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Bumper stickers on vehicles are a way of showing support for ideas and can also be a way for advertising and promoting a product or service. While these stickers are harmless, they can over stay the welcome, and can be a nuisance if you’ve bought a used car. That is why you would want to know how to remove bumper stickers.
Bumper stickers can be difficult to remove though. The problem is that some of them are not just attached using an adhesive. Sometimes these stickers have a strong tape at the back, which is like a cloth-like tape that is hard to remove.
You can use an eraser sticker removal disk without scratching the car paint.
Removing by hand might be out of question if you’re dealing with large bumper stickers and decals. Thankfully, there’s a way to remove it using a non scratching eraser wheel that you can attach to a power drill.
With that said, it is good to know different ways of removing bumper stickers as well as their advantages and disadvantages. This will help you choose the right method without damaging your car.
How to Remove Bumper Stickers
Method 1: How to Remove Bumper Stickers Using Heat
Option 1: Blow Hot Air
This easy fix involves using tools like a hairdryer. If you use a blow dryer, select the low heat setting and make sure the nozzle is not closer than 6″ from the stickers. Likewise, you should hold the heat gun around one foot away to avoid melting the plastic bumper or eroding paint.
While blasting away for around two minutes, apply heat evenly so that all the stickers are heated. Move your blow dryer back and forth all the time so as not to damage the surface. The same goes when using a hairdryer. However, you need to choose the hottest setting.
Before switching to the edges of the bumper stickers, heat up their central section first. That will loosen them a bit and make it easier for you to lift their corners with a rubber spatula, plastic scraper, or credit card.
Option 2: Apply Steam with a Clothes Steamer
Do you have a steamer? This device is a good alternative to hairdryers, heat guns, and blow dryers. Use it to loosen the adhesive by applying steam to the bumper stickers. It only takes 45-60 seconds.
Hold it roughly 5 inches from the bumper to prevent paint from melting. To ensure that each edge is loose, move it slowly over each portion of your stickers. This will make it easy to peel them off.
Eventually, you will beat them with heat. Once the stickers begin to bubble and their edges start lifting, you will be ready for the next step.
Option 3: Use Boiled Water if Needed
If you have no heat tool or deal with stubborn stickers, pour hot water over them to dissolve strong glue. After boiling water in your microwave or on a stovetop, pour it carefully over the stickers.
Boiled water can do a terrific job of loosening the glue. For this job, 500–700 ml (from 2 to 3 cups) of water should be enough, depending on the size and number of the stickers.
Apply it evenly so that the middle parts and edges are treated. That will make it easy to peel away the stickers.
You may also use a rag or cloth, but wear oven mitts or gloves to avoid burning yourself. Dip it in hot water. Then hold the rag/cloth on each of your stickers for several minutes before removing them.
Step 2: Peel Off the Stickers
Once you’ve loosened the adhesive of your stickers, no matter what heat tool you have used, it’s time to remove the stickers – one by one. So how can you do it without causing any damage to your bumper?
Your best bet is to use a plastic scraper or credit card. Slip it under a corner of a sticker and scrape it away gradually by gliding your tool slowly and gently. This way you will reduce the risk of damaging the surface.
Repeat the process for all the stickers until you peel them up altogether. Here are some things you need to keep in mind during this process:
- If necessary, add more water or apply more heat to your stickers before removing them until all the portions come away.
- Some stickers may rip whilst you are peeling them off. Don’t worry. Continue to remove them using the heat method starting from the corners or edges.
- To avoid damaging your bumper or paint, don’t lift the stickers straight up when removing the stickers. Instead, scrape from their edges slowly as advised earlier.
- You can also use a plastic putty knife. It works well too.
Step 3: Wipe Away Any Residue
Lastly, you will need to take care of residue. Make your bumper free of sticky adhesive by cleaning it off with a goo remover.
All you need to do is dampen a soft cloth or microfiber towel (make sure it’s clean) with the remover solution and wipe it off. Once you have removed all the remnants, the surface is supposed to look fresh.
Car cleaners and detailing sprays also work fine. In addition to rubbing alcohol, you can also apply car wax over the surface. Use high-quality buffer pads.
Method 2: Use an Adhesive Remover to Peel off the Stickers
Step 1: Apply a Remover
While there are a variety of adhesive removers on the markets, WD-40 or adhesive remover are proven to be the most effective options. They both have great adhesive-removal properties.
If you choose to use white vinegar, saturate paper towels in it first. Then place them over your stickers. Also, you can fill a spray bottle with vinegar for easy application.
If you want to use WD-40, be sure to read the instructions before spraying it on the bumper of your vehicle. It’s a great alternative to adhesive remover sprays that can help you remove the stickers easier by loosening up their edges.
Step 2: Allow It to Sit for a Few Minutes
After applying your remover, you’ll have to wait for about 5 minutes until it soaks into the stickers. Once they are completely saturated with WD-40 or white vinegar, depending on the remover used, it will loosen the stickers by seeping into the adhesive.
NOTE: For specific kinds of adhesive removers, it is important to read the instructions beforehand. This will ensure that you use the right amount of remover and wait for the appropriate period of time.
Step 3: Pill off the Stickers
If you’ve done everything correctly, you should not have any trouble peeling them away. Start by pulling up one edge or corner with a plastic putty knife, rubber spatula, scraper, old credit card, or your fingers.
Be patient and careful! Lift up the corners slowly. This is particularly important for stickers that don’t come up easily. If there’s any specific stuck spot that is difficult to lift, apply more spray (adhesive remover) to loosen it up and then try again.
Step 4: Remove Sticker Residue
Use rubbing alcohol or goo remover to banish extra residue. Wipe it away by dampening an old cloth or microfiber towel with alcohol and rubbing the surface thoroughly.
In the end, your bumper should be clean and without any sticky spots. If there is any residue left, the alcohol will take it away.
You can also cover the affected areas of your bumper with car wax. Use car buffer pads to apply a fresh coat. This will make it look new.
FAQs About How to Remove Bumper Stickers
Is it Easy to Remove Bumper Stickers?
Not every bumper sticker comes off with ease. If you deal with stubborn stickers, we recommend warming up the area first. Then grab a heat gun or a hairdryer to remove them easily without damaging the paint. The increased heat can make stickers more pliable, so they will not be hard to remove.
You can attach a sticker removing wheel to a power drill to remove large areas of bumper sticker or decal that would otherwise be extremely time consuming to remove manually.
Can White Vinegar Help Remove Bumper Stickers?
The method with white vinegar works for many bumper stickers. Take a clean cloth or paper towel and soak it in a bowl filled with vinegar. Simply put it over your bumper and leave it to sit for 5 minutes. The sticker will start loosening and lifting as the vinegar gets absorbed.
As a car or truck owner, you might be excited to have a vehicle covered in bumper stickers. However, after some time, you’ll probably want to get rid of these stickers to make a different look for your automobile. Now that you know how to remove bumper stickers, this should be an easy task to tackle.