Removing Tinting from Windows
Written by Lee Wyatt (last updated April 4, 2012)
Many vehicle owners add aftermarket window tinting to their cars, trucks, SUVs, or vans in an attempt to cut the glare of the sun while they are driving. This aftermarket tinting works quite well, until it starts to deteriorate with age. Removing tinting from windows at the first sign of a problem is a good way to help keep your vehicle looking its best. In fact, it is such an easy task that there are several methods available for doing this task. All you need to do is choose one of these methods, and you will quickly have your windows ready for applying some new tinting.
- Steam. One of the most effective methods for removing window tinting is to apply heat and moisture. The heat in the steam will help loosen the glue that holds the tinting to the windows. Simply fill up the steamer with clean water, and then turn the steamer on. Slowly run the steamer over the window tinting to loosen the glue properly. As you loosen one of the corners, slowly and carefully pull away at the film so that it will come off the window. Once you have the film removed, you may need to go over the window with a cleaner again to remove any remaining glue that is on the window.
- Ammonia. If you don't have a steamer, or don't want to spend the money to get one, you can always use a little bit of ammonia to get the job done. However, this method will require that you do the work on a sunny day. Tarp the inside of your vehicle so that it won't get damaged from the ammonia that you will be spraying. Stick some black trash bags to the exterior of your windows with some soapy water. Spray a mixture of 50/50 solution of water and ammonia to the inside of the car windows (where the tinting is applied) and then cover with some more black trash bags. Allow the bags to sit there for about 10 minutes, and then start to slowly peel away the tint. You may need to reapply some ammonia, and use a razor blade to help remove the tint, but it should come off with little trouble. Use a little additional ammonia to remove any remaining glue on the windows.
- Soak and pull. Create a small cut in the tinting film with a razor blade, and then begin removing the film from the window. It won't exactly come off all that easily, but if you apply a little soapy water to the window you can work it under the film with the razor blade. Simply spray with the soapy water, scrape with the razor blade, and then gently pull off the film. This method will take the longest to complete, and the most work, and as such should be held in place as a last resort.