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How to remove stickers from car windows

By Tom Fraser, 11 Sep 2020 Car Advice

How to remove stickers from car windows

A few simple ways to peel off a window sticker and leave you with clear glass and windscreen

There are few things more annoying than carefully trying to peel a sticker from your windscreen or other car glazing and leaving a stubborn sticky residue behind.

It's a frequent occurrence in cars, and while registration stickers on the windscreen might be a thing of the past, there’s still parking passes, event stickers and even your footy team’s member stickers to think about.

Or maybe your car's rear windows have been sticker-bombed by bored kids in the back seats? let’s go over a few of the most effective ways to remove stickers and the more persistent glue they leave behind, for sparkling car windows.

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An easy way to start is by spraying some window cleaner on the offending article or dampening it with some rubbing oil or alcohol and leaving for 10 minutes. This helps the bonds in the sticker’s glue start to break down and make it much easier to peel off. Continue to rub alcohol over until no residue is left behind. Any final smears can be removed with less aggressive window cleaning products.

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If you don’t have those items on hand, you can try preparing a solution of warm water and detergent and dabbing it on the sticker using a towel. If the mixture is left on the sticker for a few minutes, the heat in the water and soap will break up the glue and make the sticker easier to remove.

If you’re having trouble getting started with the peel, carefully use a razor blade to pry up a purchase on the sticker and then continue peeling from there. For really tough bonds, a razor blade in a simple holder can be a sticker's worst enemy.

razor blade in scraper

Holding the razor against the glass at almost the same angle as the glass allows it to cut under the sticker and free it from the glass. It's important to keep the angle of the blade as shallow as possible to avoid scratching the glass. This method is so effective you can use it to remove almost anything including overspray after bodywork has been carried out.

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Some other items you can use to ease the process are eucalyptus oil (sure to be found in any Australian’s medicine cabinet!) and even some WD-40 can do the trick.

As for those pesky stickers applied by children to the rear windows, all of the above can be effective. However, if the side glass has been tinted you might be in trouble.

The more delicate film applied to the window to protect occupants from UV is not as durable or resistant to cleaning efforts and there's a greater chance of damaging it than plain glass.

The best advice for side windows is to never allow anyone to place any kind of sticker on the glazing - that's even before we talk about the potential safety risks of obscuring the view out.

No matter which method you use, persistence should pay off so keep at it using the techniques above and you should have a clean windscreen and panes in no time.