How to remove old window film in house windows

Written by cynthia myers
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Window film can keep rooms cooler and protect furnishings from the sun's damaging rays, But over time, window film can deteriorate and break down. Poorly applied film bubbles and cracks, and can be unattractive. Homeowners may also simply not like the shaded look of window tint. Whatever the reason, sometime window film needs to be removed. Though removing window film can be tedious, it's not impossible.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Ammonia
  • Spray bottle
  • Plastic dry-cleaning bags or cling film
  • Single-edged razor blade in holder
  • Nylon covered sponge
  • Soap and water

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  1. 1

    Grasp any loose edges of film and pull gently. Sometimes the film will lift in large pieces and you can pick it all off. Older, brittle film will only disintegrate into small pieces impossible to pick off the glass.

  2. 2

    Put the ammonia in the spray bottle and spray the window film. Saturate the surface. Cover with the dry cleaning bags or sheets of cling film.

  3. 3

    Uncover the window and respray with ammonia every 15 minutes for one hour.

  4. 4

    Push at the edge of the window film with the razor blade in the holder. After an hour to ammonia should have done its work and softened the adhesive, and you should be able to use the blade to scrape off the old film.

  5. 5

    Wash the windows with soap and water on a nylon-covered sponge to remove all traces of adhesive. Rinse thoroughly.

Tips and warnings

  • Change the razor blade often. Dull blades are more inclined to slip and may cause injury.
  • Ammonia is poisonous. Only use in well-ventilated area and wear a mask to avoid breathing in fumes.

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