How To Remove Old Window Tint From House & Building Windows - Campbell Window Film (2022)

By Brad Campbell December 12, 2019 September 28th, 2020 Blog, How To

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Window tint serves various purposes and looks great on building windows as well. When old or overly scratched, however, it may stress the eye and no longer serve its purpose.

As such, home and building owners should learn how to remove old window tint using effective methods.

Commercial building owners use tints for their structure’s windows for various reasons. They offer a degree of privacy, protection from UV rays, and also add to their aesthetic value.

Over time, the elements of wear and tear take a toll on window tint, and it, therefore, loses its value. At this point, it has to be removed and replaced. Its lifespan, therefore, depends on its quality, weather elements, and the quality of the installation.

How To Remove Old Window Tint From House & Building Windows - Campbell Window Film (1)

(Video) How to install window tint at home with Inspire DIY Kent Thomas

Reasons for Tint Removal

Apart from getting scratched and looking old, there are other reasons that may need the removal of window tint. Here are some of them:

Bubbling

How To Remove Old Window Tint From House & Building Windows - Campbell Window Film (2)

Besides looking horrible, bubbling film cannot be fixed. While most people try fixing this by peeling the tint at the point of bubbling, they may end up dealing with a bigger mess of removing tint glue and tint portions.

Bubbling is often caused by failing adhesive, which actually makes it easier to remove with little hassle.

Discoloration

How To Remove Old Window Tint From House & Building Windows - Campbell Window Film (3)

Regardless of the color of your window tint, it eventually turns a purplish shade, and it may be a good idea to replace it.

At this point, the tint loses its ability to block UV rays, and this issue may, therefore, be more than aesthetic. Discoloration comes about due to the breakdown of dyes and is irreparable.

Aesthetics

How To Remove Old Window Tint From House & Building Windows - Campbell Window Film (4)

Whenever tint gets old, it tends to lose color, and removing it may be the only option. There may be a need to change the look of building windows, and this, therefore, involves removing the tint when it’s still in pristine condition.

This might be messy as the adhesive could still be strong, and this could require tricks on tint removal.

Effective methods of tint removal help building owners to cut down on the tint removal cost. All they need is a can-do-attitude, some free time, and the required tools for the job.

Luckily, the tools needed for DIY tint removal can be found in their toolbox or garage, and getting the job done will probably take a single afternoon.

Most of the methods of window tint removal involve scraping or using heating devices. Let’s look at some of these effective methods of removing old window tint:

Method 1: Hair Dryer

Hairdryers are effective at removing old window tint from house windows, especially in chilly seasons. The heat produced makes it easy to peel off the tint.

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Finding the right temperature to work with is essential, as too much heat will end up and breaking large windows and creating a mess that would be hard to clean.

Here are the materials you would need for this method:

  • Adhesive remover
  • Steel wool pads
  • Razor blades
  • Cotton cloth/rag
  • Paper towels
  • Window cleaner

How To Remove Old Window Tint From House & Building Windows - Campbell Window Film (5)Procedure

Step 1: Use the hairdryer to heat the outer side of the window, maintaining a distance of 4-6 inches from the glass. Using the dryer from the inside may cause the tint to merge with the window.

Step 2: When the window gets warm, start peeling off the tint from the edge of the window (preferably the corner). Alternating between heating and peeling ensures that the adhesive doesn’t settle back, and this guarantees an easy time when removing the tint.

Step 3: Use the razor to peel off any small pieces of tint left on the glass. Using the dryer on these patches helps remove them easily.

Step 4: Apply the adhesive remover and let it sit on the glass for up to 10 minutes before cleaning up.

Step 5: Use the razor and steel wool to scrape off the adhesive until the window is clean. Repeat this step in the case of stubborn adhesive.

Step 6: Finish the cleaning process by rubbing the window cleaner and wiping any residue using the paper towel to leave the glass sparkling.

How To Remove Old Window Tint From House & Building Windows - Campbell Window Film (6)Method 2: Steamer Removal

For building owners who may not know how to remove window film, this method may be a good starting point. By steaming the window for a few minutes, the adhesive melts, and the tint peels off easily.

Steamers distribute heat more efficiently and therefore eliminate the risk of burning the tint.

