Window tinting films offer privacy, UV protection, and energy efficiency, so they’re a popular window film solution. However, all window tint films have a lifespan and once they go bad, you’re left with bubbling, peeling, unattractive films that need to be removed and replaced.
Not all window films are created equal and some will go bad before others. A window tint’s lifespan depends on several factors: quality of the film itself, exposure to the elements, and the quality of installation. A professional installation can mean the difference between decades of savings or a few short years before the tint needs to be replaced.
Reasons to Remove Old Window Tint
Bubbling is caused by failing adhesive and poor installation methods. Many people will try peeling and reapplying the area that has bubbled, but this can make the situation worse. Unfortunately, once a film has bubbled, it needs to be fully replaced.
Over time, window tint will become an unappealing purplish color due to the breakdown of certain dyes in the window film. Discoloration also means the film has lost its UV blocking capabilities, so it should be replaced with a newer, effective window film.
Sometimes it’s just time for an upgrade. While your window film may not be failing, it could look dated and require replacement. This can be the most difficult situation for removal, though, because the adhesive will still be intact and much harder to remove.
How to Remove Baked on Window Film
When it comes to how to remove old window tint, there are several solutions out there that you can try yourself, or hire a professional team to perform for you. There are two aspects to window tint removal: removing the film itself and removing the adhesive.
If done appropriately, peeling the film off should be fairly easy. However, if done wrong you may end up with tiny bits of film left on the window that you’ll spend lots of time peeling and scraping at. If possible, you want to pull off the film in large chunks.
Removing window film adhesive takes time and effort. The goal is to have as much of the adhesive come off with the window film as possible. Then you’re left with a minimal sticky mess that will take elbow grease and solvents to remove.
After the film and adhesive have been removed, you will need to thoroughly clean the window before installing a new film. Any bits of dirt or adhesive that remain can cause bubbles and other issues.
The primary method of removal involves using heat to break down the window film adhesive so that the remaining tint can be peeled off. There are several tools you can use to accomplish this method and it is often seen as the easiest way to remove window tint. Use the heat starting at the corner of the window and as it starts to peel, heat new areas of adhesive to loosen it up.
You can use a steamer to remove window tint and this is often seen as one of the quickest and easiest ways to do it. If you don’t have a steamer available, one can be rented. Use the steamer on both the interior and exterior (if possible) of the window to loosen the film and peel it away. This will also soften the adhesive, making it easier to remove film and glue at the same time.
Curious how to remove window tint with a heat gun? Similar to using a steamer, the heat gun should be used on both the interior and exterior of the window to break down the adhesive. Once this is done, you should be able to pull the film off and scrape away any remaining adhesive with the tools below.
How to Remove Window Film Adhesive From Glass
Once you’ve used one of the above methods to remove the film itself, you can use a solvent to remove window tint glue. Acetone, isopropyl alcohol, or a window film adhesive remover are all very effective in breaking down the glue which can then be wiped or scraped off.
You can also use a specially formulated window tint removal spray to remove the glue residue. These can be purchased at home improvement or auto parts stores.
You may feel inclined to take a razor blade or sharp object to your window when you get down to the last bits of adhesive but use caution. It’s very easy to scratch the window if you don’t know what you’re doing. Once the window is scratched, there is nothing to do but replace it.
Removing Window Tint in Cold Weather
Since the main approach to removing window tint involves heat, it can be trickier to remove window tint in cold weather. You may struggle more to keep the adhesive soft in cold weather, but if you take your time and keep the heat gun or steamer close to the edge you’re peeling off, you should be fine.
Easiest Way to Remove Window Tint
We respect the DIY’ers out there, but window film removal and installation can easily be done wrong. Since installation plays such a huge role in the longevity of your window tint, we highly recommend hiring a team for professional installation. At Window Film Depot, we are ready to handle all of your residential and commercial window tint removal needs.
All of our contractors have been thoroughly trained on both removal and installation techniques so your residential or commercial project will be performed to the highest standards. This means you don’t have to worry about damaged glass or bubbly installations. You can sit back and let the professionals handle the hard work and know you’ll be much happier with the end product.
Interested in learning more about Window Film Depot’s products and installation services? You can contact us online or by calling 1-866-933-3456.