Removing tint from windows?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by 90blzr, Aug 8, 2006.

  1. 90blzr

    90blzr 1/2 ton status

    Mar 25, 2001
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    SO CAL
    Picked up a little beater to run back and forth to work in. Windows are tinted but are all bubbled and you cant see through them.
    I got most of it off but the back on is going to be a pain. Its has the defroster in the back window. I can scrap the tint off, I am afraid of damaging the defroster grid.

    Any ideas? This stuff is ON THERE too. People were saying it would come off in a few pieces....more like a few HUNDRED pieces:doah:
  2. otisringle

    otisringle 1/2 ton status

    Aug 2, 2005
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    perhaps a razor blade will work and some fine cutting...
  3. supersize75k5


    Feb 3, 2004
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    gilbert az
    call up a local tint shop, there is a chemical they use and is sold that makes it come off like a breeze,

    I believe I bought my stuff and pepboys

    had a truck once with some hispanic influinced chrome window tint once..

  4. bear76

    bear76 1/2 ton status

    Oct 16, 2005
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  5. 88Silverado

    88Silverado 1/2 ton status

    Mar 13, 2003
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    Quartz Hill, So. Cal
    Ive had good luck using Windex and a razor blade. Soak it and scrape it.
  6. Metrodps

    Metrodps Strange but nice guy GMOTM Winner Author

    Jan 4, 2006
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    Time: 1-3 hours

    • Warm sunny day
    • Tarp
    • Large plastic garbage bag
    • Undiluted Ammonia
    • Windex (a glass cleaner)
    • Paper towels
    • Fine steel wool
    • Razor blades
    • Slotted Screwdrivers
    • Phillips Screwdrivers
    Tips: The difficult thing about removing tint is that most film is constructed of two layers of tinted polyester. When you try to peel the film off the glass, the top layer will usually pull right off leaving the second layer behind. This second layer will not peel off, it will just flake and tear like a price tag. Step 1:

    To over come separation between layers you must soften the adhesive so that both layers peel at the same time. This is very important, if you peel the just the top layer, you may as well just use razor blades as there is no way to peel the second layer off without picking at it for a few hours. You MUST try to peel both layers at once.
    NOTE: You are more than likely to damage one or more of your defroster lines, when this happens, the cut line will not work anymore. Some cars have radio antennas mounted alongside the defrosters made of the same material. If you damage these, your radio antenna will not work! Be careful! Taking it to a tint shop to be done greatly increases the odds of saving the lines, but even a tint shop can not promise to save your lines, sometimes the film is just to far gone.

    Step 2:
    First, clear the window of any obstructions, like the brake light, speaker covers etc.

    Step 3:
    Next cut open the garbage bag so that it will be big enough to cover the entire window. Spray some water on the outside of the back window and the lay plastic bag over the glass. Cut away excess plastic so that it is now roughly the same shape as the glass.

    Step 4:
    Next, lay a tarp over rear deck and seat, spray ammonia liberally on the inside of the back window. (Ammonia is very strong, I suggest you hold your breath during this step) and cover ammonia soaked tint with the plastic bag so that it won't evaporate.

    Step 5:
    Park the car with rear window facing the sun for about an hour. The film should now be ready to peel.

    Step 6:
    When you are ready to start peeling, leave the plastic in place so the ammonia wont dry. Get the peeling started with a razor blade in a corner where there are no defroster lines. Try to peel film off in one piece. If the ammonia dries as you peel, the glue will get hard again, so spray a bit of ammonia on the area as you peel.

    Step 7:
    Once the film is peeled you will need to scrub the adhesive off with ammonia and fine 0000 steel wool.

    Mop up scrubbed areas with paper towels before they dry. Finish up with window cleaner and paper towels.

    Removing tint from side windows
    Soaking is not nessesary here. You may want to use a simple razorblade holder. Cut a notch onto the upper area of the film so that you have a piece to pull. Try to peel the film, it will probably come off in two or three pieces.
    Spray the remaining adhesive with soapy water, and scrape the adhesive off with a razor blade, avoiding the edges of the glass until last to keep the blade sharp. You may need to use a few blades as they dull quickly. Finish up with window cleaner and paper towels. Inspect for missed glue (its clear and hard to see)

    Another way to strip using steam

    If you have access to a Jiffy steamer or similar steam machine, you can make quick work of stripping. 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.
  7. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

    Dec 13, 2000
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    Roy WA
    I've used a hairdryer to remove adhesive from the back window, no idea how it would work on tint, and I know it would really suck to do the whole thing that way. But if heat works, maybe a halogen lamp the right distance away would heat up enough area at one time to make it easy.

    I'd agree with the earlier comment though, if there is something made specifically to do this, that is what I'd start with, because you don't want to be repairing the rear defrost grid. You can do it, and it's not tough, but I'd hate to have to go fix something that wouldn't have happened with the right equipment. :)
  8. TheSunDanceKid

    TheSunDanceKid Registered Member

    Jul 22, 2006
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    arizona, gilbert
    i dunno if this helps but i did this on the back window of my old geo metro one time first layer peels right off and the second i used Amonina the razer blade worked alight but i found a fast way i used a dremel with one of the cotton pads they have for polishing crap i just soaked the pad in Amonina plus sence its cotton it didnt mess anything up with the grid but also ive heard womens make up remover works also but when you put it on the second layer it makes it smell horrible
  9. 4xcrazy

    4xcrazy 3/4 ton status

    Oct 31, 2003
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    Olympia/Lacey, Washington
    steam, works the easiest for rear windows with the defroster, then you just use a mild soap and one of those green scrubby pads for pots and pans to rub off the glue left behind...

    Buddy of mine is a window tinter, saw him do this, and he taught me alittle about tinting as well.

    or if you don't have a steamer, use the meathod mantioned previously with the dark colored trash bag, spray the outside of the window with water, stick the trash bag on it, and set the car ini direct sunlight for alittle while, it will heat the window up and loosen the glue,,,same thing then, use a mild soap and the scrubby pad and wash off the glue.

    there is absolutely NO NEED for harsh chemicals on this stuff

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