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May 13

Can window tint be removed?

Old and bubbled window tint can be a problem on a vehicle.  It can affect vision and may be need to be removed to pass a road worthy.  Removing old window tint can be a challenge so we have listed some tips to help make it easier.

  1. Use a new scraper blade. Old blades can scratch the glass which may not show until a dark film is applied back onto the glass. Don’t use a scraper blade on a window that has demister lines or etched radio/GPS aerials.
  2. Use a steamer to help soften brittle old window tint. The steam will also get in between the film layers to help separate it from the glass.
  3. Go slow; some films can be removed with minimal glue residue left behind if it is peeled off slowly.
  4. Try to peel all layers of the film off in one go.  Removing the first layer can be easy, but the second layer is often thinner and can break into very small pieces.

Removing the old tint is only part of the job; the glue that can be left behind can usually be scraped off with the help of some soapy water.  However the rear windows of vehicles normally have demister lines etched onto the glass and cannot be scraped without the lines being destroyed.  A glue removing solution sprayed onto the glass then gently scrubbed with a fine steel wool can be used to clean the glass.

Alternatively having the existing window tint removed professionally can be a better experience.  Most stores will charge an hourly rate to remove old window film and if you intend to re-tint the vehicle, a cheaper flat fee for the removal will be applied saving you time and money in the long run.  It is best to weigh up your options before starting the film removal process yourself as it can often take a professional longer to remove old film that has already been half removed possibly increasing the cost.

One final thing to note is that some old window films can be severely bonded to the glass which can often break apart demister lines.  If this is a major concern for you, please talk to your window tinter about your options.