The best ways to remove sticker adhesive from a car window

Written by charisse esmeralde
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The best ways to remove sticker adhesive from a car window
(Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Car decals can be a visual means for expressing your personality or showing your support for your favourite celebrity, sports team or political figure. Parking passes and national park entrances are also commonly issued in the form of stickers. But what happens when you want to remove the sticker to display new ones? Once removed, you may be left with unattractive residue. Sticker adhesives are made with thermal glue so warming its surface melts the thermal glue, allowing the sticker to separate from your window or windshield easier.


A common method for removing stickers or decals and its residue from your car window is to use a hairdryer. Pull your car into your garage. Before you plug in the hairdryer, make sure it will reach the window with the decal on it; use an extension cord if necessary. Set the hairdryer on high to warm the sticker surface. Pry one corner of the sticker off. Use one hand to pull and the other to continue warming as you pull off the sticker.

Adhesive on Adhesive

Two adhesives cancel each other out when they come into contact with each other. Heavy duty packaging tape works well; you can also use duct tape if you are dealing with a stronger adhesive. Note that although this technique is very effective, it also can be time consuming, depending on how large of a surface area you need to remove residue from. You can use a hairdryer to speed up the process.


Park your car in the direct line of sunlight if you can. The sun will warm the surface of your windshield or window as you begin removing the sticker and residue. Brush a couple coats of oil over the entire sticker or areas of residue. Rub the oil in to help it form a chemical reaction with the sticker or residue. For large sections of tough residue, let the oil sit for a few minutes. Wipe away oil with a warm towel; the residue should come right off. You can also try vegetable or olive oil.

Other Solvent

Among the most difficult adhesives to remove from car windshields or windows come from national park stickers. The stronger adhesive used in these stickers discourage the sharing of paid entrance permits. Due to this fact, some national parks are now supplying attendees with a solvent kit for you to remove the previous year’s sticker before affixing a new one.


If you have exhausted the above methods and still have residue, you can try using a thin blade. Warm the surface of your windshield or window with a hairdryer then use the blade to gently scrape the residue off. Though it may not appear so, a blade’s surface is actually softer than glass. Therefore, you do not have to worry about scratching your window during the cleaning process.

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