Before we start, let me first state that car window tinting and removing car window tinting film is a job that is best carried out by a professional in car window tinting. I wanted to warn you about this from the start, as removing car window tinting film is not as easy as it looks. Further more, the chances of you damaging your car are high, especially if this is your first time….
Why is removing the film used in car window tinting so difficult? Good question. The simple answer is the way it is constructed. Nearly all tinting film used in the automotive trade is made with two layers of tinted polyester.
The first layer, the accessible part, will peel right off. However the second layer, that sticks to the glass, will be stuck tight.
The second layer of car window tinting, is the part that will cause you all the trouble and is the reason I said it is worth getting a professional at car window tinting to do the job. If you insist on going ahead your self, be warned, there are numerous ways to damage your prised auto when removing car window tinting.
The tools for removing tinting film
There are some basic tools and materials that you need to remove the car window tinting film. Water proof sheeting, 2 large plastic bags, ammonia (undiluted), fine wire wool, paper towels, window cleaner, razor blades.
How to remove car window tinting
Firstly, if possible undertake this job sunny day. I will explain why later.
This is very important. You must peel both layers at the same time. If you don’t you will end up scraping it off with razor blades. To keep the layers of the film from separating, you must soften the adhesive. This will allow both layers to peel at the same time.
Removing car window film from the rear window.
To remove car window tinting from the cars rear window, first cut and unfold one of the large plastic bags. Spray water on the outside of the window and lay the plastic bag over the window. Trim the excess plastic so that the bag fits snugly to the size and shape of the window. Repeat this with the second bag. Leave the second bag on the outside of the window. The first bag should be left to dry out, we will need this later.
Place the waterproof sheeting over the back seats and the shelf on the inside of the window, this is to protect the vehicle from damage. Spray the ammonia liberally on the inside of the window. Cover the ammonia soaked window with the dry, shaped, bag from earlier, this is to stop the ammonia from evaporating.
Note: Ammonia fumes can irritate the lungs so please wear a mask.
Park the car with the tinted window facing the sun for about an hour to an hour and a half. After the time has elapsed the film should be ready to peel.
Leaving the plastic bag in place (so the ammonia does not dry out) use one of the razor blade to lift the film in one corner. In a stead and even motion begin to pull the car window tinting down and away from the window spray the glass with ammonia as you peel because if the ammonia dries out the film will start to re-harden. Try to peel the film off in one piece.
Note: – be careful not to damage heating lines or antenna wires that are on the glass. If you cut either they will no longer work.
Once the car window tinting film is completely peeled off, the residue of adhesive will need to be removed from the glass. To do this, spray the window with ammonia and scrape of the adhesive with a razor blade or wire wool. Wipe the area clean with a paper towel immediately, before it dries.
Car window tinting on side windows
Side windows, generally, do not require soaking. Removing the film from side windows is just a case of cutting a notch in the corner of the tinting film, and begin pulling the film. It is unlikely that you will get the tinting film to come off in one piece, so do not worry. Spray the adhesive that is left on the window with water and scrape off with the razor blade and dry with a paper towel.
I hope you have found this article useful. Having said that, any damage you cause to your vehicle is down to you, as I have warned you, that it is best to call in someone that is qualified in removing car window tinting film and car window tinting.