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How To: Removing Old Window Tint (cheap and easy)

Discussion in 'Detailing' started by Seabass, Jul 1, 2010.

  1. Jul 1, 2010 at 9:12 AM
    #1
    Seabass

    Seabass [OP] I need to go return some videotapes...

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    Here's a trick I learned a few years ago to make tint removal much easier than just busting out the old scraper blade and using a bunch of elbow grease. Doing this yourself insures that the goon at the tint shop doesn't just tint over the old stuff (lots of factory tint is almost invisible) and increase your chances for bubbling. Also, it will save you the expense of the shop charging you to remove it, and potentially not getting all of the old adhesive off. I did this on an old Civic of mine and I had all of the old dry tint off in 2 hours. This trick also works great for removing adhesive from a window you already scraped the tint from.

    Special Note: If you don't like the smell of Simple Green (smells like black licorice), take note that your car will smell like it for a day or 2 after using this technique.


    Equipment needed:
    1. 2 or 3 large black trash bags. Lawn and leaf bags work good.
    2. A spray bottle of Simple Green household cleaner
    3. Razor blade scraper
    4. A few shop rags or hand towels
    Instructions:
    1. Park your vehicle in a sunny spot (preferably warm, too). Works best in summer, or when the sun is out strong.
    2. Grab a couple black lawn trash bags and cut the sides out so that they lay flat. The key here is to use thin black plastic so it seals well to the window when wet.
    3. Liberally spray the Simple Green (full concentration) right on the inside of the window to be worked on, completely wetting the tinted surface.
    4. Lay a single sheet of the black plastic directly on the Simple Green and spread it around so that it sticks up nicely to the tinted surface of the window. The more Simple Green you can get held against the window, the easier the tint removal will be.
    5. Use the shop rags or towels at the bottom of the window to prevent the Simple Green from running all over the place, especially to cover up fabric seats or trim with fabric/felt. Plastics, leathers, rubber and vinyls wipe clean and won't stain but there's a potential to get a little discoloration on fabrics I would assume. If you drip any on fabric, you can just wet it good and extract with a dry towel. This stuff is organic but it does have a dark green color and might discolor light fabrics.
    6. Let this set-up sit in the sun for a full hour. Only one hour is needed, but the longer you leave it to soak in the sun, but better it works. The Simple Green will absorb into the tint and go to work on the adhesive pretty quick.
    7. Remove the black plastic bag and start scraping at one corner. Lift up the corner and peel. The tint should come off very easily and sometimes in one whole sheet. It makes scraping the adhesive off much easier, too. Actually, if you let the Simple Green soak long enough you can even just wipe off the adhesive.
    8. Wipe all surfaces clean with a wet rag and you're done. The smell from the Simple Green might linger for a day or two, but if you wiped everything clean it should go away quick.
    Enjoy!
     
  2. Jul 1, 2010 at 9:13 AM
    #2
    Blue

    Blue You're my boy blue

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    nice write up :) :thumbsup:
     
  3. Aug 8, 2010 at 10:19 PM
    #3
    steve o 77

    steve o 77 braaap

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    subbed. Im getting my windows re-done for my birthday and I don't want those guys messing anything up so Im going to remove the old stuff.
     
  4. Aug 10, 2010 at 11:25 AM
    #4
    Seabass

    Seabass [OP] I need to go return some videotapes...

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    I was the same way. I wanted to make sure I removed ALL of the tint and the adhesive (hardest part) and this will do the trick. Softens it up like nobody's business.

    Do it while it's still hot outside so the simple green really penetrates and activates
     
  5. Aug 10, 2010 at 11:45 AM
    #5
    Chad

    Chad Rand Paul 2016

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    Is this for a second tint job or do you also need to do this if you're having someone tint over the stock rear tint for the first time?
     
  6. Aug 11, 2010 at 2:04 PM
    #6
    Seabass

    Seabass [OP] I need to go return some videotapes...

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    I did this to remove the stock tint on all of my windows before I had aftermarket put on. Stock tint is a real b**** to remove and this worked like a charm. Works even better removing aftermarket tint.

    I didn't want any layering of tint at all, to minimize any chance of bubbling in the future. I wanted clean glass for the new tint and I'm glad I did it because my aftermarket went on smooth and never peeled or bubbled.
     
  7. Aug 11, 2010 at 2:38 PM
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    steve o 77

    steve o 77 braaap

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    Well I went ahead and just tried pulling a little bit off the drivers side front window just to see how stuck it was going to be and I was able to get the entire thing off in one piece without doing a thing to it. It is aftermarket and pretty old from what I can tell. I was amazed and now both front windows are tint free. Now to do the rears...
     
