Removing Tint From Car Windows: DIY & Professional Recommendations

A high-quality window film can provide a lot of benefits to your car. From blocking UV rays to offering more privacy for you and your passengers to giving your vehicle’s windows a sleek new look, there are a lot of reasons you might’ve invested in window tinting in the first place. But, there are some instances when window tint removal may be required.

Whether you’ve previously invested in a low-quality film and are now paying the price or you’re looking to advance your tint with a newer, more innovative film, there are several reasons why you might want to remove your current tint. The removal process, however, can prove to be quite the hassle, especially when you set out to do it on your own.

Whether you want to go the DIY route or hire a professional to do the job, The Tint Guy is able to help! In our guide to removing an old window tint, we’ll show you the best practice for DIY methods and why you stick with professionals for all things car window tinting.

Professional removal infographic

DIY vs Professional Installation 

Unless you already have experience working with window tint film, it is generally going to be a good idea to let a professional help you remove your car window tint. For one, it’ll save you a lot of time and hassle. Removing car tint can be a big project, especially if you are removing it from multiple windows, and it’s one that tends to take a lot of time and elbow grease. Utilizing a window tint removal service is a much more convenient option. 

Perhaps the biggest reason why you should consider professional window tint removal is the possibility of damaging your vehicle. You might not be that worried about damaging the window tint film that you are removing, but the window beneath is a different story. If it isn’t done just right, the process of removing window tint can easily scratch or break your car’s windows – and the cost to replace a windshield, side window, or rear window can be several hundred dollars or more depending on your vehicle. 

Along with removing your old window film, a window tint service will also be able to help you choose and install a new film. If you are planning on upgrading to a higher-quality window tint, using the same service to remove your old tint and install the new tint offers even more time-saving convenience. It may help you save some money as well since many window tint services offer discounted rates for window tint removal if you are planning to have them install new films. 

The final reason why you may want to think twice about removing window tint yourself is safety. Removing window tint involves working with sharp objects such as razor blades and can also produce a lot of dust and debris that isn’t safe to inhale. For this reason, you will need to wear protective gear such as safety gloves, a facemask, and safety glasses in addition to being careful and cautious throughout the removal process. 

Of course, we don’t want to discourage anyone from taking on new projects, and if you are someone who has a talent and appreciation for that sort of thing then the DIY route may be a fine option for you. For most people, however, working with a professional window tint service to remove old window film is going to be the best option. 

man installing window film

How to Remove Window Tint: An Overview

If you decide to roll up your sleeves and tackle the project of removing your car’s window tint all by yourself, it is essential to follow the right process. Below is an overview of best practices for removing window film.

1. Tools and Equipment 

Before you attempt to remove window tinting from your car, you’ll need to make sure that you have the right tools on hand. The tools that you will need for the removal process are: 

  • Heat gun
  • Razor blade 
  • Scraper
  • Spray bottle 
  • Cleaning solution
  • Face mask  
  • Safety glasses 
  • Safety gloves 

Gather these supplies beforehand and make sure that they are working properly so that you don’t run into any issues once the project has already started. 

2. Preparing the Area

Once you have gathered all of the tools and supplies that you will need, the next step is to prepare the area where the project will take place. Due to the dust and debris particles that removing window tint can produce, it is important to choose an area that is well-ventilated such as an outdoor space or your garage with the garage door open. 

To help speed up the cleanup process once you are finished, it’s a good idea to put tarps or plastic sheeting down around your vehicle. You will also want to cover the interior of your vehicle as well to prevent damage and a mess that is even more difficult to clean up. 

Lastly, be sure to put on all of your protective equipment before you get started. This includes a facemask to prevent you from inhaling debris particles, safety glasses to keep chemicals and debris out of your eyes, and safety gloves to help prevent accidental cuts when working with the razor blade. 

3. Heating the Film

The window tint film is attached to a car’s window using an adhesive layer, and loosening up this adhesive is the first step in the process of removing window tint. The best way to go about this is to use a heat gun or fabric steamer to loosen the adhesive. You can use a hair dryer as well if you don’t have these tools available, but even on the highest setting a hair dryer is going to take a lot more time to work than a heat gun or steamer will. 

With your window rolled down a few inches so that the edge of the tint film at the top of the window is visible, apply heat by placing your heat gun/steamer/ hair dryer a few inches away from the window. This process can take several minutes, but you should eventually notice the edges of the tint film start to curl. Once this happens, you are ready to move on to the next step. 

4. Lifting the Film

Once the top edge of your window tint film starts to curl away from the window, you can use a razor blade or scraper to gently peel it away. Go slowly, and peel the film away a little at a time. If you try to rush this part of the removal process, you could end up damaging your car’s window or accidentally cutting yourself. 

5. Removing Adhesive Residue

Once you’ve peeled off the window tint film from your car’s window, there is likely to still be a lot of leftover adhesive residue left on the window. The best way to get rid of this residue is to use an adhesive remover such as isopropyl alcohol, an ammonia solution, or nail polish remover. Soapy water will also work in a pinch, but it may take a little more time and scrubbing. 

6. Cleaning the Window 

The final step in the window tint removal process is to clean your window once you are done. This includes wiping away any adhesive residue that remains after you’ve used an adhesive remover as well wiping away any remnants of the adhesive remover itself. 

Shot of a happy young man cleaning his car with microfiber cloth on a sunny day.

Tint Removal Cost 

If you are considering hiring a window tint service to remove your vehicle’s window tint, you are likely curious about the cost of this service. While the cost to remove window tint will vary depending on your vehicle, window tint removal typically costs about $60 for all four side windows and $85 for the windshield or rear window. 

Focused service station worker cutting extra PPF from edge of installation area

Replacing Your Film

The most common reason why people remove old window tint is that they plan to replace it with a newer, higher-quality film. Quality window tint offers a range of benefits, and once you’ve gotten used to having tinted windows it can be difficult to go back! 

Along with helping our customers remove their old window tint, The Tint Guy also offers professional window tint installation services and a broad selection of high-quality films to choose from.

If your car’s current window tint is worn out or otherwise in need of an upgrade, the professional technicians at The Tint Guy are able to help! We can assist you with choosing the best film for your preferences and needs before ensuring that it is perfectly installed in a way that looks great and is made to last (unlike your previous solution).

The Tint Guy workshop

Choose Atlanta’s Top Window Tinting Company 

If you would like to remove your car’s old window tint, install new, high-quality window tint film, or both, you can count on the expert services that we offer at The Tint Guy! To learn more about why The Tint Guy is Atlanta’s most-trusted window tinting company and to receive a free quote on your project, be sure to contact us today!