Removing tint using a Steamer
If you have access to a Jiffy steamer or similar steam machine, you can make quick work of tint removal. Apply the steam to a small spot for a few moments and use a blade or the spout of the steamer to peel the area just steamed, when you have enough to hold, just peel slowly as you steam just ahead of the area you are peeling.
This will bring both layers of tint off and sometimes the adhesive too, without presoaking for an hour.
If you dont know how to correctly strip off old tint, its probably best if you dont try.....It will only cost you more.
From am member of the forum:
I had a guy come in about a week ago. He asked for an estimate to strip and retint his 2dr civic. I gave him the price for both. This much for the car and this much/hr to strip. He makes an appt. for me to tint the car, but said he wanted to save some money so he was going to strip it himself. I told him how to do it, but I also told him that if he tries and messes up i.e., doesnt get it all off, just pulls the film and leaves glue, kills his defrosters, scratches the glass, it was only going to cost him more. He said "well it doesn't look that hard" and left. A couple days later he brings it in for me to tint. This guy ruined every piece of glass in his car. On the B/W he killed the defosters, and left glue and tint throughout the matrix. On the 1/4's he scratched the frit all to hell (black boarder around glass for the noobs), and on the doors scratched the heck out of them as well. After all that I STILL had to charge him to finish the job.
In the end this guy didnt save a dime. Instead he ruined all his glass, and probably a whole Saturday doing so. When he picked it up I asked how he did all the damage (I knew he didnt do what I had told him). The guy told me this....."Na man, the way you told me didnt work. I just took a 4" scraper blade from Home Depot and put that in some Vise Grips. That worked sooo much better" I couldnt believe my ears!!!
So you see what I mean everyone? Even if it costs just a little more to have the job done right, wouldn't you rather do that than what this guy did? Not to mention, you are going to make the whole job much easier for the tinter! Which in turn will more than likely get you a better job in the end.
A good question about removing tint
Hi, so glad I found your website. I'm one of the fools trying to remove really old, really bubbled, baked on tint from my hatchback window with defroster lines. I've unfortunately already picked and pulled at most of it before I decided to search for help. I have all the stuff need to follow your instructions but I'm a little confused about the plastic bag part. Do I need two bags, one for the outside and one to cover the tinted inside once I've sprayed the ammonia? Please help so I can finally see out my back window.
No, you just need one bag, the bag is to cover the ammonia that is sprayed onto the film (on the inside) so that the ammonia wont evaporate. The bag is first laid onto the outside just to cut it to shape. Unfortunately once the film has been partially stripped this method wont work well. You should still soak it, but dont expect to be able to peel it off (because there is no longer a continuous piece of film).
I suggest soaking it as normal, then expose only a small area at a time to pick at the film, then peel back the garbage back a little more and work that area. At this point you are looking at about 3 hours of sweaty hard frustrating work. If you can afford it, have a shop strip the rear window for you, it will save you a lot of aggrivation.
Removing residential film
Your best bet for removing film from residential glass is to soak them in soapy water instead of ammonia, using the garbage bag method described above. Let them soak for an hour or so, then you will need to use a wide razor scraping tool (about 4" wide razor blade scrapers are available at the hardware store) to remove the film and adhesive.
Concentrate on removing all of the film, then spray the window with more soapy water and use a new blade to remove the left over adhesive. Windex will also work well instead of dish soapy water. Straight ammonia should not be used as there would be so much, it would be hard to breath in the area.
User submitted tips:
Name: Gerardo (Jerry)
Tint Removal Tip: Make your life alot easier and let the professionals do the job. It might cost you a little but call and ask shops if they can save the defroster lines on your rear window, no one will promise it but if they now what they are doing they will most likely be able to. You will know just by your conversations. Because the customer is unexperienced you will save yourself the headache and lots of time, eitherway it is only going to cost you a little more than if you have to go out and by all the products to remove the film.
Tint Removal Tip: Instead of using ammonia try the all purpose cleaner 409. It smells alot better and will preform the same task.
Tint Removal Tip: To remove the excess glue after taking off the film, spray some WD40 then with some fine steel wool give it a good rub then wipe if off with paper towel then clean with proper glass cleaner.
