Posted in: 21/08/2018
Perhaps your honor student has gone to college. Maybe your favorite political candidate has been out of office for a while now. Or perhaps you just don’t think that band is cool anymore.
Whatever the case, you’ve decided it’s time to remove a bumper sticker once and for all.
They’re made to hold up over the long haul, through all kinds of weather, so taking them off isn’t exactly a simple task. But it doesn’t have to be an all-day project, either.
Here are a few ways to get your bumper looking like it did on the day you bought your vehicle.
A word of advice before we begin: While a razor blade can come in quite handy for removing unwanted decals from windows, never use one to remove a sticker on your car’s paint. Doing so will gouge and chip your vehicle’s finish. Ditto with nail polish remover. It can be effective for removing stickers on glass, but various chemicals found in most formulas, such as acetone, can harm your vehicle’s paint.
Crank Up the Heat
Perhaps the most common way to get rid of bumper stickers is to grab a hairdryer. (If you have a heat gun, that’s even better.) First, run a damp cloth over the area to remove any surface grime. Get the hair dryer, find its hottest setting, turn it on and hover it a few inches over the bumper sticker.
Don’t place the hair dryer directly on the sticker. Start at the center and eventually work your way to the edges. Doing the edges last will ensure the glue is still warm when you begin the next step.
The next step involves taking an old credit card or plastic scraper and placing it under the edge to start peeling the sticker and adhesive away. Continue until the entire sticker and glue are removed. It’s common for the sticker to rip during this process, but this won’t hinder your progress.
Finally, dampen an old rag with tree sap remover or detailing spray, and give the area a final cleaning.
Solutions at Your Disposal
Adhesive removers such as Goo Gone are ideal for the tedious task of removing a bumper sticker, especially old or particularly stubborn ones. Goo Gone makes an automotive spray gel specifically formulated for the task, and it also removes gum, bird droppings, tree sap, spray paint, brake dust and asphalt.
Liberally apply Goo Gone to the bumper sticker and the area immediately surrounding it. Wait a few minutes. The longer you let it sit, the easier it should be to remove the sticker. Once the sticker is gone, cleanse the area with soap and water.
Don’t have Goo Gone? Chances are you have some WD-40 somewhere in your garage. It’s not just for fixing squeaky doors. Peel back an edge of the bumper sticker with your fingernail. Once you can grab the corner, spray the WD-40 at the sticker while continuing to lift its edges. Once the sticker is off, wipe down the area with soap and water.
Open Your Kitchen Cupboard
For a more environmentally friendly solution, reach into your pantry for some white vinegar. Use a paintbrush or paper towel to douse the entire bumper sticker, and wait a few minutes. Use a plastic putty knife or a metal one wrapped in a dish towel or duct tape to remove the sticker. This will get the job done without damaging your car’s paint.
You can purchase a bottle of vinegar for less than a dollar. That’s much cheaper than buying a solvent such as Goo Gone or WD-40.
Wet It Down
Perhaps the easiest and cheapest way of all to remove a bumper sticker is to boil water, pour it over the sticker and use an old credit card or plastic scraper to lift it away from your car’s surface. You may have to complete the process several times, but doing so might be easier than making a run to the store for Goo Gone or WD-40, or finding an extension cord so you can take your hair dryer outside.
Save Yourself the Hassle
The next time you want to bling your bumper, there are a few steps you can take beforehand to make the removal process even easier:
1. Avoid the bumper altogether, and put the sticker on a window instead. Getting a sticker off glass is a much easier process, and you won’t have to worry about damaging your vehicle’s paint.
2. Peel the backing off your bumper sticker, and affix it to a bumper magnet. Place the magnet on your car’s bumper. When you no longer want the sticker, just take off the magnet. Ta-da!
3. Apply a layer of car wax to the surface where you plan to put your sticker. That often makes removal a simpler chore.
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