by Doris Donnerman
(last updated April 27, 2011)
I have a strict rule in my house—no bumper stickers on the car! I find that they are much too difficult to remove later. However, some people like the individual expressions found on bumper stickers, or you might end up buying a car that already has bumper stickers on it.
If you are going to add a sticker to your bumper, use a vinyl sticker. These, as a rule, are easier to remove than the true paper bumper stickers. Regardless of the type of sticker you are going to apply, you can make its eventual removal easier by putting a thin coat of car wax on the bumper prior to applying the sticker. The wax stops the adhesive from adhering to the finish as fully as it might have otherwise.
You will also find that it is easier to remove a sticker when it has been on your car for a shorter period of time. In general, if the sticker has been on for a month or less, it will be much easier to remove. You may find that the sticker adheres tighter if you live in a higher elevation or if the sticker spends most of the day in direct sunlight.
If you want to remove a bumper sticker or decal from chrome, try scraping off the top layer of paper or vinyl with a sharp knife or a craft knife. (Don't dig too deep; you want to avoid scraping the actual chrome.) With the top layer removed, you can use some acetone, mineral spirits, or lighter fluid to remove the adhesive and remaining backing paper. As a precaution test the liquid in an obscure area of your car before applying all over to make sure that it won't harm the finish.
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