sticker on the rear window of my car
September 15, 2011 2:20 AM   Subscribe

Just bought a car that's 16 years with the original sticker/decal on the rear window. How do I remove them?

So I just bought my first car, which is 16 years old, it still has the original sticker across the top of the window, which I want to remove to get the best possible vision I can. I have tried picking it off with my nails and have managed to get about 1/4 of the sticker off with the glue still on the window but the rest won't come off at all.

Can I have some suggestions or tried and successful techniques please.

Ps The rear window has heating elements in it.
posted by sockpim to Travel & Transportation around United Kingdom (14 answers total)
A razor scraper ought to scrape most anything off glass.
posted by GPF at 2:32 AM on September 15, 2011

If the sticker is on the inside of the glass then you need to be really careful with the razor and the heating elements. It's pretty easy to scratch those and lessen the efficacy of the defroster. In that case I'd avoid the scraper and peel it off by hand. A hairdryer might help loosen things up enough to peel it more easily. If the sticker is on the outside a blade should be fine. You can clean up the adhesive residue with acetone or methanol or another solvent (just don't get any on the paint or plastic parts on the interior).
posted by 6550 at 3:37 AM on September 15, 2011

Nail polish remover, or other product containing acetone should greatly help. I'm not sure it could damage the heating elements though.
posted by rom1 at 4:09 AM on September 15, 2011

I had a similar problem with a substance on the outside of my car. Asked here and was advised to use a small amount of WD-40. Stuff works like a charm.
posted by kuanes at 4:21 AM on September 15, 2011

When I removed the stickers on my old car I used Goo Gone. I'm not sure how it would affect the heating element, if that's a concern. The sticker I removed was on the outside.
posted by Nolechick11 at 4:46 AM on September 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

When I worked at a car dealership, we used a regular rectangular razor blade like the one that fits in the end of the scraper in GPF's link. You can use the razor to scape off almost all of the glue and what is left should come off with some glass cleaner and a liberal application of elbow grease or some acetone or just about any other light solvent.

The only thing that would stop me from using the razor would be if the car had some cheap, aftermarket tint on the windows. The factory tint will be fine.

Unless something is very strange or they do things differently in the UK, the sticker will be in the left rear window and not on the rear windshield so the heating elements shouldn't be an issue.
posted by VTX at 5:46 AM on September 15, 2011

seconding the razor technique.
posted by zombieApoc at 5:49 AM on September 15, 2011

seconding goo gone plus razor scraper
posted by fivesavagepalms at 5:59 AM on September 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

3M Adhesive Remover. (Used to be called GM adhesive remover.) This is the best general purpose adhesive remover there is. You can get it at most auto parts stores or any GM parts dealer.
posted by three blind mice at 6:11 AM on September 15, 2011

A real cheap method is lighter fluid after the razor treatment.
posted by konig at 8:42 AM on September 15, 2011

Nthing Goo Gone or your locally available similar product. If you've managed to get part of the sticker off already you may not need to worry about using a razor scraper much or at all -- spray the Goo Gone directly on the sticker and let it sit for several minutes and if what's left of the decal is thin enough you might be able to rub it off with a rag and some elbow grease. You'll probably want a supply of rags or paper towels around if you go the adhesive remover spray route anyway because it gets messy (and Goo Gone will make everything smell of orange).

(I work in an institutional parking office and have had people hand over decals that weren't even torn while being removed using the Goo Gone/scraper/patience and elbow grease method, but YMMV. This advice does not indicate the acceptance on my part of any responsibility for residual decal or smell of orange in your vehicle.)
posted by camyram at 9:42 AM on September 15, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks for your help, I'll think about the best ones and try a couple (if required) of them.
posted by sockpim at 1:46 PM on September 15, 2011

Acetone is the ultimate solvent, but it's extremely flammable and has fumes that are really bad for you.

I'd try Un-Du first. It evaporates fast and is probably as flammable and bad for you as acetone, but it comes in a convenient scraper-top bottle. I hate the smell of Goo Gone and the other citrus-based solvents, and they leave a lot of residue.

A razor blade will scratch window glass. Instead, use a plastic scraper in the shape of a razor blade.
posted by KRS at 3:53 PM on September 15, 2011

I used Goo Gone on my car window and it worked great. (And yes, letting it sit is key.)
posted by anaelith at 6:22 PM on September 15, 2011

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