Introduction: Hack Your Car Badges!

This is an oldie, but goodie, taught to me when I was just a wee child by my dad. You can remove most of your vehicle's trim with your dentist's best floss!

Badges, generally, are stuck to the car using two methods, posts or adhesive tape. Post-mounted badges are easy to remove since they only require a nut driver or the right sized socket, but I've seen tons of paintwork damage done by well meaning folks using metal paint scrapers to get their adhesive badges off. If it's good enough for 'your' enamel, then floss is definitely good enough for your car's as well.

This takes only seconds and makes you wonder why you never thought of it before :)

Step 1: Visit Dentist...clean Teeth, Score Free Floss!

First, go ahead and take this opportunity to go visit your favorite dentist and get those chompers checked up...they'll love you for it. Your dentist will reward your diligence by giving you a shiny new toothbrush and some free floss. I'm sure they won't mind if you re-purpose a little for this job! Any kind will do just fine.

Step 2: Now the Hard Part...

Wrap the floss around your fingers (like your dentist taught you) and gently saw the floss between the badge and your car's paint. The sawing action cuts the foam core of the adhesive tape and allows the badge to fall right off.

Don't try pulling the floss through, it'll just snap. Saw back and forth to get a good cut. If it does snap, don't worry, you've got plenty more in that little box plus you know where to get more if you run out!

Step 3: Clean Up the Mess...

This doesn't require a college degree, but you should use your wits for this step. An adhesive remover will take the remaining glue off without any problems. Acetone and paint stripper are just plain stupid! Yes, believe it or not, this actually has happened to really, really - seriously - dumb people. Don't be one of those people, just go out and buy some. You can get it from your local hardware store, auto parts store and, of all places, Walgreens! They also use the stuff for removing the glue left over when you take bandages off, so look in the medical section.

I only put the remover on a rag, not on the paint. I do a quick wipe of the foam to soak it with the remover, then, using my finger inside the rag, roll the remaining tape away from an edge. The tape will start to come off in a nice strip if you're slow and careful. Again, take your time and be gentle. Sometimes there will be dirt stuck in the crevasses that will scratch your paint if you scrub too hard.

One last note - depending on how long the badge was there and the color of your car (red is always a problem), the color under the badge might be different than the rest of the car. Now would be a good time to get out the can of compound and give your baby a good polish and wax. It'll even out any color differences and make your car shine!

Hope you enjoyed this one!!!! Till next time...

James Irmiger
Lead DC - Facilities Manager
TechShop SOMA
San Francisco, CA