  8. Aug 11, 2010 at 2:43 PM
    #8
    jonny

    jonny Betty White Edition Heep ZJ

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    im pulling the purplish(old) tint from my fiance's civic this weekend. will give this a shot!
     
  9. Aug 11, 2010 at 2:46 PM
    #9
    04prerunner

    04prerunner Well-Known Member

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    just did mine today. razorblade, Wd40, done in an hour. but nice write up
     
  10. Apr 6, 2012 at 4:53 AM
    #10
    jwtayl01

    jwtayl01 Member

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    I just got busted for tint. The cops gave me the choice of a ticket or remove it so I removed it. It came off in one sheet, but I could not get the adhesive off with "Invisible Glass" cleaner. Will the simple green take if off, or will I have to go to something stronger, alcohol, acetone, goof-off. Thanks for the help, Jesse
     
  11. Apr 7, 2012 at 8:59 AM
    #11
    Madjik_Man

    Madjik_Man The Rembrandt of Rattle Can

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    You live in Denver and got busted for tint?

    How dark was it? I've lived in CO for 20 years and this is the first tint bust I've ever heard of... and a lot of my friends have limo tint on their vehicles.

    And Simple Green should work for the remaining adhesive. If not clean it well and try Goo Gone
     
  12. Apr 7, 2012 at 6:40 PM
    #12
    jwtayl01

    jwtayl01 Member

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    Sorry, Need to change my info here. I was in Denver, that is where I got the tint, moved to upstate NY, that is where I got busted! Got one window done. What a pain. May have been worth just getting the ticket, though I live right near the troopers barracks. I tried simple green, ethanol, acetone, and goof-off. There worked all about the same. I end up sticking with the simple green. I was worried the organic solvents might ruin some of the plastic. Took about an hour to do one front window.
     
  13. Apr 8, 2012 at 7:47 AM
    #13
    Seabass

    Seabass [OP] I need to go return some videotapes...

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    The simple green will work great on the adhesive. Just park your truck in the sun and give time for the SG to soak in.
     
  14. May 14, 2012 at 9:41 PM
    #14
    beedoola

    beedoola Well-Known Member

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    Will this work on the rear sliding window if it's tinted? And my truck shell front window? Both those and the rear window of my shell are tinted so looking through the rear view mirrow everything is dark as hell.
     
  15. May 25, 2012 at 8:24 PM
    #15
    lowrange

    lowrange Supreme Commander of the Army of the Tacoma

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    I always use a hand held clothes steamer. You can pick one up for around $15. Quickly removes the tint and glue. Only takes a few minutes per window.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. May 26, 2012 at 8:49 AM
    #16
    beedoola

    beedoola Well-Known Member

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    do people have the option of getting their Tacos tinted from the dealership? If so, is that process any different; can I still remove the tint? And is the tint on the inside or out?

    And Lowrange: do you just hold the steamer on the window for awhile and it starts to peel?
     
  17. May 26, 2012 at 9:09 AM
    #17
    Madjik_Man

    Madjik_Man The Rembrandt of Rattle Can

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    Tint is always on the inside of the glass.

    Don't know if dealerships apply tint, you're better off going to a tint shop. It'll probably be cheaper and much better (assuming you vet the shop well)
     
  18. May 26, 2012 at 12:44 PM
    #18
    lowrange

    lowrange Supreme Commander of the Army of the Tacoma

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    Yes, just hold the steamer close to the glass and let the steam work on the tint. Then start peeling it off and working the steamer down as you pull it off.

    Most of the dealers here use a couple of the local shops to do their tinting. I doubt many dealers tint in house.
     
  19. Feb 9, 2014 at 12:04 PM
    #19
    mackendw

    mackendw New Member

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    Hi:

    Just had the joy of being forced by "the law" to remove my tinting on drivers/passengers side windows. 2012 tacoma.

    I used the steamer trick to loosen the glue enough to get the tint film off but glue was mostly still on the window. I bought a jugg of the simple green stuff and with a couple of paper towels got them good and wet and stuck them on the windows for 2 hours.

    The glue came off really easy with a 3" scraper. Beauty.

    thx for the VERY helpful info.
    W. MacKenzie
     
  20. Feb 9, 2014 at 2:42 PM
    #20
    skiwaves8

    skiwaves8 Well-Known Member

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    If it's factory tint you can tint over it!My guy has been doing it for over 30 years and never had a problem.If your tint isn't factory take a razor blade slice threw the middle of the window and peel off.Clean the glue off with water,dish soap and a razor blade!!
     
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