A man removing the car tint from his front windshield

Window tinting has long been a popular choice for both style and functionality. However, as time passes and preferences evolve, there comes a moment when you might find yourself contemplating a change. Whether it’s due to wear and tear, outdated tint or a desire for a fresh look, the process of removing tint requires precision and a systematic approach. Let’s look at how to remove car window tint – it only takes 5 steps.

What is Window Tint?

Window tint is a film applied to car windows, constructed from layers of polyester film and a thin adhesive layer that securely attaches it to the window surface. Over time, exposure to the elements can cause the adhesive to degrade, leading to bubbling or discoloration. Commonly tinted luxury cars include the 2022 Audi Q5 and the 2022 Porsche Taycan – the tint really adds to the premium and sophisticated feel of the vehicle.

Related: Is the Audi Q5 Worth Buying?

Why Do People Tint Their Car Windows?

Car window tinting serves multiple purposes, making it a popular choice among car owners for various reasons.

  1. Privacy and security
    By applying tint to your car windows, you create a barrier that shields the interior from outside scrutiny. This added privacy is especially valuable when you’re on the road, allowing you to go about your activities without feeling exposed. Tinted windows also deter potential thieves by concealing the contents of your car, and in the unfortunate event of a break-in, the tinted film can hold shattered glass together to some degree, hindering quick access.

  2. UV protection
    Prolonged exposure to UV rays can lead to skin damage and increase the risk of skin cancer. Window tinting provides a barrier against harmful UV rays, which is especially beneficial for those driving long distances.

  3. Heat reduction
    Tinted windows significantly decrease the amount of heat entering the vehicle. This is especially beneficial in hot climates like Australia and the USA, as it helps maintain a comfortable interior temperature, reducing the reliance on air conditioning and improving fuel efficiency.

  4. Glare reduction
    Tinted windows reduce glare from sunlight, headlights and other bright sources. This improves visibility, especially during sunrise or sunset, and enhances overall driving safety by minimising eye strain and fatigue.

  5. Aesthetic appeal
    Many individuals choose window tinting as a way to enhance the visual appeal of their vehicles. Tinted windows contribute to a sleek and sophisticated appearance, providing a touch of personalisation to the overall aesthetics of the car.

  6. Interior preservation
    Paired with a sunshade, tinted windows help protect the interior of the vehicle from sun damage. The reduction of UV rays prevents fading and deterioration of upholstery, dashboard and other interior components.
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What You Need to Remove Tint from Car Windows

To remove window tint, gather the necessary tools. You’ll need:

  • Razor blade
  • Heat gun or hairdryer
  • Glass cleaner
  • Lint-free cloth
  • Soapy water solution and/or ammonia based cleaner
  • Newspaper, plastic sheeting or old towels
  • Safety gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Face mask

Steps for How to Remove Car Tint

To remove car window tint, follow these 5 steps:

Step 1 – Prepare to Remove Tint

  1. Park your car outside to minimise exposure to chemicals released during tint removal
  2. Cover the interior seats with something like old towels, newspaper or plastic sheetings to protect them from melting tint and water
  3. Put on safety gloves, glasses and a facemask to protect against cuts, chemicals and debris
  4. Roll down your window a bit so that you can better see the tint edge during removal.

Step 2 – Softening the adhesive with heat

Begin by using the heat gun (or hairdryer if you don’t have one) to warm the tinted surface. The goal here is to soften the adhesive, making it more pliable for removal. Hold the heat source about 2-3 inches (5-7.5cm) away from the edge of the tint and move it in a circular motion. Be patient, as the heat needs time to penetrate the layers – a hairdryer will especially test your patience, hence why a heat gun is recommended.

Step 3 – Peeling off the window tint

Once the tint is adequately heated, you’ll notice it starts to curl. Use a razor blade to gently lift the edge. Start peeling the tint slowly, keeping the blade close to the glass to avoid damage. Work in small sections, reheating as needed. If you feel resistance, pause and apply more heat. Take it slow – you don’t want to accidentally injure yourself or damage your car windows.

If you’re removing tint from the rear window, you’re probably going to come across the defroster lines. To avoid damaging them, all you can do is use caution, work in small sections and apply heat gently.

Step 4 – How to remove tint adhesive off car windows

After peeling off the tint, you may find stubborn adhesive residue clinging to the glass. Combat this with a simple mixture of soapy water and a razor blade. Gently scrape off the residue, frequently dipping the blade into the soapy water to prevent scratching.

If this doesn’t work for you, try something stronger like an ammonia solution, isopropyl alcohol or acetone, found in nail polish remover. One of my mates removed his tint from his Ford Ranger last year, and acetone worked great for him. I’ve also heard that a vinegar and water solution works well too. Just mix equal parts vinegar and water, spray onto the windows, let it sit for a few minutes and scrub with a cloth.

Step 5 – Final touches

With the tint and adhesive gone, it’s time to make the windows crystal clear. Use a glass cleaner and a lint-free cloth to wipe down the window thoroughly. This not only removes any remaining residue but also adds a polished finish.

Man calculates how much it costs to remove window tint
Professional window tint removal doesn’t cost as much as you might think. Image Courtesy: katemangostar

How Much Does It Cost to Remove Tint from Car Windows?

Despite the fun and cost-effectiveness of a DIY project, it’s wise to acknowledge when professional intervention is needed. If the tint proves exceptionally challenging or if you’re wary of damaging anything, contacting a professional window tint remover is the safe way to go. Plus, it’s not something that will break the bank for most people.

The cost of removing tint from car windows can vary based on factors like the type of tint, the size of your vehicle and local service rates. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $150 for professional tint removal services.

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Removing Tint from Car Windows at Home

Taking off your car window tint is a job that requires patience, precision and simple tools. Simply follow the steps in this article and enjoy your sparkling new windows. Whether you’re going the DIY route or getting help from a pro, good luck!Top of Form

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Any information and advice is general in nature, and any opinions expressed are those of the author. Please note that this page may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. We only recommend products and services we believe in.

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