Here’s what you need for this method:

  • Steamer
  • Adhesive remover
  • Cotton cloth
  • Water

Procedure

Step 1: Fill up the steamer with water and give it time to warm up until it steams.

Step 2: Heat the window, preferably from the corner area, by holding the steam attachment close to the window. Keep heating until the tint is loose enough to be removed with a fingernail.

Step 3: Carefully peel the tint off the window, making sure that the tinting film doesn’t leave any tint patches.

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Step 4: Using an adhesive cleaner and paper towel, clean the window to remove any residue.

How To Remove Old Window Tint From House & Building Windows - Campbell Window Film (7)Method 3: Solar Peel (Using Ammonia)

This chemical method of removing old tint comes in handy during the warm seasons. It leaves the window sparkling clean, and you probably won’t need a window tint removal spray to clean the windows.

Taking the necessary precautions like wearing a mask is essential to avoid inhaling the toxic fumes produced by the ammonia solution.

The materials you will need for this method include:

  • Black trash bags
  • Soapy water
  • Spray bottle
  • Razor knife
  • Fine steel wool
  • Paper towels
  • Cotton cloth

Procedure

Step 1: Prepare a soapy mixture using warm water and put it in a spray bottle. Cut large pieces of the black trash bags for covering both sides of the building window.

Step 2: Spray the soapy mixture to the outside of the window and cover it with a piece of the black plastic bags.

Step 3: Once the plastic bag is in place, spray the ammonia solution on the inside of the window in generous amounts. Ensure there’s sufficient ventilation to avoid the effects of ammonia fumes. Keep any furniture and fittings in the building well covered, perhaps using cotton clothes, to prevent damage. Then, cover the inside of the window using another piece of the black plastic bag.

Step 4: Allow the setup to sit in the sun for an hour or so. The black plastic bag pieces trap the heat and loosen the adhesive that holds the window tint film. Afterward, remove the plastic pieces.

Step 5: Using the razor knife, pry up the corner of the tint and carefully peel it off.

Step 6: Clean any adhesive on the window using fine steel wool and ammonia or any other window tint remover and wipe the residue using paper towels.

How To Remove Old Window Tint From House & Building Windows - Campbell Window Film (8)

Important note: Steel wool works very well on most types of glass, but there is tempered glass out there that is super soft and scratches very easily – especially ½” thick Herculite™ glass, but there are other soft brands.

We recommend testing any blades or steel wool in a small section – low or high corner – somewhere inconspicuous – to see if either has an undesirable effect. If there is any scratching, call a professional window film company to do the work.

Method 4: Soap and Scrape

This method doesn’t require much finesse and is therefore effective in removing patches of window tint. However, it is time-consuming and may be strenuous, especially for those who don’t know how to remove window tint glue.

Some of the materials you will need for this method include:

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  • Soapy water
  • Spray bottle
  • Paper towels
  • Razorblade/knife
  • Glass cleaner

Procedure

Step 1: Cut the corner of the window film using the razor blade to create a tab to help peel off the tint film.

Step 2: Grasp the tab and carefully peel off the tint from the window. In case there are small portions of the tint film left, repeat the peeling process until most of the tint comes off.

Step 3: Using the spray bottle, spray soapy water on the window to help remove the adhesive left behind.

Step 4: Use the razor blade to scrape off the adhesive and ensure the window doesn’t dry up by spraying more soapy water on the working area.

Step 5: Use the glass cleaner and paper towels to clean the window once you’re done scraping the adhesive.

How To Remove Old Window Tint From House & Building Windows - Campbell Window Film (9)Method 5: Soap and Newspaper

Individuals who may be wondering how to remove old window tint from their premises and buildings may as well try this method. It is similar to the soap and scrape method and requires little skill.

To remove tint using this method, you will need the following materials:

  • Bucket
  • Warm soapy water
  • Paper towels
  • Razorblade/knife
  • Newspapers
  • Sponge
  • Glass cleaner

Procedure

Step 1: Put soapy water in a bucket and apply lots of it on the window, then cover it with the newspaper. Allow this setup to sit for an hour, which will result in the soaking and drying of the newspaper. Add more soapy water whenever the paper dries up.

