Auto Film Removal Instructions

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Welcome to Blair's Texas Window Tinting & more. Scroll down to see auto window film removal instructions.
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These are basic window tint removal procedures

In response to all our email and phone calls regarding window tinting removal, there are many factors involved in removing films from one car to the next and you should probably give us a phone call to have us explain some of them to you in a little more detail. If you remove your old film yourself you will see why film removal costs extra. The amount of labor is similar to prepping a fender or hood of a car for painting. This page will try to give you some idea of the basic steps of removal techniques to aid in time spent on typical removal jobs (with the exception of "Sun baked" film meaning tint that has been left on the car in a "dead state" for many numbers of years).  Generally these steps are as follows:

The basic tools you will need for auto window film removal are:
    1 quart trigger spray bottle.
   Liquid dish soap and water.
   Water based degreaser ( We use Simple Green TM ).
    Several sharp new 1"razor blades with holding handle.
    Common house hold steel wool (plain with no soap, medium coarseness).
    Common hair drier.
    Towels for clean up.
    Plenty of patience.

* NOTE *  DO NOT USE Scotch Bright TM or similar  scrub pads 
( they work too well and
WILL scratch glass )

Here you go:

1.     Basically you start by peeling a corner with a razor blade being careful not to nick defroster lines or slip and cut interior trim OR poke yourself in the eye.

2.     Next pull film slowly with finger tips to remove plastic portion (the slower the better ) sometimes a hair dryer helps with this. The heat from a hair drier relaxes the adhesive holding the film with out getting too hot,   like heat guns do, that can cause hotspots in the glass that lead to explosions ( glass breakage). If film has reached a decayed point to where it delaminates when pulled ( leaving last thin layer behind on the glass ) TRY not to pull top layer leaving last thin layer behind.Try to use top layer to lift last layer by using hair drier to heat and pull extremely slow ( about as fast as the second hand moves on a clock or slower if needed ). If top layer is yanked off hastily and last laminate remains on glass, it is usually too thin and too brittle to be pulled. At this point the last laminate usually has to be scraped with a razor blade which is not a problem unless you have DEFROSTER LINES on the glass surface (see "Sun baked"  steps 5 through 8 below).

3.    Then next you will find sticky, stinky adhesive left on glass. Use a water based degreaser such as "Simple Green TM", "409 TM" or other similar product in combination with a medium coarse (house hold) steel wool and start scrubbing till the adhesive is swirled around on the glass and liquefied. Any adhesive that is left on the window will show up as unsightly white blotches under any new tint installation.

* Note* keep glass plenty wet during adhesive removal.

4.    Clean up or follow up with dishwashing soap and water. Usually the soap  to water ratio we use is about a half teaspoon to a quart of water in a trigger sprayer.  Don't be afraid to get things wet inside the car. Cars are made to be able to get wet (such as rain, humidity, condensation, with exception of massive floods or driving it off the end of the boat ramp ). You will find that your interior panels will become cleaner after this procedure. Good luck and call us if should have any questions during removal.

Thanks for visiting our web site and any more questions call us at:
Blair's Texas Window Tinting & more (972)783-6005 Dallas, TX. during our normal business hours
Email us

"Sun baked" film is usually very brittle and either breaks off in your finger tips when you try to pull it or it delaminates leaving the last laminate stuck to the glass. One out of ten that we see has this problem because film has been left on the glass for too long of a period time in a "dead state" and is cooked onto the glass.  In these cases one has to scrape the film off with a razor thus potentially damaging defroster lines on rear windows. Before you scrape off the electrolyte backing of your defroster lines you might try some last resort measures that will probably work for you. The best thing you can do to remove this film is to evenly blow hot steam on the films surface to loosen the crusty adhesive which simplifies the peeling process in a big way (being careful not to burn yourself or to create a hotspot on cool glass which could lead to breakage). If you don't have access to a "steamer" (like what laundries use to remove wrinkles from clothing or what's used to remove wallpaper) then your next option is to proceed to step 5 below.

5.  Use some black (is best) plastic trash bags, or dry-cleaning garment bags and cut them in half (and open them up).  Spray with Simple Green TM, 409 TM, or ammonia window cleaner on the old film, and lay the plastic over the dead film (plastic keeps cleaner from evaporating so it can slowly penetrate). Sometimes on stubborn windows it helps to soak some paper towels with your degreaser and apply them between the plastic and the window to hold extra degreaser (or whatever you are using) on the film. Park the vehicle out with direct sunlight on the window to be stripped.

6.  Let the window soak for at least one hour-spraying the film (underneath plastic) every 10-15 minutes to keep it wet. After 45 minutes attempt to peel a corner of the film off. If the film still resists peeling or still disintegrates spray it again and leave it for another 30-45 minutes.

7.  Sooner or later (if you keep the window wet) the cleaner should soak through the film and attack the adhesive under it, making it soft and less aggressive. In some instances stubborn windows need to soak for up to 3 days or so if needed.

8.  Often the adhesive will remain on the window after the film has been removed. It is sometimes colorless, so you need to check the glass by touching it for “tackiness”. If your finger sticks to the window (once dry) then you know you still have adhesive left on the glass that must be removed before installing any new film. As any adhesive that is left on the window will show up as unsightly white spots under the new tint installation.

    We have also tried with some success using some marine paint removers to eat through last laminate but we do not recommend taking these types of measures because of the liability to your glass and upholstery  (meaning drips discolor or burn upholstery or you could permanently etch your glass ). What works on one application may ruin another ( Not all glass is alike ). Window tint is kind of like brakes on your car. Get it fixed when it starts to wear out ( which it ALL does eventually no matter whose brand or what any one tells you) because it can cost you more the longer you allow the problem to persist. You're better films last longer than cheaper economy films.Try to keep in mind that people usually have their window tint repaired when it first starts to look worn from the sun 's effects. These cars are usually routine removals and never have defroster problems associated with film removal . This is where the quality of the film comes into play. We feel  ( just like parachute purchases or any thing else ) that you might pay a little more up front for better quality, but the long run benefits out weigh the initial cost difference.

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Thanks for visiting our web site and any more questions call us at:
Blair's Texas Window Tinting & more (972)783-6005 Dallas, TX. during our normal business hours
Email us