Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Sticker Removal

Getting old stickers off of vehicles can be a bit of a nuisance. Our glass technicians are often asked by customers if it's possible to transfer valid state park permits from an old windshield to a new one intact, or how to remove a weathered Metallica sticker off the back glass of their son's pickup they plan on selling. We've heard tale of people using everything from Goo Gone to sandpaper – most attempts ending in a mangled sticker and a mess to boot.

There are a couple of sure-fire methods to removing adhesives from your windshield, depending on whether or not you intend on keeping the material intact. If you're trying to get an expired permit off your glass scratch-free, you'll need to pick-up a few razorblades from a local hardware store and some sort of lubricating solution (we use American Glass & Mirror glass cleaner, but Windex, or a mixture of ammonia and water would also do the trick.) Simply soak the sticker with the glass cleaner thoroughly, then run the blade on the surface of the glass along one edge of the sticker. Once you've lifted a small portion off the glass, gently pull up on the sticker while continuing to swipe the blade along the removal line. Typically, you can get it off in one piece without too much effort – if you're struggling, try further saturating the sticker.

When trying to remove an item you'd like to preserve, such as a current parking permit, the process is fairly similar – you're still going to make firm swipes with your razorblade. Instead of applying the glass cleaner, in this instance you'll need 3M blue masking tape (there are probably other brands that will function just as well – just make sure the tape isn't overly adhesive, or you're going to have to figure out how to get the sticker off the tape later on, and that's a whole other headache.) Using strips of the tape, completely cover the item. Now, use the same technique described earlier until the sticker has been removed. Make sure you use new razors or you might end up with a scratched windshield, or in the very least, wasting more time on this project than necessary.

Once you've successfully removed the sticker, you can try to adhere it to your new windshield. Generally this works out, but you might need reinforce it with tape if it falls off, or depending on who issued the sticker, you can sometimes exchange it for a new one.

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