Step 2: Use the razor blade to peel off the newspaper and the layer of tint beneath in long strips.

Step 3: The remaining layer of the tint is removed by rubbing it off using the razor blade and should come off easily. For stubborn tint film, repeating this process may yield better results.

How To Remove Old Window Tint From House & Building Windows - Campbell Window Film (10)

Conclusion

Removing window tint may prove to be a daunting task for many building owners. As such, most of them opt for hiring the services of professional tint removers. For those who fancy trying such tasks by themselves, using a hairdryer, ammonia, steamer, and soapy water helps remove window tint easily and efficiently.

FAQs

What is the easiest way to remove window tint from a house? ›

Step 1: Cut the corner of the window film using the razor blade to create a tab to help peel off the tint film. Step 2: Grasp the tab and carefully peel off the tint from the window. In case there are small portions of the tint film left, repeat the peeling process until most of the tint comes off.

How do you remove expired window tint? ›

You can use a regular glass cleaner and a microfiber towel to clean this up to make this crystal.

How do you remove window film from house windows? ›

If you are going to use a hairdryer or a hot air gun you've got to warm up small patches of the

Does vinegar remove window tint? ›

Fill your spray bottle with the ammonia or vinegar, and soapy water. Spray the area with the mixture, being sure to cover the entire surface. Let the mixture sit and respray the tint when the mixture begins to dry. One way to make the process faster is by using plastic wrap to cover the area to keep the moisture in.

Is window film hard to remove? ›

Now, for the removal process, the window film itself is easy to remove from the glass and can be peeled off, but it leaves behind the adhesive, which is tricky to get off. To remove the sticky adhesive from glass a razor blade is needed to scrape it all off.

Will Goo Gone remove window tint glue? ›

Goo Gone, the popular glue clearing spray, can be used to remove window tint glue. This adaptable formula is designed to clear the messes left behind by dried glue. Although it has no effect on the tint itself, Goo Gone should clear up the glue residue.

How do you remove window tint without a heat gun? ›

Using a hairdryer is another simple way to get rid of your old window tints. The heat produced by the dryer is just what you need to soften the adhesive in your window and make it easy for you to peel off the tint. However, the method is also a bit messy. So be ready to do a lot of cleaning after.

Does WD 40 remove tint glue? ›

Yes, you can use WD 40 to remove tint glue! The spray can help loosen the glue's bond with the tint, allowing you to remove it. It can take some elbow grease to do so, but spraying WD 40 directly to the tint is the best way to do this. Leave it for a little while and go in with a cloth.

Can you remove window tint yourself? ›

Removing window tint residue

Whether you use steam or ammonia, adhesive residue on the glass is possible. Also, the tinted film might not come off clean if you peel it with a blade. So, to clear any residue, you'll need to use isopropyl alcohol or more ammonia.

How long does window film last? ›

The lifespan of window film depends greatly on its quality and the materials used in its manufacture. Most window films last somewhere between 10 to 20 years. However, this time can be longer or shorter depending on the amount of stress put on the film.

How do you remove protective plastic film from windows? ›

Removing Plastic Film from Glass - YouTube

What will dissolve window tint glue? ›

Rubbing alcohol is one of the cleaning agents you can use to remove window tint glue. You need a soft cloth and a bucket of soapy water to deal with the issue at hand. You dip the soft cloth into the alcohol and wipe your window until the residue comes off.

How do you remove window tint with soapy water? ›

Remove Window Tint with Soapy Water and Newspaper

With a razor blade, scrape off the top layer of the tint film in long strokes. Continue to reapply soapy water if the top layer doesn't come off in long strips. Repeat the steps until the film is removed.

Does ammonia remove tint? ›

Lastly, ammonia cleaners can work on the tint removal process. However use with caution as ammonia is generally really strong, and you would need to wear all the necessary protective equipment and only use it in a wide, airy area.

How do you remove window tint with Windex? ›

How To Remove Window Tint and Glue In Less Than 5 Minutes

How do you remove baked on protective film? ›

To the people asking about removing the protective plastic film stuck on stainless steel appliances, nail polish remover with acetone works perfect. I first tried goo-gone which didn't work, then read about using acetone and it works perfectly. Removes it clean off.