Name: min soo
Tint Removal Tip: best way to remove film is spray soapy water on the film, put garbage bag over and let it soak for about 10 min facing the sun, then just peel it off. it works great. side window too.
Tinting Tip: My friend and I sorta stumbled across this the other day. If you use a can of De-Ice and wipe fairly hard it will remove the glue with great ease. It works wonders on defrost lines.
Tint Removal Tip: Use a heat gun to heat up an area of the tint (careful not to burn your hand as the gun will reach very high temperatures). This will in essence melt the glue. Start peeling the heated section & repeat this for the entire window. Use GOO-GONE or GOO-AWAY with a cloth/crudrag (not paper towel) to clean window after tint is removed.
Tint Removal Tip: I have also used simply green instead of ammonia. This also smells much better.THE CHEAPER STUFF DOESN'T EVEN COME CLOSE TO WORKING!!(like Mean Green)
Name: Paul Najjar Perth Australia
Tint Removal Tip: The steam method is mostuseful on older dyed polyester or laminated films but is not so effective on newer recently applied metal based tints.(such as when the cops have said to remove the dark film)I find the glue will stay behind making more work. I am more inclined to peel the film ever so slowly without the use of any chemicals or heat and I have found that most of the adhesive will come off with the tint. This works particularly well with one piece rears. You may have to just spot remove some minor remnants of glue with detergent and fine grade steel wool to finish off.
Tint Removal Tip: TO SPEED UP THIS PROCESS, IN ADDITION TO FACING THE REAR GLASS TOWARDS THE SUN, LEAVE THE CAR RUNNING WITH THE DEFROST ON HEAT AND HIGH AND THE REAR WINDOW DEFROSTER ON. I USUALLY ONLY WAIT 10 MINUTES AND THE FILM COMES OFF WITH THE ADHESIVE. IF THE FILM HAS STARTED TO DELAMINATE ALREADY, WAIT LONGER. DON'T FORGET TO LEAVE THE DOORS UNLOCKED SO YOU DON'T LOCK THE KEYS IN THE CAR!!!!!!!!
Name: Dan Georges
Tint Removal Tip: I have a sugestion to make breathing a whole lot easier. the steps you mentiond are perfect, but instead of using ammonia, try using simple green. dilute a spray bottle 50% water and 50% simple green. spray it on the film, trap it with a plastic bag. 20 min or so in the sun even the ugliest, bubbled tint will come off. then use full simple green on the remaining adhesive left behind and bingo, steel wool (super fine) will melt the rest off. plus it smells much better than ammonia. works for me and i am a 16 year vet. hope it helps. :)
Name: David Finch
Tint Removal Tip: I used a steamer to take the tint of my Ferrari, and it came off in a minute. Talk about a car u wanna be careful with. Use a steamer like the professionals. It will save time and effort.
Name: M. Colford
Comments: On removing the tint from the side windows, I would suggest that instead of using straight ammonia, go to some 5 and dime store, and find the cheapest glass cleaner you can. This eliminates the ammonia smell, but there is ammonia in the cleaner. Make sure the cleaner has ammonia in it though. For the rear window, me and a friend used the cheap glass cleaner and a heat gun. Peel part of the tint away in a corner in the top, and shoot some of the cleaner down in between the tint and glass. Then have someone on the outside use the heatgun on LOW aimed at the area that you are peeling at. This loosens the glue, and allows the cleaner in to get to mroe tint. You will spray a good amount of glass cleaner, but it is safe on the defrosters, and there is not a strong smell.
Hi Ric. I'm a 'beater' (bodyman) in Australia. I arranged to help a client sell her '93 Mitsubishi coupe. Well the tint had to come off. Seen better days....all blistering. How hard could this be? Bottom line. I know when I am beaten.I cut the screen out and sourced a replacement AU$50.00. All those demister lines. Not on your life. Now I usually do things the difficult way or realise to late I have underestimated the time required. Well not with this 'baby'. It was apparent early that this is a job for either someone who knows what they are doing or a total masochist. Being neither, all I could think of was to cut the little 'sucker' out. Not worth the fuss and bother, not to mention the frustration. You can have this 'fun' on your own. Needless to say I have read your site and thanks for the tips and help.I can reliably say though, I don't think any professional tinter will lose any work on account of me. Kind regards Lloyd.
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