Removing Decals and Bumper Stickers from Fiberglass

Anyone who has ever had a vehicle (whether it is a car, truck, or boat) with a bumper sticker has mostly likely thought about removing it. How does one remove these pesky things while avoiding the more costly repair (and time consuming) that can occur if you damage the fiberglass? This process is surprisingly easy. Follow these five simple steps and that undesirable sticker will be gone.

  1. Soften the adhesive or glue on the decal by using a regular hair dryer. This will generate enough heat to soften the glue on the sticker without actually damaging the fiberglass on the vehicle. No more than three or four minutes should do it.
  2. Spray or soak the sticker with some kind of lubricant or cleanser. The best kind to use is a non-abrasive liquid such as Windex or WD-40. Spray the sticker (whether it is paper or vinyl) and let it soak for several minutes. Repeat this step a few times to make sure the decal is thoroughly saturated (if paper) or that the liquid seeps around the edges (if vinyl). This will help make removal easier. Use a soft, non-abrasive cloth to wipe off the decal.
  3. Use a plastic spatula to remove, utilizing a scraping motion, any glue or adhesive residue. The best spatulas to use are the "soft" plastic ones that you would typically use in your kitchen for baking a cake. It will reduce the chances of damaging the fiberglass that the decal was on. Avoid pushing or scraping too hard.
  4. Using a soft non-abrasive cloth soaked in Isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol, gently wipe the area where the decal or sticker was located. This removes and dissolves any remaining adhesive residue.
  5. Bring back the shine by waxing and buffing the area where the sticker was with your preferred brand of vehicle wax.

It might be necessary to repeat some of these steps a few times. However, this is the easiest way to remove stickers and decals from a fiberglass body without damaging the fragile material, which could lead to more costly difficulties. This method will work, regardless of how long the stickers have been on the vehicle.

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