How do you remove black film from glass? ›

3 Best Ways to Remove Window Tint and Glue - YouTube

Does WD 40 remove glue from glass? ›

Lubricants like WD-40 are excellent at getting glue off glass.

Can Gila window film be removed? ›

A: Gila brand EZMount adhesive makes film removal easy and clean. Removal is as easy as peeling the film away from the glass.

Does rubbing alcohol remove tint? ›

Chemical – Effective, but Messy

This is a simple chemistry hack: Window tint adhesive is soluble in ammonia or alcohol, which means you can use those substances to break down the adhesive bond. The most straightforward way to do this is to spray ammonia or 70% or 91% isopropyl alcohol directly onto the window film.

Will a hair dryer remove window tint? ›

The great thing about a hairdryer is that it works very similarly to a heat gun, so it simulates the same effect that a professional would get when removing an existing window tint. The heat of the hairdryer will penetrate the material of the window tint, making it easier to remove it when the time is right.

Can I use a heat gun to remove tint? ›

If your car's window tint has seen better days, it's time to bring out the heat gun. Using a heat gun is a fast and efficient method that won't leave much of a mess and doesn't require ammonia.

Does WD-40 leave a residue? ›

silicone is a bummer to get on your hands... it just doesn't wash off!! Don't use WD-40 on electrical connections, because it may leave a residue that will further gum things up!! Use alcohol or a spray electronic parts cleaner, available at most hardware stores or Radio Shack. BE CAREFUL!

How do you remove old purple window tint? ›

Removing Old, Purple, or Bubbling Window Tint On ... - YouTube

How do you remove window tint without heat? ›

How to remove old window tint without heat - YouTube

Does WD 40 remove tint glue? ›

Yes, you can use WD 40 to remove tint glue! The spray can help loosen the glue's bond with the tint, allowing you to remove it. It can take some elbow grease to do so, but spraying WD 40 directly to the tint is the best way to do this. Leave it for a little while and go in with a cloth.

Can I remove window tint yourself? ›

There are several different inexpensive methods to easily remove window tint by yourself. Applying heat to melt the adhesive or peeling the tint off with ammonia or soapy water are all easy and effective ways to remove even professional car window tint.

How do you remove protective plastic film from windows? ›

Removing Plastic Film from Glass - YouTube

Does rubbing alcohol remove tint? ›

Chemical – Effective, but Messy

This is a simple chemistry hack: Window tint adhesive is soluble in ammonia or alcohol, which means you can use those substances to break down the adhesive bond. The most straightforward way to do this is to spray ammonia or 70% or 91% isopropyl alcohol directly onto the window film.

Will a hair dryer remove window tint? ›

The great thing about a hairdryer is that it works very similarly to a heat gun, so it simulates the same effect that a professional would get when removing an existing window tint. The heat of the hairdryer will penetrate the material of the window tint, making it easier to remove it when the time is right.

Can I use a heat gun to remove tint? ›

If your car's window tint has seen better days, it's time to bring out the heat gun. Using a heat gun is a fast and efficient method that won't leave much of a mess and doesn't require ammonia.

What is the best way to remove window tint adhesive? ›

3 Best Ways to Remove Window Tint and Glue - YouTube

How do you remove window tint with Windex? ›

How To Remove Window Tint and Glue In Less Than 5 Minutes

Does WD-40 remove glue from Windows? ›

Removing Super Glue With WD-40 Multi Use Product

With WD-40, you can get rid of the notorious Super Glue stains off any glass surface within a couple of minutes.

How do you remove window tint from Home Depot? ›

How to Remove Window Tint | The Home Depot - YouTube

How do you remove old protective film from UPVC? ›

use nail polish remover - put it on some cotton pads, it works beautifully even on plastic surfaces; use any lubricant or baby oil - the paraffin will soften the glue and help you wipe it away from UPVC; scratch with a blade (very gently, of course) - if the solutions above don't work, try with your brute strength.

How do you remove baked on protective film from plastic? ›

You heat up a piece of film and then remove it with some form of spatula, preferably made of plastic so as not to scratch the profile. As this method involves the risk of both scratching the profile and burning the plastic, we recommend it as a last resort, to be used at your own risk.

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